Kate Farr takes a look at five of the best destinations for wellness travel, all within easy reach of Hong Kong. Be it detox, diving or cycling, these breaks will keep you fighting fit as you see the world.
Whether it’s the proximity to the airport, our pilot-heavy population or simply the fact that we’re a pretty adventurous bunch, us Hong Kongers really do travel often! Combine this wanderlust with our love of fitness and you’ve got the perfect ingredients for a holiday with a difference.
Detox in the Philippines
An oldie, but a goodie, The Farm at San Benito offers a total immersion detox experience within the lush surrounds of a 120-acre Philippine coconut farm.
Situated just 90 minutes outside of Manila, this tranquil space is a total retreat from the outside world. You can expect plush and spacious villas complete with private pools and expansive terraces, a serene on-site spa and fully tricked-out jungle gym.
For those who feel the need for a serious health overhaul, The Farm’s medically supervised detox programmes include colon hydrotherapy and nutritional microscopy, with juice fasts, yoga and meditation to support the cleansing process.
If going completely food-free soundsa little drastic, The Farm’s fitness programme includes daily boot camp sessions, circuit training and plyometrics, followed by delicious vegan cuisine at the award-winning Alive! restaurant.
Run (then relax!) in China
Effectively killing two birds with one stone, the Great Wall Marathon is an extremely challenging run in one of the world’s most memorable settings. Attracting seasoned runners from around the globe, the next race takes place in May 2017, with more than 2,500 entrants expected on
Choose from either full- or halfmarathon courses or an 8.5-kilometre fun run and make the most of the incredible atmosphere (and photo opportunities) that this unique race offers.
Extend your stay with a recovery retreat at The Opposite House, a smart, architect-designed hotel right in the centre of bustling Beijing. The sister hotel to our very own Upper House, The Opposite House blends modern western design with ancient Chinese heritage pieces throughout the property. The spacious rooms are cool and contemporary and the rain showers and large oak tubs in every bathroom are ideal for soaking away the last of your post-race aches and pains.
Yoga in the Himalayas
Serious and aspiring Yogis be warned – after completing a retreat at Ananda In The Himalayas, your studio-based stretches may never feel quite the same again. Situated in the verdant Himalayan foothills (transfer via Delhi), this stunningly beautiful property was once a maharaja’s estate, and the Viceregal Palace was painstakingly restored to form part of the current building.
Ananda’s guest rooms, suites and villas are every bit as luxurious, with plush bedding and large balconies offering sweeping views across the valley to the imposing mountains beyond. But it’s the yoga, meditation and Ayurveda that’s the real selling point here.
Expect regular guest workshops from renowned wellness gurus, and personalised fitness consultations and lifestyle guidance from Ananda’s in-house experts. Add in a packed schedule of daily Hatha, Raja and Kriya yoga practice, and you’ll be sure to leave calm, centred and rejuvenated.
Dive in Borneo
The Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort is a dream stay for anyone for whom the phrase ‘slip into something more comfortable’ means a tank and fins. Widely considered to be one of the five best places to dive in the world, this spectacular resort sits on stilts above a reef teeming with abundant
While many of the dive sites are easily reached in just a few minutes by speedboat, plenty more are accessed simply by swimming from the resort’s pier, meaning that you’ll be in the thick of the action just moments after leaving your chalet’s private balcony.
The area is famed for its colonies of hammerhead sharks and turtles, along with a wealth of vibrantly coloured fish in the extensive coral gardens. Non-divers can join one of the many PADI dive training courses, or enjoy the spectacle from above by snorkelling.
Cycle in Taiwan
Dedicated cyclists can eat some serious tarmac over the course of five days on a Mad Dogs cycle tour of Taiwan. Kicking off in the capital of Taipei, you’ll soon leave the skyscrapers behind as you ride through mountainous areas, terraced tea plantations and rice paddies before hitting the rugged east coast. The journey ends some 550 kilometres later in the southern city of Kenting.
Taking in locations firmly off the tourist trail, this holiday gives you the ultimate insider’s view of Taiwan, while offering plenty of camaraderie and challenges along the way. Whether you bring your own bike or hire the kit you need from Mad Dogs, if you’ve ever felt that the journey is half the destination, this one’s for you.
• Ananda In The Himalayas, www.anandaspa.com
• Great Wall Marathon, www.great-wall-marathon.com
• Mad Dogs, www.gomaddogs.com
• Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, www.sipadan-kapalai.com
• The Farm at San Benito, www.thefarmatsanbenito.com
• The Opposite House, www.theoppositehouse.com