Wimbledon or Tennis – are Brits in love with the game or the occasion?

Written by arun on 27/06/13, filed under General News | No Comments

I have always loved the Championships at Wimbledon and as a big fan have been watching religiously on television or at SW19 since the days of Borg and McEnroe. However, like many others I have never really had the same interest in watching tennis in any other tournament e.g. the US, French or Australian Opens. So am I a fan of tennis or a fan of Wimbledon? Do I watch it as its the one big international elite sporting event that takes place annually in England, or is it that the game is more exciting on grass as its faster, and more exciting watching players display all their skills from drop shots, volleys to a cross court back hand slice! Like many others I’ve watched the sport but have never had the opportunity to play it. Maybe due to time, access or the confidence in playing the sport in public.

However, I was recently in Gozo, Malta staying at the Kempinski Hotel and for the first time I had an opportunity to play. Kempinski resort is a five star luxury hotel and I was persuaded by my partner to go along as she wanted to get away to get pampered with the spa treatments. I did wonder what I would be doing there so my main plan was to laze in the sun or have a dip in the pool. However, once we arrived at the Kempinski resort I was offered activities that I didn’t expect at on a spa holiday such as scuba diving and horse riding! I was also surprised to be offered a complimentary session with a professional tennis coach and personal trainer if I wanted to get fit or learn the game of tennis on the resort. This for a tennis enthusiast just before Wimbledon was an offer I could not refuse. I was also told that if my partner didn’t want to play they would arrange to find an opponent for me at the level of the game I could play i.e. a beginner!

If anyone says spa retreats and holidays are just for women to be pampered with spa treatments you are hugely mistaken. Spa resorts seem to have realised that many women like to travel with their partner instead of alone and it’s a matter of attracting the partner with activities to keep them occupied such as tennis. Spa holiday resorts such as Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus, the Body Holiday in St Lucia or the Kempinski in Gozo offer so much more than just a spa retreat. They have activities for everyone and for me there was of course the tennis, but for others who like to be active on holiday there’s water skiing, scuba diving, squash, golf and loads more.

Spa retreats are no longer just about relaxation and pampering but they cater for all the family and it offered me the chance to play my beloved sport of tennis. I do love Wimbledon but I think I’m now also in love with tennis and more surprisingly spa holidays!!

Weight loss and Spa Holidays

Written by SSH on 26/06/13, filed under Europe, General News, Gozo | No Comments

I have always been sceptical about weight loss or spa holidays especially when you go abroad as your first instinct for a spa retreat is for it to be a sanctuary for you to relax in by the pool, or enjoying the local delicacies and frankly do as little activity as possible. However, on my last trip I was proven wrong and realised how useful they are especially to weight loss. Over the last few years I have put on around 11pounds by eating well but being very inactive. As I’m getting older it has dawned on me that its a lot harder to lose the pounds.

So this year I decided that I would try out a healthier spa holiday and go completely against my instinct and try to be healthier in what I ate and more physically active too. So courtesy of Sanctuary Spa Holidays I booked onto a half board holiday in Gozo, near Malta at the Kempinski resort. They had a number of healthier dietary food options including Ayurvedic. I decided to go for a healthy Mediterranean diet.

My bespoke daily programme included a large breakfast including two eggs and loads of carbs! After breakfast I would go for a stroll around the Kempinski Resort in Gozo and then laze in the sun at the poolside. Around 11am I would eat fruit and then make my way to the Ayurvedic spa centre and ’state of the art’ fitness centre. On three alternate days I swam in the indoor pool and relaxed in the Hammam baths and spa steam rooms. The other three alternate days I utilised the fully equipped gym, running for half hour on the treadmill and using the cycling machines to warm up and warm down for a few minutes and end the session with a massage in the Ayurvedic spa centre.

After the physical activity I’d eat a healthy sandwich, and in the evening eat dinner around 630pm that consisted of soup as a starter such as asparagus or pumpkin soup and a meat dish with vegetables for my main, and a fruit dessert. I was of course envious of people in the restaurant who were finishing off their chocolate cakes and ice cream however it was very much about mental discipline which I found out at the daily yoga classes in the spa centre. I only popped along to a couple of yoga sessions but it helped me to relax and really contemplate and believe in myself that what I was doing was for my greater good.

Using this daily programme I genuinely lost 4kg (9pounds) in 6 days on the programme that I basically created myself. It wasn’t a huge amount but I am now down to my ideal target weight and am looking towards toning it a little more before I book my next spa holiday! Of course I think the hard part for me now will be to sustain the weight now I’m  back home and trying to juggle it between work and social life but my motivation is the fact that I have the momentum and drive as I look good and feel great!

Top 5 spa destinations for mind body and soul relaxation

Written by Dee on 25/06/13, filed under General News | No Comments

Sun, Sea and Shopping!

Top 5 destinations for mind body and soul relaxation.

Of course a spa retreat offers a lot in relaxation of the mind, body and soul, especially after a strenuous year of stress and pressure from everyday life. Spa products such as aromatherapy massages, a detox programme and my personal favourite relaxing in the Hammam baths go along way to wellbeing but to compliment a spa retreat you also need sunshine, the sea and no relaxation is complete without good old fashioned retail therapy.

So what are the top 5 destinations in the world that offer good sunshine all year round, clean sea and beaches with great shopping locations and an added bonus, an excellent spa to complete the holiday.

I have been around the world on spa retreats, adventure holidays, sunning on a beach and shopping looking for bargains and only a few spa destinations can boast all the ingredients for my description of total wellness. However, I have found five destinations that meet my expectations. See below my top 5 places for spa treatments, sunshine, magnificent beaches, and a great shopping experience all to help you feel good and look your very best.

1. Koh Samui, Thailand – With some of the best beach shopping experiences in the world and Chaweng has 6 kilometres of shops!

2. Kerala, India – A fantastic spa and Ayurvedic destination with so much culture to explore

3. Dubai, UAE – Hot throughout the year and awesome for designer wear in the vast shopping malls

4. Alicante, Spain – Offers a great spa experience and surprisingly so close to home

5. St Lucia, Caribbean – beautiful beaches and a vast array of activities to keep you fit and excited.