When one thinks of boot camps, this is what comes to mind: crawling in mud, climbing up ladders, flipping over large tyres, scaling walls and swinging through obstacles — basically, all things gritty and uncomfortable. So what if we told you that luxury boot camps exist?

We only ever think of wellness retreats consisting of calm activities that include hours of meditation, yoga, and spas. Hence the idea of a wellness retreat that incorporates kicking your butt at boot camp and then being pampered in a spa feels rather jarring. Yet, that’s what luxury boot camps are all about.

They are located at some of the most beautiful places in the world like St. Lucia, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in France, and by the beach at Ilha Grande, Brazil. Each resort has its own tailor-made boot camp itinerary and range between five to six nights. If you think six days of working out is too much, fret not — these itineraries are planned for a holistic experience, so they range from the hard core fitness activities to the more leisurely ones befitting of a retreat, like yoga. Pick your view and itinerary at one of these five luxury boot camps below.

1
Bikini Bootcamp in Tulum, Mexico

Whether you’re new to fitness or bench-pressing over 200kgs, there’s a programme just for you at Bikini Bootcamp, thanks to their tailor-made programmes. You’ll find yourself doing most of the workouts on the pristine white sandy beach including cardio and yoga, while your lodgings are at the Amansala eco-chic resort. There are fixed dates for each program, so head to their website to check out the dates.

 

2
La Réserve in Ramatuelle, France

With such a luxe looking five star resort, one would not expect La Réserve in Ramatuelle to have a butt-kicking boot camp programme. Located a short distance away from the upscale Saint-Tropez, La Réserve’s boot camp introduces a very interesting sport in its programme: Nordic walking. It’s a variation of regular walking that everyone is familiar with using walking poles that look similar to skiing poles. You’ll also enjoy a brisk trek of 15km to 20km through the wilderness, followed by a luxurious balneotherapy of bathing in mineral-rich waters.

3
The Ashram in Mallorca, Spain

This particular luxury boot camp requires a bit of planning, as The Ashram in Mallorca only runs from April to June yearly. Expect rigorous programmes involving starting the day at the break of dawn, six-hour treks, strength training, TRX, and more, with a strict vegetarian diet. This one is made for the hardcore at heart. At least your lodgings will take place in what looks like an ancient stone castle with gorgeous grounds.

4
The Island Experience in Ilha Grande, Brazil

The founders of The Island Experience want you to enjoy the entire island experience in Ilha Grande as they did themselves, which led to the inception of this seven-day programme. You’ll find activities ranging from hiking to kayaking, yoga, and meditation. It’s designed to give guests a life and body detox, presumably from the harsh city life. Here’s another thing you’ll enjoy about this boot camp: instead of the yelling that one might associate with such programs, you’ll get gentle encouragement and personal attention instead.

5
The Bodyholiday in St. Lucia

Should St. Lucia survive the upcoming storm, you should definitely book yourselves a boot camp retreat at The Bodyholiday. You’ll feel pressured to perform, especially since one of the founders is a former ultra-marathoner. Your programme will consist of boot camp activities, long runs, aerobics, and yoga. It may not be for the ones who are new to fitness, as their programmes have been known to attract former Olympians.

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.