1. Bikini Boot Camp, Mexico
Despite the name, this fitness and rejuvenation programme is designed for men and women. Located in Tulum in Mexico, about two hours south of Cancun, the resort consists of beachside cabanas with thatched roofs and private bathrooms and which balance luxury with being sympathetic to the beautiful surroundings. The varied routine, which you can dip in and out of at will, includes everything from kickboxing to circuit training, walking on the beach to yoga. There's also snorkelling, massages and excursions to the nearby Mayan ruins to keep you busy. The menu is based on "moderation, not deprivation", with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and local fish and chicken. Booking is online only; the telephone lines on the beach are not very clear. There is also boot camp in Ibiza.
A six-night stay at Bikini Boot Camp (www.bikinibootcamp.com) costs from US$2,294 (Dh8,059) per person in a shared room and from $3,012 (Dh11,063) per person in a private room. Prices include meals, two mas- sages and taxes.
2. Rancho La Puerta, Mexico
This 1,214-hectare ranch in Tecate, Baja California, sits in the mountains between the sea and desert. It enjoys sunshine for most of the year and is only an hour's drive from San Diego. Set up in the 1940s, the residence's "fitness week" revolves around different classes every hour and you participate in as many as you wish.
Activities include cardio classes, Pilates, circuit training and hiking in the mountains. The menus champion seasonal produce with plenty of seafood from the waterfront market as well as fruit and vegetables from the organic farm that is part of the ranch. The accommodation ranges from cosy rancheras and haciendas to two-bedroom villas. All of them have filtered drinking water and many have woodburning stoves or fireplaces.
A seven-night package at Rancho la Puerta (www.rancholapuerta.com; 001 858 764 5500) starts at $2,985 (Dh10,968) per person, including accommodation, based on two sharing, meals and transfers.
3. Body and Soul Adventures, Brazil
Founded in 2000 by Mike Mitchell, a former partner at the famous Ashram Spa in California, this idyllic Brazilian retreat is a superb place to relax and get fit. Based in the colonial town of Paraty, about 250km from Rio de Janeiro, the setting is the quintessence of tropical paradise: beautiful beaches, tranquil bays, rainforests and lush mountains.
The day begins around 7.30am with a yoga class, followed by activities that include hiking, kayaking, swimming and capoeira. The emphasis at meal times is on healthy choices with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood, rather than a restricted-calorie menu. Full-body massages are available every night and are a great way to end the day.
A six-night Paraty Adventure at Body and Soul Adventures (www.bodysouladventures.com; 001 650 532 7086) costs from $2,250 (Dh8,265) per person in a shared room, including all meals, massages, transfers and taxes.
4. The Camp, Spain
Established in 2007 in Scotland, The Camp was the first fitness programme to cater for women-only in a military-style, boot camp regime. Building on this success, these ex-Special Forces trainers have established another camp in a 500-year-old mansion in Andalucia in the south west of Spain. Don't be fooled by the tranquil gardens with lemon trees and the scent of jasmine: this camp is hard work. Days start before 7am with almost an hour of lunging, jumping, jogging and squats. Then it's off for a three-hour hike through the surrounding hills and valleys followed by circuit training or exercise in the pool. The aim is to "drop a dress size" in a week. Strict diet and rigorous exercise make this goal a distinct possibility.
A seven-day course at The Camp in Spain (www.thecamp.co.uk; 00 44 7879 555 041) costs from $2,431 (Dh8,031) per person in a shared room and from $2,763 (Dh10,149) per person in a private room, including meals and transfers.
5. Kamalaya resort, Koh Samui, Thailand
This "wellness sanctuary" has been providing detox, massage and yoga sessions on the beautiful island of Koh Samui since 2005. Its "optimal fitness" programme adds sessions with a personal trainer. It begins with a "wellness consultation" where you map out your goals for the week and customise your routine. Daily one-to-one personal training sessions then follow, along with massages and saunas. The setting is spectacular. Built on a steep hillside overlooking the white-sand beach and azure sea, the rooms, suites and villas sit amidst boulders, ponds and coconut palms. At the heart of the resort is a cave, once a dwelling for Buddhist monks, which now gives a spiritual air to this beautiful place.
A seven-night stay on the Optimal Fitness Programme (www.kamalaya.com; 00 66 77 429 800) costs from $3,320 (Dh12,195) per person, including accommodation, meals, beverages, treatments and transfers.
6. WellFit Programme, St Lucia
Run by Daley Thompson, a former decathlete and Olympic gold medal winner, and Kate Staples, a record-breaking athlete and former television gladiator, this programme aims to improve your strength as well as to help you lose weight. Staying in en suite rooms on the small Caribbean island of St Lucia, the focus is on healthy eating and exercise. The programme includes fitness assessments, hour-long morning training sessions and nutritional advice. There are also daily spa treatments and a wide range of activities such as tennis, volleyball, scuba diving and kayaking. Towards the end of the week, a trek is organised to explore the area's idyllic beaches and cliffs.
A seven-day course on the WellFit Programme (www.healthandfitnesstravel.com; 00 44 845 544 1936) costs from $3,178 (Dh11,674) per person, including accommodation, flights, transfers, spa treatments, meals and water sports.
7. Kangaroo Island Health Retreat, Australia
The term unspoilt does not do justice to the isolated and rugged wilderness of Kangaroo Island off the coast of south Australia. Just over 110km southwest of Adelaide, it is the perfect place to chill out and regain rude health. The dynamic de- tox package involves a challenging combination of Pilates, swimming and walking. Over the week, you will clock up between 60 and 80km on the beach and in the bush. Abandoning addictions to nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and junk food and eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, pulses, seeds and nuts is the other key element to this course. This simple combination of a healthy diet and exercise, in conjunction with yoga, meditation and massage, often reaps excellent results.
A five-day package at the Kangaroo island Health Retreat (www.kihealthretreat.com; 00 61 8 8553 5374) costs from $2,758 (Dh10,133) per person, including regional flights, accommodation, meals and two therapies per day.
8. Camp Biche, France
Camp Biche casts aside the spartan, calorie-counting approach to health and fitness. Instead it promotes a tough exercise regime combined with life's pleasures such as desserts - in moderation, of course. The 800-year-old mansion is set in the hills of south-west France, about an hour and a half from Toulouse.
The camp takes advantage of this beautiful setting with daily four-hour hikes. The day starts with abdominal classes and yoga, but there are also gym classes, swimming and circuit training. The price also includes six massages during the seven-day package. The meals avoid processed foods and meat, preferring tasty vegetarian fare such as mushroom pecan burgers and lentil taco salads.
A week at Camp Biche (www.campbiche.com; 00 44 207 617 7253) costs from $5,414 (Dh19,889), including accommodation, meals, transfers, tips and taxes.
9. SunFit, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Operated by British Military Fitness, one of the largest providers of outdoor fitness classes in the UK, this programme in the Canary Islands provides its brand of rigorous, military-style training beneath cloudless skies. The resort, on a bay near the village of Las Playitas in Fuerteventura, is brimming with facilities, including an Olympic-size swimming pool, a well-equipped gym and running tracks, but it's the classes that truly set this programme apart.
Days are spent hiking in the mountains, running, stretching, circuit training and attending military fitness sessions using one's own body weight and cardiovascular exercises. Breakfast and dinner buffets are provided, including a wide range of salads and a selection of desserts. There are evening seminars on topics such as nutrition and devising exercise routines.
Seven nights at SunFit (www.sunfit.co.uk; 00 44 207 751 9742) costs from $1,184 (Dh4,350) per person, including half-board accommodation and transfers.
10. WildFitness, Kenya and Greece
WildFitness seeks to reclaim a simpler and more vigorous lifestyle: eating fresh, unprocessed foods free from caffeine or sugar; doing intense bouts of running and walking, and taking note of your body's circadian rhythm - the daily pattern of waking and sleeping that your body would adopt without the pressures of work, alarm clocks or electric lights.
The day begins early, around 6am. Then there is barefoot boxing on the beach or a long run through palm forests and mangroves, followed by a series of posture and movement workshops or "primal skills" circuits. The WildFitness camp is based on the north Kenyan coast, near the fishing village of Watamu, and has other locations in Crete and the Isle of Wight.
A nine-day course at WildFitness (www.wildfitness.com; 00 44 20 3286 4886) costs from $3,552 (Dh13,049) per person, including accommodation, meals and airport transfers.