The Caribbean retreat offers yogis much more than just chasing chakras
Whether or not you have had a stressful year, autumn/winter is the best time to look ahead and plan a summer holiday. Since the boom of the yoga industry, there have been studios popping up on every nook and cranny in cities all over the world. But when it comes to your practice, a different and more relaxing environment is ideal.
Fat Buddha Yoga, the brainchild of DJ and yoga teacher Jessica Skye, has teamed up with Elite Island Resorts to launch a takeover at the Galley Bay Resort & Spa on the picturesque island of Antigua. While many retreats have previously been looked at as an Eat, Pray, Love inspired getaway, Skye's takeover offers so much more.
What does the retreat consist of?
Jessica Skye is known for her laid-back approach to yoga. So expect to hear her soft, relaxing voice over a soundtrack of beach-inspired beats thanks to her extensive knowledge of music. The day starts with an early morning yoga class at 7.30 in the pavilion on the beach, followed by breakfast and free time until late afternoon. Note that the free time in the schedule can be used to explore, head to the spa or table hop between all the restaurants on the resort. In the evening, there is a 60-minute yoga class at 4.30pm in the yoga pavilion - the perfect time to catch the sunset and updating your Instagram feeds.
Where is it?
Situated on the north-west side of the island, Galley Bay Resort & Spa features forty acres of tropical gardens, a lagoon and almost a mile of secluded beaches. The luxury resort is about a 30-minute drive from the airport, and only a 20-minute drive from Antigua's capital, St John's. In the main town, there are plenty of shops, markets and stalls selling spices to snow cones and souvenirs.
For anyone who is hoping to get a little R&R, the beach-front villas are the place to lay your head. Whether you choose to stay on the ground floor or upper floor, you will still be spoilt for choice with regards to sea views. The rooms are huge, with plenty of room to practise your handstands or downward dog before your yoga class. With a massive king-size bed, a view of white sandy beaches and sound of the lapping waves, you'll definitely have some difficulty going home. The bathroom is modest, with tiling throughout and a big bathtub to soak your muscles, or if you're feeling brave, there's a cold shower just outside your room located on the beach - perfect for rinsing off the sand after a little walk along the beach.
Thanks to the resort's all-inclusive status, yogis can enjoy the resort's many activities on offer as well as the retreat's extensive itinerary. Not only can you learn how to sail or kayak - thanks to the resort's extremely helpful and friendly staff - but you can also get your cardio in by using the resort's gym. The retreat package does include a catamaran trip - and this is one not to be missed. You'll spend the day at sea, taking in panoramic views of the island while sipping rum cocktails and eating the local food, prepared kindly by the staff. During the trip, you'll have the opportunity to go snorkelling, so make sure you take a waterproof camera or GoPro to take home some memorable snaps.
Food and drink
Galley Bay Resort & Spa impressively boasts four restaurants, all equally serving delicious Caribbean cuisine, but all suitably different in their own way. Seagrape restaurant is a beach-front restaurant offering Euro-Caribbean cuisine, so expect freshly caught seafood and some of the finest local produce. Gaugin, which is located in one of the thatched cabanas, is a more intimate restaurant and perfect for anyone wanting a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach. Barefoot grill is a laidback restaurant located by the beach and pool, for anyone wanting to pick up a mid-day snack, including grilled quesadillas and tasty sandwiches. Ismay's - a fine dining restaurant - is located next to the villas and was used as the perfect location for yoga and breakfast, thanks to its wonderful beach-front views, including Giorgio Armani's Caribbean hideaway.
The retreat is a pop-up so is not available all-year-round. The next Fat Buddha Yoga x Elite Island Resorts takeover will take place at Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua from 30 June to 5 July (5- and 7- night stays available from £2,599 per person). The rate includes return flights to Antigua and accommodation on an all-inclusive basis; daily yoga classes, sunrise and sunset, over five days; a 60-minute massage at the open-air spa; a day on a catamaran exploring the island and snorkelling, including lunch; plus a luxe FBY goodie bag.
To book, call the team at 01245 458 900 and quote “Fat Buddha.” For more information, head to the website.