This was the best trip I have ever taken. There won't be words to describe how great this place was but I'll thrown out a few high points. I found the Island Experience doing searches on "top ten ....spas, adventure, yoga, mind-body-spirit, etc ". Then I began reading reviews. The reviews for the Island Experience mentioned many of the things I was looking for... exercise, great food, relaxation, massage, hiking, rain forest, kayaking, oceanfront, beaches, yoga, cultural experience, etc.). It was all that and more. It is a unique experience to end up on a beautiful island with 8-10 others, previously unknown to you, and spend a week eating, playing, laughing, sweating and relaxing. The week I went (last week in August), I shared my Island Experience with people who had traveled from Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, England, and the other coast of the US. Four people had been there a week or two when I arrived. Five of us showed up for our fist week together. It was so much fun to hang out with people from around the world, walk trails, kayak beautiful blue waters, explore amazing beaches, relax on yoga mats and share wonderful cuisine in an open air dining room beside the ocean by candlelight. Plenty of solitary time too, if you want it. This place takes the "do what you want" approach. So you have amazing daytrip options every day, or you can just stay at the main lodge and relax on the grounds. The sauna and hottub have perfect views of the sunset and are highly recommended.
Although I had read everything I could before going, there were still pleasant surprises waiting there. There were two amazing performances by visiting specialists in Capoeira (Brazilian martial art) and in Aerial Artistry. Both the Aerial Artist and the Capoerira group conducted classes in their respective arts so that we got to try these amazing activities. In addition, we were treated to a dance movement class that was so different and "out-of-the-box" that we were all dazzled and intrigued by the absolute incredible uniqueness of it. The yoga, also a wonderful surprise as there were two highly talented instructors who would help us usher the day in and prepare our bodies for the days activity ahead. Then, at the end of the day, one or the other would help us undue any knots and soreness with restorative yoga that again complemented the days events. In looking back, it is the complete integration of everything that made this place different and better than anything I've ever done. The yoga was preparation for the days activities. The breakfast was specifically calculated to feed the days activities, as were the snacks and lunch. The massage, was somehow coordinated to work out the parts of the body that were most in need, given the days events. And the massage was special. It was a combination of so many techniques, all I can say is that it was restorative.. and wonderful.. and different... and perfect! Onto dinners, which appeared to be preparation for the next days activities. I noticed the hearty fish dinner preceded the hardest hike of the week (Parrot's Peak). Speaking of Parrot's Peak, definitely a challenging hike but, if you're ready for it, SUCH a beautiful vantage point. One of those places where you feel like you're on top of the world. And the chance to hike through primary rainforest to get there... priceless. So great to be a part of such a well oiled machine. I felt like a million bucks by the end of the week. And one final little nicety was a wonderful little dog "Lua" who would happily accommodate the occasional attention and play that guests offered.
So I weighed in the week before I went to the Island and am happy to report a 5 pound weight loss after TIE. I have embraced some of the recipes I loved most from TIE and I am maintaining the loss. I hope to return someday as this was the most relaxation and fitness that I have achieved in a very long time and TIE got me there in one short week. If money were no object, I would stay longer. Also, if Martin and Adriana ever decide to introduce their clientele to another part of the world, I am there! Their approach to health, happiness and wellness through activity, nature and healthy delicious cuisine makes great sense.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the spellbinding island called Ilha Grande, just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, our unique adventure spa and fitness program is a seven-day program designed to detox your body and de-stress your mind. A typical day is filled with meditative yoga, challenging physical activities accompanied by experienced trainers, delicious and healthy meals that purify and energize, and euphoric massage that leaves you completely relaxed. The combination of all these elements are truly life transforming. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Island Experience Hotel Ilha Grande
- The Island Experience Ilha Grande, Brazil