I love London, it’s fast, exciting and for someone with chronic pavement rage, I welcomed the fact that even the escalators are faster here. However, with this comes the fact that it’s sometimes impossible to channel our inner yogi. We may plug into that mindfulness app on the tube, swap our coffee for a matcha latte and awake an extra hour earlier in the name of downwards dog, but the truth is, we’re very time poor, and often feel that we really can’t afford to dedicate the time to properly switch off. In an age of apps and efficiency, we’re programmed to reap the most from our day and often confuse the enjoyment of doing nothing, with laziness.  Most of us don’t even have the time to stay for the full ‘savasana’ after our yoga class and if we do, we’re awoken from our moment of calm with the prospect of tackling our pilgrimage home on the busy tube.

So sometimes, (cue your best #MIC voice), you just really  ‘have to get out of London’,  and if you’re in need of some peace and quiet, a yoga retreat can be just the ticket. Yoga retreats are not only confined to the spirulina-snorting and colonoscopy-hungry (if that’s a thing), but now cater to all levels, budgets and are flexible in duration.


Hotel Villa Michelangelo, part of Niquesa Hotels & Residences, is a luxury 5* hotel located moments away from the city of Vicenza in Italy. Set high in the idyllic Berici Hills, it offers panoramic views of the beautiful landscape and is a perfect location for anyone wishing to combine switching off with a cultural get-away. The outdoor pool overlooks the sweeping landscape of mature olive trees and the restaurant terrace overlooks the woodland. You’ll feel lightyears away from London, but equally won’t feel deprived of your home comforts and usual holidays pleasures. The hotel’s menu provides a delicious selection of many local specialities and is positively kale-free (mains include: saddle of rabbit, aubergine pie flavored with oregano and fresh Bigoli pasta with duck ragout and wild chicory).


The first Sunday of every month, Hotel Villa Michaelangelo hosts an exclusive yoga experience, ‘Awakening Yoga on Berici’, led by Yoga master Mariano Fabbrolati. Priced at €212 (room only) or €273 (B&B) per room per night, under Fabbrolati’s guidance, guests will practice Pranayama breathing and body movements, a culmination of Asana and Mudra practices and Dhyana meditation. The practice overlooks the breathtaking landscape of the Berici hills and swapping a studio for real sunshine makes for a far more peaceful and enjoyable experience. The session ends with a deep savasana assisted by a gong bath, and you’ll awake to a delicious breakfast of vegan pastries and Ayurvedic herbal teas (in addition to the normal continental hotel breakfast). The class is conducted in Italian, but I found, as a non-Italian speaker, I was able to follow the class, and in a way was able to ‘switch-off’ and focus more on the physicality of the movements than I would have done in English. The trip is perfect for a weekend getaway or if you’re travelling through Italy, (the nearest airports are Verona and Venice).

Area Piscina

So it’s About Time you just gave yourself some time, being ‘zen’ doesn’t mean being #alkaline but being patient with yourself and giving yourself the opportunity to do nothing. I think Hotel Villa Michaelangelo is a great option for a peaceful weekend, the setting is blissful, the staff are kind and you can have your your fair share of both lycra and wine/pizza. Albeit cliché, it is true that balance is key, and if you can only find peace four days into 6am sun-salutations on a fasted stomach, you will struggle to ever experience calm in London.

Find out more here.