If you are reading TripAdvisor reviews, you will get a good sense of what to expect. Here's my experience from start to finish for those who are looking for a more robust description of it. As a bit of background, I am 31 yrs old, about 30 lbs overweight, but strong exercise-wise and my mom who is 59, average weight, and in fair exercise condition. I arrived at the Regency via taxi from FLL - airport taxi was around $38 at around 1pm. Upon arrival, I knew what to expect - a rather unappealing exterior surrounded by high rise condos. The interior is cozy - a lot of functional tile with a homey feel to it. Bruce introduced himself and asked me to have lunch while he got everything ready for my check-in. For a non-vegan (non-vegetarian!), lunch was a bit of a shock but very delicious. We had a gazpacho (just ok) and a salad bar with tons of healthy topping options. I had the tahini dressing and it is fabulous. I then checked in and Bruce gave me a folder, water bottle, visor, and a quick tour. My room was ready so I went to put my things away and start my program.
We had an oceanview room and the view was spectacular. Very nice bathroom with glassed in shower area. Really, the resort just needs a bit of sprucing up, but everything was VERY CLEAN. Housekeeping does an excellent job. Bathrooms contained the typical amenities. The linens are like a Motel 6. If they would just upgrade the comforters, sheets, etc...it would be a HUGE improvement. But, so long as everything is clean, it wasn't the end of the world. Rooms are functional, not luxurious....but other than at night, I was never in my room...so didn't matter all that much.
I started my program right away with AquaFit in the pool with Alexandra, followed by a "How to grocery shop" discussion with Chef John, followed by Yoga from Rochelle. Tremendous. Dinner was a salad with mustard-agave dressing (yum!), followed by mushroom quesadillas (icky because of fake cheese), and boiled yuca. Not great, not bad...my mom and I ate it and hoped for better food later on.
The schedule changes daily, but typically has the same components. Morning walk first thing in the morning - you are dropped off at the boardwalk and it is a lot of fun to walk and be right next to the ocean. We went the first two days, but then decided to sleep in since we were doing the rest of the exercise classes. Breakfast is a set menu every day and I always had something different - oatmeal, the most amazing fresh fruit options, green juice smoothie (delicious!), and more. The only thing I didn't like was the tofu scramble.
Then, it's off to a 9:30am lecture with Dr. Sabatino. He is a fascinating speaker and knows a lot about health. I know a lot about health and I continued to learn things while I was there. Then 11am usually has two aerobic classes - an AquaFit class and a class inside. The morning AquaFit class is in the ocean if the water is calm and warm and it was absolutely amazing. All the teachers were great. The classes with Debbie are a DO NOT MISS. Also, don't miss Alexandra's total body workout circuit - I think this is the Sunday class and it was the best class we took, hands down. Then, there is typically a class focusing on toning and shaping muscles. I was worried the classes weren't going to be hard enough, my mom was worried they were going to be too hard and the instructors did a terrific job modifying exercises and weights to give everyone a great workout. We were there at a quiet time, so got tons of personal hands-on instruction.
Then, lunch time. There is always a salad bar and something to go with it. Best things - tempeh tuna salad, sloppy joes, cream of broccoli soup, waldorf salad, caesar salad, egg salad with bagel. Not a huge fan of the gazpacho or wild rice salad. Most of the soups were delicious - particularly the lentil soup.
At 2pm, off to another aqua class, this one always in the pool. Then 3pm has a cooking class with John on Mondays and Fridays, Tai Chi with Dr. Frank, or a shopping discussion. I wish there was a cooking class every day - this was the absolute HIGHLIGHT of my trip. Every day has yoga at 4:30. I love yoga, but was only a fan of Rochelle...the other teachers were just ok.
Dinner was hit or miss, but we finally got the hang of ordering the things we liked from lunch if we didn't like dinner. The best things - tomato & mozzarella salad, the poached salmon, lentil loaf, the soups, the desserts, the eggplant rollatini. I disliked the ratatouille as did my mom. There is a BBQ on Friday nights...this was great! Loved the veggie burgers and salads.
Sometimes there is a nightly activity or lecture...I was pretty tired by the end of the day, so I didn't participate in much other than the bingo night!
The best thing about Regency is the people. I met so many people from different stages in life and everyone is open, happy to be there, and non-judgemental. We were first timers who were a little freaked out the first day, but then got into the groove and most of the people we met have been down several times before. I feel like this is a place where the staff and guests remember each other! It is not a nameless, faceless vacation.
What else? The beach is stunning. You cannot create better scenery. I spent a few mornings skipping the lecture to lay poolside, listen to the waves, and relax (shhh, don't tell Dr. Frank). The pool is small, but clean. There are plenty of lounge chairs to relax with. There is wireless internet throughout the main building and I could also get it at the pool on my iPad.
I did a number of spa treatments. I did a seaweed wrap with Joyce (would not do again), a swedish massage with Lena (would recommend), a cellulite wrap with Claudia (would recommend, but you have to like HEAT!), a manual european lymphatic drainage with claudia (would recommend), and a signature facial with Maria (this was the HIGHLIGHT of my spa!!!) Seems silly to get a facial when you can get one at home, but this was the best facial I have ever had (and I go all the time!). My pores looked phenomenally clean and small afterwards and people remarked even without knowing I had a facial. I also had a hypnosis session with Kathi - it just wasn't my thing.
My mom and I were nervous to go as non-vegans and not especially in-shape, but we had a blast! We were so tired at the end of the day that we slept better than at home! Food was a little adventurous, but if you are open to new things, you'll be amazed at how your digestion resets itself. If you are a hard core exerciser, you'll probably find the exercise classes light, but after doing four of them a day, I didn't need every class to be the toughest! If Regency can simply redo some carpets, linens, and do a small touch-up, I think some of the negative reviews would completely change.
We'll be back!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.