We are delighted to have been honoured at the 2014 Conde Nast Traveller Spa Awards as ‘Most Consistent High Performer’. Here’s the follow up article published in the magazine dedicated to this event:

IN BRIEF: Exceptional year-round detox and fitness

THE LOWDOWN: Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, In:Spa is still absolutely at the top of its game, running an extensive programme of seven-day combined exercise, detox and yoga retreats in boutique-hotel settings in the South of France, Marrakech and Spain, to which it flies in its own team of experts. Because the courses are run each and every month, there are plenty of dates to choose from, so not only can you do a week to get bikini-ready for the beach, but you can also head off for a post-summer reboot in Provence, or sign up for a holistic rather than hedonistic New Year’s Eve in Morocco. The private outpost in Andalucía is a 21-room, converted 18th-century monastery with a fabulous swimming pool and good-sized bedrooms (stone floors, traditional furniture, shady terraces) arranged over two storeys on either side of a beautiful courtyard filled with orange trees and bougainvillaea.

Bad eating habits are stopped from the get-go: alcohol, salt, caffeine, red meat, wheat and sugar are all banned and replaced with dishes including roast chicken with garlic, lemon and rosemary for lunch and watermelon gazpacho followed by Thai fish curry for dinner.

Punishing yourself isn’t the point; instead, it’s about overhauling your system through re-education and exercise. Nutritionist Claudia Norris, a lecturer at the UK College of Nutrition and Health, really knows her stuff and teaches the importance of controlling blood-sugar levels and getting your acid/alkaline balances right. Chef Miranda Martin gives simple cooking demonstrations of meals that can be easily recreated at home, such as turkey skewers with chilli, lime and ginger. Similarly, head personal trainer Stan Blair puts together routines to squeeze in around a busy lifestyle, whether at 6am before a breakfast meeting or after the children go to bed at night. Even if 20 minutes is all you have, there are no excuses. Sceptics soon start to believe in the power of a decent diet; arriving ragged, they leave bursting with energy. During the day, there are anusara yoga sessions in the converted stables (with the odd donkey sighting for distraction), guided 10km hikes through the spectacular, rugged surrounding hills, hardcore circuits, boxing and highly energetic dance classes led by former Stomp performer Dan Baines.

All this is counterbalanced with wonderful deep-tissue and restorative massages to soothe aches and pains. During summer retreats, the heat of southern Spain makes working out seem twice as hard, although programmes are tailored to your ability so you won’t feel out of your depth. Alternatively, for those who are super-keen there are optional extras such as morning runs and one-on-one yoga. There’s also plenty of downtime for swimming and reading, but don’t expect too much solitary peace.

This is a group holiday, which means lots of motivating camaraderie, everyone eating and chatting together at meal times; some trips have even resulted in marriage (plenty of men have caught the In:Spa bug too). While the programme is mapped out in advance, there’s also scope for some spontaneous magic. If there’s a full moon you’ll be jollied outside for starlit salutations and you can combine mountain biking with bird spotting on a dusk ride to see the nightjars. For the journey home, you’re sent on your way with a lifeline for the plane: a delicious chickpea, tomato and chicken salad box to help you avoid an in-flight junk-food relapse. No wonder this company’s reputation is so rock solid.

INSIDER TIP: In:Spa’s excellent sister outfits include Destination Yoga and Fitscape, for those who want even more of an emphasis on either yoga or fitness. Both also operate all year round.

BOOK IT: A seven-night retreat costs from £1,995 full board, including all group activities, a nutrition consultation, a personal training session, two massages and transfers.