For some people, the idea of working out while on vacation defeats the whole point of getting away—but you’re not one of those people, right? Because if you’re like us, you enjoy exercise because it makes you feel great—especially when your schedule is clear and you can truly focus on your workout.
Every now and then, a fitness retreat is just what the doctor ordered. They come in all styles and intensity levels, so the yoga lover, the adventurer, and the work-hard, play-hard gal can each find the sweat-and-stay destination of their dreams. Here are 5 standouts to explore.
For Celebrity Pampering: Canyon Ranch: You will feel like a movie star as you partake of the first-rate fitness classes, outdoor excursions, spa services, and healthy gourmet cuisine at this resort—not to mention having a staff of experts on call. The grandfather of the luxury health-and-wellness retreat, the Canyon Ranch empire now includes resorts in Tucson, Arizona, and Lenox, Massachusetts; a hotel and spa in Miami; and spas in Las Vegas and aboard several cruise lines. From triathlon training to brain fitness, it offers something for everyone.
What to pack: Keep your own star power bright on the courts or jogging along a desert ridge in a stylish, sun-protected skort.
For Surf Honeys: Lucero Surf Retreats: For adventurous ladies who want to learn to surf, this travel outfitter is an excellent choice. Lucero offers customizable weeklong surf and surf-and-yoga packages in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, a tiny beach town along the Pacific coast known for its incredible waves. Start your day with morning yoga and breakfast on the white sand, then hit the turquoise waters for a surf lesson in the afternoon. Unwind in the evening with a massage before you explore the laid-back town for dinner. You’ll even take home a professional pic of you up on the board!
What to pack: Save the bikini for sunbathing. Get down to serious surf business in a form-fitting one-piece jumper.
For Rainforest Detoxing: The Island ExperienceLeave juice cleanses and rigorous detox programs behind and head to the beautiful Brazilian paradise of Ilha Grande, just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Billed as a relaxing, casual program, the seven-day experience is designed to detox your body and de-stress your mind through yoga, snorkeling, massage, sea kayaking, and hiking. Meals consist of local produce whipped into delicious, Brazilian-inspired dishes (all vegetarian). This detox sounds so delightful, you might forget you’re doing it altogether.
What to pack: Beat the Brazilian heat and humidity with a pair of quick-dry, sun-protected Flexar shorts in a jungle-worthy print.
For Francophiles Fitsters: La Reserve Ramatuelle: The luxurious La Reserve hotel and spa is an unlikely base for an intensive workout program, but it is indeed home to the Nescens Boot Camp. Part of the spa’s offerings, the regimen includes daily Nordic walks—guided outings around the lush European hinterland and coastal paths using poles followed by French spa treatments and fresh Mediterranean cuisine. You’ll enjoy the sparkling sea and rolling hills of Saint-Tropez, just a few miles away, but from a healthier perspective far above its trademark excess.
What to pack: Reduce muscle fatigue and protect your skin as you log those all those beautiful miles with the aid of compression, sun-protected Active fabric leggings.
For Everything Exercise: Lake Austin Spa: Take a trip to fitness town—literally. Set on 19 gorgeous acres of rolling Texas countryside surrounding Lake Austin, this luxury spa resort offers dozens of fitness classes to its guests along with special programs to follow based around themes like live music and water-based workouts. If you rarely get the time to exercise and would love the opportunity to try all the fitness crazes you’ve been missing (think: stand-up paddleboarding, aqua HIIT, Zumba, hydrobiking, and more)—you’ll pack enough sweat sessions into one week here to last all year.
What to pack: With so many fun ways to exercise, you’ll absolutely need a multipurpose, medium-compression sports bra to take you from bike to mat to trail and beyond.