Paul Joseph is Co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, experts in tailor-made healthy holidays worldwide. He searches for the rare and hidden gems around the world and puts together exclusive and trend-setting holidays for those who would like to improve or maintain their health and fitness whilst on holiday. As well as a love of all things travel, Paulís other love is exercise, cycling and yoga. Paul also contributes to the travel pages of various high-profile newspapers and magazines where he offers his expert advice on wellness holidays.
What is it that you do exactly?
I love what I do because I have a genuine interest and passion for travel, and the health and well-being industry. My primary role is to develop and grow the business internationally and focus on product development, PR, marketing and managing our team. A typical day consists of juggling many different jobs so being able to multi-task is essential. Iím always looking at ways to improve our business and product so we continue to enhance and tailor-make the healthy holiday experience for our clients. We are always forecasting the next big trends in wellness travel and introducing new holidays for what our clients show interest for. This year I have created two new exciting and innovative holiday ranges called Fusion Fitnessô holidays and Discover Recoverô holidays.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy hearing all the positive feedback we receive every week from our clients who return from our holidays feeling totally rejuvenated. Itís so satisfying to have them call and email us to tell us what a fantastic holiday experience they have and how they canít wait to book the next trip with us. This shows everything we do and all our hard work is worthwhile.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
Kamalaya in Thailand is fantastic for a detox and fitness holiday. Guest teachers and practitioners fly in from all over the world to this spectacular wellness sanctuary in Koh Samui. The spa therapists are world class and the food is so healthy but delicious. On arrival itís like entering a different world, somewhere truly magical and calming where you end your holiday feeling totally restored in mind and body.
My favourite place in the Caribbean is The BodyHoliday in St Lucia, the all-inclusive resort at the northern end of this beautiful island has an impressive amount of holistic, fitness and sports activities with one daily spa treatment included. The upmarket property has recently undergone an extensive renovation and offers everything from archery to Scuba, spinning to Pilates, and Ayurvedic treatments to reiki. You will leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and recharged.
Iíve always liked Portugal and Longevity Wellness Resort nestled in the green mountains of Monchique is a serene place with breath-taking views over the Algarve coastline. They are a pioneer in preventative anti-ageing medicine with a range of wellness programmes to suit your preference. There is a timetable of wellness workshops and group fitness classes from yoga to boxing, and the nature hiking and power walks are so enjoyable.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
Tough question as Iíve been lucky to have lots of memorable dining experiences when travelling. If I had to choose I do remember dining in St Lucia a few years ago at the Rainforest Hideaway, a family owned restaurant in Marigot Bay which serves a fusion of European and Caribbean cuisine. There was no road to the restaurant so you take a two minute boat trip which is a lovely way to start your evening and very romantic too. The grilled beef tenderloin with potato-cakes was delicious and for dessert I had a mouth-watering white chocolate crŤme brŻlťe.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
We do have a few celebrity clients who go on our holidays, but due to confidentially I canít divulge who and where they go. However I did have a recent encounter in St Lucia when I spent a lovely day at a resort in the south of the island, and I spotted Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin all having lunch two tables down from me.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
I do have a long travel wishlist and India ranks high on my places to go right now. We are launching our brand new Discover Recoverô holidays which offer a unique opportunity to unite your perfect travel experience of wellness with culture. Our India trip is ideal if you are short on time but want to visit the icons including the capital New Delhi, the stunning Taj Mahal in Agra and the fabled pink city of Jaipur. Then you would recover at Ananda in the Himalayas, a health and well-being retreat which Iím really looking forward to visiting.
Thank you for taking part in our interview, Paul. †You might like to look out for our ‘recipe of the week’ next week as there will be an interesting take on crŤme brŻlťe from the Head Chef of a luxury hotel in Scotland.