CLASS TIME: 3 Days
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Um, really easy
As I nestle even deeper into my white chaise lounge, my feet dusted with grains of the pinky-white sand that lines a strip of aquamarine water stretching across the horizon at Bermuda’s Long Bay Beach, I know my BlackBerry is blinking somewhere, trying to suck me back into the frenzy of work. But I’ve spent the week with Pepper Schwartz, the totally adorable, down-to-earth, Oprah-beloved Ph.D. and master of equilibrium who has been asking me (and the rest of her harried Life Balance workshop group) how we spend our days back home: Are you happy? Are you making time to do what you really, truly want? And finally, the quiet part of me usually drowned out by the daily grind answered. So I ignore the BlackBerry and reach for a notebook. For the next few hours, I will do nothing but write, simply for myself, while the sun moves across the sky, turning my skin a golden brown.
The next Life Balance workshop at Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa is January 28th-31st, 2010. The package deal costs $229 and includes all activities, a welcome reception, a 50-minute massage, 20 percent off all additional spa treatments, wine tasting, and special exercise classes such as Pilates and yoga (above). Additional nights at the resort are half off when you stay beyond the three-night seminar. Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda, 441-234-0331, cambridgebeaches.com.
Any of Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa’s cottages will do – they all offer stunning views, whether of boats bobbing idyllically in Mangrove Bay, crystal-clear blue water along Long Bay Beach, or palm trees swaying in the perfectly warm breeze. Resort rates start at $255 per night, based on single occupancy, and include breakfast daily. A minimum three-night stay is required when you book the workshop. Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda, 441-234-0331, cambridgebeaches.com.
When you’ve had your fill of soul-searching, sign up for a private Pilates class beneath the cool shade of a bay grape tree. If you’re looking for more activity, hop on a moped – Cambridge has rentals right on-site ($50-$55 per day) – or take a five-minute taxi ride to the Royal Naval Dockyard, where you can catch a ferry to Hamilton for an afternoon of shopping, eating and people-watching. Experiencebermuda.com/dockyard.
Enjoy a breakfast of scrambled eggs and grilled tomato on your own breezy patio before class. Stop in at Breezes, Cambridge’s lunch spot, for an afternoon snack, a heady rum swizzle, and a stunningly peaceful view of Long Bay Beach. For dinner, drift over to the Tamarisk Room, Cambridge’s award-winning restaurant – the Bermudan fish chowder is a must – as you take in the sailboats on Mangrove Bay and the soothing sounds of a local musician. Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda, 441-234-0331, cambridgebeaches.com.
US Airways (usairways.com) offers a nonstop two-hour flight from PHL to Hamilton. On-island, hop in a taxi for the 45-minute drive to the resort, or ask Cambridge to arrange for a driver to meet you.
Winter in Bermuda hovers around a perfectly pleasant 66 degrees, so bring light, comfortable resort-casual clothes for daytime. Thanks to its British influence, Bermuda is a bit more upscale than the average island, and guys are discouraged from wearing shorts other than classic Bermudas, paired with long socks. Bring dressier pieces for dinner. If you’re sporting, pack tennis and golf gear, and don’t forget your sneaks if you’ll be hopping a moped-the main form of transportation here-to scout the island.
Back in Philly: Sign up at RYAH Yoga and Health (424 East Elm Street, Conshohocken, 610-834-1551, ryahyoga.com) for "Six Weeks to Wellness" ($499), where you’ll make life goals (and learn to keep them), get massaged, and even meet with a health coach who’ll help fine-tune your diet.