The fitness regimen available at the resort called Phuket Cleanse is, quite simply, epic. Offerings change daily, but expect some mix of HIIT, Bikram and aerial yoga, hiking, Muay Thai, stretching, foam rolling, weights, swimming and walks around the lovely southern Thai island that lends the resort its name. Then, add sprint sessions, beach workouts and pretty much everything else.
“We basically want there to be so much that people can never really do everything,” says a Phuket Cleanse organizer.
This theme doesn’t stop with fitness. Scattered throughout the day are classes on food, nutrition and body image. Visiting experts give talks on things like hormones and gut health, or food behaviors and stress. The kitchen opens up at least once a day to cooking classes, where you can learn to make raw vegan treats or healthy superfood chocolates.
Meditation and mental health are also emphasized, with a mix of sound bowl therapies, full-moon meditations, breathing meditations and more. Add in additional perks already included in the price, like massages four times a week, or laundry done daily, and the offering is fairly unique.
Then there’s the food. While Phuket Cleanse launched years ago as a strictly vegan, mostly raw-food venue, these days it’s gone down a more holistic route.
Food is mostly vegan, often raw, generally with a focus on low-carb and low-sugar, but fish is served most nights of the week and eggs are on the breakfast table. Lunches and dinners are heaving with vegetables done in creative ways. The sushi night has faux sushi with cauliflower rice, while the pizza night shows what’s possible with cashew cheeses.
Meals are taken around a common table where everyone sits. This adds to the overall community feel of the place. You train together, eat together and relax together with a group of strangers, usually for one to two weeks.
The vibe is a bit like summer-camp-meets-successful-adult. And given the price tag of around Dh1,175 per night, Phuket Cleanse requires a certain affluence of its attendees.
That’s not to say this place is all sunshine and roses. Rooms are nice and clean, but not as over-the-top decadent as a lot of UAE residents might expect when it comes to a resort. Certain amenities, like the gym or the beach, are located offsite. The area itself isn’t all that stunning, with the property located down a suburban side street. The community bustle can also be overwhelming for someone who wants more relaxation and less join-in-and-get-fit.
Yet, it’s a great spot to beat the heat – just a six-hour, direct flight from Dubai and seven hours from Abu Dhabi – while detoxing in a very healthy way. There’s no starvation here. Instead, it’s all about getting fit without sacrificing one of the simplest, basic tenets of health: eat well, move more and find something you really love.