Smoke too much? Drink too much? Check into Healthouse Las Dunas, where they don’t let you do very much at all. Its detox programmes – lasting between two and 21 nights – use a blend of healthy fine-dining, medical consultations, cooking lessons and spa treatments to relax and re-educate its guests. Or just go there for a holiday and eat like a normal person; that’s allowed, too.
The sprawling white property sits atop a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, minutes from the marina of Puerto Banus and a 15-minute drive from the old town of Marbella. The panorama from the restaurant’s terrace on a clear day reveals the Spanish coastline, the rock of Gibraltar and Morocco in one viewing.
The interior décor is, like your good intentions, purer than the driven snow. Expect gleaming white cotton sheets and terracotta tiles everywhere you look, with the occasional slab of marble to add a touch of luxury. There are 55 adult-only suites stocked with jacuzzi-style corner baths, private terraces and snack-free mini bars boasting four different brands of mineral water. Family and pet-friendly suites are also available, but you’re unlikely to spot dogs or children at this quiet resort. The gym is compact but well-equipped with a separate yoga and pilates studio attached, offering classes every day. The real standout is the spa; while the treatments aren’t anything to shout about, the space itself is palatial with surprises around every corner, from sweltering Turkish baths to sparkling ice caves.
Two Michelin-starred chef Andoni Luis Aduriz from Mugaritz – currently ranked the sixth best restaurant in the world – has designed the menu to squeeze big flavours out of the fewest calories. During my stay, Aduriz was hosting a 10-course extravaganza that came in at only 600 calories. I’ve never eaten for so long, yet ended up so hungry. Depending on what programme they’re on, guests are usually served four-course meals averaging about 380 calories. How does he do it? I still don’t know, but there’s lots of foam involved. The kitchen’s finest creation – tiny rolls made from ground poppy seeds and apples – is on the menu thanks to the French guests, who simply couldn’t conceive of a weekend without bread. Quelle horreur!
The new insomnia programme that started last month. The hotel claims it’s the first in the world to offer rooms with NGmatt intelligent mattresses created in partnership with scientists from an Austrian laboratory. They’re laden with smart technology that analyse movements, positions and phases of sleep so the Healthouse’s experts can tailor a diet and exercise regime designed to make even the most stubborn non-sleeper nod off. Dreamy.
Need to know:
Healthouse Las Dunas offers the ‘Healthy Weekend’ package from €750pp based on two nights’ full board accommodation in a Deluxe room with sea view and personal medical assessments and spa treatments included. To book visit healthouse-naturhouse.com
Monarch operates flights to Malaga from London Gatwick, with fares, including taxes, starting from £54 one way (£104 return). To book visit monarch.co.uk