As the travel trend for fitness fusion holidays gathers pace, Belmond has launched the ultimate wellness escape – a week-long luxury fitness retreat at Belmond La Residence Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Taking place from 30th November to 7th December, guests will train among ancient temples – the first time this has been allowed to happen – tuck into healthy gourmet cuisine and practice their yoga poses before tackling the 18th Angkor Wat International Half Marathon.
Belmond La Residence Angkor is an intimate Khmer-style hotel, peacefully located on the banks of a tree-lined river near the world-famous Angkor temple complex. Designed to be challenging yet non-stressful, the fitness retreat appeals to a range of fitness levels and offers free time to enjoy the fantastic on-property facilities.
The experience begins with a blessing from a local monk to prepare guests for the adventure ahead. Every morning, fitness trainer Malik Lomax will lead a warm-up and boot camp-style group fitness session at the temples, encouraging guests to work up a sweat among historic treasures including Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire; Bantei Srei, a 10th-century monument dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva; and Beng Melea, a ‘jungle temple’ that dates back to the 1100s.
Guests will be put through their paces each day with a carefully-planned exercise programme, including isolation training for different muscle groups and aerobic activities such as mountain bike rides, jogging and cross-fit exercises. Each participant will also benefit from one-on-one private training sessions.
All that exercise is complemented by a specially devised menu of healthy yet delicious cuisine, with nutritious options including protein-rich breakfasts, fresh spring rolls, grilled and steamed seafood, quinoa salads and vegetable frittatas. One ‘Mystery Dine-Around’ experience is also included, during which guests will be whisked away by private tuk tuk on a culinary journey through Siem Reap, enjoying a different course of authentic Khmer cuisine in four surprise locations.
When not out exercising, guests can recuperate back at Belmond La Residence d’Angkor, unwinding in the tranquil gardens and relaxing in the outdoor saltwater pool. To soothe sore muscles, a daily treatment is included at the acclaimed Kong Kea Spa, which embraces ancient Cambodian healing arts with organic local ingredients. Four invigorating yoga lessons are also offered, as well as a session with intuitive vibrational healer Steve Jeanes, who uses alternative therapies to balance the mind, body and soul.
In addition to boosting their wellness, participants will be immersed in local culture with a series of authentic experiences such as a cookery class in the countryside with a local restaurant owner, a sunset cruise on Tonle Sap Lake and a thrilling zipline or canopy tour through the rainforest. A week-long pass to the temples allows guests to explore the ancient complex at their own pace.
Belmond La Residence d’Angkor is committed to supporting the community and guests will be invited to take part in local projects, such as playing football with residents at children’s home ‘Together for Cambodia’ and visiting Angkor Children’s Hospital. The fitness retreat also includes an afternoon tour of Cambodia’s only golden silk farm, where visitors can witness the centuries-old production methods used to create this luxurious textile.
This unforgettable week of physical and emotional discovery culminates in running the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon on 7th December. Depending on their fitness levels, guests can choose to run either the full 21km or a shorter 10km course through the awe-inspiring ruins.