Exercise your options

From body building boot camps to soothing spa breaks that include a horse ride along the beach, start this year with a wellbeing retreat. Grace Hammond reports.

Best for... a mind and body overhaul: Bootcamp Boutique, Yorkshire

A beautiful country house perched in the hills of North Yorkshire, with delicious food served by a personal chef, doesn’t really sound like the setting for a boot camp. But throw daily eight-hour training sessions with two army soldiers into the equation and a stay at Lifestyle 247 quickly becomes hard work.

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Bollywood Bootcamp is one of several courses offered at their five-star house in Settle. Days start at 5.30am with military exercises, cardio, weights and more military exercises. Afternoons are spent doing Bollywood dance classes, before an ice bath (incredibly painful, but extremely necessary) and a dip in the hot tub (divine).

But fitness isn’t the only focus at Lifestyle 247; the idea is for people to leave feeling and looking fantastic.

In-house psychologist Lesley, who uses similar techniques to Paul McKenna, teaches ways to deal with stress. Guests are also treated to Cavisculpt sessions, non-surgical liposuction that melts away your lumps and bumps.

Another plus point is – surprisingly – the food. Chef Miranda prepares a selection of fabulous dairy, gluten and wheat-free treats. Lifestyle 247 certainly isn’t an easy ride, but if you want to start a new fitness regime this is the place to do it.

Lifestyle 247 offers three-night packages at Bootcamp Boutique from £730 per person, including accommodation and meals. 0113 347 2477, www.lifestyle247bootcamp.com

Best for... getting fit: Clumber Park Hotel, Nottinghamshire

Launching this month, the six-day boot camp will take groups of up to 12 people and put them through their paces through a combination and variety of interesting and challenging activities.

The project has been devised by the hotel’s fitness trainer Kyle Hanrahant with boot camp days structured around a combination of cardio and core exercises, which can be adapted to individual fitness levels.

A sample day starts with a warm-up at 7am in the National Trust park near Worksop in Nottinghamshire, followed by cardio circuits in the hotel’s grounds and a circuit of an Army-accredited assault course.

Other activities include shuttle runs, flipping 30kg tractor tyres, speed ladders, mini hurdles and rope-climbing. And you won’t go hungry – the food is plentiful, healthy and tasty. A nutritionist helps individuals to devise a personal eating plan, while Kyle also prepares an exercise plan for attendees to take home.

A six-day camp starts at £799 per person including accommodation, meals and all activities. 01623 835 333, www.clumberparkhotel.com.

Best for... a pampering treat: Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort, Casablanca, Morocco

Situated on the northern coast of Morocco, next to a white sand beach, the destination spa is the perfect setting to refresh the mind and body. Unwind in the vast marble and mosaic traditional hammam, then choose from a menu of sensory treatments. A highlight is the Mazagan Escape, a salt and oil full body exfoliation.

It would be easy to switch off completely but there are also opportunities to be active. Try horse riding on the beach, where you can vary from beginner’s trot to experienced gallop through the sea. Pilates and yoga classes are available.

Providing you can show some restraint, nourish from the inside with authentic Moroccan fare at Morjana restaurant or fresh local seafood at Sel de Mer.

Doubles from £130 per night including breakfast. www.mazaganbeachresort.com.

Best for... a refreshing change: Arosa, Switzerland

Spending time at a ski resort in winter without doing any skiing might seem like sacrilege to some, but Arosa in Switzerland has more than enough to keep visitors occupied.

Opposite the town’s railway station is a large lake, which freezes over in winter, making it the ideal location for a variety of sports tournaments, including horse racing.The fresh mountain air is invigorating, but the four-star Sporthotel Valsana also offers a programme of outdoor activities from tobogganing to trekking and snow-shoeing. For pampering, guests can head to sister hotel, the five-star Tschuggen Grand Hotel, where a swimming pool, sauna, solarium, gym and pretty much every kind of spa treatment imaginable are offered over four floors. Even more impressive is the hotel’s very own ski lift, the Tschuggen Express, which takes guests right up to the slopes.

Double rooms at the Sporthotel Valsana from £148 per person, per 
night (two adults sharing on half board basis).www.valsana.ch. Flights from £89 return, call Swiss International Airlines. 0845 601 0956, www.swiss.com/uk