LuxeFIT: Get Fit While You Travel

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Founder, Loren Ann Mayo

Two young businesswomen have found a way to combine their passion for travel and healthy lifestyles through a brand-new venture, luxeFIT. The company offers week-long luxury fitness retreats to exotic destinations, arranging workout sessions and activities, nutritious cuisine prepared by a private chef and opportunities for socializing and fun – all in a luxurious private beachfront estate setting.

LuxeFIT blends fitness, nutrition, adventure and the opportunity to explore new and exciting destinations worldwide. Our fitness adventure experts coordinate all-inclusive, week-long luxury fitness retreats to exotic destinations, offering workout sessions and activities, healthy food prepared by a private chef and opportunities for socializing and fun – all in luxurious villa settings.

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Co-Founder, Holly Morris

LuxeFIT blends fitness, adventure and nutrition with the opportunity to explore new and exciting destinations worldwide. The first retreat is slated for April 30 – May 6, in Barbados.

Activities will include yoga, paddleboarding, snorkeling, surfing and water-skiing, with numerous social opportunities — as well as free time — throughout. Excursions will be available to explore Harrison’s Caves, tour Mt. Gay Rum Distillery, shop in Holetown and more. It’s a great group for people who want to sweat it out every day and meet like-minded people and have fun in some of the most beautiful places on earth!” luxeFIT co-founder Loren Mayo says, “Retreats aim to be a place where guests feast on delicious, healthy cuisine, exercise in spirited and challenging sessions with top trainers, experience the sights and sounds of the area and, ultimately, return home looking and feeling better than when they left.”

Just as food typically plays a central role in any travel experience, healthy eating is at the core of a luxeFIT adventure. One of the founding principles of luxeFIT is to provide wholesome, delectable, locally produced meals for guests to enjoy. The accommodations feature a private chef, who will offer meals that meet guests’ nutritional needs, while taking great care to develop menus reflecting the culture of the destination. 

The two launched luxeFIT in November 2016, engaging Mia Duval, an Orangetheory fitness instructor in Sarasota, FL, as head trainer for the venture. Beyond the Barbados retreat, the duo is exploring additional options in the Caribbean and Mexico.

“From invigorating workouts to gourmet fare, this program is designed to nourish and energize our guests on every level, offering the perfect blend of cardio, rest and relaxation,” said Morris. “It’s paradise with a purpose — a better, more balanced you, in less than a week!”

Retreats are all-inclusive — all but airfare is included. Guests will enjoy six-nights in either a 5-Star villa or luxury condo, freshly prepared meals with an emphasis on local cuisine, fitness and yoga sessions, the ability to work out with a first-rate fitness instructor and round-trip transportation to group activities.

luxefit.co

The World’s Best Luxury Mountain Wellness Retreats

DTC Red Mountain Spa various photos

Red Mountain Resort and Fitness Center – Utah

By Paul Joseph, Health and Fitness Travel

For those seeking to relax in the most luxurious pockets of the Earth, Health and Fitness Travel, the leading specialists in wellness holidays worldwide, has compiled their top five mountain wellness retreats to go and escape from it all.  Spread across the world from Utah to Crete and Oman to India, these mountain wellness retreats are great to visit all year around.  Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie craving that next rush or want to relax away from prying eyes, these wellness retreats need to be at the top of your list.

Utah: Red Mountain Resort

The St George mountain range set in the rugged American landscape provides the perfect backdrop to a weight loss holiday that you will never want to leave.  Great to visit in the spring time, the Zion and Bryce canyons provide spectacular locations for horseback riding and mountain biking.  If you’re craving an adrenaline rush, then you can’t leave without trying an exhilarating rock climb, and joining other guests in seeing the incredible mountain-top views. After a long day of challenging your limits, relax in the luxury spa with body contouring wraps and Tai Chi classes.

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Milia, Crete

Crete:  Wildfitness

The majestic mountain hamlet of Milia is a great option for those who want to tone their bodies for next summer. Created with nature in mind, Wildfitness encourages you to use the trees and rocks around you to tone and sculpt your body. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Cretan mountains, you’ll be able to shape up in the utmost tranquillity and luxury.  This retreat puts your fitness goals and desires first with personalised assessments and consultations.  Return to basics in the crisp mountain air with challenging fitness regimes and training sessions.

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Zighy Bay, Oman

Oman: Zighy Bay

For the adrenaline junkies, out there, paragliding from the Musandam Penisula must be on your list. The dramatic mountainous landscape, surrounding Zighy Bay, provides you with the opportunity to push your very limits to achieve your fitness goals.  This luxury mountain retreat boasts the Six Senses Spa designed to encourage you to utterly indulge yourself.  Rejuvenate with Arabian Hammans and bath rituals in the six spa rooms available.  Travel during the spring time to enjoy the variety of activities, including tennis and bootcamp fitness, to ensure that you return home with an all-round sense of well-being.

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Ananda – Himalayas

India: Ananda in the Himalayas

Set at the foot of the Himalayas, this secluded wellness retreat is a great option for those looking to relax in style and luxury.  The Himalayan mountain range is breath-taking, especially after the rainy season of July and August, and can be seen in all its glory on guided nature walks.  Ananda offers a wellness approach designed to unite the mind, body and soul, with holistic spa treatments and an array of well-being activities, including meditation and yoga.  If you are looking to transform your life, whilst learning a new skill, then definitely take advantage of the Pranayama sessions.

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Shanti Som, Spain

Spain: Shanti Som

In the striking Andalucían region, lies Spain’s stunning Sierra de Las Nieves Nature Park and at the heart of this is the luxurious Shanti Som.  This mountainous area is the definition of tranquillity with its peaceful gardens and fragrant orange groves.  Your well-being will be revived in this remote sanctuary with a choice of tailor-made wellness programmes, including yoga and holistic healing.  Best to visit during June and September, you’ll be able to rejuvenate in the lavish spa with Ayurveda and aromatherapy.  You’ll never be able to forget the superlative mountainous landscape, even after you’ve returned home.

For more advice, guidance, and booking, visit:

www.healthandfitnesstravel.com 

Paul Joseph, Health and Fitness Travel Founder

Paul Joseph, Health and Fitness Travel Founder

About Paul Joseph:

Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@hf_travel), Instagram

 

A Luxe Yoga Cruise From Chile to Tahiti!

Guests practice yoga in Crystal's Feng Shui Yoga Room

Guests practice yoga in Crystal’s Feng Shui Fitness Center

Alas… one of our favorite luxe cruise lines, Crystal Cruises, has just announced that they’re inspiring their guests to relax, refresh and recharge with a new Mind, Body & Spirit-themed exotic cruise through some of the most exquisite waters in the world.

Crystal Symphony’s first voyage of the year, a 12-day “Southern Seas Soliloquy” itinerary, begins January 8th, 2014 in Valparaíso, Chile, and sails across the southern Pacific to the Society/Tahitian, Easter, and Pitcairn Islands (the latter of Mutiny on the Bounty fame).  On the roster are a guest yoga instructor, extreme athlete, health and wellness expert, and ZUMBA® teacher, as well as a repertoire of active excursions and a host of complimentary fitness classes.

The 12-day cruise sails from Valparaíso to Easter Island, Chile; Pitcairn Island/Adamstown, UK; and Moorea, Society Islands before ending with an overnight in Papeete, Tahiti. 

All-inclusive cruise fares start at just $2,975/person, with $1,000 in savings if booked by August 30. 

Among those scheduled to motivate travelers are:

·         Dane Rauschenberg: Extreme athlete who ran 52 marathons in 52 consecutive weekends. I’m tired just thinking about it, but damn… good for Dane!

·         Dr. Barbara Udell: Health and wellness expert who’s helped guide the Pritikin Longevity Center, Weight Watchers, and the Diabetes Research &Wellness Foundation.

·         Lisa Goodwin: Transformational yoga instructor skilled at teaching both beginners and seasoned practitioners. I. Need. You.

·         Annie Hoefel: High-energy motivator leading ZUMBA classes on board for guests of all ages. Because Zumba… who doesn’t want to shake it, shake it?

Crystal Symphony State Room

Crystal Symphony State Room

In addition to the above, complimentary fitness classes and programs onboard include Spinning, Pilates, dancing, stretching, circuit training, Nordic Walking, and Walk-on-Water weight vest power walking on the ship’s 360-degree promenade deck.  Can you imagine getting on shape and eating well during a cruise through beautiful islands? I can! Also on the agenda for brainiacs like us:  experts to stretch travelers’ minds with talks about space exploration, world affairs, and Leonardo da Vinci.

ATVing in French Polynesia!

ATVing in French Polynesia!

In port, Crystal Adventures also offers snorkeling, scuba diving, ATV-ing, four-wheeling, volcano trekking, helicoptering, and jet skiing with stingrays.  Numerous excursions also take guests to ancient Polynesian temples and ceremonial grounds, including Easter Island’s famous Moai statues.  When anchored outside Pitcairn Island – considered the most remote and smallest inhabited place in the world – local residents will come aboard, allowing guests to liaise with the mutineer descendants and see their traditional crafts. I was sorta of obsessed with this movie so I’m daydreaming about mutiny right now…

Add massages, treatments and scrubs and there’s really nothing left to need.

Crystal Serenity’s first cruise of 2014, sailing through the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles starting January 5, also offers a “Mind, Body, Spirit” focus, with all-inclusive, “Book Now” fares of $4,675/person for 13 days so check out the website below and let us know if you have any questions.

www.crystalcruises.com

Review: La Costa Resort and Spa

Family Travel Contributor

This week, Family Travel Contributor, Hillary Helsing, takes us to La Costa Resort and Spa for more stelllar family fun. No stranger to surf luxury, Hillary, an ex-pharmaceutical sales executive and one-time Quiksilver employee, resides in Huntington Beach and lives for luxe family vacations that don’t always have to cost a pretty penny.

A great family getaway that won’t break the bank, La Costa Resort and Spa, less than an hour from Orange County and 10 minutes from Legoland, is nestled in the hills of Carlsbad. Forget the beach on this trip. Drive, valet and stay. Bring the baby or the tween, and leave the nanny at home. Your family is well taken care of at this resort. There is a water play area, 7 pools, water slides (2 that are toddler safe), sandy beach pool that is 3-4 feet deep! Mom, this means you do not have to get in if you don’t want to. Sip a mai-tai and watch your darlings frolic in the shallow, huge kiddie pool.

I hear ya…Where is the luxury? First, ask for a renovated room or suite, they are beautiful. Second drop the kiddos off at Kidtopia. Kidtopia is a 6000 sq. ft. recreation center of indoor fun for ages 6 months to 12 years. It is adorable; slides, games, huge fish tank, lighted dance floor, and a bevy of young enthusiastic staff.

La Costa's Big Kid Slide

Grab your hubby and play tennis, golf, or go to the spa. They tout the spa is rated #1 in Southern California, I beg to differ. It is, however, newly designed and very nice.  I do agree with Travel Magazine, this resort is clearly #2 in Family Friendly Resorts! Last but not least, “Ask! Ask! ask!” Ask for discounts, vouchers, or upgrades. They are more than willing!

Rooms start at $229 and go up and up!

www.lacosta.com

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

 Family Travel Contributor – Hillary Helsing

This week, we welcome our first Family Travel Contributor, Hillary Helsing, as she takes us to sweet SoCal for some stelllar family fun. No stranger to surf luxury, Hillary, an ex-pharmaceutical sales executive and one-time Quiksilver employee, resides in Huntington Beach and lives for luxe family vacations that don’t always break the bank. If a destination is going to cost a pretty penny, she believes that quality must reign supreme. After all, her little darlings are worth it.

Grilling with the Family

Location, Location, Location… with laid back luxury in kiddie heaven! A historic icon, La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club first opened in 1927, but today still carries with it that classic clout. With newly renovated rooms and suites, I recommend the north end of the private cove and an ocean front suite. The suites all have full kitchens (make bottles, pb&j, butter noodles… because I hate paying for that crap), and living/bed rooms all have cruise ship views.

Don’t expect opulence or marble tubs – sandy feet are welcome. The club includes: kiddie pools, big pool, private beach, hot cabana boys, best tennis ever, pitch and put 9 hole golf, minutes to downtown La Jolla, a playground with swings and slides and all the other resort hoopla you would expect. Leave your Burberry bikini at home and save that for the Montage in Laguna when you’re on vacation with your nanny. To stay here you have money, but there’s no need to flaunt it.

Wear your kid friendly outfit, forget the bling because you’re going to want to hit up the complementary sand toy box and dig in the sand with your kids. Reserve a BBQ (they set it up for you on the beach) grill away and go buy the s’mores kit from the gift shop. Your kids will love it! If I am going to leave the OC with my kids it better be great, and this is, in one word, great!

La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club

Rates from $339-$1629/night

www.ljbtc.com

ELLE Spa – Eden Roc

Eden Roc Renaissance Miami

When I was invited to cover the grand opening of Elle Magazine’s first foray into the spa business, you can probably guess no one had to twist my rubber arm. The ELLE Spa, launched in Miami’s famed Eden Roc hotel, promised to be both luxurious and relaxing. Although I’d never set foot in the Eden Roc, I did know the name. Who doesn’t? For more than 50 years, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach has graced Miami Beach’s Golden Mile at 45th Street and Collins Avenue.  Its 1950s and 60s heyday established it not only as a legendary landmark, but as South Florida’s premier resort property sought by many of the nation’s top entertainers and celebrities.

Eden Roc Pool

Today, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach continues its reign as the Grande Dame of Miami Beach, successfully luring the happening crowd away from South Beach, according to New York Magazine.  As with most great monuments, it is surrounded by a tremendous amount of history, and in some cases, controversy.

Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach was originally designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fontainebleau next door as well as the Americana Hotel, now the Sheraton Bal Harbour.  Lapidus was a virtual newcomer to hotel design, specializing in the design of retail storefronts.  His curvy, innovative hotel designs were widely criticized and, though considered daring at the time, later earned the 96 year-old Lapidus national acclaim in which he always insisted his best revenge on his critics was outliving them.  That’s when Harry Mufson came along and bought the Warner Estate (which belonged to one of the Warner Brothers) with a promise to build an even grander property:  Eden Roc. Lapidus was commissioned by Mufson to design the Eden Roc and said,  “I don’t want any of that French stuff you used at the Fontainebleau.  That’s for kids.” Gotta love a man who can crack a funny joke about the French…

As research for this project, Lapidus traveled to the Eden Roc in France; a favorite vacation spot for The Kennedy’s.  While touring Europe, he purchased statues, marble, and Venetian glassware for use in designing the hotel that would later be deemed a vision of the Italian Renaissance. Completed in 1956, Eden Roc was Lapidus’ most lavish design, attracting a stream of celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Ann Margret.  It became the favorite on Miami Beach, successfully claiming the limelight from the Fontainebleau next door.

Eden Roc Lobby Bar

Located just off the pool deck was Harry’s American Bar.  Named after the property’s owner at the time, Harry Mufson, this became the hottest nightclub in town where elites such as Katharine Hepburn, Joe DiMaggio, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and Ernest Hemingway frequently danced the night away.  Painter Al Hirshfeld captured the essence of these entertainers at the popular nightclub in a famous celebrity caricature mural on the walls of the establishment.

Eden Roc Guest Room

Today, with the completion of its lavish restoration, Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach is shining brilliantly once again with it’s spacious 631 guest rooms, three 2,500 sq. ft. penthouse suites, 18 oceanfront one-bedroom suites, and 15 bi-level bungalow suites with floating staircases. All rooms feature flat-screen HDTV’s, iPod stations & Wi-Fi high speed internet. Their lobby bar is also one straight from the movies with sparkling glass, marble, and Brazilian rosewood columns. Beware of their delicious cocktails (which I happily slurped down with a side of shishito peppers) alongside Marysol from the Real Housewives of Miami, writers from Spa Magazine, and other fun, very Miami-based celebs. And the food at  1500 Degrees, their signature high-end dining establishment…delicious.

Under the direction of Exec Chef Paula DaSilva, 1st runner-up in Season 5 of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, hand-crafted artesian dishes demonstrate ‘fresh flavor combinations that accentuate the unparalleled flavor of fresh farm ingredients’. Sorry, couldn’t have said it better myself. The menu changes daily according to season and features local food products from farmers she actually knows. Small plate offerings ($6-$9) range from roasted beets with seared goat cheese and jumbo lump crab cakes with cilantro slaw and Old Bay aioli, to charred baby Brussels sprouts with mustard sauce and teriyaki beef skewers. Main plates ($25-$42) include: Florida red snapper with mushroom risotto, wilted arugula and aged saba vinegar; locally-raised half-chicken, cooked on the rotisserie, served with Carolina rice, black bean puree and mustard greens; hickory rubbed Palmetto Creek Farms pork loin chop with creamy polenta and roasted lobster with celery root puree, hearts of palm and Florida fruit salsa.

1500 Degrees

The ELLE Spa, which I was first and foremost there to enjoy, was designed by the owners Paola Chapur, Paloma Ardid, and Tim Williams, the spa director. This joint venture — the first for ELLE and an unprecedented partnership between a media property and a luxury resort — offered a once‐in‐a‐lifetime experience combining the unparalleled history and service of the Eden Roc Renaissance with the style of ELLE and the swankiness of Miami Beach. With floor‐to‐ceiling windows overlooking the hotel’s lushgardens and ocean, four infinity pools and sweeping seascape, the space boasts design and décor inspired by the Mediterranean coastline. High‐coved ceilings, whitewashed walls, natural stone, water and wooden elements create a calm, chic environment for the ultimate spa escape. My favorite part? Free yogurt covered pretzels, copies of Elle Magazine, and a faux fireplace to keep things warm and toasty.

Exit Through The ELLE Spa Gift Shop!

The ELLE Spa offers a range of treatments that come to life through elite, editorially‐inspired treatments such as ‘Doctors’ Orders’ and ‘Forever 25’ –replete with inspiring oceanfront views, rooftop dining, chocolates, champagne, a shared whirlpool tub, rain shower, and cozy beds. Depending on their schedule, guests can spend less than an hour or a whole day experiencing wet spa areas with hot whirlpools, cold plunges, steam sauna and hydro‐experience showers before being escorted to the decadent relaxation lounge.

Jaime King Gets a Pedi

ELLE Spa visitors can also take advantage of an expansive rooftop deck with VIP cabanas, light dining and beverage service. A retail boutique offers the ultimate selection of luxury products, handpicked by ELLE editors. This spa shop is one of the best I’ve seen. So much so, I bought a bracelet and a necklace. The prices, for the quality of the goods, are also completely reasonable.

A range of exclusive products and treatments, curated by skin and beauty experts including Tammy Fender, Yael Alkalay of Red Flower, and Essie feature exclusives from Red Flower, including massage and body treatments and a customizable scrub bar, all which incorporate the signature ELLE Spa scent. In addition, Essie has developed eye-catching custom nail colors—the neon-pink “Eden” and can’t-miss-it-coral “Roc” —to be sold only at the ELLE Spa.

All in all, the trip was amazing. Live music at the beachfront cabana restaurant, rooms with ocean views, high quality in-room flatscreen TVs and the ELLE Spa, made for the perfect balance between relaxing after an evening of Miami’s nightlife and revitalizing myself from a day at the beach under the sexy Miami sun.

Couples Therapy in Paradise

Villa Milagro at Sunset

We’re excited to announce that Villa Milagro, a secluded retreat on the Pacific coast of Mexico, has expanded into a full-scale wellness resort and spa. In addition, Berta Davis, PhD, couple and sex therapist and owner of Villa Milagro, in collaboration with the managing director, Peter Petersen, will offer workshops in meditation, couples therapy, qigong, dance, yoga, surf and other forms of holistic healing. And really… who better to offer such things than a sex therapist??

Sitting solo on a secluded beachfront cove, Villa Milagro is a fully enclosed paradise that is as serene as it is secure. The Villa consists of three spacious thatched-roof buildings open to the Pacific Ocean in the sexy little fishing town of Zihuatanejo. Scenic vistas include the ever-changing sea, acres of untouched tropical landscapes and the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains. Gentle waves are the ultimate backdrop for meditation or the perfect night’s sleep. Gated and enclosed with twenty-four hour security, Villa Milagro is also perfect venue for romantic hideaways, family vacations, destination weddings, and group workshops.

A view from the pool at Villa Milagro

Throughout the year, they’ll offer spiritual, emotional, and educational retreats, including couples and sexuality workshops under the guidance of Dr. Davis, who has been a leader in the transformation process for over 30 years. Structured in collaboration with Peter Petersen and his “moving meditation” practice, Villa Milagro will approach healing with a new and exciting approach. In addition, they’ll also be hosting other healing professionals who combine mind, body, and spirit to help facilitate our mission for holistic healing and education.  Rates are below, so what are you waiting for? Your love life to improve on it’s own. I don’t think so. Perhaps it’s time someone admits that it’s time for a spontaneous retreat, no?

Si.

www.mexicovillamilagro.com

Master Suite per night $450 $275
Sunrise Suite per night $250 $200
Sunset Suite per night $250 $200
Zen Room per night* $200 $175
Garden Room per night* $175 $150
Entire Villa per week $7,500 $5,000