Since first opening up in 2009, little under two years ago, Bootcamp Beach has absolutely taken off. In fact, so popular has it become that even after doubling the number of camps it offers, it's still the hardest bootcamp to get into. So, book up early is the best advice I can give you about Bootcamp Beach!
There are four major reasons why this boot camp in Bournemouth is such a phenomenal success - easily transcending its national award as 'Best Budget Boot Camp' (South) to have become, actually, one of the top boot camps in the whole of England. In addition, I can say in all honesty, that discovering what Nick & Susan have achieved at Bootcamp Beach has been the highlight of my years to date researching the whole boot camp industry. They've worked hard and richly deserve whatever comes their way. But, what's it all down to?
Firstly, their prices are by a long way the best boot camp deal in the country - making Bootcamp Beach, at the time of writing, the only camp to score the full 5 stars for 'Value for Money'. Bringing boot camp health to the general public as cheaply as possible is a trend I have always done my very best to encourage because, frankly, it's for everyones' benefit, isn't it? Other camps, I'm pleased to say, are now starting to follow along down Bootcamp Beach's pioneering trail by drastically reducing their prices too. And what a great breath of pure, fresh sea-air Bootcamp Beach is! Suddenly, at long last, someone isn't charging four figures, and all points north, for a week at camp. Only £575 for a single( in reality, a double), £495 for a twin & £455 for a triple room. All rooms are en-suite, serviced daily, equipped with TV & free WIFI - plus, and this is an enormous plus, the complimentary use of The Marriott Hotel's very up-market pool, sauna & jacuzzi complex just across the road, for when you want to soothe away your pains in the evening. Just do the maths for yourself. You could do three boot camps here for the price of just one at most others!
Secondly, Bootcamp Beach has in Principal Trainer, Peps Peploe, one of the top trainers in the land - the sort of guy who, by rights, should be at one of our elite, award-winning boot camps which cost a heck of a sight more money to attend - so you can see what an outrageous bargain you're getting at Bootcamp Beach. Actually, Peps was at one of our top luxury camps before he arrived here to be closer to his family - and turbo-charge Bootcamp Beach. His way of starting off each day with a slowly liberating routine of dynamic stretches, with Peps himself, positioned in the middle of us all, revelling in his own gyrations, gleefully conducting a constant interactive chorus of unstoppable enthusiasm and non-stop witty banter with everyone present is, quite simply, a masterclass in human motivation - which, truth be told, I found an absolute pleasure to watch. Peps, I should also say ladies, is a very handsome, blue-eyed, ex-marine-commando and blessed with a charm that is soft and easy - if , that is, you haven't already fainted by now. His favourite phrase is definitely "Treat yourself!" - as he puts you through an exercise, just that one more time. What is equally definite is that Peps is going to get inside your head too, as he knows about the techniques of psychology and uses them well. The fact is he gets his greatest satisfaction if he never sees you again - precisely because he's made that vital difference to you - so that you can now go away, and do it all on your own. But, none the less, people do still keep coming back. Just for the fun of it all, really - and usually dragging two bewildered mates in their wake.
Activity highlights would be the uniquely-offered chance to go paddle-boarding. And the cycle ride which takes you through Sandbanks and over, on a ten-minute ferry, into the beautiful Dorset countryside around Studland Dene and the hill-top ruins of Corfe Castle. What's more, Peps has assembled together a highly united and most congenial team of trainers around him, all pretty much moulded in his own image. Should you by any chance ever get Pepped-out, then sympathetic and entertaining boot camp manager, Lee, will listen to it all - as he's commendably in the thick of it with you, on around 70% of the physical programme.
Thirdly, the food is seriously good. Mainly because Nick's wife, Susan, has a veritable bee in her bonnet about everything being fresh, organic and only made on the premises. Well okay, I'm up for that - especially as it leads to breakfasts where eggs appear, and dinners like Honey & Lime Grilled Salmon, served on a bed of quinoa and vegetables so fresh they hardly had a chance to grow up.
Fourthly, and finally, the location of the training. With more sunshine hours and less rainfall than any town in the country, training outside in the sea air and coastal panoramas along Bournemouth Beach is superbly energising, right from the time you're woken up by sea-gulls every morning. The sand is cleaned each night, all the many toilets are impeccably maintained, and there are contingency plans for when it rains - that rarest of occurrences, according to our National Office of Statistics. This, I think, makes up for the location of the hotel - which, unlike any other boot camp, is set in a town centre admittedly, but only two minutes away from that wonderful beach. Just go with the flow - and don't miss out on the chance to enjoy one of England's best boot camps.
Accommodation: Comfortable, modern & better than basic Bonnington Beach Hotel's bedrooms are all en-suite, with TVs, free WIFI & serviced daily. Hannah, Nick & Susan are delightful on the front desk and the hotel is only minutes from the beach
Capacity: Max.26. Mixed M/F.
Duration: 5 nts. (3pm Sunday - Friday 4pm). Closed July & August, because B'mth Beach is too crowded
Cost : £575(sgles), £495(twin share), £455(triple share). All en-suite
Price includes: All food, lodging & activities which typically include: gym-style work-outs, principally in the open air on Bournemouth Beach, plus boxing, surfing, cycling, games, battle PT, comprehensive fitness tests, flexibility sessions, military tasking, paddle boarding & Yoga with outside expert, Frank. Also a First Night Motivational Talk from Peps, a Nutrition Seminar with Liz Atherton, tailored action plans with open access to staff for future support, a farewell champagne toast, certificate of achievement & photos galore of your week.
Evening Events: Every night after dinner Head Trainer Peps reflects - with your input - on the day just gone by and gently strolls with you for 30 minutes to wind your bodies down for sleep. Tempting nightly access to The Marriott Hotel's up-market pool, sauna & jacuzzi complex just around the corner always proves popular. Otherwise it's TVs in all bedrooms.
Optional extras: Specialist sports masseur at £30/45 mins.
5 STAR RATINGS
LOCATION: * * *
ACCOMMODATION: * * *
FOOD: * * * *
STAFF& ACTIVITIES: * * * *
VALUE FOR MONEY: * * * * *
LIFE CHANGING POTENTIAL: * * *
Written by Graeme Harwood.
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