It’s detox time again.
Check out our guide to Europe’s most luxurious retreats.
The indulgence has come to an end – or maybe not quite – but almost everyone will be thinking how best to kick-start the new year with a healthy push this January. Mixing remote and tranquil settings, rigorous nutrition plans, intensive training and spa treatments, there are a vast number of retreats across Europe promising to give guests the requisite programme to reboot and get 2018 off to good start after the holidays – though some just do it better than others.
One of the most respected is Lanserhof, with its choice of three locations (two in Germany and one in Austria), each offering a particular take on the detox retreat with features to suit the most exacting demands of the clients who return year after year. The original, Lanserhof Lans, in the stunning Austrian Tyrol, first opened in 1974, and has been welcoming generations of visitors over the last four decades. Home of the Lans Med Concept, Lanserhof Lans is famed for its holistic approach to naturopathy and modern medicine, though pampering is certainly not left off the menu. The recent complete overhaul and extensions to the original buildings are ready for all to enjoy, so expect the latest cutting-edge medicine and the slickest interiors all set within the most breathtaking of backdrops. Additions include a new guesthouse featuring sixteen suites, a relaxation zone and indoor and outdoor salt-water swimming pools, plus additional treatment rooms.
Nature and the extraordinary Alpine landscape are central to the Lanserhof idea which prides itself on a holistic approach based on the teachings of Dr. F. X. Mayr. The internationally well-regarded Lans Med Concept is formed on 6 pillars – rest, purification, awareness, integration, sports and soul – and with this as a basis your doctor will create a personal health plan to meet your goals with a variety of checks and tests to take you from day one to the day of departure (and a stay of 2 weeks is recommended). Including lymph detox and liver wrap, abdominal treatment and full medical examinations, the programme is thorough and includes the availability of an on-call doctor ensuring a very personal service that is focused on results.
If you prefer to swap the mountainous backdrop for something with Spanish flair – and milder weather – SHA Wellness Clinic in Cordoba could be just right for you. With a range of programmes on offer, choose between anti-stress, fitness, wellness, recovery, weight-control and detox, and rejuvenation. With post-festive detoxing in mind, the detox programmes might be most popular in the new year and there is a choice with slightly different focuses, some more geared to weight loss than others. However, all include healthy meals, natural therapies, treatments and a personalised fitness plan. Set on the shores of the Mediterranean between the bay of Altea and the Sierra Helada park, the location is stunning, framed by cliffs and with the park and charming local villages to explore. Suites range from the roomy to the downright vast, and if space is needed to help rejuvenate mind, body and soul try bagging the Royal Suite boasting 320 square metres over two floors, with its extraordinary sea views and private terrace with jacuzzi.
With all this hard work to get back on track, pampering shouldn’t always take a back seat. If this is what you’re after head to Southwest France and Les Prés d’Eugénie, 3-star Michelin chef Michel Guérard’s exquisite collection of 8 houses set in an 8-hectare estate made up of water, rose and kitchen gardens, meadows and the pretty river Bahus. On the left and right banks of this little river pick the right house for you, including the main house on the left bank which features Michel Guérard’s eponymous restaurant and 23 rooms and suites, the connected L’Impératrice, where the Empress Eugénie stayed, and which now features 5 royal and imperial suites, Loulou’s Lounge Bar, the Salon des Dames and the Salon du Pacha, and the 18th century Couvent des Herbes. The Ferme Thermale will be the focus of any detox stay and stretches to 1,000 square metres with thermal spa facilities and 21 individual treatment rooms, lounges and a shop. Be careful, however, to resist the sweet temptations of Mère Poule Café, another one of the collection of pretty buildings, though its cookery school might give you some excellent tips for fresh and nutritious home-cooked meals to take back with you.
Whether it’s the medical-centred, the more spiritual or a pampered foodie approach, choose one of Europe’s most luxurious retreats and give yourself a boost this January that will set you off on the right track for the rest of 2018 – with any luck anyway.
Find flights today