Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

San Diego! (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

Greetings, from sunny San Diego! I have escaped New York City for Westin Wellness Escapes, a new series of health and fitness retreats hosted at Westin Hotels & Resorts nationwide and led by experts in running, yoga, nutrition, meditation and more. I’m in Southern California, courtesy of Westin, to check out their very first workout weekend: Women’s Strength Nation LIVE with trainer Holly Perkins.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Women’s Strength Nation (Photo: Women’s Strength Network)

This is just the first in what Westin plans to be a national, and even global series. Next up on the calendar is a Triathlon Recovery Retreat with runWESTIN concierge Chris Heuisler from May 16-17 at The Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia following the Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Triathlon.

But first up, it’s off to The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, where Westin Move Well advocate Holly Perkins will lead us through a two-day itinerary aimed at honing physical and personal strength.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Gaslamp District (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

This getaway could not have come at a better time for me. I made strength training one of my New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve only been so-so about upping my time getting strong, as I mentioned in my last two training posts: Half Marathon Training Weeks 1 + 2 and Half Marathon Training Weeks 3 + 4.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Strength training, anyone? Westin San Diego Gaslamp gym (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

So I’m hoping to come away from this weekend motivated, inspired, and armed with a plan to make at least two strength training sessions per week part of my regular running routine. After the first session and workout, I’m ready to drink the Kool-Aid and stick to that commitment.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

(Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

So what’s on the docket for this weekend? We kicked things off Friday night with 4-hour session with Holly Perkins that included an overview of the program, getting to know ourselves and getting to know each other.

Both Saturday and Sunday start with group strength workouts before breakfast.

Between meals we have a variety of workshops that include strength training tutorials, nutrition sessions, and personal goal setting.

The days are long and jam packed as we go from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. I’m already tired in anticipation.

But we’ve been pampered a bit too. Upon arrival, all 25 of us (media and non-media alike) each had a welcome bag filled with goodies including protein bars, tea, snacks, and more. Before arrival we received a handy packing list to let us know what to bring.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

(Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

And if we forget something? New Balance offers gear lending as part of their partnership with Westin. A $5 fee per stay gets you loaner shoes and apparel. Phew! But I already packed my beloved New Balance Zante running shoes for good measure. In addition to the Women’s Strength Nation retreat, I’m hoping to sneak in a few runs.

How goes it so far? This isn’t my first retreat—I’ve been to intense spa weekends and even spiritual retreats as a former religion reporter. But this is my first fitness and first all-female retreat. I’m already impressed by how willing everyone is to open up about themselves and their bodies. It’s certainly an encouraging environment. I’ll report back at the end of the weekend about my personal experience.

But for now, if you want more information about Westin Wellness Escapes or to see what other health and fitness retreats they have coming up, visit westinwellbeing.starwoodpromos.com.

As mentioned, I’m attending Westin Wellness Escapes as a guest of Westin. As always, all opinions are purely my own and I’m always honest about my experiences. Seriously. For more information, read my disclosure policy.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


04 2015

10 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Ooh! You know that I’m a big fan of Westin, right? We stay regularly at different ones when we travel in part because of runWestin. We love having a running concierge and a running map so that we have recommended safe running routes.
    Elle recently posted..Cronut RunMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I’m a big fan of runWestin too. I’ve used their run maps in Denver, Kauai, San Diego and elsewhere. They’re the perfect pocket size and so handy!

  2. 3

    As a SPG member, I LOVE this idea! I’ll haev to look into it as it’d be a perfect girls weekend idea!

    • Karla Bruning

      I had fun with some of the ladies I met there!

  3. Pam #

    Can’t wait to read your recap. This sounds like a really fun experience made even better if you go with a fun group of friends!
    Pam recently posted..Training Tuesday: Dear Alison, Boston is our victory lapMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I definitely came back motivated!

  4. 7

    Ha, only people like us would think it’s fun to have a resort vacation that is centered around fitness activities! Love it! Keep on living the dream, Karla!

  5. 9

    Fitness retreat? This sounds a great bonding activity for friends and family to enjoy. Is there any age limit for this Karla? Just wonderin’