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Reviewed December 9, 2010

My stay was for two weeks and it exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend the two weeks so that you can take full advantage of all the classes.

1  Thank ackisfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2010

I should start this review by saying that the Pritikin has moved to Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Doral, Fl. The move took place in late '09 and was completed in early 2010.
I spent 10 days here in February 2010. I have waited to review to see if the program made any lasting changes for me.
This is a health and diet center/program, and not a spa in the way say, Miraval, is a spa.
Massages, facials, etc., are not included in the program, and in fact these services are not offered by Pritikin. They are very expensive, and I did not have one. This is not a place to come and be pampered and enjoy luxurious lodgings.
That said, this program has the potential to be life changing for the proper participants, particularly those who have heart problems, diabetes, or are very overweight.
The main eating, exercising and learning center along with medical facilities (and the separate spa) are housed in a large, pretty, newly remodeled building.
Most lodgings are about a 5 minute walk in 60's/70's style motel buildings. Some are in the main area. More about them later.
Program participants are greeted as they arrive, given a tour of the facilities, a schedule, and taken to their room. This is a separate area from the main hotel, dedicated exclusively to Pritikin participants.
The program runs on a weekly schedule, and it is best to arrive on the first day of the schedule.
There are numerous lectures to attend each day which are mandatory, and then some that are optional for those who are staying over a week. Lectures deal with eating right, health problems of an affluent society, eating at restaurants the Pritikin way, problems particular to aging men and women (separate classes), etc.
Participants are weighed, given blood tests (pretty standard blood work-- Vitamin D testing and others are available at an extra cost), and meet with a doctor. The doctor visit was about 15 minutes and very cursory. There is another, very short dr. visit at the end of your stay, which basically is reading your blood work to you.
You are then assigned to a trainer who will give you an exercise program and the times at which you are expected to participate in cardio exercise and then weights, stretching, or another class.
A day here is jam packed full of exercise, classes, meals, and snack times (which are eagerly awaited). The program is structured so there is very little down time to think about being hungry, and many people were dead tired each night.
The food served here is a plant based diet. NO salt is used, very little, if any oil, and no sugar or caffeine. There is absolutely no way that you cannot not lose weight following this diet. Vegetables are king, and fruit is also plentiful. I was not a fan of the spices that the chef uses ( some kind of South American flavor mix) , and did not really enjoy the meals. HOWEVER, again, there is no way that you will not lose weight, and the diet is extremely healthy. I do think there could be more variation and more fresh herbs, and different flavors. I also was not a fan of the heavy handed use of Splenda in the desserts.
I found myself having a difficult time a few days into the program, and experienced Pritikin visitors told me that this was a withdrawal process from all the salt, sugar, etc in a normal diet.
Meals are served at large tables, and generally solo travelers will feel welcomed at almost any table. There are however, a few small tables for those who prefer not to socialize with large groups.
The people here are almost all interesting. The clientele ranges from the elderly, overweight, diabetic, to young and fit, and there were even some family groups with young children. Many of the people were return visitors, some of whom come 2 or more times a year.
Exercise classes are held in a new lovely gym, and heart rate is monitored during cardio. There is a large variety of equipment and TVs. Classes are pretty much the same, and the trainers seem a bit bored. It would be nice to see some kind of change from day to day.
There are optional classes, which I enjoyed much more: Tai Chi, yoga, aquatics (with much constant argument over the temp in the pools. There were some aquatics I could not take because I got too chilled). The outside teachers of Tai Chi, yoga etc, were excellent.
Lodging: OK, here is the big problem. Most rooms are quite a walk (about 5 mins) away in old motel style buildings. Although I was told that Pritikin tries to keep its clientele in one building, this was not the case. You will be housed with weekend golfers, conventions and families. Soundproofing is terrible. The rooms have been remodeled, but corners were cut. Fresh painting was not done, the bath was not remodeled, etc. I found the rooms dark, dank, dirty, and depressing. Housekeeping is awful, and very, very noisy. It sounds like there are some decent rooms available, but mine was not one. There is also no wireless internet. I dreaded going back to the room. If you are handicapped, there is a shuttle available, but this is a pain. However, if you are one of those who say that your hotel room is just a place to sleep, you may be fine.
I was so extremely miserable that I put a request in to be moved to one of the suites which are connected to the main building. ( Many, many people did the same). My last few days were spent in a suite. It was very expensive, definitely not worth the price, but much easier to be part of the program (due to physical proximity) and way less dark and depressing.
The rooms show on the website as remodeled, and yes, there are new TVs and new bedding. But the rest of the room is dated, and the baths are a 1980's joke. Again housekeeping was sub par. The rooms are quiet, though, except when housekeeping is around.
Results: When I left, I was disappointed that I had not lost much weight. Other experienced Pritikinites told me, however, that the weight would continue to drop when I left. This was absolutely true! My goal was to lose 10 pounds and after 3 months, I reached my goal. This was not easy. You have to continue to follow the program somewhat. I added coffee and alcohol and more protein back into my diet, but still had results. I also learned some new things. I thought I was well educated on nutrition, but still learned some new habits.
Would I return? No way, if my choice was the motel units. I could not stand to return to those accommodations. I might consider returning to the suites, knowing they are ridiculously overpriced and dated. This really adds to the price of the program. But, the results were real, and I can understand why people return for a jumpstart.
If I were Diabetic or had heart issues, I would be there in a flash, as I think those conditions are really addressed here and the cost is probably well worth it, if you can afford it.
The unhappy people were those who saw the new advertising and believed that this was a luxurious spa, which is definitely not the case. I do think that it would not hurt for Pritikin to add spa services to its program.

33  Thank carztraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2009

This is a wonderful and friendly place which will be a life-transforming experience for your health.

My only regret is that I didn't come here earlier. I had gone once to a regular health spa, and didn't like it, so I waited 20 years to give Pritikin a try, in Oct. 2008. If you have health issues, don't wait like I did, come here immediately, and all your misconceptions about the place will vanish in your first 24 hours here.

Pritikin is completely different then regular spas, and it focuses on medically proven results. My cholesterol went down 70 points, from 220 to 150 in two weeks. Triglycerides improved, ischemic heart pains stopped, etc., all in two weeks.

I had several misconceptions before coming here.

1. I thought it would be snobby, but it is super friendly. The staff and the other clientele have a very friendly and helpful attitude. I met many interesting people from all walks of life, and several different countries.

2. I thought I would be hungry, but they serve you a lot of food here. You are never hungry.

3. I thought the food wouldn't be good, and it does taste funny for the first two days, because it is low salt. But after 2 days, you adjust and it tastes delicious, even if you were previously a salt-a-holic. Their chefs are geniuses, and they have cooking classes, too, which I loved.

4. I thought they would torture you with exercise. Wrong. You exercise every day, but it's at a pace that you can handle. There were people in terrible shape there, and there were ex-Olympian athletes there. Your exercise program is very individual, for you. The ages ranged from kids to a gentleman in his 90s.

5. I thought I knew a lot about nutrition. Wrong, there was a lot I didn't know, and it was killing me. Pritikin has great lectures, and I tried to go to all of them in 2 weeks-but there wasn't enough time for all of them.

6. I thought I was here for weight loss and cholesterol only. But Pritikin is on the cutting edge of new medical developments and do a very extensive blood work, which advised me of a couple crucial problems I didn't know about, and have been able to fix.

I have finally talked my parents into coming here, too, because I firmly believe it can save their lives. My Dad is one of those stubborn types who you can't persude to change his horrible eating habits, but I know once he comes to Pritikin and sees the results in his blood work (cholesterol, sugar levels, triglycerides, blood pressure), then he will convince himself that the Pritikin way is the way to go.

Pritikin is moving in December to the Marriott Doral Resort, so I don't know what new rooms will be like, but looks good.

Do yourself a favor. Pritikin is expensive, but if you can afford it at all, come here immediately and improve your health for the rest of your life. The clientele here ranged from multi-millionaire business owners (lots of those types) to pilots to a young truck driver. So even if you're not rich, if you value your health, you will be very happy you came here.

6  Thank Carolamerica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2009

After packing on almost 25 pounds over the last few years and with a very elevated cholestrol and glucose level I was desparate to find a place where nutition, exercise and education was forefront. I did not want a frufru spa where pamparing was the #1 priority. I needed to get down to business. After weeks of research I settled on Pritikin. I knew no one who had been there and met no one who had even heard of it. I spoke with the reservation agent who answered all my questions so I booked a flight and headed down for a 2 week stay in mid October.

The Pritikin Program is medically supervised. We met with docs the first day who drew blood, did all the vitals and gave you a stress test to check your physical endurance. The program includes 6 meals a day (breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, predinner appetizers and dinner). At lunch and dinner there were always 4 courses (salad, soup, entree, dessert). The program is based on low fat, low salt, high fiber, low sugar and lots of fruits and vegetables. The food was good after your taste buds get adjusted to the no salt thing. The gym is great and is the spa with all your classes scheduled for you and optional ones as well. There is a cooking class every day with the head chef and up to 4 lectures every day on various topics.What an education I recieved!!! They also take you out one night to a restaurant to show you that you can eat out and still lose weight. We also did a trip to Whole Foods to learn to read labels and how to shop for healthy items. It was unbelievable!

The resort is on the intracoastal outside of Ft Lauderdale. The main dining room, lounge and some rooms are in one building and the remainder of the rooms are a short walk across the pool deck---all have water views. My JS was large with 2 queen beds, huge bathroom (that needs updating) sitting area with lovely new furniture, deck and great a/c. I heard that they are moving locations to the Doral in Miami in December.

At capacity the program has room for 90 people a week. Most people stayed for 2 weeks, some only 1 week. Though I met several people who were staying a month and a few 6 weeks. Most had 20 pounds or more to lose. Some come to get blood pressure lowered, lower cholestrol, get healthy, get educated or just take a break. Many people were repeat visitors. Everyone was very friendly introducing them selves as you sat to join a table. The staff was exceptionally friendly as were the waiters, spa personnel and workout/gym trainers. The docs and nutrionists are top notch and caring (mine even gave me a perscription for tami-flu since I was coming home to a swine flu sick daughter.) There is a lovely pool and on the weekend I went to the beach club for the day and had lunch there. The Aventura mall is about a 20 minute walk or short cab ride.

So after 2 weeks there I learned a bundle and will carryover my new eating habits to my family and continue to lose weight. I lost 10 pounds while there and my cholestrol went from 269 to 209 in just 1 week!!! Triglycerides dropped dramatically as did my LDL, glucose and iron (which was high). Though my blood pressure was not elevated many times when it was checked it was 88 over 52---amazing! Looking forward to receiving my exit blood work to see how much more my numbers dropped. I think everyone owes it to themself to learn a healthier way of eating at Pritikin. I am on a roll and psyched to lose an additional 15 pounds. I have not been tempted by anything my kids are eating here at home. I enjoyed my first glass of wine (women are allowed 4 glasses a week) and am cooking with out salts and fats. An excellent program!

5  Thank Maryella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2009

My daughter and i flew from the Uk , to pritikin it was a whole new experience for us , but boy oh boy was it a life changer , i have lost 45lbs and kept it off ,i no longer take meds for raised blood pressure and am now often mistaken for my daughters older sister, friends i havent seen for a while walk past me in the street , they dont recognise me ....I am now proud to say i am 50 yrs young!!!! yes young!!!! and living life to the max all because of what pritikin did for me x x x

5  Thank gillypop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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