Jenn

I spent nearly 3 weeks at the Finca Eslava hotel in Antequera in December 2012, and in general I loved the experience! The guides, David and Antonio, and gym trainer Leah made every effort to accommodate my requests, and since I was there by myself for most of my holiday, I was able to do everything that I wanted to do, plus face some challenges that I wouldn’t have ordinarily attempted. The weather was beautiful, so I wanted to spend as much time outdoors as possible. We did a lot of rock climbing, mountain biking, and we even got to go kayaking on Christmas Eve in 26 degree weather! I tried via ferratas for the first time, which was challenging and thrilling – a definite highlight of my trip. The local landscape is literally a playground for outdoorsy people, and I feel like I probably got to see more of it than some people who live in the area. I don’t think we duplicated any route for my entire time there, and I never felt bored! Also, the routes were never crowded; in fact, most of the time, the trails were virtually empty, which is great for people who are sick of crowded vacation spots. Even when others joined me at the end of my trip, the staff made sure to provide guides for each different fitness level when hiking or cycling. As for the fitness programme, my goals changed once I arrived, so I decided to focus on having fun and enjoying my Christmas holiday rather than fixating on weight loss or outcomes. We laughed a lot, enjoyed some tapas in town, and I was even invited to a lovely Christmas Eve dinner! I did feel some pressure to comply with exit fitness tests, but in the end I declined to participate, as that was no longer my goal. The main benefit of this trip for me was challenging myself physically, exploring the local area, learning more about my mountain bike, and getting to know some incredible people including the staff of the hotel and, of course, the guides and trainers. I had a few Spanish lessons, which I highly recommend! The hotel was charming, but the fitness facilities were less than stellar. The pool is in need of maintenance, and the spa facilities (i.e. sauna, hot tub) were never working properly when I went there, which was disappointing. Also, the spinning bikes are old and rusty, so I chose to do my cycling outdoors. Issa – the masseuse on staff – provides excellent sports massages that helped me immensely with muscle soreness and helped get me back on the trails quickly! Overall, I had a great holiday. I can’t wait to come back to Antequera for a visit!