Girl with juice


Eat, drink, detox: Best budget health retreat destinations

Published January 3rd, 2014

To borrow from John Lennon: “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?”.  Well, if you’re anything like most people, you probably ate your body weight in barbecue chicken, drank a copious amount of beer/punch/whatever-was-in-your parent’s-liquor-cabinet, and raided your nephews’ and nieces’ stash of chocolate santas and candy canes over the festive season. Good times. No judgement. #yolo


The Biggest Loser ninja trainer Tiffiny aside (who drank a beer in the 2011 season and cried  “All my life I’ve treated my body like a temple. Last night I treated it like a nightclub!”), sugar, alcohol and fat is de rigueur over the holiday period along with backyard cricket, mozzie bites and sloppy kisses from gran.


Before you know it, from the work Christmas party to all those end-of-year catch-ups with friends and that epic New Year's Eve blowout, December was basically an indulgence fest. So your NYE resolution is to quit sugar/go Paleo/go to Crossfit/ [insert random hungover health promise here].


Sounds like you need a vacation from your vacation. Time for a health retreat holiday. You don’t need to be a megabucks mogul to check in either, here’s some budget health retreat destinations around the world where you can make like a celeb and align your chakras, get a full body massage and do a juice fast in idyllic surrounds without breaking the bank. Designer sunnies are a must for going incognito – FYI. See you at 5am meditation!




If you're battling the bloat in a post-Chrissy haze, there's no better spot to go than the Costa Blanca betwixt the Mediterranean and the mountains in Spain. Try mindful yoga, detox juice cleanses and meditation at La Crisalida Health & Wellbeing Retreat in Alicante with plenty of Euros to spare for partying in the Brit-fave enclave of Benidorm where there's over 1,000 bars and clubs (whoops!).



The very definition of laidback, just saying this country's name is sure to see your stress levels plummet. If you also need to see some action on the scales, book into Yoga Bless in Hanover for a 7-day Rejuvenating Detox Yoga Retreat for under a grand. Located in a beachside locale, you can practise your downward dog and sun salutes daily, strum on a guitar and jerk  like a pro. Cooking that is.



What goes in, must come out and you'll be amazed what you'll see in your daily colonic sessions. In fact, it's a popular topic of conversation at most detox centres in Thailand. For a real inner and outer cleanse (including those pesky chakras), check into Monte Vista Retreat Center (Ko Phangan), Marga Yoga (Ko Samui) or The Yoga Retreat (Ko Phangan). Just spare us the details.




There's no shortage of ashrams and yogis in India to set you on a path of enlightenment and weight loss, but for hippie cred and boho vibes you gotta go to Goa. Sanda Retreats in South Goa has a 6-day Yoga & Spa Retreat program that includes healing ayurvedic veggie meals for your individual dosha (mind and body principles) and a complimentary dry skin detox body brush to buff those toxins away.



This fave holiday destination is a bit pricier than some of the other rehab health retreat locations listed, nevertheless there's a few spots in Bali where you can stuff yourself silly with raw food, do a juice cleanse and massage your inner organs with yoga and mindful breathing without breaking the bank. The 7-day Yoga Getaway Retreat at Bali Wellness Retreat will set you on the right and righteous path. Namaste.


Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.