“It’s about doing the extraordinary, in extraordinary places,” says Samiya Noordeen, of her company Santhosh’s luxurious bespoke retreats. For extraordinary, read ultra-exclusive tailor-made trips, based in Ibiza and Sri Lanka, that offer the ultimate in personalised wellbeing itineraries.
A former barrister, Noordeen has been running dance classes and retreats for the past five years, but launched the bespoke experiences last year following requests from clients attending Santhosh’s scheduled trips.
“There are so many retreats around the world and they can be beautiful, but you’re tied to a schedule,” says Noordeen. “I don’t believe that everybody likes the same thing. Everyone has a different composition and so what they do to become healthy or to find peace is also different.”
Based on this principle, the bespoke retreats offer access to a network of elite trainers and instructors – from West End dance stars to world-renowned yoga and Pilates teachers, hiking guides, personal trainers and life coaches. Following direct consultation with clients, Santhosh creates a unique retreat that can feature any of these activities, in whatever format guests require – from a 10 per cent to a 100 per cent organised itinerary. Private chefs are carefully selected depending on the style of cuisine guests are looking for, and develop bespoke menus, often featuring organic seasonal produce. Guests can also select from a range of massage therapies, while visits to the most exclusive venues and restaurants can also be arranged for those who wish to venture outside the retreat.
All of the bespoke trips in Ibiza are hosted at Casa La Vista (first picture), Noordeen’s home for 15 years, in the rural, unspoilt north of the island. This beautifully converted 800-year-old finca, which sleeps up to 13 people, is set in a secluded 33-acre private estate that’s a haven of tranquillity, with lush pine forests and views overlooking the sea.
In Sri Lanka, Santhosh can arrange a multitude of different retreat experiences, from luxury accommodation in the mountains surrounded by waterfalls and tea estates to a coastal getaway near the pristine beaches in the south of the island, or a safari lodge in the wilderness. “It completely depends on the profile of the client and what they are looking for,” says Noordeen, who was born and raised in Sri Lanka and offers an insider’s knowledge of its most beautiful locations.
“We put together the bespoke itineraries very much on intuition, according to the outcomes the client is looking for,” she continues. “Plus it’s always easy to tweak the schedule when people are here; we’re incredibly flexible, there’s no rigidity – and I think that’s the whole point.”