A Wellness Revolution: Healthouse Las Dunas Hotel Review
Mark Southern discovered what you get when you cross highly personalised health and nutrition with the glorious south coast of Spain at Healthouse Las Dunas.
As originally published in Tempus Magazine, 2017
What’s the least sexy phrase in travel? “Time share”? Nope. “Shared towels”? Gross, but wrong again. “Brand extensions”, on the other hand – four syllables of cynical cash-ins to a captive audience, guaranteeing disappointment.
But, as it turns out, not always. Healthy eating readers may be familiar with Naturhouse, the innovative nutritionalists, responsible for revolutionising the way four million people around the world eat. The brand made its name for its highly personalised diet plans and herbal supplements, but have now launched a travel version of its concept in the form of Healthouse Las Dunas.
The fitness resort is just outside Estepona; a short drive from Marbella. Tucked away down a winding private driveway in a secluded cove, the imposing building has something of a grand Spanish villa about it, with the relaxed sprawl of a hotel more concerned with calming spaces than maxing out the bedroom count.
54 deluxe suites offer understated quality and outrageous sea views, with the long roaming white corridors giving a sense of purpose, without ever really needing to get anywhere. It’s a nice place to be.
Rather than a shameless lending of its name, Naturhouse has crafted a travel experience from the ground up, with their successful concept at its core. Once settled in guests are essentially floated along for a consultation, which takes every measurement you can possibly think of, before a highly individualised plan is created.
After the consultation, the experienced nutritionalist talks us through our unique body composition, and how altering diet can make a life-changing difference to our health and fitness, and general energy levels. This is explained whilst we are given a handful of supplements to take throughout the trip, to aid results.
And that’s pretty much all the science we had to worry about for the remainder of the entire experience, as the hotel then seamlessly shifts into gear around us without us even realising.
Never have we had as much time and space to ourselves in a luxury hotel, as for vast amounts of time the only sign of life comes from the reassuring Mediterranean waves, as they lap the resort’s private beach.
However, at regular intervals the subtle tones of a friendly team member remind us it’s time to eat, and we head to the stunning courtyard, to find multiple courses of uber healthy meals, each to our individual specification ready for us.
It’s worth pointing out at this stage that, whilst the food couldn’t be healthier for us as individuals, it also ranks highly for taste. This should be of no surprise when you discover that the head Chef is the two-Michelin-starred Andoni Luis Aduriz, whose restaurant Mugaritz in San Sebastian has been named as the sixth-best restaurant in the world.
Food is smart and clever, and often amusingly presented, with the kitchen making full use of a variety of gizmos to take food we would have once recognised as one thing into something else entirely, with a bubble machine a particularly cool way of presenting humble soup.
Throughout the experience we wear FitBit bracelets, which are linked up to our phones to provide an accurate reading of both sleep and exercise during the trip, with regular prompts to keep on plan. They add to the experience rather than detract, and it’s a nice touch that all guests keep these £150 gadgets afterwards as a helpful aid in keeping the gains.
At the end of an almost impossibly relaxing trip we revisit the consultant who takes final readings. We are surprised to find out we have lost 2kg in just five days of doing mostly very little, and even more noticeable is the five years that seem to have fallen off our faces.
Whilst it hasn’t changed this writer’s opinion about the majority of product tie-ins, Healthouse by Naturhouse is a real game-changer for anyone seeking expert help to make a difference to their life, and have a super chilled time doing it.
As originally published in Tempus Magazine, 2017. For full article click image below.