Reviews

I went to Cambodia with Escape to Shape in February and it was AMAZING. This was my third Escape (and that should tell you how wonderful these trips are if I keep coming back!) and I loved every second. From the accommodations (an outdoor shower, huge bed, sofa to relax on, a little porch to sit on and watch the stars!) to the food (healthy and fresh and yummy) to the yoga to the amazing amazing amazing experiences (cooking class with a visit to the local market to learn about the ingredients; participating in an alms ceremony with the monks; walking thru the local village & interacting with the villagers in meaningful ways; dinner in the rice fields; shopping in the night market; and the TEMPLES plus so much more!!!!!) this trip was more than I had hoped for but definitely not less than I expected. Escape To Shape puts together spectacular trips and the hosts Erica and Francesco go out of their way to make you happy. I can't say enough positive things about Escape To Shape. And I can confess that a few days after I returned from Cambodia I put my deposit on the October trip to Cartagena. Hooray!

-- April G. April 2016


I went to Cambodia and Istanbul with E2S. This is a truly wonderful way to travel, especially if you’re going at it alone. Erica is a terrific host who puts together trips that are culturally relevant in every way: local food, art, shopping and more. But it’s also a true vacation. You can do as little or as much as you like…no pressure. You can also go home in better shape than you came. Power walks, yoga, etc. The Cambodia trip was spectacular. Istanbul was a “city trip” that was just amazing…we did yoga & Pilates in the ancient cisterns! I plan on going on many more Escape To Shape trips.

-- Member Profile Trip Advisor April 2012


I have travelled quite a bit over the years and this trip to Marrakech was remarkable in so many ways. I had never been to Morocco and wasn’t sure if my French would pass muster there. Let me tell you, it was amazing. I felt so taken care of from the moment I arrived. The villa was beautiful. My room was beautiful with a full balcony overlooking the desert. The food was great and varied. The staff was so efficient and friendly. And indulged me and helped me with my French. We were very busy with yoga or Pilates classes every day with a world-class teacher. We had cooking classes, an amazing and challenging hike on The Atlas Mts. (with a beautiful picnic on the most breathtaking place I’ve ever seen in the middle of it). The Medina was a great place to explore. To top it off, we had a belly dancing class! The owners of Escape to Shape really have a sense of how to create an atmosphere of fun and excitement for the group. They encourage, but don’t make you participate in anything you are not comfortable with. You could very easily just sit by the gorgeous pool all day if you choose. I will never forget it… I look forward to joining Erica and Francesco in the future. A really swell vacation!

-- Patrick June 2009


I decided to go to Escape to Shape after seeing an advertisement on the Internet and while I was a bit apprehensive before I arrived, I had one of the best vacations and I have traveled extensively. Escape to Shape creates a vacation that has four integral parts, a great place to stay, exercise, good food and good company. All somebody has to do is to arrive, whether it is by themselves or with a couple of friends and let themselves relax and enjoy. This time it was in Morocco. The villa and the area around it were gorgeous. There was a pool, multiple patios, a beautiful backyard that included a Berber tent and a rose garden. The exercise included yoga and hiking. While I was there, Erica was the yoga teacher and she taught a challenging class that was appropriate for all levels. The hikes were great. The Atlas Mountains are host to beautiful scenery. Cooking Classes do not really pique my interest but I did learn how to cook a tagine. I thought the food was delicious and mealtime was my favorite because the discussion at the meals were international, topical, interesting and spirited. This only added to my vacation. In the end, Escape to Shape delivered a great week in Morocco, where I experienced the culture, the Medina, the countryside, yoga, belly dancing and good company. I would recommend this trip for anyone who is looking to relax, exercise, see a new place and reads a newspaper once and a while.

-- travelfromnyc April 2010


My vacation with Escape To Shape to Morocco was one of my favorite vacations yet! The Escape To Shape team was a ton of fun, very attentive and knowledgeable, making me feel safe and comfortable in an exotic place. Having traveled much of Europe and other parts of the world, this was a preferable way to experience a country and culture fully. The itinerary was full of experiential cultural activities. The yoga and exercise programs were well woven into the experience as a whole. The accommodations were great and had obviously been given much care and thought. The food was wonderful and true to the culture. There was much laughing and moments of peace and relaxation. All in all, if you are thinking of planning a great vacation with great people and experiences, Escape To Shape is the way to go. I will definitely be joining them on more trips!

-- livetotravel May 2013


I just returned from a wonderful holiday with Escape To Shape. I was more than impressed with the accommodations, staff, owners and services. The week I was there was full of an international crowd & I found it refreshing to be surrounded by fun, intelligent people who talked about more than what to wear or the weather…. yoga and exercise classes were challenging and the excursions provided me with an inside view of the Moroccan culture. I loved the cooking classes, which were informal, but fun and practical- I will be able to make the couscous and tagine now for my friends and family! I even enjoyed the belly dancing lessons, which were taught by a lovely Moroccan girl. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone. I’m actually planning to bring my husband on a trip this fall.

-- NYyoga May 2014


The trips hosted by Escape to Shape are an amazing way to enjoy your time off. The trips are the perfect mix of high quality service, outstanding food, exotic locations, physical activity, spiritual well-being and cultural activities. In a nutshell, if you are looking for time to spend by yourself, with a friend or spouse, Escape to Shape has something for everyone. I have been on 2 Escape to Shape trips and they were both magical in their own unique ways. The rooms are spacious, clean and surrounded by nature. The food is outstanding – healthy, fresh, ethnic. The locations are exotic, safe and stimulating. The service is attentive, warm, and caring. The fitness classes/experiences are outstanding – with wonderful teachers from around the world who are all incredibly inspiring. The cultural activities are wonderful – unique to the location, adventurous and memorable. Most importantly, the trip feels like a home away from home. The hosts and guests of Escape to Shape are warm, inviting and sharing. You leave the trips with new experiences, new friends and a renewed sense of well-being. I highly recommend Escape to Shape.

-- NEWYORKYOGA GIRL September 2011


I was hesitant to book a group trip, considering myself a bit more of an independent traveler who likes a bit of luxury and a lot of local culture. Boy was I pleased that I did so anyway! The owners have your best interests in mind and they are always there, seeing to your every need. However, I didn’t need much because they did the most amazing job of planning my first group trip ever! They perfectly combined luxury accommodation, excellent local cuisine (even for my vegetarian needs), outdoors activities, local cultural experiences, Pilates and yoga taught by excellent teachers, and some relaxation time all into 1 week. All I needed to do was purchase a plane ticket to transport me there! I don’t typically write reviews, but this experience demanded that I do because it was so great. I came away feeling relaxed and energized, having learned things about the local culture, made a bunch of new friends, exercised and ate well every day and even did a little shopping! The all-local staff did a great job and I was happy to see that they employed people from the community there. I am definitely going to join their future trips and hope to be able to do so once every year.

-- Beyond Exploring October 2008


I SO loved and long for our time in Bhutan. It will be with me forever! All I can say is thanks beyond belief for the best experience of my life! Hope to travel with you again soon.

-- K. March 2016


I just wanted to thank you again for opening this door for all of us. It is a gift that will remain with me forever. Words can’t convey just how grateful I am for all that you and Francesco do for each one of us with these journeys. Truly an experience of a lifetime that I will never, ever forget!

-- S.C. March 2016


I went to Cartagena last fall with Escape to Shape and loved it. It was a great vacation that allowed me to have fun, keep in shape and relax in an incredible place. The best part of the trip was the amazing villa that we got to stay in. It truly made me feel like one of those people on VH1’s “The fabulous life of the rich and famous”. I was in a huge villa in the center of the walled in city with a staff that catered to my every need. The best part of this all- inclusive vacation was that I could choose how to spend my time. They offered a wide array of activities but didn’t pressure or require you to take part in any of them. If you wanted to do yoga you could but if instead you wanted to sit on the terrace sunbathing or take a dip in the pool or hot tub you could. The owners have a great understanding of what it means to be on vacation and it leads to everyone having a great time

-- DCtravelman August 2012


I just returned from the Cartagena escape over Thanksgiving week and it was everything I expected and more! Erica and staff were extremely professional and so gracious. They were always asking me if I needed anything and if I was enjoying myself. They offered to help walk me to shops and ATM when I didn’t know where it was and just went above and beyond. Everything from the meals to activities were perfectly planned and flawlessly executed and I didn’t have to worry about a thing. The private villa was just to die for and granted, I have stayed in a number of very nice houses before. The courtyard with pool, waterfall, and fountain was just beautiful. It was huge and if you just wanted to find a quiet spot to relax you could. Definitely made a perfect choice here. The food was healthy yet delicious but portion sizes were definitely smaller than what I was used to but it ended up being ok. I think most Americans are used to too large portion sizes and I found that it was actually enough to fill me up without overstuffing. This was the first vacation where I didn’t go home feeling like I gained weight but rather left feeling more toned and healthy. I love how laid back it is and there is no pressure to participate in anything you don’t want to, unlike some other retreats I looked into who don’t like guests to use phones or computers and have mandatory activities. I also liked how there is not only yoga but also walks and sculpting classes. The whole vibe is more luxurious and relaxing than new age/hippie, which was exactly what I was looking for. I would recommend this especially if you are travelling by yourself and don’t want to deal with the stress and hassles. Being a young solo woman who doesn’t speak any Spanish I would never have travelled to Columbia by myself but Escape to Shape allowed me to do it. It would also be great with a girlfriend. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will definitely be planning another trip with them!

-- Ceasar52 November 2009


I traveled with Escape to Shape last March and it was one of the most unique and wonderful vacations of my lifetime. I was a little bit worried about traveling to a foreign county alone, but decided to go for it. What a decision? Escape to Shape was everything it advertised and more. The mansion we stayed at was amazing. The rooms were spacious and had an at home feel. The staff and owners were very friendly and accommodating. The yoga and Pilates classes were very challenging and adequate to each individuals needs. The food was splendid and very healthy. The city of Cartagena was equally charming and beautiful. The highlight of the trip was the boat ride to the Rosario Islands. The white sand beaches and crystal clear water was unlike any place I could go to in the states. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone interested. Whether you are traveling alone or coming along with friends Escape to Shape keeps you busy and plans a trip where you leave with many new friends and get to see a county the way the natives see it

-- KAPRAN July 2013


I went to Cartagena last fall with Escape to Shape and loved it. It was a great vacation that allowed me to have fun, keep in shape and relax in an incredible place. The best part of the trip was the amazing villa that we got to stay in. It truly made me feel like one of those people on Vh1’s “The fabulous life of the rich and famous”. I was in a huge villa in the center of the walled in city with a staff that catered to my every need. The best part of this all- inclusive vacation was that I could choose how to spend my time. They offered a wide array of activities but didn’t pressure or require you to take part in any of them. If you wanted to do yoga you could but if instead you wanted to sit on the terrace sunbathing or take a dip in the pool or hot tub you could. The owners have a great understanding of what it means to be on vacation and it leads to everyone having a great time

-- DCtravelman August 2012


I just returned from the Cartagena escape over Thanksgiving week and it was everything I expected and more! Erica and staff were extremely professional and so gracious. They were always asking me if I needed anything and if I was enjoying myself. They offered to help walk me to shops and ATM when I didn’t know where it was and just went above and beyond. Everything from the meals to activities were perfectly planned and flawlessly executed and I didn’t have to worry about a thing. The private villa was just to die for and granted, I have stayed in a number of very nice houses before. The courtyard with pool, waterfall, and fountain was just beautiful. It was huge and if you just wanted to find a quiet spot to relax you could. Definitely made a perfect choice here. The food was healthy yet delicious but portion sizes were definitely smaller than what I was used to but it ended up being ok. I think most Americans are used to too large portion sizes and I found that it was actually enough to fill me up without overstuffing. This was the first vacation where I didn’t go home feeling like I gained weight but rather left feeling more toned and healthy. I love how laid back it is and there is no pressure to participate in anything you don’t want to, unlike some other retreats I looked into who don’t like guests to use phones or computers and have mandatory activities. I also liked how there is not only yoga but also walks and sculpting classes. The whole vibe is more luxurious and relaxing than new age/hippie, which was exactly what I was looking for. I would recommend this especially if you are travelling by yourself and don’t want to deal with the stress and hassles. Being a young solo woman who doesn’t speak any Spanish I would never have travelled to Columbia by myself but Escape to Shape allowed me to do it. It would also be great with a girlfriend. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will definitely be planning another trip with them!

-- Ceasar52 November 2009


I traveled with Escape to Shape last March and it was one of the most unique and wonderful vacations of my lifetime. I was a little bit worried about traveling to a foreign county alone, but decided to go for it. What a decision? Escape to Shape was everything it advertised and more. The mansion we stayed at was amazing. The rooms were spacious and had an at home feel. The staff and owners were very friendly and accommodating. The yoga and Pilates classes were very challenging and adequate to each individuals needs. The food was splendid and very healthy. The city of Cartagena was equally charming and beautiful. The highlight of the trip was the boat ride to the Rosario Islands. The white sand beaches and crystal clear water was unlike any place I could go to in the states. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone interested. Whether you are traveling alone or coming along with friends Escape to Shape keeps you busy and plans a trip where you leave with many new friends and get to see a county the way the natives see it

-- KAPRAN July 2013


Erica and Francesco - THANK YOU!! This was truly a life changing experience for me. Your compassion and love for life and travel emanates off of both of you! As I said to my friends back at home - I am hooked! Looking forward to our next adventure - you will be hearing from me in the very near future :)

-- Sarah June 2017


Words can’t describe the gratitude I feel...What a tremendous week and thank you again for all that you both have done to create such a magical experience! It was so wonderful to meet each of you and those moments of laughter, encouragement and support whilst being amongst such beauty in Lake Como made for the most memorable of adventures. Really enjoyed the fitness aspect of the trip and am very excited about getting my fitness goals in line and taking it to the next level. The Escape To Shape Team is tremendously good at what they do!

-- S.C. June 2017


Traveling, and the memories it creates, are my greatest treasure. Each experience leaves an imprint on my soul that I can turn to for comfort and inspiration during the frenetic pace and sometimes high stakes stress of daily life. Escape to Shape is by far THE BEST at curating a series of meaningful experiences that will forever shape my perspective and outlook. From cultural exploration, historical tours, challenging fitness schedules, and healthy culinary experiences, Erica and Francesco expertly orchestrate trips and memories that I shall relish forever. The friends I have made on these trips are indeed friends for life. Thank you Escape to Shape for what you do - your trips are works of art.

-- Liz R. May 2017


I've had the opportunity to travel with Escape to Shape multiple times and have been blown away by the experiences curated and executed by Erica and Francesco. Everything from the yoga and fitness to cultural activities and food options has been meticously planned and is absolutely wonderful. The best part of an Escape to Shape is the people drawn to this type of vacation. I have met the most inspiring and amazing people, many of whom have become close friends. If you love adventure, are fitness and health minded, and enjoy the company of like minded people, Escape to Shape is for you!

-- J.C. Buck May 2017


I just returned from another outstanding Escape to Shape trip in the Galapagos. This is my 8th trip with Erica & Francesco. Absolutely every detail is thought of and researched. Erica provides such exceptional service and she is so personable and warm. Traveling with her feels like being a houseguest in a close friend's villa/yacht. She finds the highest end everything and makes it seem so effortless. Each place we have gone, I have been able to be up close & personal with the local culture while tasting the yummiest food & having the most unique experiences. I would highly recommend going on an "Escape To Shape" trip and there are so many to choose from!

-- Tye Dye Girl December 2014


Thank you, thank you, and thank you. What I really needed was a vacation from being myself--from being the independent decision maker, the "mouth," the planner, the role model, the caretaker, the entertainer--the Miss Personality. Instead, I could just "be." I could smile... Or not. I could speak... Or not...I could think... Or not. You created a safe place--an oasis close to home where I could be transported & transformed. We often think of "creative" as someone with paints or a typewriter, but in essence, to create something is to make something... And you really made something of incredible value. So, thank you. 'Til next time. PS. The weight has stayed off and I've truly never felt stronger!

-- Anna October 2016


Destination Detox was just the thing to kick me out of a routine of negative habits and help me regain my positive outlook on life. I went in feeling defeated, and came out feeling like I could conquer the world. The week of healthy eating, structured workouts, and pampering was just what I needed. While my personal transformation was my goal, the ancillary benefits was the friendships and the community that the entire group gained. Our group bonded together over our long hikes and relaxed meals, and although it sounds a bit cliché we really did become a family. The team involved in pulling this together felt like part of our family, and has continued to support us long after our departure. The on-going support gained is such an added bonus, but knowing how thoughtful and generous Erica is it is not unexpected. This was my second trip with Erica, and I’ll continue to travel with her for years to come!

-- Rachel September 2016


One of the best trips I have ever taken. Looking for that getaway & travel that combines relaxation, excitement, adventure, exploration of a new country, healthy (but absolutely yummy) eating, and cool workouts with very professional instructors - this one is it! It's every young, modern, woman's ideal vacation. Everything is taken care of for you - all you have to do is show up. What I loved most is the people I met. Felt very connected from the get-go...and when I asked, the organizers replied that every group feels that way for every trip (of course, our trip definitely had the best people, right? :). The nature, profile & style of this trip attracts like minded people which just organically creates the bonds in a week's time - bonds that typically take years to occur in the big cities we come from. Erica & Francesco do an amazing job of the perfect blend of organization of spa/relaxation, appropriate level exercising, and fun fun fun! Agendas are updated daily, the trip is pretty much set up to be catered to your every need - and if something happens to be missing or not right, amends are made immediately, and the trip will just bring you smiles all around.

-- Niti September 2015


I have never had experiences as unique and incredible as my Escape to Shape excursions. They are truly life altering and one of a kind. I have taught in Sicily, Marrakesh, Cartagena and St. Petersburg. I even brought my parents along with me to Russia. I can't recommend Escape to Shape enough and I'm truly blessed I have had the opportunity to teach and experience four now. Can't wait for my next one!

-- Kristen McGee November 2014


I have never had experiences as unique and incredible as my Escape to Shape excursions. They are truly life altering and one of a kind. I have taught in Sicily, Marrakesh, Cartagena and St. Petersburg. I even brought my parents along with me to Russia. I can't recommend Escape to Shape enough and I'm truly blessed I have had the opportunity to teach and experience four now. Can't wait for my next one!

-- Kristen McGee November 2014


I have never had experiences as unique and incredible as my Escape to Shape excursions. They are truly life altering and one of a kind. I have taught in Sicily, Marrakesh, Cartagena and St. Petersburg. I even brought my parents along with me to Russia. I can't recommend Escape to Shape enough and I'm truly blessed I have had the opportunity to teach and experience four now. Can't wait for my next one!

-- Kristen McGee November 2014


Escape to Shape is an unbelievable experience, as you can read from any description of these trips: exotic locations, amazing locally-inspired healthy meals, plenty of yoga and exercise -- what's not to like? But what makes these trips extra special is the unique personal touch that Erica (E2S owner and 'hostess with the mostess'!) provides, and the wonderful staff and clientele that she attracts. I have travelled with Escape to Shape twice, once to Cartagena, Colombia, and once to St. Petersburg, Russia, and plan to return for more! On both trips, Erica & Francesco had found amazing private residences for our group, beautiful, memorable homes that I likely wouldn't have found or had access too otherwise. They also made it easy to travel there and to get around -- suggesting flights, helping with visa process, providing translators on-site -- and somehow also already knew the coolest little restaurants, shops, and must-see activities to take us or recommend for our free time. They finds helpful local staff to help make your stay comfortable and bring inspiring, experienced teachers for the fitness element of the trip. The food was delicious, and the yoga, hiking, and sightseeing was so enjoyable it feels more like an "escape" than "to shape," but I ended both weeks revitalized, lighter, and with a healthy mindset and new friends to take back to NYC with me. These trips are memorable, healthy, and a great investment in YOU. I have sent friends as well and everyone raves about the experience.

-- C.B. October 2012


This is probably going to sound completely ridiculous but I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful company you have created and for all the wonderful adventures I have been lucky enough to have been on with you. I have made some good friends because of the magic you created and I wanted to thank you for that. I am so looking forward to reuniting with so many past escapees and to seeing you and Francesco.

-- A.C. September 2017


I can't thank you enough for planning a second Cuba Escape To Shape despite the challenges you faced on your first trip. I am sure that our trip was not without issues but it wasn't apparent to your guests. As it usually is with both of you at the helm, the trip was enriching, memorable, and rewarding ... not to mention extremely fun. Thank you for always continuing in your quest to curate interesting experiences for those around you. I look forward to my next Escape!

-- Stacy January 2017


As first timers, we were optimistic, but unprepared for the depths of awesomeness that we experienced in Iceland with Escape To Shape. We will certainly be getting involved in future trips. We are preaching Escape to Shape, so there may be some new West Coasters signing up!

-- Michael September 2016


I wanted to drop you a line following our trip and thank you for the life changing experience you provided and orchestrated. I must say I did not expect to be the only man in the group; I did not expect the workouts to be so rigorous; I did not expect the trip to be so impactful emotionally; and, I did not expect to so thoroughly enjoy myself. I have never spent a week with a large group of women entirely on their agenda. I think I learned and grew a lot. I became emotionally engaged with some of the folks and their stories. I needed to process the whole thing when I got back and luckily had another week’s holiday to recover. Thank you for this great experience and thank you for doing what you do, the world would be a better place if there were more people putting this kind of time, creativity and commitment into wellness. I am a bit a of a customer service expert and can’t help judging along the way. I was curious how you were going to pull this all off. Allow me to compliment you on a job well done. Everything was well executed from food to staff to location. Your side trips were also very well executed. Most importantly Erica you possess a rare total commitment to the wellbeing and comfort of your guests, and I use that word intentionally because we were treated as honoured guests. Congratulations on a job well done!! I think some of the ladies were surprised to see me there and they provided a very welcoming environment. They did, however, ask me over and over if I would do it again. My simple answer is yes, without hesitation. My wife & I look forward to our next Escape. Keep doing what you are doing as you are making a difference.

-- Michael October 2015


What have you done to me?! I lost weight (was not my goal but Im SUPER excited about it!). I’m totally off my medicinal stomach shake (that’s a miracle). And, someone commented that I seem at peace and calm. It has been 3 weeks and I’m holding on to the Morocco goodness like a lifesaver. Thank you.

-- Anna May 2015


What have you done to me?! I lost weight (was not my goal but Im SUPER excited about it!). I’m totally off my medicinal stomach shake (that’s a miracle). And, someone commented that I seem at peace and calm. It has been 3 weeks and I’m holding on to the Morocco goodness like a lifesaver. Thank you.

-- Anna May 2015