Amy Tara Koch | Get a Workout and A Vacation at The Same Time
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Get a Workout and A Vacation at The Same Time

Indulge. Schvitz. Repeat: Exotic Fitness Pop Ups For Sybarites

First 1came workout boot camps. Then off-the-grid yoga retreats. Next, hotel chains touting celebrity-orchestrated fitness programs. Now, there is another way to travel without leaving your workout behind. Fitness pop -ups in vacation destinations like Capri, Sri Lanka, Goa, and Vietnam all offer relaxing getaways combined with exercise options, sightseeing and chef-crafted dining.

ESCAPE TO SHAPE

Designed for solo travelers to experience off the beaten track destinations through fitness and wellness,  Escape To Shape’s itineraries- Marrakech, Jaipur, Siem Reap, Bhutan, Botswana, Cape Town -are ideal for goal oriented, luxury lovers (often ones who need break from high powered jobs) who want an exotic, fitness-based trip without skimping on the indulgences of a proper vacation.  A former event planner for luxury conglomerate LVMH, founder Erica Gragg (who hosts every trip personally) has a winning formula: workouts inspired by bucket list settings (Khmer boxing in Cambodia, Circuit Training on the ancient rampart in Cartagena, beach boot camp in Vietnam,  yoga in underground cisterns of Istanbul), wellness elements (journaling, meditation, yoga, massage) and thoughtful excursions (market visits, group hammam, water blessing with Buddhist monk, wine tastings ) designed to deliver an authentic-and upscale- taste of the destination. Guests stay at five star hotels or villas and enjoy healthy, gastro-veering mealsprepared by an on site chef.  

Rates from $4500 to $14,000  

ACTIVE ESCAPES

In 2012, Zanna Conlan, a former Australian football coach and surf instructor, started Active Escapes as a way for fitness aficionados to have a sweat laced, tropical getaway-think twice daily high intensity interval training, surfing and evening yoga- with like minded vacationers. With an accessible price point and itineraries in some of the world’s most stunning locations, what began  in Bali with an Australians-only crowd, has evolved into trips in 7 destinations ( Australia, Hawaii, Dubai Barbados, Maldives, India, some featuring a marquee trainer like Steve Cook, an American bodybuilder. When guests aren’t swinging kettlebells on the beach, they are snorkeling, surfing, quad biking and doing sunset yoga. Lodgings are private villas or boutique hotels. New this year is a trip aboard a 123 foot yacht in the Maldives featuring beach workouts on different islands.

Rates from $1500 to $8250

SURF, YOGA, BEER

As the company mantra “no goals, all vibes” indicates, four year old Surf Yoga Beer, is the millennial version of this trend. Billed as “sleepaway camp for adults” (participants share rooms-often with bunk beds-in a large house or small hotels and end the trip fist-bumping a dozen new Bffs), fitness adventures to Ibiza, Havana, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Miami are about bonding over intense exercise and partying. Company founder, Mantas Zvinas, a happy-go-lucky surf coach and Soul Cycle instructor along with a host of marquee trainers – Jaws Nelson and Julian Devine of NYC’s Rumble Boxing and Pro obstacle course racer Hunter McIntyre, for example- lead itineraries packed with beach boot camp workouts, surf sessions, yoga, hiking, stand up paddleboarding and, insome locations, sightseeing. Traveling chef-in-residence Eddie Larios extends the communal ambiance with an open-to-visit kitchen, impromptu cooking classes and visits to local markets.

Rates from $999 to $3600

FIT& FLY GIRL

Sometimes, women just want to relax-and work out- with other women. That’s why Rebecca Garland’s women only Fit & Fly Girl retreats have

been a resounding success for women who enjoy a balance of easy-to-manage fitness with activity-based sightseeing in locations like Cote d’Azur, Buenos Aires, Costa Rica, Ibiza and Morocco. Excursions-Perfume-making in Provence, sunset kayaking in Ibiza, attending a polo match in Buenes Aires, visiting Yves Saint Laurent’s garden, Jardin Marjorelle in Marrakech- are bookended between fitness classes (ranging from cardio dance and circuit training to lower intensity pilates and foam rolling) and elegant meals served communally by a local chef at the group’s private villa. In 2019, trips to Mykonos, Iceland and Tuscany will be offered.

Rates from $3200 to $5600