Emelisse Hotel in Kefalonia Island


Hellenic Healthy Holidays: fitness & detox nirvana in Kefalonia, Greece

In Short: Hellenic Healthy Holidays run inspiring fitness retreats a few times a year at a chic yet super-friendly hotel on the Ionian island of Kefalonia in Greece. Four top-notch London personal trainers watch your every move, guaranteeing a week of great workouts. Everyone is welcome here – from fitness virgins to seasoned athletes – with options for all fitness levels. You’ll be challenged, for sure, but never pushed beyond your ability. The food takes detox to another level entirely and the bodywork is peerless. In fact, every aspect of this all-inclusive break has been thought through with care, consideration and precise attention to detail. If that makes it sound sterile, it’s absolutely not. You will laugh your head off while your fat weeps in anguish: these guys have hardcore senses of humour and they take no prisoners.

A week’s stay costs from £1,795 and includes all food, drink, classes, activities, three sessions of bodywork and two one-to-one sessions – see below for details.

More on the fitness and detox break: The week has been designed to let you increase your fitness, gently detox and, if necessary, shed some weight without putting undue stress and strain on the body. There’s nothing weird or woo-woo here – everything is based on the latest research but tailored for real people and tempered with solid good common sense. You can choose to be weighed and measured throughout the retreat but the focus is not really on huge inch losses (although people do often shed a few kilos in the week) but rather on developing good habits and sensible eating schedules that be taken back into the real world. Because you’re doing a lot of exercise, meals are carefully balanced so you have all the nutrients you need, not just for detoxing but also for the increased work load on your body.

More on the spa treatments: Three treatments are included in the week. John Orum, one of the trainers, gives a session of Esalen bodywork (usually outside in a secluded terrace overlooking the sea) which is truly out of this world – a real mind-body journey by one of the best bodyworkers we’ve experienced. The other two sessions are given in the hotel’s Elemis spa. You can choose from a small range of treatments but most people opt for the massage – your muscles will be crying for it. Both Sotiris and Bessie are excellent massage therapists – deep, thorough and sensitive. The treatment rooms are spacious and attractive, surrounded by candles.

If you want more treatments you can book them as extras – there’s a broad range of the standard facials, wraps and rituals alongside facials, mani-pedis, waxing and nail art. They also offer aromatherapy, hot stones and reflexology. We didn’t test these – our muscles needed far more attention than our nails!


Emelisse Hotel

The Emelisse Hotel is situated along the rugged shoreline of the emerald Ionion Sea. It sits in a spot of supreme serenity amongst acres of native cypress and cedar trees on the beautiful island of Kefalonia. The pools and outdoor restaurants and bars provide front row seating for an unparalleled display of natures splendour.

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