A day in the life of GoLearnTo’s luxury boot camp & detox retreat in Spain

Suggest going along to a boot camp fitness session as a way to get fit and most people will scoff at the idea claiming it’s not for them. And we don’t blame them.

The rise in popularity of boot camp style training has resulted in us conjuring up a certain mental image. Waking up at 6am to head down to the park on a grey and wet winter’s morning, only to be barked at by ex-military trainers as you’re put through rigorous exercises. While this method does work for some, it is certainly not for everyone.

So when our luxury boot camp holiday on Spain’s Costa Blanca came along, a few of us remained sceptical. Was this really a holiday we wanted to sell to people? To be fair, there are no damp parks and miserable mornings in Spain and Julie, the host at the retreat, was certainly friendly enough so maybe we need to give it a chance.

We sent Becky to investigate and experience a day in the life of a fitness retreat. Here’s what she learnt…

Boot camp locations can inspire your fitness

My journey to the boot camp & detox retreat takes me through winding hillsides between the picturesque coastal Spanish towns of Calpe and Benissa.

As I navigate my hire car through the steep side-streets, the sun glinting off the calm sea in my rear-view mirror keeps catching my attention. Although only March, it’s warm, and the kind of weather that makes me want to head straight down to the beach to relax in the sun.

Heading to the beach I am, but relaxing I certainly am not – at least not for the next hour! Julie, the camp’s director, has invited me to join in a circuit training session with the other guests on the coast. Still, I can think of worse places to work out.

Dress for you and only you

fitness instructor planking by the pool

Fitness instructor Claire a.k.a Mistress Pain

As I stroll over to join the boot camp guests, every single Spanish passer-by treats my outfit of choice with a look of both sympathy and suspicion. Apparently, Spanish people just do not consider shorts an acceptable item of clothing in March. Perhaps they’ve never experienced a British summer.

The locals who showed concern for me, and indeed my similarly-clad fitness comrades, needn’t have. As soon as the class gets started, fitness instructor Claire (‘Mistress Pain’ as Julie worrying introduces her – pictured) ensures that we all work up a sweat.

Embrace each exercise

A series of exercises are set out around the circuit, alternating between cardiovascular fitness and muscle-strengthening focus.

As a relatively fit specimen, I’m quietly confident. That is until I see the hula hoop station of the circuit.

‘I can’t do it,’ I declare, ‘I’ve never been able to’. ‘Nonsense,’ responds Julie, ‘we don’t believe in can’t’. And sure enough, with a few patient pointers from Claire, I am doing the hula. Albeit not very gracefully but keeping a relaxed open mind and a little guidance from the instructors certainly helped me.

Instructors are your friends (really)

It’s this individual attention and goal-setting that makes this boot camp so fantastic. Claire and Julie go to great lengths to tailor their approach to each participant’s fitness and diet goals.

This ensures that you’re challenged to your own fitness levels, not those of the ‘fittest’ in the group. All the activities, exercises and classes have progressions, making them suitable whatever your fitness level.

And of course, you’re on holiday after all, so you can opt out of any of the organised sessions if you so wish.

circuit training by the beach in Spain

Circuit training overlooking the sea

Remember it’s a holiday too

After the class, we head back up to the retreat. This secluded private complex of luxury apartments has won design awards, and it’s easy to see why. This is a real high-end retreat, with gleaming apartments surrounding the expansive outdoor pool.

And it isn’t all fitness classes. Guests have a holistic programme of nutrition seminars, 1-on-1 sessions to ascertain fitness goals, massages, yoga and spa treatments. Not to mention ample time to relax around the pool and enjoy the indoor spa.

Read more: Kirsty relives her boot camp holiday in Spain

Food is much more than fuel

And of course, a highlight of any holiday, food! My workout had most certainly worked up an appetite. The food served here is incredibly tasty.

After this trip, for me, the word ‘detox’ is no longer synonymous with cabbage soup. You certainly won’t go hungry or lack energy on this diet of high quality, nutritious, locally-sourced and unprocessed ingredients that aid digestion and weight loss. Quite the opposite – mealtimes certainly put the ‘treat’ into this retreat!

Forming healthy habits needs time

fitness group doing circuit session by the sea

Stretching in out after a rewarding session in the sun

Julie, director and founder of the retreats, moved to Spain 11 years ago. After leaving a stressful high-flying corporate job, Julie and partner transformed their lives when they began running these luxury retreats, and guests have been benefitting from them ever since.

Julie is a hostess extraordinaire, and she and her team will always go the extra mile to ensure their guests get the most out of their stay.

One day here certainly wasn’t enough, and I’m tempted to return for more next year, as many guests do. After all, it will take some time for me to master 2 hula hoops at once!


Becky visited GoLearnTo’s Luxury Bootcamp & Detox Retreat.

If you’d like to spend a week in sunny Spain, to kick-start your fitness in time for the summer, look no further! There are no single supplements and you’ll have your own private apartment to enjoy.

Or feel free to browse our full range of fitness and detox holidays.