The sun is out, the holiday booked and then brave and foolishly you try on last year’s favourite bikini just to see if it looks as good as you remembered. It doesn’t. Ever. But this year, like good little girl scouts, we can be prepared and take the A-list way to a summer ready body.
Most celebrities don’t have time to simply lie in the sun with a good book on their holidays. It takes discipline and fitness gurus with punishing exercise regimes and strict diets to guarantee that they are always photo ready. So today’s stars, such as Renee Zellweger, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cindy Crawford, Cat Deely and Catherine Zeta Jones head for bikini boot camps.
It’s Destination: Skinny– the holiday week away that brings you back looking even better than when you left.
Pure Escapes Europe
With locations in the Algarve, France and the Canary Islands, Pure Escapes promises a unique ‘health retreat’ vacation that will purify your mind, balance your body and inspire your soul. Expert fitness consultants work one-on-one with guests to design a unique fitness programme, with an eye on the very latest in exercise, nutrition, weight loss, detoxification and relaxation. The Algarve programme looks especially inviting, set in an airy villa surrounded by avocado and citrus trees. A typical day includes yoga or boxercise, canoeing, tennis, swimming in the nearby sea and hiking along stunning nature trails. The week costs from £1,940 excluding flights. To book visit www.purescapes.co.uk.
Golden Door California
The crème de la crème of Bikini Boot camp is Golden Door in sunny San Diego California. It’s famous for it’s opulence and proven results which keep devotees like Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart coming back year after year. Described as “Zen-like” the spa offers low-calorie, low-fat cuisine amid Japanese gardens, trickling streams, and man-made waterfalls. Each day begins at 6am with an invigorating mountain hike, followed by intensive and customised physical training programme and daily in room massage. Guests like Laura Dern also enjoy a daily beauty or body treatment, 2 herbal wraps, manicure, pedicure, hair-consultation and make-up lesson. The Golden Door will pick you up from San Diego airport and provide a spa-wardrobe of warm-ups, shirts, shorts, robe and slippers which make packing a breeze. The Golden Door is what it sounds like – expensive. A week-long stay will set you back $6,000 (about £4000 excluding flights) but you’ll unlikely to ever forget it. To book visit Golden Door.
Detox in Ibiza
While most of us head to Ibiza to party and re-tox, you can also do a great detox there. Guests stay at the Buddha house, a funky style villa secluded in the lush mountain forests during their week-long or mini 4 day detox retreats. Surrounded by an infinity pool, this retreat offers amazing walks on the beach, great yoga teachers and treatments like Thai massage and reflexology every afternoon. You barely notice that you are eating only juice and broths. Well, almost barely. It cost from €1085, (£942 – ex flights to Ibiza and transfers). To book visit Lotus Journeys.
Rainforest Retreat Brazil
If you really want to go for it try an exotic get-away. A stunning fitness spa in Brazil offers a true island experience. After daily morning yoga, guests will spend their afternoons hiking through the incredible rainforest, along with kayaking in crystal blue waters and snorkelling. The food is delicious but all low calorie and detox-friendly. And you’ll still get pampered. There’s a massage every night. It cost about $1,900 dollars, (£1,246 – ex flights to Rio). To book visit Lotus Journeys.
Homefield Grange UK
Remember that brilliant show Super Skinny Me? Well this is where journalist Kate Spicer went on her quest to get to a size 0. Set in the middle of a post-card perfect countryside, guests enjoy effective detox/juicing programmes on a weekly and weekend basis. You drink only fresh organic juices and broths and also have a colonic cleanse at the beginning and at the end of your fast. Guests may also opt for a blood analysis which shows you how your body is working and what needs to be addressed to relieve things like stress, anxiety, illness, and tiredness. The average guest loses around nine pounds during a seven day stay. You leave feeling refreshed, revitalised, and glowing. Being in the UK , this retreat is also great value for money with a week stay starting from about £850 per week, £303 for a weekend visit. Visit Homefield Grange Retreat for more information.
The Ashram Beverley Hills
The Ashram is the original weight loss retreat and has hosted more celebrities than the Beverly Hills hotel. This boot camp in the Santa Monica Mountains was where Gwyneth Paltrow checked in the week before the Oscars to shed 5 kg. Catherine Zeta Jones headed here after the birth of baby Dylan and returned home with her pre-baby body. Oprah Winfrey has been twice and Cindy Crawford, Colin Farrell, and Renee Zelwegger are all among those who have endured Hollywood’s most celebrated boot camp. And it’s not for the faint of heart. A typical day begins at 6am with an hour of morning yoga, followed by a five-hour, 20-mile hike through rugged, mountainous terrain. There are also dance classes, Pilates, and water aerobics. All this on a 1000-calorie-per-day vegetarian diet. Still, there are perks. A daily massage, as well as hours of solitary thought on the daily hikes allows guests to shed emotional baggage as the pounds melt away. Only 12 people stay at any one time. Staffed by a medical team, it focuses on weight loss, a challenging fitness programme, massage, yoga and meditation. Prices are about $4,250 per week (approx £2,800) Visit their website for more information.
BY ASHLEY PEARSON
[picture credits: Ausseher; http://www.flickr.com/photos/slyadne; ChrisMoncusPhoto.com; http://www.flickr.com/photos/cerionmorgauin]