Billed as the UK's best boutique bootcamp and voted twice in Tatler's 101 Best Spas in the world for weight loss; we thought we ought to dip our toes (or entirely un-sculpted bodies) in to see what the hype is all about.


The Skinny: Located in a typical Devonshire town, the house is understated luxury - more like staying at your well-off auntie's than a hotel, the family vibe hits you as soon as you walk through its five-star doors. And that's what makes this place such a success - the utmost care and personal, one-to-one attention; it's no wonder a guest we met had been a total of 12 times in 5 years.

They preach the low GL diet here (by Patrick Holford) and by God it works. You won't find yourself scrabbling around for scraps though - three delicious meals and two snacks mean you'll be eating for what feels like most of the day.


The rest of the time - you will be exercising. Hard. You'll adore the sheer variation, no day is ever the same, think yoga, Pilates, outdoor circuits, Zumba, games on the beach, Qi Gong (yep, we didn't know what that was either) and the best part? The stellar massages and uber-relaxing hypnotherapy sessions that follow. Make sure to ask for Werner - the ultimate masseuse - you may feel bruised and battered afterwards but trust us, it's worth it.

For those who are feeling like they need some serious downtime from all that planning - the real highlights of this retreat are the hikes. Chatter with Cap your wonderfully charming hiking guide all the way and you won't notice how steep that hill is; or how many calories you're burning. A bootcamp good for the soul: with a mighty waistline reduction.


The Result: If you can pinch more than several inches, prepare to shift a surprising amount. We lost half a stone in a week. Boom.

Book It: Visit or call 01271 862792. Get train tickets with First Great Western (