Want to go on a wellness retreat where you can drink rose and still come back with abs of steel? Then look no further…
I’ll start with a confession. As I boarded a plane to Nice in the early hours of the morning after leaving my kids at home crying and feeling like a bag of nerves, I thought to myself “Why am I doing this?”. But it was at that point that the answer came in loud and clear “to fill up your cup, Sadie”. It was true, I had not left the kids to go abroad in four years, always turning down incredible opportunities to review retreats in favour of looking after them and not rocking the boat at home. But when the chance to go abroad with one of my favourite wellness brands, Heartcore, came my way, I fought every blocking thought I had and just said YES. So I found myself travelling to St Tropez for four days of fun, wellness and a lot of love all in devotion to Heartcore.
Started 17 years ago, Heartcore is an OG in the wellness world. Fusing together the most effective elements of Pilates with the wisdom of yoga, Heartcore promises to transform and strengthen both your mind and your body. I had been to many of their classes in London, they have a total of seven studios, and have always left me feeling my best self – I was very excited to see how four days of Heartcore might make me feel.
The short flight went by in a flash, in large part because I was sitting next to an Advanced EFT Tapping coach, who taught me how to tap my anxieties away – but that’s another story for another day. Once I landed in Nice, I hopped in the cab to ride the iconic journey to St Tropez, a place that has had my heart since I was a child. There is just something about the glamour, the beautiful people, the smell of the pine trees and the rosé that hits just right. As we pulled up to Villa Cosy, perfectly located a stone’s throw from St Tropez’s shopping mecca yet far enough away that it feels peaceful and secluded, I felt butterflies of excitement. The staff were instantly welcoming and I could see why Jessie Blum, Founder of Heartcore, chose this particular hotel to host her retreat “The hotel is a family business and everyone who works here is treated as part of that family,” Jessie explained to me “just like our Heartcore team”. It got me thinking about how one of Heartcore’s USPs is certainly the way that everyone who works there is just about the most lovely person I have ever met. Jessie always wanted the heart to be at the very centre of everything her business was about and she’s achieved that in spades.
After meeting the rest of the group, there were 28 of us in total, my first activity on the cards was a very relaxed game of Petanque followed by a lively meal in the main square, which ended with everyone dancing! The energy of the group was intoxicating, one glass of rosé down we were all vibing to ABBA – and it was clear that this retreat was not going to be like any other I had been on.
The next day we all met for our Heartcore class at 8am after a delicious breakfast. Practicing by the pool, Jessie challenged us all with one of the best Heartcore classes of my life – fast paced, energetic, Jessie taught with passion and a huge amount of support – I felt inspired, and my abs were coming back to life! Then after a hearty and very healthy brunch, we all set sail on a huge catamaran for three incredible hours of boating fun. The most amazing thing about this retreat, felt in every aspect, was that you could do you, wherever you were, whatever you were doing. Some people were sunbathing (guilty!) others paddle-boarding and kayaking, some sipping rum and chatting – the retreat is built for everyone to feel their best self. This aquatic activity preceded another delicious meal – this time a BBQ at the hotel with one of the area’s most revered chef’s who usually cooks at famous beach clubs.
Each of the days at Heartcore’s five day retreat were different, they included hikes, swims in the sea, shopping and even spa treatments. Catering just as much to sundowners at dusk to green juices at dawn, this really is a retreat that no matter who you are you will enjoy it and be able to take exactly what you need from it. And whilst the workout classes were amazing, the food delicious and rosé irresistible, it was the community that took center stage at this retreat. Heartcore created a space that allowed a group of people with a collective goal of enjoying the time they had together whilst all being on their very own unique journeys to thrive. I laughed, I sweated, I danced and most of all I filled up my cup – so full to the brim that I can still feel it spilling over into everyday life.
words by Sadie Reid