in:spa – exceptional health, fitness & detox retreats
I first came across in:spa in 2006 while I was in my final year as a nutritional therapy student. I was single and wanted to go away on a holiday to recharge but also wanted the chance to eat well and feel fully rejuvenated when I returned, in time for my exams. Yoga holidays seemed to be the only option until I stumbled upon in:spa. It was a bit of a dream come true when I saw the extent of what they had to offer in a one week holiday. Of course, I booked immediately!
The fact that they employed a nutritional therapist from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (where I was studying at the time) gave me great confidence that the food would match my standards (so rare in so many “spas” these days). And they embrace organic, local food wherever they can and take their own personal chef – right up my street! But unlike so many other “one size fits all” health spas they really have a much more educational approach and the focus is on helping guests to reconnect with their health and introduce lots of ways for them to incorporate healthy living once they are back home. With daily yoga classes, personal fitness sessions, cooking demos, nutritional therapy sessions, massages and hiking – there is something for everyone. And there is no tut-tutting if you wish to skip a session – relaxation and sleep are encouraged just as much as all of the activities are (it is up to you how you spend your week). The food is gluten, dairy, refined sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol free – but you don’t feel it. Maybe a bit of a headache in the first couple of days from caffeine or sugar withdrawal but this is not a week where one feels starved or deprived. The food is always the biggest talking point! All of this takes place in stunning, sunny locations. I don’t think there is anyone else in this space that ticks this many boxes. There are no faddy “wellness” concepts here!
In:spa was the baby of Kathryn Brierley who, when returning from a fun but overindulgent holiday (we must all be guilty of that!), decided that the next time she went away, she’d prefer to come home feeling better rather than in need of another holiday to recover! So her incredible health and fitness holidays were born and she just got it so right in marrying all of the elements. Not taking a “my way or the high way approach”, in:spa is all about educating their clients and helping them to get into healthier habits, even after their holiday has ended and normal life resumes.
It was a heavenly holiday for me and the start of many. Once I graduated, I was offered a job as a nutritional therapist on the retreats and much to my excitement, they actually paid me to regularly work on these week long holidays! It was a brilliant experience for me: I learnt so much from the wonderful chefs and fitness instructors, and I absolutely adored each and every hike and it was the start of my yoga practice, learning from some incredible teachers. In the early days, before my own clinical practice took off, it was a brilliant way for me to work and keep healthy and fit – talk about achieving balance! I made wonderful friends in the other team members and also gained incredibly lovely clients who I am still in touch with today.
The repeat guests are testament to just how good these week long holidays are.”
They really do offer a transformative health experience – whether you’re looking to start a healthy new lifestyle or just get back on track after a bit of a slip. The retreats offer enough time to make a real difference to how you look and feel. They are taking place in Southern France, Mallorca and Marrakech over the coming months in really lovely, carefully selected, boutique private venues. There are now a lot of retreat options out there, but I can honestly say that in:spa is the best to my knowledge and they were the very first to pioneer the idea of a healthy retreat, so have a lot of experience.
Have a look at their website for dates and prices: inspa.co.uk.
Happy Healthy Holiday! x