I'm Paying to Be Abused? Really? A Sweaty Look at Luxury Health-Fitness Retreats
There's a new breed of spas that will kick you you-know-what (Photo: Thinkstock)
There’s something undeniably masochistic about going to a place where the third day is known as Toxic Tuesday, because all the guests feel so rotten. Basically, you’re paying — often a lot — to be pushed with your own interests at heart. But on Toxic Tuesday, or Wacky Wednesday, at today’s new generation of luxury health retreats, it sometimes just feels like you’re paying to be abused. And at the time you wonder why you did it.
The menu at the Pearl Laguna (Photo: Facebook)
I’ve just finished my third of these fitness-and-weight-loss programs, which probably says something about me. To paraphrase the Peace Corps motto, they’re the toughest vacations I’ll ever love: four-hour hikes, minimal food, hours in the gym. And I’m not alone. Repeat guests, here for their annual tune-up or their attempt to beat last year’s mileage record, make up a big portion of the clientele. Perhaps they’re among the few who can get past the intimidation factor.
You’re exhausted but at least the views are nice (Photo: Mountain Trek/Facebook)
Places such as the Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu, Mountain Trek in remote British Columbia, and the more yoga-centric Pearl in Laguna Beach aren’t spas. Besides serving healthy food (in rather different portions), encouraging exercise (to a rather different degree), and giving guests massages, they bear little resemblance to spas such as Canyon Ranch and Miraval, where the goal is generally just finding yourself in the desert.