Wellness Hotspot Bodyism
Wellness Hotspot Bodyism
body + soul
24 September 2017
A celebrity trainer and a luxury hotel... the rockstar wellness treatment awaits Tatyana Leonov in this Mediterranean resort
In the health and wellness world, Aussie personal trainer James Duigan is like royalty. He’s trained celebrities such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson. His ‘Bodyism’ wellness empire spans swanky gyms, exercise equipment, stylish workout gear, books, health supplements, and affiliations with a select few hotel residences. And now I’m off to one of them to train with the man himself. Located in a tranquil corner of south-west Turkey, D Maris Bay is one of the most spectacular hotels I’ve ever visited. The 193-room property is perched high on a hillside of the stunning Datça Peninsula, overlooking a dreamy bay that’s home to five small private beaches. They all belong to the hotel and a private water taxi shuttles guests between these patches of paradise. Oh, and the sand is powder-white – imported from Egypt, no less.
There are also three pools on site; a water sports club for active types; a number of the hotel’s yachts lingering in the bay ready for sailing escapades; a tennis club; a lush spa; and the most divine food options at four different restaurants... But I’m here to work out.
I meet James and the Bodyism team (there are two full-time Bodyism coaches always on hand and James visits D Maris Bay each season) for breakfast, and quickly discover this isn’t going to be a military-style training camp. Sure, the team eye off my choice of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup (OK, drenched, if I’m being honest), but James just says that if I’m going to order pancakes for breakfast then I should wholly enjoy them. And I do... but the next morning I go for an omelette instead.
Guests can opt to do a full Bodyism retreat, which includes personalised training and yoga workouts as well as customised food menus, or they can do ad-hoc sessions. I’ve come here for the whole kit and caboodle.
I quickly get into the Bodyism groove and wake up early each day for a sunrise yoga session on a clifftop, where the views far surpass any lingering feeling of irritation at having to set an alarm. I also train with a Bodyism instructor – be it James or one of his chiselled colleagues. Because I exercise regularly at home, my workouts are about slowing down and listening to my body, with no hill sprints or steppers or anything even remotely strenuous. At first I find this challenging as I want to push my body like I’m used to. I do eventually give in, realising that working on mindset is the far harder challenge.
Otherwise, my free time is all about enjoying the destination. I laze about on all five beaches; book a bike tour and zip around the crags, soaking up views of the Aegean Sea; try waterskiing; squeeze in a sailing adventure; and enjoy making spa treatments and tasty meals a daily habit. The hotel’s four restaurants are top class, with talented chefs concocting the most delicious creations for diners. Those of us following the Bodyism program are offered a Clean & Lean menu, which is low on starchy carbs and high in protein and vegetables.
I initially think I’ll struggle when we dine at renowned Zuma (Japanese) and Il Riccio (Italian), but in fact I find plenty of options that don’t include rice or pasta. And when I do give in and order tiramisu at Il Riccio for dessert, no-one stops me.
James explains that the Bodyism philosophy isn’t about setting constraints – it’s about being sensible most of the time, and really enjoying those times when you do decide to let go. Now that’s an ideology I can definitely get on board with.