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“Transformational -- Challenging -- Nurturing -- Results-Oriented”

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Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
55 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Transformational -- Challenging -- Nurturing -- Results-Oriented”
Reviewed December 19, 2010

I found Mountain Trek when I was checking out another hiking program at Rancho La Puerta, where I've gone off and on for 30 years. Mountain Trek has started offering their program -- sort of within the Ranch's program -- several weeks in the fall and late winter, when it's too cold to hike at their own lodge in British Columbia. I'm not sure what I expected, but since it was at the Ranch -- I figured I could trust it, and I'm so glad I did. I stayed for both weeks, and lost more than 10 pounds, including 8 pounds of fat. Note that this occurred even though I came down with a bad sinus/allergy thing that led me to sit out 3 of the 6 hikes in Week 2. The only times I felt hungry on the approx. 1200-cal.-a-day was, ironically, on the change-over day between sessions when we had a "day off" from hiking and on those days I sat out due to congested sinus. It's true --extensive exercise really does suppress your appetite. Of course every single bite we ate was planned by Jeff, the dietician/guide, to offer the maximum nutrients per calorie, and it was delicious. Although the program is described as structured like a "boot camp," it was never shaming or intimidating; on the contrary, it was like having 2 incredibly nice, incredibly knowledgeable brothers (Jeff and Kirk) cheering you on. I attended right after I decided to split with my husband, and right before a big, stressful move to my new home. I've continued to lose weight even though I haven't kept up the aerobic exercise to date because of the move. (That resumes this week.) The attitudes and perspectives about food and exercise gained during my 2 weeks with Mountain Trek feel permanent -- although I plan to go back at least once more in the next year, and perhaps annually if I can swing it. I was 45 pounds overweight when I started, and had not been doing much aerobically even though I am strong due to working out with weights. They are true to their word that they'll put you with a leader and a group that will challenge you but not overwhelm you. Many of my fellow hikers were returning guests and were much more fit than I was; they all seemed to receive the challenge that they needed/sought. I can't recommend this enough to people who want to maintain/increase their fitness and stamina as they get older, rather than accept what too many people accept as the "natural deterioration" of age. I just wish there was some way that they could offer a similar program to adolescents; it could be life-changing for kids already on their way to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
9 Thank MarkeB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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141 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2010

Do a price comparison before you come here-I wish i had! This costs at least 50% more than other programs with better accommodations. All of the hiking trails are difficult even for the very fit and those unable to participate in these 3 hour plus treks remain at the lodge with nothing to do which defeats the purpose of the trip. Perversely, they market this experience to two groups (google "Biggest Loser resort" to see Mountain Trek ad top of page): the out-of-shape/overweight and the superfit in training for extreme sports.The manager said the guides take you along at your own pace but many of the trails are so steep that even the young and lean find them challenging (one girl told me her heart rate was up to 190!).
It is a very small operation and for some the lack of privacy and level of intrusiveness may not be welcome. On the first day each person was told to deliver a life story synopsis and
then asked a number of personal questions. I thought this was at odds with their stated
goal of giving the guest a break from their concerns at home: it was nosy and stressful. Especially since some guides would talk about past guests in a snarky way.They say that they don't "allow" you to drink coffee and discourage the use of laptops to provide a certain calm atmosphere but I didn't find any respite here.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
24 Thank maureen070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
juliagillmor, Guest Relations Manager at Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, responded to this review, November 14, 2012
Thank you so much for your feedback. We are happy to say that since your stay with us we have refined our program even further to make Mountain Trek the best hiking spa resort in Canada. Please allow us to address your specific concerns:

We’ve always aimed to keep our prices in sync with other spa fitness retreats of this caliber.
We offer the highest guide-to-guest ratio of any retreat centre anywhere and this allows us to cater to the needs of small groups, ensuring we choose the best pace and trail-type for each person. We adapt every week to the fitness levels of our guests and our trail options each day respond to these levels; each guest is welcome to work with another group if they wish.

Our facility is luxurious but small, and that allows us to attend to guests on a personal level. However, our standards of privacy are very high, especially as each private room has an ensuite bath. We don’t ask for a personal synopsis in our first meeting beyond what each client is willing to offer; we have taken your feedback to heart ‒ thank you.

Our guests are encouraged to work at their own pace which means we are very comfortable when anyone chooses to opt out of any of the daily activities. Staying at the lodge can include a day of relaxing in the hot tub or with a good book, walking beside beautiful Kootenay Lake, stretching in our yoga studio or working out in our state-of-the-art gym. We trust that guests know what they need and we always accommodate.

Overall, our intention is to offer the best hiking fitness program and leave guests feeling refreshed and alive.

We wish you health and wellness.

Mountain Trek
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2010

I went to Mountain Trek to lose some weight and think, I came away with much more. The hikes range from old growth rainforest with trees taking a dozen people to wrap their arms around to high alpine meadows with simply awesome views and endless flowers. The staff definitely walks their talk, best combination of current science and natural approaches to health I have encountered. I left with new friends, an understanding of nutrition, sleep, and stress presented in a way I can remember (and use) easily as well as a place I will go back to every year I can from now on. And... I lost 11.2 pounds the first week and 7 the second, while gaining muscle mass and even some water weight the second week.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank dbgerull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2010

I went to Mountain Trek to hike and lose weight, but left with so much more! I am not exaggerating when I say that I feel like I got my life back. I, like more than a few others at the lodge, had been through a tough few years and between being stressed and sleep deprived I had gained over 25 pounds.

After only a few days of detox I felt not only my body starting to change, but my emotions as well. The staff was completely there for me at every turn. I did not expect to feel such changes so soon, but it was explained to me that it happens all the time with detox. Luckily the breakdown didn't last too long and the staff was there to push me to my physical limits. They somehow magically knew when to push me and when to let me take it easy.

We started the day off with a wonderful yoga class followed by breakfast before heading out on our hikes. The guides are incredible. I learned something new from each and everyone of them and I felt very well taken care of on the trails. There was a day or two that my feet were quite blistered and I couldn't hike as much as I wanted to and I was able to go with a group at a much slower pace and lower altitude. We still had a great day! There is a wonderful gym and spa to use if you are injured and can't get out on the trails.

I found the seminars after the hikes to be very educational and I have been able to incorporate many of the things I learned into my daily routines at home.

I happen to work at a top luxury hotel chain and I have VERY discerning eye for service and details. Mountain Trek not only met my expectations they exceded them.

Did I mention that I lost 15 pounds!

Thank you to everyone at Mountain Trek and the wonderful new friends I made for all of your support.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank travelgirl0605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2010

This place is transformational. The staff are highlly qualified and passiionate about their mission, which is to educate and motivate to achieve lasting life enhancement.

The program is tough, but I always felt safe. I knew I was in good hands. Out of 14 people during my week, at least 10 were repeat guests; what a testimonial.

My husband, who is a personal trainer and massage therapist, recommends I visit two to three times a year. I am going to follow his advice.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Andrea619
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
austin, texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2009

Mountain Trek never ceased to impress me! And with the amazing spa style food I never felt hungry or that I was cutting calories! There were so many guides per guest that I always felt cared for and that someone was there to meet my needs at ANY hour. Unlike other places that have upwards of 150 people per week, they just have about 18 rooms so we all got really personalized attention. And the HIKES! I've never seen such beautiful, natural surroundings. It's longer to get to this isolated shangrilla, but it's worth it. I'd go back again... and will... with my whole family!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank for_adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portola Valley, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2009

My two-week stay at Mountain Trek was exactly what I needed. I lost 9 pounds (of fat) by following their FitPath plan. The food was really good in addition to being healthy. I ate less there than I had been eating at home, but it was "enough." I never felt hungry, even though I was exercising at least six hours a day. It was hard work, but very worth it. And it was fun.

The hiking was great. The scenery was beautiful, even on rainy days. I wasn't fast up the mountains, but I was steady. And whenever I felt unsure because of the physical or mental challenge of the terrain, the guides stayed with me and helped me through it. During my second week, I was doing much steeper/harder hikes--and the views from the top were our rewards. They challenged me to do things I would never have done on my own.

The best part of Mountain Trek was the staff--everyone was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. While they wanted us to have a good time and be successful there, they made a big effort to teach us what we needed to know to continue to be successful at home. I attended every organized talk on nutrition and stress management and asked lots of questions throughout my stay. The kitchen staff taught a cooking class and were happy to share recipes and tips. I know I learned a lot and have been able to make changes in my "real" life to continue my new, healthier lifestyle.

And housekeeping really did do our laundry everyday. That was fabulous.

At first, I was surprised they had no TVs, radios or newspapers. I did bring my laptop, but was encouraged to not turn it on too often. And initially, the rooms seemed a little small. But I caught on pretty quickly--this was time for me to focus on myself with minimal distractions and to live with just what I needed. I ended up having time to read an entire book and I slept much more and better than I did at home.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank vlb28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa

Property: Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa
Address: 3800 North St., Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia V0G 1A0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Ainsworth Hot Springs
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Ainsworth Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mountain Trek Health, Fitness & Weight Loss Retreats are high-intensity hiking fitness vacations in beautiful locations with experienced, mature guides. While the focus of many of our guests is to improve management of health issues or achieve weigh loss, we promote transformative "lifestyle" changes through the program. This includes cutting edge lectures in nutrition, sleep and stress management techniques. It's an all inclusive, highly structured boot camp style program but with heart. Included in a 2 week program; 8 massages, transportation to and from the airport, all meals, private room with en-suite, 10 mountain hikes, morning yoga sessions, evening fitness classes, usage of spa & saunas and free access to the hot springs. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mountain Trek Hotel Ainsworth Hot Springs

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