Sure, you would give anything to be reclined on a beach chair, sand on your toes and a drink in your hand. But three days into a vacation, doesn’t the margarita-and-taco diet start to take its toll on your energy level? If the answer is yes, read on for some fitness-focused vacations, where that umbrella-adorned drink will taste even better when you know you worked for it, just a little bit.
For ocean waves and meditation: Blue Osa
Costa Rica offers gorgeous rainforest and ocean views to ease a tough workout, whether you’re trying deep yoga bends or doing lunges on the sand. Take things a step past a walk on the beach at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, opened by two New Yorkers who stumbled across the Osa Peninsula property while hosting a yoga retreat in 2007. Their motto is “More than a Vacation, It’s a Way of Life,” and that way of life pairs you with a private instructor for seven days in the yoga retreat package, making sure you’re amping up strength and stability alongside resting and relaxing. Blue Osa also hosts an annual training for yoga teachers, and every day a morning class is available for all guests.
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For reclaiming both body and mind: BodyHoliday
At St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday, they promise that if you give them your body, they’ll give you back your mind. Although poolside relaxing is perfectly acceptable, a packed roster of available activities from cycling to aerobics encourages an active vacation. So does a recently renovated wellness center, which overlooks St. Lucia’s royal-blue waters. In June, the resort has a dance-themed workout special, Jive June, and bring the kids from June 30 through Sept. 1, when the Well-Fit Families special welcomes children 12 and older for a week-long, boot-camp-style workout. In November, St. Lucia hosts its annual wellness retreat.
For a weekend retreat: Nantucket Yoga Festival
To get your om on not far from home, make plans to visit Nantucket. The second annual Nantucket Yoga Festival takes place July 12-14, and includes well-known yogis like Dharma Mittra, who runs the Dharma Yoga New York Center. The island, dubbed the top in the world by National Geographic, hosts the festival's classes from more than 20 instructors. Under a tent at Bartlett’s Farm, enjoy ocean views and, after rolling up your mat, a farm-to-table dinner. Stay in a B&B like The Nantucket Hotel and Resort, which offers free yoga, mats and blocks for guests at the nearby Children’s Beach.
For triathlon training: Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
For a more intensive workout while away, try out Sanctuary on Camelback Mountainin Scottsdale, Ariz. It hosts a Triathlon Prep Program, which doesn’t waste a second of the three days — on the first day, guests meet Olympic medalist Misty Hyman, who will tutor you in swimming endurance and speed. On the second day, go on a guided desert bike ride and on the third, run with a fitness instructor. But it’s not all work— each day ends with a relaxing spa treatment targeting sore muscles. To avoid the desert heat, bookings begin Oct. 1, but Hyman is available for swimming training throughout the summer.
For far-away fitness: Amanpuri
To really get away, Thailand’s Amanpuri — which means “place of peace” — boasts a five-night retreat starting July 1 for those wanting an intensive Pilates experience. The Phuket resort’s Aman Pilates program targets shoulders and the spine, pelvis and hips. The retreat will focus on boosting your circulation, from connecting you with a nutritionist to the private Pilates sessions that aim to jolt sluggish systems and tone bodies. Deep-tissue therapy is available for the aftereffects.
Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison