We love us a retreat as much as the next wellness warrior, but with so many cropping up, it can be hard to wade through them all. Cue our favourite wanderluster Natalie, a self-confessed retreat-obsessed guru. She’s here to help solve all your wellness holiday dilemmas, and shares what to look out for when making your pick. Over to you Nat…
I love a fitness or wellness retreat, in fact I would say I am slightly obsessed. I think as I have got older I have realised I need more from a holiday than just a beach and sunshine. What I love about retreats is that they are the perfect mix of relaxing, switching off and also delicious food and fitness. With the odd bit of sunbathing….of course.
Everyone looks for something different in a retreat and they do vary so much depending on where you go, what style of exercise and your personal goals. However for me there are a few things I always look for which make the experience so much better. So I thought I would share these in case you ever decide to book a retreat yourself.
For me one of the most important bits of any trip is the food. I love food there is no hiding that. Yes a retreat is a chance to be super healthy and often give yourself that boost but that doesn’t mean you should eat boring food. I look for healthy, regular balanced meals and always recommend looking at an example meal plan and pictures of the food from previous retreats. I love retreats that use good quality ingredients and source local food. For example In Ibiza the Ibiza Kitchen provides chefs to lots of the retreats and they all love what they do and the passion definitely comes across in their cooking. Healthy food shouldn’t be boring and you should never feel starving at a retreat (unless its a mental bootcamp where I am afraid you probably will be starving). Also another tip is check they cater for your dietary requirements- vegan, veggie etc
- VILLA / LOCATION
If you are paying for a week away you want where you are staying to be worth it right, especially as at a retreat you spend a lot of time at the villa or surrounding area. So therefore the villa has to have everything. Comfortable, spacious, nice rooms, areas to relax, a pool and for me as sad as it is….it needs to be pretty as how else am I meant to take great Instagram pictures ey? Then location of the villa as well is important, which is why I always go back to Ibiza. I know it has beautiful beaches, great hikes and lovely weather. Consider all these things when looking at locations
- GROUP SIZE
I personally like smaller retreats, no more than 8-10 people really as then its more personal. You spend a whole week with these people and often they become like your family. Again personal opinion but I don’t think you can get as much from a retreat if there are say 20-25 people there especially in the workouts. The less people the more attention you get.
- TRAINERS / TEACHERS
Make sure there are good trainers, who really know their stuff and have good qualifications. These people are going to be taking you through workouts every day so you want them to know what they are doing right? I always check out their Instagram and social media to see the style of workouts they specialise in.
Everyone is after something different from a retreat. Think about what you are going away for, do you want to be on a super tight schedule or do you want lots of ‘me time’. I would always look at a ‘typical day’ schedule if the retreat offers one. Or ask what a normal days schedule is like so you get an idea whether it works for you. I personally like a good balance of fitness / yoga and me time. Think about why you are going away and what you are after….this is your retreat after all so choose wisely.