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Opened in November of 2020, VIVIR by V is a wellness retreat situated in the whitewashed hilltop village of Vejer de la Frontera, about a 90-minute drive from the city of Seville, Spain. The VIVIR program is centered at Hotel V, a restored 17th century manor house located in the historic village of Vejer, the southernmost Pueblo Blanco (white town) in Spain. The boutique retreat offers 12 comfortably-appointed guestrooms and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the surrounding Andalusian countryside and the Atlantic Ocean. Guestrooms are furnished with extra-large beds, high quality linens, antique Portuguese furniture from the Goan jungle, floor heating, air-conditioning and contemporary open-plan bathrooms with showers and/or bathtubs.

Vejer is easily accessible from several different airports. Jerez de la Frontera is a 45-minute drive, Gibraltar, a 50-minute drive, and Seville, a 90-minute drive.

Points of Distinction
The location itself is high on the list as a point of distinction. Surrounded by the natural terrain of the Andalusian countryside, guests are encouraged to recharge their physical and mental states by connecting with nature during daily guided hiking excursions. A variety of hiking tours are designed specifically to promote physical and mental well-being.

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Views of the archway to the courtyard patio at Hotel V…home to VIVIR. (Photo courtesy of VIVIR by V.)

Examples of hiking tours:

  • While taking in views of Africa and Cape Trafalgar in the La Brena National Park, guests will learn about Mediterranean aromatic plants and enjoy the scent of the sea breeze while relaxing on El Palmar Beach.
  • This hike begins on Bolonia beach, regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain. Guests will hike a trail with the best views of the Cadiz coast between Zahara de los Atunes and Bolonia. They will climb up to one of the highest shifting dunes in Europe to take in the views, then explore the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia.
  • Trekking the Sendero del Buda trail in the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, hikers will pass through a diversity of landscapes including a forest of cork trees. Hikers will also have time to take in views of Tarifa and the Jebel Musa mountain in Morocco.

Another point of distinction, says owner and founder, Jean van Gysel, “the small size of our property and programs assures that each guest will receive individual attention to their personal health and fitness needs.”

Health & Safety Protocols and Procedures
With heightened health and safety protocols in place, the retreat has taken steps to adopt stricter health measures to give guests a greater sense of peace of mind during their stay. A number of measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of both guests and employees. For instance, all staff members wear masks and are all vaccinated, the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in common areas has been increased, and all guestrooms and spa treatment rooms are disinfected between clients. “Rest assured,” says van Gysel, “we are following best practice guidelines and hospitality service protocols issued by local and national government advisors.”

New Programs Offered in a COVID-19 World
Because VIVIR opened November 2020, all programs might be considered new. When asked why VIVIR opened during COVID-19, van Gysel points out that he felt it was a much-needed service for people who had been quarantined and in lock down situations to experience fresh air, new healthy habits and a refreshed state of mental well-being.

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Vejer de la Frontera, the village where VIVIR is located. (Photo courtesy of VIVIR by V.)

Activities & Programs Offered
Guests can choose between all-inclusive programs of 3-, 4- and 7-night stays with prices ranging from $2,990 for a 3-night program for one person to $11,800 for a 7-night program for two. Beyond accommodations and freshly prepared organic meals, each program includes daily hikes, yoga, body toning/fitness sessions and massages.

Ideal Client
VIVIR by V welcomes guests of various ages (over 18), genders, lifestyles and fitness levels, all with the common goal of renewed physical, mental and emotional health. “Our encouraging environment is ideal for solo travelers, couples or small corporate groups,” says van Gysel. “We welcome all fitness levels and will make sure the wellness journey is a rewarding one.” 

Client Goals & Intentions Achieved at this Property
Programs are designed to provide each guest with the tools to attain such goals as living a healthier and happier life with a renewed state of well-being attained through fitness, yoga, weight loss, stress reduction and healthy eating.

While multi-day programs are standardized, they can be slightly modified to a guest’s specific needs.

Best Time to Travel
VIVIR is open year-round. Winter months (November 1 – April 30) typically offer cooler temperatures and sometimes the occasional rainfall. Summer months (May 1 – October 31) are generally warmer with July and August being the hottest months and, usually, rain-free.

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For more from the Wellness Tourism Association, click here.