Last October I was given a chance to extend my summer by a few beautiful hot sunny days at the luxury resort Hillside Beach Club in Fethiye, Turkey. The invitation included a holistic Fitness programme led by founder of That Girl London, Christina Howells and delicious wholesome food by nutritionist Rob Hobson co-author of The Detox Kitchen Bible, (which depicts a multitude of healthy delicious dishes to target health needs, whether that’s losing weight, gaining energy or getting clearer skin) in addition to sampling Hillside Beach Club’s own extensive healthy menu. Alongside other journalists and bloggers, I would get to test drive the hotel’s new “Feel Good Week” aimed at adults who want to revitalise their body and mind with fitness, nutrition and yoga instruction, hiking, spa treatments and a healthy menu of Mediterranean-inspired food.
After a short four-hour flight we arrived late at the hotel which overlooks the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean in its own private bay on the Aegean Coast. Frustratingly, were were greeted by darkness and twinkling lights and had to wait for the morning light to reveal the delights of our new home. But all good things come to those who wait and in the morning a magician came and swept back the black cloak of darkness to reveal the bright magic behind it.
After a spectacular breakfast (never have I experienced so much healthy choice – think an abundance of fresh herbs, spices, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, huge hunks of honeycomb – you name it this place has it) we felt ready to delve into “feel good week”.
First up was an informative lecture from nutritionist Rob Hobson. Rob has worked with some of the UK’s largest food and health companies as well as organisations involved in public health. A decade of work in the field of nutrition has allowed him to establish an impressive network of those working in the food and health industry including nutritionists, chefs, and personal trainers.
Rob explained the importance of a balanced diet and the effect different nutrients have on the body. Rob also identified signs and symptoms that can be experienced if you have any nutrient deficiencies and how you can rectify them with specific foods. This really set the tone for our stay and made everyone want to immediately fortify their bodies with only the most nutritious food. Fortunately we’d come to the right place for this and I’d already got started at breakfast, making a pit-stop at the juice bar after for a green goodness smoothie.
Later that day Rob led a healthy food demo where he prepared dishes from The Detox Bible, a book he co-authored. The food was fresh, flavoursome, simple, quick to prepare, delicious AND super nutritious. What more could you want?
After we’d feasted on the fruits of Rob’s labor it was time to relax. My gorgeous friend and fellow blogger Anneli (below) and I quickly found our perfect sunbathing spot and spent the next few hours blissfully boobing about on the pontoon.
And just when we thought he day couldn’t get any better it was time to head to the SANDA Nature spa (one of the hotel’s two spa’s) for a massage. Set amidst the trees surrounding the resort this spa uses Balinese techniques in rejuvenating massages and treatments, while the SANDA Spa is the place to head for an indoor oasis of round-the-clock pampering.
The massage was just what I needed to release the tension of travel and tight muscles. Post massage a pretty fruit plate and lemon water was given to me to make sure I stayed hydrated.
The first day drew to a close with a beautiful sunset sail as we sipped champagne. It was “Feel Good” week after all.
Day two was when the physical activity began. It started with a hot hike in the surrounding hills which was a great way to see the sights and ease the body back into exercise.
We worked up quite an appetite as you can imagine and couldn’t wait for lunch back at the hotel, this time at the Beach Bar and Restaurant. We knew we had to fuel up properly in preparation for a training session with Christina later, who we suspected wouldn’t go easy on us having trained Hollywood legends such as Ralph Fiennes and specialising in high intensity workouts.
Christina didn’t disappoint. She took us through a dynamic high intensity body weight training session. Luckily I was the photographer for this one – I thought I’d spare you my sweaty post-workout appearance and show you the fabulousness of Christina, Rob and Anneli instead!
After the high intensity session we finished the day with sunset yoga on a boat. This was so peaceful – a real highlight of the trip.
About Christina Howells: Earning Hollywood status early on in her career as personal trainer to Ralph Fiennes, Christina Howells is a favourite with the style brigade. With a unique method tailored specifically for women, Chrisina trains an impressive fashion hotlist. She established That GirlTM in collaboration with sportswear designer Charli Cohen, which is a series of high intensity video workouts and targeted nutrition plans.
About Rob Hobson: As a registered nutritionist (Association for Nutrition), Rob has worked with some of the UK’s largest food and health companies as well as organisations involved in public health. Rob is also the co-author of the Detox Kitchen Bible – in which he explains how to use these dishes to target health needs, whether that’s losing weight, gaining energy or getting clearer skin. A decade of work in the field of nutrition has allowed him to establish an impressive network of those working in the food and health industry including nutritionists, chefs, and personal trainers.
Activities: Hillside Beach Club’s two spas can relieve those hard-worked muscles and guests can chill in serene surroundings after a day of exercise. The hotel’s own hiking guide is on hand to lead a guided hike to work up a sweat whilst taking in the spectacular natural beauty of the resort’s surroundings. For those who seek the thrill of adrenaline-pumping sports, Hillside Beach Club’s water sports centre offer waterskiing and catamaran sailing. Personal training, private yoga classes and nutrition consultation spaces are limited to 25 people and bookings are on a first come first served basis. All three sessions are available for £100, or priced individually at £40. Guests can book by contacting Hillside Beach Club directly. In addition to sessions with Rob and Christina, guests can awaken their inner yogi with invigorating sunset yoga on the deck of Hillside Beach Club’s private boat, and wake up to sunrise yoga on the secluded adult-only Silent Beach.
Sign Up for Feel Good Week 2016: The Hillside Beach Club Feel Good Week takes place on from 8th – 14th May 2016, costing from £992 per person based on two people sharing, and is available to book via classic- collection.co.uk. For reservations and information contact Hillside Beach Club.
When to go: If you´re not interested in the Feel Good Week, the most temperate time to visit Turkey is between April and October – for lots of sunshine.