Travel Blog - Longevity Cegonha Country Club
Dominika, our Wellbeing Specialist, visited Longevity Cegonha Country Club in Portugal to do a juice cleansing and gives us a personal account here:
What were your first impressions when you arrived?
It's a short ride from Faro airport (only 30 min) and I was greeted by a very friendly receptionist who gave me a warm towel and explained what I will be doing during my stay. I then had a tour of the hotel that I could orientate myself. I switched my spa schedule around a little which was done very efficiently. The hotel was very peaceful so I headed to a sun lonunger in the garden to listen to the birds and completely switch off. ... what a treat after coming from London!
What do you think makes the hotel so special?
I would say the impressive fitness schedule as Cegonha has 5-6 group activities daily including workshops, yoga, cardio classes, bike tours or hikes. There really is something for everyone - whether you like gentle exercise or prefer working out to the max. The location is another huge plus - Vilamoura and its marina is about 4 kms away (a daily, free shuttle bus is provided) but you are away from the hustle and bustle. There is a pond with little turtles and frogs and I loved sitting on my terrace in the evening and listening to the frogs' magnificient orchestra. The hotel only has 32 bedrooms so it has a lovely 'cosy' feel and if you are travelling solo and would like to meet others, then it's easily done. Everyone was friendly and there was lots of chatting over meal times.
How was your juice detox experience?
I did 3 days on a juice detox and survived! I had a juice 'shot' in the morning, followed by a milk shake around 11 am and then lunch was a cold soup. I had 2 juices in the afternoon (at 3 pm and 5 pm) and a warm soup for dinner. You can drink unlimited water (they provide alkaline 9ph water which is the best for detoxing) and herbal infusions. Self-administered enemas are recommended as well and, in fact, they are fine...
My stay started with a consultation with a nutritionist who explained everything about the juice fasting programme and took my measurements. I had a follow - up consultation at the end of my stay and was given a plan to follow at home. Days 2 and 3 are normally 'low' days on a detox as you can experience headaches (from caffeine withdrawal), mood swings and low energy but this is all totally normal and the team are there for advice and help. I didn't feel hungry during my programme and only had a mild headache. My sleep was amazing - I slept from 10 pm until 9 am and also has an afternoon nap.
What was your favourite activity & why?
I enjoyed the yoga classes and the various workshops. I joined one about juice dieting and how to make your own juices at home - one of the team showed us how to make 3 different juices and explained why they were good for you and, most importantly, how to blend and juice correctly. Of course, we tried them all and they were delicious! I'm not a juicing novice but certainly learnt a new tip or two. The yoga classes were great too - the teacher explained about the philosophy behind yoga and we did some pranayama (breathing) exercises, yoga nidra and class finished with meditation. What a wonderful class!
How was the food?
I was on a juice detox diet but had a peek to the other guests plates! All the meals, including breakfast, are served to your table, there is no buffet here so less temptation which can only be good! Breakfast choices included fresh orange juice, fruit, porridge and yogurt with granola for example so pleanty of healthy options. Lunch and dinner are a la carte and there are healthy choices (including vegetarian) with lots of fresh vegetables and vibrant salads. All the meals are served at glass Pure Cafe by Longevity which is just by the pool and has a wonderful terrace - the perfect place to watch sunset after dinner. The restaurant was the main place to mixing with others and as there were quite a few solo travellers, I soon got talking to them and had a lovely time swapping stories.
Who would you recommend the hotel to?
I would recommend Cegonha to those who would like to try a juice detox - from beginners to those with experience. However, you don't need to come here for detox or weight-loss as it's a quiet haven of relaxation with superb spa treatments plus energising fitness and yoga clases. If you are looking for a good value destination too, then Cegonha is your place!