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Fresh Start Fitness Yoga & Wellness Retreat Thailand
Open today: 07:00 - 17:00
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Fresh Start Fitness Holiday Bootcamp

I did an 8-day programme with Fresh Start at The Pavana Resort in Chiangmai in January. Totally... read more

Reviewed 6 March 2020
dorothyc227
via mobile
Best Fitness trip I've ever had

This has by far been one of my best trips. I made a lot of amazing friends and the Bootcamp program... read more

Reviewed 25 January 2020
babak_eshkoor
,
London
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Reviewed 18 August 2016

I spent 20 wonderful days at Fresh Start Fitness in Mae Rim; and only wish that I could have stayed longer. By the end of the 20 days, I’d lost 7kg in weight and there was a visible improvement in body tone (and I got my body fat below 20%). More importantly, I felt much better/healthier than I have for years; I guess the good/healthy food and exercise we they key factors in the improved sense of well being – but I was also sleeping better than I have for years. I particularly appreciated the Thai massages at the end of the day
During my stay, there were three different trainers running things (a week each); each one did a fantastic job – each helping/supporting and encouraging all the participants . Their enthusiasm and good-humor was infective – they really made it an enjoyable experience. Thanks guys!

I thought the overall program was really well balanced; and everyone had a go at everything.

It’s a beautiful location and I enjoyed my stay from start to finish; and can’t wait to visit again

Date of experience: July 2016
4  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
FreshStartHoliday, Owner at Fresh Start Fitness Yoga & Wellness Retreat Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2016

Thanks so much for taking the time to write a review for us. Well done for your 7 kilo weight loss and fat reduction! We are thrilled you enjoyed our program and you enjoyed the rotation of our trainers. We get lots of guests staying for multiple weeks which is why we have different trainers every week, to keep you on your toes and to keep up the energy and motivation. That's wonderful news you would have liked to stay longer, perhaps on your next visit! Thanks again, take care and keep up with your new healthy habits!

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Reviewed 13 August 2016

This life-adjusting event is located 45 minutes or so outside the tourist packed city streets, in the midst of paddy fields and hills. If you need to get out of a rut, remove distractions and temptations and focus on getting your motivation back, this is the place for you. I wouldn't want to call it a holiday although having just flown back exhausted this morning, I feel more refreshed than ever before.

The program is very well thought out and has something different every session. Expect to be moving at a rapid rate 5-7 hours each day and eating almost no carbs but otherwise tasty and healthy food. Trainers are rotated weekly but our trainers kept us on our toes throughout. Fun, social, intense, challenging and you get out what you put in. If you want to use the words "I can't" that's fine. It's up to you. If you want to find out "how I can", then the trainers will give you professional support and advise to find a way to reach maximum fitness and/or weight loss.

I signed up after an injury and operations gave me excuses to become middle-aged. After a week at Fresh Start, I had lost weight, lost body fat, improved my fitness by 25 percent and most importantly, took away an absolute determination to get off my chair every day and do what it takes to get my old body and confidence back. After just a week, I am where I need to be to get back on track.

The boot-camp is designed to cater to all fitness levels. You can go as hard as you can or sit on the side-line if you don't want to/can't play. If you want the best results, it is of course recommended to eat what is suggested and participate at maximum effort in all the sessions.

Richard and Louise are a gorgeous couple who have apparently made bold and successful life choices. After 2 years of fad diets, I now feel inspired and well-equipped to get exercising become healthy and fit for the long-term.

Date of experience: August 2016
1  Thank elisemvale
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
FreshStartHoliday, Owner at Fresh Start Fitness Yoga & Wellness Retreat Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2016

We really appreciate you taking the time to write a review for us, many thanks for your positive comments and honest opinion regarding our fitness bootcamp holiday! That is wonderful news to hear you are feeling refreshed and you were happy with your results. We wish you lots of success with your long term health and fitness goals and hope to welcome you back to Fresh Start for another kick start in the future.

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Reviewed 31 July 2016

I just completed one of your bootcamp and I congratulate the owners for the excellent program that you put together.
I am a doctor with qualifications and special interest in fitness and nutrition and I believe to be more insightful in these areas.
The setting of the camp and the facilities are excellent. The program is charged without being overwhelming and offers a good balance of strenuous and more relaxing exercises. The trainers (we had Anton) were professional, knowledgeable and inspirational.
This is an experience meant to open people's eyes to their level of fitness and prove to them that they can do and should do more. Moreover by exposing us to a variety of exercises makes us discover hidden aptitudes or deficiencies which we can pursue subsequently.
Another positive aspect is that although it addresses people of different ages and levels of fitness, it allowed us to work out at our own pace, and I believe that the satisfaction with the program has been universally very high.
A few points that I offer as "constructive criticism":
1.the food was very bad...if the macros and the portions were adequate for people wishing to be on low calorie diet, the taste was absent or bad. Why?
I have spoken with people that have attended similar programs and it appears that bland food is the norm. But why not lift the act and instruct them to use herbs ans spices that will freshen and lift the bar. I did not want to lose weight and I ordered from theva la carte menu which was mediocre at least. The service ...a bit retarded but no major issue.
2.at the end of the program quite a few people were disappointed for not having lost weight. One week campers should understand that one week is very good to heal the metabolism and jumpstart healthier signals and even if the scales do not show it , their bodies are leaving the camp much healthier and with a much better and faster metabolism. Once again...a final session with the trainer to individually go over the pre and post stats and notes over how each of us progressed ,to wrap up the diet and exercise program addressing each camper would be beneficial . For instance If the trainer gives individual 5 minute feed back to each of the campers with customised physical and psychological tailored advice would really be good.
3.your dietitian is not good...I really did not want to get into arguments with her. However having studied for several years with the most prestigious universities in US and Australia, and totally aware that nutrition is a controversed area , I found her to be uninformed, not up to date , not able to meet people's needs and expectations. Maybe I should come and take over her classes (joking!!)
Once again I want to congratulate you for your program and strongly recommend it to people who wish to make a "fresh start".

Date of experience: July 2016
Thank daniela b
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
FreshStartHoliday, Owner at Fresh Start Fitness Yoga & Wellness Retreat Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2016

Thanks for your review of your recent holiday with us. We are really pleased you gave us a 5 star rating and you thought the program was excellent. I am sorry you felt the food was very bad, however, you said you opted out of our bootcamp menu and went al carte from the hotels own menu. I think I should make the point for potential guests that you are the first person to say this. We have Thai food which is not considered bland - Thai green curry,chicken coconut curry and Tom Yum Koong which is quite spicey! We also have a chicken dinner which has gravy on it and baked salmon with a variety of steam veggies, guests also get 2 deserts during their week with us. I know our taste buds are different and food is very subjective. You said guests were disappointed with not losing weight, All guests lost weight except for one which I think might have been you, which is cool as you said weight loss was not your goal. Here are the other weight loss results - 6.1 kilos, 1.9 kilos, 1.1 kilos, 1.7 kilos and 1.1 kilos. Our weight loss results really vary depending on how much weight the person really needs to lose, how much personal effort is put into our exercise sessions , hormones, genes and whether they stick to the diet or not. But yes you are 100% right everyone leaves feeling healthier and their weight loss continues due to an increase in their metabolism. We are also sorry you didn't see eye to eye with our dietician , yes there is lots of different nutritional advice out there. These are her qualifications (B N&D and M HEd& P) 14 years experience in nutrition , consulting. Plus she is currently doing a PHD in nutrition. If you ever come back again we would love to hear what your thoughts on nutrition are, we are really open to the sharing of knowledge. Thanks again and it's great you are a doctor with an interest in health we need more of you guys!! Healthy wishes the Fresh Start team.

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Reviewed 12 June 2016 via mobile

I had such a great experience at Fresh Start Fitness Bootcamp and highly highly recommend it. I'd give it 6 stars if possible!

Come here if you want a fresh start with your health whether it's losing weight, increasing fitness, eating right, or other goals.

The program is very well thought out, the owners Louise & Richard are very caring, and the trainers I had Tom, Nick, Pong, Methee are all very knowledgeable and supportive. The other participants, of all different fitness levels, are also supportive and share similar goals so we built a lot of camaraderie.

This is not a "beat you into the ground" type of bootcamp where you'll hate working out and not want to continue afterwards. Rather, it's giving you a "fresh start" and set you off on a healthy and fit path through life. Yes you'll work hard but it's actually quite fun and enjoyable and you'll want to continue after the camp.

A typical day is:
- Breakfast
- Exercise 3 hours
- Lunch
- Exercise 3 hours
- Stretching
- Dinner
- Massage or Sauna
- Sleep

That said, you can adjust it however you want (even taking days off) and the trainers are totally supportive. Though you'll be amazed how quickly you can work up to this. I've seen 300lb people who could barely move work up to this in only a few days. Very inspirational.

What really kept me going was the sheer variety in the fitness activities. It really keeps exercise fun and interesting. Just off the top of my head, during only a week we did: walking, hiking, running, cycling, water polo, ultimate frisbee, tennis, kayaking, Thai boxing (Muay Thai), orienteering, kettle bells, Insanity, circuit training, aqua workouts, various team games. Really makes it fun, some times you even forget you're working out!

Also the scenery and locations are really beautiful and inspiring. Most activities are done outside in the lush rolling hills of Chiang Mai, Thailand. On my favorite day, we walked around a lake stopping to do exercises then went to run up and down stairs at a Buddhist temple then went to a real Thai boxing gym to get trained by real Muay Thai fighters. How cool is that!

Food is also all pre-planned for you so you don't have to think about what to order. It's all nutritious, mostly Thai (yum), meals with snacks in between. They don't want anyone to go hungry so you can always supplement if you need more. However, I surprisingly didn't feel hungry very often and learned that I really need far fewer calories than I thought (even with all the exercise) and feel my body adjusting to this new way of eating.

The resort itself is comfortable with A/C, Wi-Fi, comfy beds, great service. Again, this program is not designed to break you but rather support you in a new healthy path.

So what do you get for all the hard workouts and healthy eating? Results! In only a week, as a 5'9" male, I dropped 4lbs from 186 to 182, dropped 1.3% body fat from 18.5 to 17.2%, and reduced my waist by 1.5 inches! I was already decently fit to start with so this a great improvement that I'm very pleased with. Others have made much more dramatic improvements and transformations. The hard work this week really paid off but the best part is it's not just a week but rather the start of a sustainable healthy lifestyle. For that, I am very grateful to Fresh Start and highly recommend it.

Date of experience: June 2016
4  Thank Greg T
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
FreshStartHoliday, Owner at Fresh Start Fitness Yoga & Wellness Retreat Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2016

Wow thanks so much for your super positive review and the 6 stars! It is REALLY appreciated and we are over the moon your enjoyed your experience with us so much. We wish you all the best with your health and fitness journey. Take care and we hope to welcome you back again in the future.
Healthy, happy travels!
Louise, Richard and the rest of the Fresh Start team.

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Reviewed 3 June 2016

I booked a week at Fresh Start as I was looking for an active holiday - however, my goal was not weight loss.

First, the good:

The people. In the week that I was at Fresh Start, Louise, Kenny and Mattee were with us. All great, fun and friendly people, and local assistant Mattee was an absolute star. No complaints about the staff.

The food - yes, you are on a weight loss camp and the food reflects that. It's all whole foods, low calorie (around 1000-1200 cals per day) but mostly pretty tasty and due to the heat, hunger was not much of an issue. I just added extra calories by supplementing from the a la carte menu in the restaurant since I'm trying to maintain/build lean muscle. The food is great for people who really need a dramatic shake-up of their diet - to get away from all the sugary processed food temptations and make a clean break. There isn't really access to any junk food, which is a great thing. You have to go cold turkey.

Highlights of bootcamp for me were the cycling trip and doing muay thai. On the cycling trip we visited the waterfall and Poo Poo paper park which is a lovely little attraction. Because I have major concerns about exploitation of wild animals for entertainment purposes, I wanted to avoid the tiger and elephant parks (for anyone still unaware of the problems with wildlife attractions, see the recent happenings at Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi).

Another highlight was getting a massage at the resort spa at night. It was lovely going to get a thai massage in their open air spa, albeit very hot and sweaty some nights! I wasn't so keen on the infra-red sauna though. This would be awesome in cooler weather but when you've been exercising in sauna conditions all day, it doesn't quite have the same attraction.

There were a few issues that I had with the overall experience, however. Nothing that outweighs the positives, mind you, but just things to keep in mind when booking your trip.

The resort - the spa resort which is used for boot camp guests has lovely parts (restaurant, spa, sala) and it also has some parts that are unkempt, messy and have clearly seen better days. From what I could tell, the resort consisted of the hotel section, which seemed to be maintained to a reasonably good standard, and the privately owned part, which was not. I suspect this is a management issue. Unfortunately, this gives the overall impression is that the resort is a bit run down and untidy. It's not somewhere I would consider staying if I was not at bootcamp, especially given the overall high levels of hotel accommodation in Thailand. In addition, I thought it was expensive for what you got.

Accommodation - As above, the hotel rooms were quite nice. They seemed neat and tidy and nicely furnished. However, when I booked I initially chose the hotel room option but then I was offered the option of a villa (privately-owned by Fresh Start). I was under the impression this an 'upgrade' from a hotel room. However, the villa ended up having some issues and on balance, I thought the hotel room was a better option for a single person.

The villa was OK - more roomy than the hotel room - but had a couple of big drawbacks. First, it was well above 40 degrees C when I arrived in Chiang Mai. From the looks of things, my villa had been shut up for a couple of days at least. The bedroom is on the upper floor and it's an absolute heat trap because heat rises. When I entered the bedroom, it must have been pushing 50 degrees celsius. The small air conditioning unit took around 12-24 hours to cool the room to a comfortable temperature and in order to prevent that happening again I had to leave it running 24 hours a day with the bedroom door closed, otherwise it was unbearable. When I raised this as an issue, I was assured that the current air-con unit will be replaced soon.

Secondly, there is a very steep and somewhat rickety spiral staircase that was nearly impossible to get my suitcase up and down. I absolutely hated that staircase when I was hot and tired! I believe that this may be upgraded soon, too.

Hot season - I arrived at the peak of the hot season (during some of the hottest weather recorded) and boy, was it scorching! I live in a hot climate so didn't really suffer any ill-effects and although it was uncomfortable, I coped OK. I did feel like, however, that our 'hard' days were pushing things a bit far when we had to trudge along the scorching road to PREM twice and back - the second time only to find the PREM pool, offering our only relief from the unrelenting heat of the afternoon, was closed for maintenance. In my opinion, in such extreme circumstances there could be some adjustments made to the schedule to avoid unnecessary suffering and potentially dangerous heat stroke. People not yet acclimated could really suffer some ill-effects from the heat. Again, when I raised this as an issue I was told that the schedule has since been tweaked a bit to avoid this.

No doubt that attending bootcamp can have a lasting impact on people's lifestyles when they return home, however any weight 'loss' achieved during this (or other) bootcamps should be considered with a few caveats in mind.

A week of intensive exercise will definitely result in an increase in CV fitness and strength in your average sedentary couch potato. No doubt this is a positive thing, and even for a very active person like me, I felt like all the high-intensity stuff - which I sometimes neglect - improved my fitness.

However, a person's body weight can fluctuate by up to 5% in a single day. For example, in the last week my electronic scales have measured my weight from 56.5-58.8 kgs. This is very dependant on things like hydration levels, how much salt is in your diet, when you last ate or drank, when you last went to the bathroom and your muscle glycogen stores.

The following factors could have affected our body weight: loss of body water weight and salt in sweat due to exercise and infra-red sauna, depleted muscle glycogen and salt levels (from high-intensity exercise and low-carb, low-salt diet) resulting in less water overall being held in the body. It's not to say this is a bad thing, but just something participants should be aware of. You are not necessarily comparing apples with apples. That weight could reappear very quickly once you leave. Body composition (lean muscle vs. fat) is more important than overall weight but of course is notoriously difficult to measure accurately - usually required an experienced practitioner with BF calipers or very expensive technology such as a DEXA scan or BodPod.

Overall, I would recommend this bootcamp, especially to those who really need to get away from their current unhealthy lifestyles and make some big changes.

Date of experience: April 2016
4  Thank oz_merc
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
FreshStartHoliday, Owner at Fresh Start Fitness Yoga & Wellness Retreat Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2016

We would like to really thank you for taking the time and effort to write such a detailed review for us.

Thanks also for giving us a 4 star rating which is greatly appreciated! We love what we do and get great satisfaction helping our guests to get fitter and healthier.

We hope you don't mind but given that this review is public we feel it is important we respond to some of your points.

A word about the menu, the daily calorie intake is between 1300-1500 calories, these figures are in the Information booklet which we send to all our guests and in the blog which was written by our Anna Roesler Dietitian (B N&D and M HEd& P) 14 years experience in nutrition consulting. Guests are sent the link to the blog on the first day they are with us. We also feel its important for potential guests to know we do have carbs, we even have porridge and muesli for breakfast. We are also very flexible with the menu and give out an editable diet plan when guests join us.

Yes we've removed one of our walks and placed and extra Muay Thai in it's place and the new format is going really well!

We are sorry that you felt that parts of the residents area where untidy we have past on your remarks to the manager. We are in a very rural location with many trees and at the time you were here there were lots of leaves on the ground which have now been cleared up. We think that's what you must have meant.

We certainly empathise with you about the heat. It was the hottest week in 60 years! There has already been a new air con unit fitted in the Villa you stayed in , but thank goodness the higher temperatures only lasted a week and it's now much cooler!

We are sorry that you felt the hotel room would be better than a villa. We charged you a discounted rate of 2,500 baht per night for the villa which is normally 3.500 baht a night. As we have been at the resort for 6 years we get a very heavy room rate discount from the resort which we pass onto our guests and make no commission from. We really don't want to be argumentative but we feel the word 'rickety' doesn't accurately describe the stairs in the villa , they are very strong and stable and in keeping with the Lanna architecture. But again we are sorry you really didnt like them, what a shame.

It is a real shame you feel the camp is for the average coach potatoe. Well we do get unfit people, but we also get very fit people. We've had an iron man ranked number 2 in the World attend and he loved the camp, he also did a trip adviser review for us. The camp isn't just for weight loss, many guests come for a healthy holiday with cultural excursions and varied fitness activities. We all need time away sometimes to kind peace and to focus on ourselves for a while.

Thanks again for your review, we wish you continued success with your health and fitness goals! Take care :-)

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