This post is also available in: Spanish
By R. Graham
Having finally decided after many false starts to embrace a healthy lifestyle, I was assured by friends that the best way to begin was with a ‘detox’, a word designed to strike terror into the heart of any lover of good food. I therefore persuaded my daughter to join me for support and we set off for a 3 day, four night detox package at the Haven Spa in Boquete, a boutique hotel and spa which came highly recommended.
We booked in on Thursday night and woke up the next morning in some trepidation, wondering if we would survive the next three days.
On the first morning, Sonia Jones, owner and resident nutritionist, gave us a talk on the benefits of detoxing and told us exactly what to expect over the next few days. Apparently we were to have four smoothies each day, blended with a mixture of whole fruits and vegetables which we were assured would ward off hunger pangs. The first one was bright orange and delicious. We began to feel somewhat reassured.
The Spa offers many types of massage and treatments and the package included a one hour session of one of those per day. Our favorite was the hot stone massage, so relaxing I actually fell asleep. Other options are the deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, facials, body wraps and body scrubs.
Lunch was a bright red concoction, again absolutely delicious. Later in the afternoon a dark green and a yellow smoothie were left in the fridge in our room so that we could decide for ourselves when to have the last two ‘meals’ of the day.
The Spa has a number of amenities so we could be as active or relaxed as we liked. There is a gym with all the latest equipment, a jacuzzi, steam room, infrared sauna and a long narrow swimming pool where you can race against the current or simply indulge in some aquatic exercises. I chose the latter but my daughter pounded away on treadmill and elliptical machine etc.
Yoga and Pilates classes are offered on different days of the week for a small additional cost. We did the yoga classes with Michael Cooper, a very patient and excellent instructor, at my age (early seventies) I was convinced yoga would be beyond me but I was wrong and enjoyed the classes very much.
The Hotel is situated in beautiful, tranquil gardens with a slightly Oriental ambience created by bamboo hedges and silent fountains in the Japanese style. The rooms are luxurious, with balconies overlooking the well-kept gardens. It is wonderful to wake up with birdsong in the morning. Each room has TV and a small fridge.
For us it was an unforgettable experience. We were never hungry, enjoyed massages and gentle exercise (in my case). My daughter was a lot more aggressive. We left at midday on Monday, feeling pampered, rejuvenated and inspired to live a healthier life. I also lost 3 lbs. which was not the object of the visit but pleased me no end. We have plans to return in the not too distant future.
Four, seven, ten or fourteen night packages are available. For more information about health treatments contact www.boquetespa.com