I recently returned from 9 days in planet Earth’s most rapturous dreamland – the Maldives. I’ve been fortunate to visit this heaven on prior occasions, and I am struck by how its luminous beauty never dulls; on this trip, I visited the wonderful Westin Maldives Miriandhoo, a jewel in the crown of the Westin Hotels and Resorts group. I’ve worked with Westin for many years as their Wellbeing Movement ambassador and I’ve experienced several of their properties around the world; as such, I know the wellness ethos that pervades every detail of this hotel group well, and it’s one that I feel passionately about infusing into every trip I take. Whilst I was hosted at the Westin Maldives Miriandhoo (henceforth WMM), I experienced the purest expression of their Wellbeing philosophy, free from the restrictions and confines imposed by a bustling cityscape, and instead, able to indulge in the secluded tranquillity of island life. Picture-perfect postcard-style, powdery-soft sandy beaches, mesmeric sunsets, the freshest seafood and perfect temperatures, all render it an unsurprising top honeymoon destination; for me, after only a few days, I recovered the hitherto lost sensation of feeling recharged, relaxed and renewed. Thereafter, the ensuing week of pure revival left me ready to take on 2020 with gusto! Click MORE to see and read about my experience of this nirvana…
Snuggled between the two talismanic Piton mountains of St Lucia on a UNESCO World Heritage site, surveying the gentle breaths of the Caribbean Sea, rests the world-renowned Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort. I visited, and experienced some of the most authentically delivered and luxuriously-crafted Caribbean hospitality, punctuated by some seriously demanding and gritty fitness activities. This destination was host to a unique and unforgettable Active Escape involving ocean swims, boot camp classes, morning yoga, a bamboo massage, and a brutal hike up (& down) the larger Piton mountain. Click more to see and evaluate it for yourself!
A couple of weeks ago, I went on an exceptional Active Weekend Break with Westin Hotels & Resorts, for whom I’m a Wellbeing Movement ambassador. The trip’s destinations were the Italian cities of Milan & Florence and amongst runs, workouts, walks and sightseeing, I savoured some truly epic national cuisine. I’m no stranger to Italy and its awesome interpretation of the mediterranean diet (see my previous visits HERE), but this trip really brought home the love of exceptional food that Italians have. Yes, for me, it’s about eating healthy much of the time, but I understand that brings an associated stress that can taint the joy that comes from ‘the delicious’! This post is a little insight into what I think a great ‘Active Weekend’ break can look like, as well as some thoughts about enjoying your food, as the Italians seem to do best! (more…)
On my recent blog trip to the Maldives (does November still count as recent?!), I had the opportunity to stay at the gorgeous W Retreat & Spa Maldives. Up front, I’ll declare that this Active Escape to the Maldives is nothing like the experience I wrote about HERE. In fact, this is unlike anything I imagined I’d encounter in the Maldives; it blends those core Maldivian ingredients of natural paradise and a stunning coral reef, with the energised atmosphere of ‘island-party-bliss’. There’s a totally W-like ‘cool’ here that’s unique to their brand of hotels (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever visited one!), but it’s an ambience that’s subtly woven in amongst the turquoise waters, the white sand, and the coconuts! The result is highest-end comfort, lowest-possible stress, and an awesome fun experience that does wonders to recharge the city-dweller’s depleted batteries! Click MORE to see my complete Active Escape review. (more…)
For well over a decade, I’ve been told that ‘the Maldives will sink in 10 years’. Thankfully it hasn’t happened yet, but the spectre of climate change threatens to submerge the 1200 beautiful islands in this archipelago country, the highest natural elevation of which is a smidgeon over 2m above sea level. In the meantime, to “get in whilst I still had the chance”, I selected a few destinations so that I could experience it for myself. This post is a continuation of my Active Escapes series; it highlights a destination that’s almost indescribably spectacular in The One & Only Reethi Rah, a hyper-luxe resort island that’s larger than the capital city Malé, which offers an almost-inexhaustible suite of activities, which boasts a hyper-rarefied representation of elegant European hospitality, and which to my mind is utterly “exceptional, worth a special journey”! Click MORE to be transported to paradise & read my full piece…
As part of my ‘Active Escapes’ series, I recently stayed at a destination so heavenly that it completely inspired and enthused me to author this full review. The historic and beautiful Chateau de la Chèvre D’Or, nestled amidst the medieval village of Eze, on France’s exquisite Cote D’Azur, enjoys what must be the most magical, celestial view of the French Riviera, and hosts an armory of active ventures for the healthiest of holiday-goers to enjoy. The hotel itself, Relais & Chateaux affiliated, is relaxed, quirky, charming, classic and respectfully staffed by masterful hoteliers. It was perfect for my 3-day European escape, from which I returned energised, focused and relaxed. Click MORE to see my extensive review of the epic grounds, broad facilities, the sumptuous food and impeccable service 🙂
Recently, I worked with Red Magazine on a fabulous ‘active break’ project. I know what you’re thinking; given my recent posts, it might seem as though I do nothing other than ‘go on active breaks’ these days, but I can assure you, this was around 4 months back now! Travelling alongside a handful of national journalists, we hopped over to the ‘Surfing Capital of Europe’, Peniche, Portugal, where we spent a few days at the ice-cool, super-sleek ‘Surfer’s Lodge’. The brief: to master the sport in 3 days. Not an easy task, and frankly, one at which I slightly failed, but had fun in the process 😀 – You can read my full review in this month’s issue of ‘Red’, and in the meantime, below are my 8 reasons why I think surfing’s a fantastic summer fitness activity if you happen to be heading off on holiday!