About Us

The Team

Team culture is a hugely important aspect of The Sanctuary Marbella. We are blessed to have onboard some inspirational individuals who will be sharing their passion and knowledge with each of our guests, supporting you every step of the way on your transformational journey.

A note from Francesca

The Owner

Hi, I’m Francesca the founder and owner of The Sanctuary Marbella - welcome!

So here is a little bit about me. I live in Bristol as a single mama to my darling 8-month-old son Theodore and my cat Lola.

I walked a very winding path to have a baby. Five rounds of IVF and a divorce have shaped the woman I am today, so I count myself as an infertility and IVF warrior!

I love to have fun and travel and enjoy spending time outdoors and taking on adventurous challenges. In the last few years alone, I have run the London Marathon, summited Kilimanjaro, trekked to Everest Base Camp and Machu Picchu!

I am an ex-financier having started my career as a stockbroker and qualified financial advisor for one of the leading FTSE companies.

I since retrained in nutritional cooking and health food and continued my own program of self-development and personal journey around health, fitness, relationships with food, body confidence and self-love!

14 years ago, I set up my first, award-winning retreat. Over the last decade it helped 1000s of men and women achieve improvements in their personal health and well-being.

The concept around The Sanctuary is to provide a focussed and immersive 7-day mind and body experience offering a full and varied programme of fitness classes, delicious nutritious meals and juices, thought provoking workshops, relaxing and indulgent spa treatments, all designed to help your mind and body recharge and rejuvenate.

All of this takes place in a stunning venue designed with every detail in mind. The Sanctuary Marbella will provide luxury accommodation, indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms, hot tubs, sauna, colonics, massage studios, fully equipped techno gym, spin studio, indoor and outdoor training areas, and a dreamy rooftop outdoor cinema!

We are so excited to start welcoming you all very soon. We promise that you’ll be challenged, changed, inspired...and have lots of fun!



Head of Client Liaison UK

I’m Kate-the Head of Client Liaison UK. I will be your first point of contact when you book your stay at The Sanctuary and will ensure you have all the information you need to come fully prepared.

I manage all the day-to-day enquiries on email and telephone and co-ordinate the logistics to facilitate a seamless arrival of our guests. I liaise closely with our team on the ground making sure they have all the information they need prior to your stay with us.

Francesca and I have been great friends for many years since we met at a military boot camp. In 2008, the moment she told she wanted to open a retreat of her own I knew I wanted to be part of it. We have worked together closely ever since.

For three years I managed both the Devon and Hereford retreats that Francesca previously owned. It was a very rewarding experience, helping to guide and support clients through their personal journeys and sharing in their exhilaration at making healthy lifestyle changes. I worked closely with hundreds of clients during this time and many of them are still friends.

After three years I took over the running of the office administration-liaising with clients, taking bookings, answering queries and soothing any anxieties-for a further ten years.

I originally began my career as a journalist working in Fleet Street as a reporter and then a showbusiness feature writer. During my 30s I became interested in wellness and health and began writing about this subject for leading newspapers and magazines. I was actually reviewing the boot camp where Francesca and I met, and I quickly came to realise that I wanted to immerse myself in the world of wellness and self-improvement rather than just write about it.

For a long time, Francesca has had a vision for The Sanctuary and I have been lucky enough to have been part of that journey-watching it go from conception to fruition. She has an exceptional talent for detail, and I know, having written about and visited many retreats, that The Sanctuary is an incredibly special space. I believe that what's on offer will be truly life-changing and am very excited to be at the very beginning of that change.


Yoga & Fitness Instructor

I’m Nicky, The Sanctuary Marbella’s Yoga & Fitness Instructor. I love fitness, focusing on physical and mental health and the great outdoors.

I have recently made a permanent move to Spain from the UK with my young family to be a part of this amazing retreat! I trained as a fitness and yoga professional under instructors such as Ann-See Yeoh and Jayne Nichols, culminating in a position that played both to my qualifications and perceived strengths, managing award winning fitness boot camps in Portugal for Francesca’s previous company.

My objective as a fitness and yoga professional has always been to help people become the best version of themselves and find a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in a way that suits their individual strengths, limitations and needs. The Sanctuary promises to deliver an environment where this is achievable for everyone, and I am absolutely delighted to be part of making that happen.


Head of Fitness & Fun

My name is Stacy and I am the lead trainer at The Sanctuary Marbella. I was born in Doncaster where I lived for 16 years before joining the Royal Navy in 1989. After 6 years as Weapon Engineer Mechanic I trained to become a Military Physical Training Instructor and never looked back.

I have travelled the world playing and coaching sport at multiple levels. The pinnacle being representing England Service at Basketball. The last ten years of service I trained to become a rehabilitation instructor where I got to help injured personnel get back to better health and fitness.

This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and has made me both a better trainer and a better person. I have rehabilitated all kinds of people with injuries varying from a simple rolled ankle, professional athletes and amputees. This has given me a wealth of knowledge and experience in getting the best out of people and working with their limitations, helping them to achieve things they never thought they could.

I have been working with Francesca over the last 10 years as a fitness trainer for her retreats and helping thousands of men and women achieve their health and fitness goals. I look forward to seeing you at The Sanctuary and helping you become an even better version of you!


Wellness Coach

Victoria is a Nutritionist, Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer and Mind Body & Facial Yoga Teacher. She has worked with elite sportsmen and women including highly-decorated British Olympians. An ex-commodities broker, she knows stress + deadlines well and will help you improve your inner + aesthetic wellbeing, blast belly fat, and find easy ways of living healthfully without compromising on the demands of everyday life.

“I believe we have the tools to reach our goals (whatever they may be) but life 'gets in the way' as we juggle a million and one things for careers and others before we look to self care. I help people to make it easy, and signpost techniques that genuinely help me feel my best, whilst honouring my mental and cellular health.”


Head Chef

I am Jamie Raftery. The head chef here at The Sanctuary Marbella.

I have been fortunate to have trained under some of the world's most iconic chefs throughout my 20+ year culinary career to date. Proudly working my way up from a 15-year-old pot washer to cooking at 3 Michelin star elite restaurants while been mentored by chefs such as Michael Caines, Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, Corey Lee, and Rasmus Kofoed throughout.

In 2015 I made a career decision to move on from the Michelin star fine dining realm and founded The Holistic Chef, setting off on a new trajectory of celebrating and showcasing wholefood plant-based ingredients. Nutrition, sustainability, and education came to the forefront of all my culinary developments. Over the last 7 years, I have consulted on holistic and health centred menus in China, Thailand, USA, and all over Europe. In the UK I worked as a Private Chef for 2 years, cooking health focused cuisine for celebrity clients. I was also a regular guest chef lecturer at Leith’s School of Food & Wine in London, teaching raw food and fermentation - which is where I first met Francesca.

I have recently set up a recipe blog 'Holistic Chef Academy' and ‘Life On Plants’ to share delicious, healthy, cost effective, and sustainable recipes to inspire people to cook more at home and take steps to improve their health and immunity.

I am excited to be able to bring my knowledge and wealth of experience to help create and deliver an exceptional culinary experience at The Sanctuary Marbella. I will also be creating some masterclasses aimed to educate and empower you to further your knowledge around nutrition, the psychology of food, and habits to keep on track and achieve your health-related goals once you leave us.


Executive Chef

With over 15 years industry experience, Jay Halford has a wealth of knowledge and skill to share. Based in the Cotswolds, Jay is well known for his life-changing food programme and juice programmes, as well as for his luxury private dining and wedding catering. He has cooked in Michelin star restaurants, catered numerous renowned events and is also a trained pastry chef.

Jay's mission is to enhance people's physical and mental well-being through his healthy energizing menus. His goal is to help people discover and implement a healthy diet into their everyday lifestyle, in order for them to eat better, look more fresh and feel stronger. He believes food has the power to change our lives for the better and he is on a mission to share his knowledge with the world.