Active resorts aren’t just for families, with a growing selection of adult-only retreats, writes Laura French.

Click here to download and save as a PDF.

Action, adventure, fitness, wellness; these are all part of the vocabulary of travel in 2019, with more and more holidaymakers shunning the traditional fly-and-flop in preference for breaks that involve an element of activity – whether it’s a full-on sports academy, a week-long triathlon-training event or a more chilled-out getaway that combines adventure with slower‑paced pursuits.

While a large chunk of these active resorts are targeted primarily at families, a growing number are for the adult-only crowd. Here we look at some of the best for parents, couples and solo travellers wanting a bit of quiet time without the kids.


On the green

Clients after a round of golf certainly aren’t short on options, but for a standout, 18-plus resort, Jet2holidays recommends Vanity Golf in Alcudia, Majorca. Set right on the beach, it’s a 10-minute drive from the 18-hole Alcanada golf course, perched above the ocean and offering idyllic views over the coast and its lighthouse. At the resort itself there’s yoga, an aqua gym and a roster of excursions, including cycling trips on routes that criss‑cross verdant, rolling hills.

For those wanting to up it a notch, Cyplon Holidays suggests Hotel Las Madrigueras, a luxury, adult-only five-star in Tenerife, set right by one of the island’s renowned championship courses, Golf Las Americas. Designed by professional English golfer John Jacobs, it’s played host to many a tournament – including the Campo Las Americas and Tenerife Women’s Open Spain – with 18 holes scattered among carpets of green and overlooking the soaring silhouette of Mount Teide. Beyond golf there’s diving, snorkelling, flyboarding and other watersports, plus a spa with sauna, whirlpool bath and Turkish bath for those wanting to relax the muscles a little.

In your court

If it’s tennis that gets the heart pumping, look to the adult‑only TRS Coral Hotel, which adjoins the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, just outside Cancun. Alongside a gym and daily schedule of activities – ranging from yoga and Pilates to football and water polo – the hotel offers tennis programmes developed by Nadal and his team to suit every level. There’s everything from one-hour classes to seven-day intensive camps here, with eight clay tennis courts, a football pitch, paddle court and gym among its state-of-the-art offerings.

Tennis fans will find more to play with over in Jamaica, where Caribtours recommends Couples Swept Away, set on Negril’s iconic Seven Mile Beach. The resort boasts 10 hard and clay courts, with pros providing clinics for all levels, and daily tournaments on hand for those wanting to get competitive. As well as tennis facilities, there are racquetball courts, a jogging track, a 25-metre pool and a fitness centre, all set on an impressive 10-acre sports complex that lays claim to being the biggest on the island, luring fitness-focused couples from far and wide. Beyond that you’ll find dance classes, nature walks, watersports and plenty more; there’s no getting bored here.


Fitness gurus

If that’s not enough, up the game with a full-on retreat; Saint Lucia’s 16-plus BodyHoliday is among Kuoni’s top recommendations thanks to its roster of themed weeks, which span swimming, sailing, yoga, dancing and more, all hosted by Olympians. But there’s plenty going on here at any time of year, with a daily schedule of classes and activities, a BodyScience Clinic providing tailored wellness treatments, and an Adventure Programme which takes guests on river trekking trips, rainforest walks and mountain hikes across the island.

Fast fact

Clients fancy diving? Sandals and Beaches Resorts offers a free beginners’ Padi experience for guests staying six nights or more (limited time only

Elsewhere in the Caribbean there’s the newly refurbished Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar. Located in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, it offers an impressive list of fitness classes – Zumba, HIIT, TRX, CrossFit, aqua spinning, salsa and merengue, to name but a few.

Back in Mexico, there’s Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, whose ‘Strong 30’ classes provide intense, half-hour sessions which span Zumba, HIIT and more, with thumping music to get the muscles motivated. Beyond that, guests can try tennis, golf, volleyball, diving and dance classes, and acrobatics sessions to get the limbs supple – all without a kid in sight.

Best of the rest

• Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco: For clients after a hiking adventure away from it all, suggest this adult-only Virgin Limited Edition retreat, where mule trekking, golf and tennis are all on offer in the heart of the Atlas Mountains.

• Oblu Select at Sangeli, Maldives: While the main island here is family-oriented, the smaller One Banyan isle is adult-only. Activities span diving, snorkelling, kayaking and more, with fitness classes for guests wanting to work up a sweat before indulging in the Maldivian delicacies.

• Sandals Ocho Rios, Jamaica: It’s hard to beat Sandals on the activity front. For an especially sporty retreat, suggest Ocho Rios, where guests enjoy complimentary green fees at the nearby Sandals Golf & Country Club, alongside windsurfing, snorkelling, tennis and rock climbing.

Book it

Jet2holidays offers a week’s B&B at Vanity Golf, Majorca, from £469 per person, based on two sharing with flights from Birmingham on November 29.

Caribtours offers a week’s all-inclusive at Couples Swept Away from £2,089 per person, based on two sharing a Garden Verandah Room in 2020.

Cyplon Holidays offers a week’s B&B at Hotel Las Madrigueras in Tenerife from £1,465 per person, based on two sharing a Superior Twin Room, with transfers and flights from Gatwick on February 5, 2020.

Read more

Get active in Antigua with Fleur East’s W8 Gym
The best special-interest escorted tours
Hotels, Resorts & Spas: Teach yourself spa techniques