Wellness Holidays

Mountains bring a breath of fresh air for asthma sufferers

 

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With around 5 million people in the UK suffering from asthma and a startling rising death rate of 20 per cent in five years, cures and relief therapies are vital, especially after the 2018 summer with its heatwave, hay fever and high pollen counts.

Air pollution causes the inside of lungs to become inflamed which makes it difficult for those with asthma to breathe.  Less pollution means less inflammation making breathing easier.

Zero pollution, clean air, low levels of humidity and natural breath-taking scenery are the ideal environmental conditions for asthma suffers. And these vital statistics can be found in mountain terrains such as the Southern French Alps which offers 12,000-km² of pollution-free purity. The air in the Southern French Alps has more benefits than other Alpine areas due to its unique low humidity and lack of heavy industry and benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, topping up vital Vitamin D.

There have also been multiple studies over the years into the effectiveness of high altitude treatment for  those suffering with lung diseases.  High altitudes allow for clearer air and are mostly free from bugs such as dust mites which can cause asthma symptoms to worsen.

High-altitude treatment for asthma sufferers is not a new concept. People with lung diseases have been sent to the mountains as treatment for over a century.

 

For information on mountain escapes ideal for asthma sufferers, www.undiscoveredmountains.com

 

 

A-list treatments at the Kenshō Psarou Spa

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Beach treatments, a yacht menu or a Quartz Sand Bed, the new kid in town is the Psarou Beach Spa in Mykonos, offering spa indulgences powered by French luxury skincare brand CODAGE.

First up is one of their signature treatments, the Kenshō Travel Detox Indulgence Treatment – a 60 minute facial treatment, combined with a leg, back and neck massage – a welcome therapy after a long flight.

The Kenshō ‘Psammo’ spa experience is a unique practice which relies on the power of the Beach Spa’s patented Quartz Sand Bed. Here the warm sand helps to alleviate pain and promote comfort.

Head over to the high-tech spa corner for futuristic treatments used by the world’s elite. The Déesse Pro LED Mask uses a total of 770 LED lights to expose the skin to five clinically proven wavelengths of light, stimulating natural responses that lead to skin-rejuvenation and generating the healthiest glow possible.

There are two further menus. These include a custom menu for beach treatments where guests pitch up on Psarou Beach and have personal therapists deliver relaxing head, hand, foot and neck massages just metres from the sea. Or, for those arriving at the hotel by yacht, a decadent yacht menu offers signature treatments onboard.

The Spa Verandah serves a  specially crafted menu that includes detoxing drinks and bites and a Water Pod Experience – their pinnacle of luxury spa options.

https://www.kenshomykonos.com/kensho-psarou/

Holistic Hong Kong at the Four Seasons Hotels

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In sync with the changing world of wellness, the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is has launched its own Well Feeling initiative. Recognizing that the guests of today are increasingly mindful of their mental and physical wellbeing, the Hotel is taking a new approach to the guest journey, offering wellness options that holistically integrate into all phases of a stay to achieve a more nutritious, physically stronger and mentally fit lifestyle.

There was a time in hotels where wellness was something found on a massage table or treadmill. Healthy eating was relegated to a few items on a menu with vague definitions of nutrition. The traveller of today, however, is well informed and open to new experiences, making more deliberate choices in search of a healthy, balanced life.  Four Seasons recognizes the unique needs of these guests and aims to provide them with tools and expertise to achieve total wellbeing.

Well Feeling Menus: Working with the respected Nutritionist and Functional Medicine specialist Miles Price of the Life Clinic in Hong Kong, Executive Chef Andrea Accordi is helping guests to go beyond granola and rethink their definition of healthy food. Guests can follow the green leaves on all restaurant menus to easily discover tasty new creations and old favourites, nutritionist approved. From Roasted Organic Welsh Rack of Lamb to authentic Thai Blue Prawn Curry, hungry guests are spoiled for healthy choices. For guests who wish to go deeper, detailed information on key vitamins, minerals and phyto nutrients for each Well Feeling dish is also available. Well Feeling options can also be found in the Hotel’s Michelin-starred Lung King Heen and Caprice.

Mindfulness: Guests can find peace of mind anytime with a variety of mindfulness practices. The Spa helps guests to meditate at their own pace using iPad’s loaded with meditation apps and noise cancelling headphones. For those who would like to extend their mindfulness practice to a community setting, monthly Full Moon mediations led by Director of Spa Shoshana Weinberg have become a popular gathering for likeminded wellness seekers. Those who wish can tap into the creative side of mindfulness can with art therapy- adult colouring pages available to enjoy throughout the Spa or to take back to the room.

Masters of Wellness: Guests at all phases of their personal wellness journeys will have the opportunity to explore new frontiers of wellbeing with the Masters of Wellness series- a selection of visiting experts practicing a range of specialties from reiki to yoga, all curated by Director of Spa, Shoshana Weinberg.

Fit Life: In addition to the world-class gym with panoramic Harbour views and two full sized outdoor pools open year round, the Hotel helps guests to explore new fitness territories. Every weekend by the Pool, guests can explore the yin and yang balancing art of tai chi with Master Angela. For those seeking a higher-octane workout, Four Seasons has collaborated with local fitness experts Joint Dynamics to offer a new Circuit Training class.

www.fourseasons.com/hongkong


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360º Wellness Experience

 

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort - Spa Womens PoolWellness reaches greater heights at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar  in Oman which brings the mountain to the Mind & Body.  This resort provides the earthy setting for guests to harness nature’s healing powers and an holistic approach to health.

More than one-sided wellness, the Al Hajar Mountain Range provide a natural and rugged backdrop, heightening the effect of yoga practice. The freedom and  space exuded from the canyon below, the unpolluted mountain air and the restorative powers of nature combine their powers collectively to realign chakras.

The resort’s Three Village Hike leads guests on a high altitude journey, stepping through mountain history, spotting fossilised coral, and looking out to terraced farmland, early falaj irrigation systems and even a working rose distillery. The mental effects will clear the mind and physically will energise the body,

Located on the very mountain that the hotel sits on, various creative activities challenges guests who want to push their boundaries. This exhilarating approach to health involves various climbing routes, including a Via Ferrata steel cable and abseiling down a sheer ledge.

Wellness at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar  in Oman  fuses mind, body and mountain into one and two-day packages.

Visit http://jabal-akhdar.anantara.com/

Conrad Algarve Tailors Wellness Programmes

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This September Conrad Algarve is offering its guests personal fitness journeys with its seven new spa and fitness programmes using a holistic and innovative approach to help develop new lifestyle habits

Whether individuals are looking to improve their mind and body balance, prevent future illnesses or enhance sporting limits, the programmes, which last between two and seven nights, will enable guests to do this whilst maintaining performance at a high level, strengthening physical energy and preserving their mental edge.

Programmes include a 2 night Relax & Pamper, a  5-night Yoga Retreatwhich includes two workshops teaching the art of mindfulness. Three to seven night programmes include De-Stresswhich indulges in pure relaxation, Detoxwith the assistance of nutritional consultants and reflexology. With the aim to enhance fitness levels to new levels of endurance, the Bootcampprogramme is designed around 5-7 nights while the Weight-Lossis offered on a 7 -night stay. Alternatively, guests can have a tailor made programme to suit their individual wellness needs.

The Conrad Algarve is built in the style of an 18th Century Portuguese palace, with 154 guest rooms spread over six floors.
www.conradhotels.com/algarve

 

River Cruising to Health

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A flute of sparkling wine or a glass of healing gemstone water, circuit training, yoga flow or afternoon tea? Tricky decisions. A fast-paced Vienna walking tour, a castle hill hike in Passau, an 18-mile bike tour to Durnstein, a gentle evening stroll with wine tasting in Krems or a Vilshofen Organ Concert & Beer Underworld Tour. These were the choices I faced on my first wellness river cruise through Germany and Austria on the AmaSonata, one of 19 ships belonging to AmaWaterways.

Wellness is the new wave in river cruising and floated into creative itineraries with a dedicated wellness host at the helm. The preconception of a sedate meander along the river has long passed by and washed ashore. Today, this trendy mode of holidaying involves daily visits to interesting places and cities interspersed with optional wellness activities onboard and indulging in fine wines and gourmet cuisine.

A Fortress Hike in Durnstein, a bike ride along the Danube, a resistance band or Zumba class. Active or gentle, competitive or a complete beginner, from early morning stretch, posture workout, to laps around the jogging track, activities have been designed for all age groups and fitness levels. If classes don’t appeal, there’s a gym, compact as it may be, Nordic sticks for hiking trails ashore, walking tours at paces to suit, a spa offering a handful of massage treatments and lectures on lifestyle wellness. But it was cycling that won the popular vote. Many of my fellow sailors chose rides along the Danube’s river paths,  the more adventurous cycling the cobbled streets and  narrow passageways on guided city tours while the longer rides haloed the fittest amongst us.

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Ashore, it was culture in abundance. History echoed through stone passageways, etched on walls, recalled in painful truths and humbling stories, crafted in statues, exposed in Baroque and Gothic architecture, shrouded in monasteries and celebrated in jaw-dropping cathedrals. Our route along the Danube cruised from Nuremberg to Vienna, each port of call having a narrative to tell. The Nuremberg trials and Courtroom, the countless listed buildings and commemorative stumbling stones in Regensburg, the world’s largest pipe organ in Passau’s St. Stephens Cathedral and Richard The Lionheart’s imprisonment in Durnstein.  We visited Mondsee, famous for its appearance in The Sound of Music, Linz, the UNESCO city of media arts, the awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey in Melk ending in Vienna, the capital, personified by the Blue Danube waltz, gilded palaces and gold statue of Strauss, its state opera, rich chocolate Sachertorte, The Spanish Riding School and St. Stephens Cathedral cradled in its centre.

Quietening the mind is an easy pastime on a ship which glides along calm waters bordered by lush green river banks  – silent, still and serene. Relaxing on the sundeck, roads track us from the side, trains play hide and seek as they hiss between trees and hills, speed boats whizz pass and barges lug past dragging  their heavy cargo.  Pressures of everyday life drift downstream.

The scenery from a river cruise is just as one imagines and vibrant in sunlight.  Paths zig-zagging across the mountainside, boats moored onto private jetties, villages centred by steepled churches and families waving as they share picnics and homemade lemonade.

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The commentary along the Danube adds a historical date or two, dotted with colourful myths and fables. We see castles still standing, reminding us of Rapunzel-like fairy tales while others lie in ruins. Terraced grooves folded into the landscape define the Wachau Valley wine region complemented with a climate ripe for harvesting  apricots. The secluded inlets carved into the riverbed provide sanctuary for wildlife from river traffic while the locks and low bridges offer a different dimension to our voyage.

Dining is another attractive pursuit offering a good variety of fine dining menus for lunch and dinner with a guide to healthier options. Local and regional dishes are integrated into daily choices with some themed events to add a little theatre to the experience. The Chef’s Table boutique restaurant offers a taster menu, all complemented with wine recommendations. The waiters, as with most of the crew are eager to serve, some with distinguishable personalities, all with an appetite for high standards.  Post dinner, the entertainment takes to the floor with renditions from a West End singer, melodies on the piano, costumed operatta  and jiving into the early hours, offering music for all palettes.

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On board, the atmosphere is convivial and with 160 passengers it’s easy to forge friendships in a short time. Conversation centres around cultural experiences ashore while wellness activities draw individuals together, motivating and sharing achievements. Dotted with miniature orange trees and table orchids, the AmaSonata is tastefully decorated and contemporary in style.

Before disembarking, we are informed of the launch next year of the AmaMagna, a revolutionary new style double-width river ship, with a Zen Wellness Studio and water sports platform. So, with more wellness activities, more choices,  I decide to be better prepared for my next wellness cruise as I enjoy a farewell glass of healing gemstone water.

For more information about AmaWaterways or to book go to www.amawaterways.co.uk, call tel: 0800 320 2335 or visit your local travel agent.

About AmaWaterways:

Family-owned, AmaWaterways is headquartered in, California with offices in Switzerland and the U.K. It provides river cruise holidays on 19 ships, sailing along the waterways of Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Next year the company will launch three ships. The AmaMora, will offer a choice of itineraries on the Rhine, while the smaller, more intimate AmaDouro makes her debut on Portugal and Spain’s Douro River.The revolutionary AmaMagna will also enter service in May 2019. She will offer an unprecedented range of facilities including a choice of restaurants, Zen Wellness Studio and water sports platform as well as offering far more personal space than traditional river cruise ships.

From  Summer 2019, the Wellness Programme will be offered across the European fleet (excluding Douro).

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Wellness for the Soul

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A restorative spiritual blessing awaits guests seeking wellness for the soul amidst their travels. Thailand’s 56-roomed boutique residence, The Sarojin, is offering a specially-designed Wellness for the Soul Package to help guests discover mindful and spiritual travel.

Wellness elements include a sunrise Alms giving and Spiritual Blessing of Love at a local temple, where guests will find themselves immersed in a contemplative, spiritual morning. Rising early, guests travel to the temple to offer the Buddhist monks a small basket of items as a sign of respect. In return they receive a blessing, which sees the monk gently pouring water over the recipient to cleanse the spirit, while chanting ancient Pali-Sanskrit, the perfect way to start the day feeling lighter and calm.

Another inspiring ‘Wellness for the Soul’ experience is a visit to three of the region’s most important temples to learn more about Buddhism and the local culture. Starting with a visit to the Dragon Cave Temple, visitors will find themselves in a serene cave that offers a very special atmosphere, ideal for meditation and reflection. Heading high up the mountain, travellers reach Bang Reang Templethe largest temple pagoda in all of Phang Nga and home to a piece of Buddha’s bone. Offering breathtaking views across the stunning province, it is the perfect place to pause and absorb the serenity. These are followed by a trip to Wat Thamsuwankuha one of Phang Nga’s most historic temples and home to a 15-metre long reclining Buddha statue, the largest in southern Thailand.

Completing the contemplative package are three morning yoga classes, the perfect way to make the most of the hotel’s serene and tranquil setting. Led by Justine Capdevielle, The Sarojin’s yoga teacher, guests are guided through a 75-minute restorative session of Vinaysa Yoga.

Also offered is The Sarojin’s Street Food Cook for Kids initiative with The Camillian centre, a not-for-profit organisation that provides day care facilities and rehabilitation for children with special needs, is a truly heart-warming, soulful experience. Spending the afternoon with the children at the centre, guests get the chance to support some of the region’s most vulnerable children, preparing a nutritious meal alongside The Sarojin’s sous chef. During this truly memorable afternoon, guests can engage with the children and help breakdown the barriers between cultures and languages in a sensitive and respectful manner that truly supports the local community.

The Sarojin, please visit: www.sarojin.com and The Sarojin 360 Tour

 

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has increased its dosha balance

 

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The Geo Spa at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has strengthened its “elemental balance” ethos with the addition of nine Ayurvedic therapies and rituals.

Drawing on 5,000 years of wisdom, Ayurveda believes in the fundamental ability for individuals to heal once they come into balance. This is achieved by determining one’s personal elemental constitution known as dosha  and its relationship with the world’s natural energies: pitta (fire, water), kapha (earth, water) and vata (air, space). By understanding our individual nature as a microcosm of the macrocosm we can learn how to balance the dominance or lack of a certain elemental energy and lead a healthier, more harmonious life.

The Geo Spa has drawn on the energies of the surrounding 550 million year old Geo Park to take advantage of the abundant, age-old source of grounding, balancing nature.  This includes powerful earth energies accumulated through the ancient rocks plus water energies flowing through the surrounding sea, mangrove tributaries and rainforest systems. It’s the ultimate analogy for life: just as the delicate mangrove ecosystem must maintain a healthy balance in order to survive, so too must individuals seek balance with their surroundings.

According to Dr Kannan Nettath, Spa & Wellness Director, “We are coming to understand that a life well lived is one lived in balance and that it is through harmony within ourselves and with the wider world that we achieve optimum health. The decision to weave Ayurveda into The Geo Spa’s elemental balance concept was an intuitive, natural extension of our offering and expertise.”

From July 2018, visitors to The Geo Spa can experience Ayurvedic experiences that range from well-known therapies such as Abhyanga and Shirodhara to Geo Spa Signature Experiences including Voyage of the Mind and Spine Strengthening with treatments that realign mind, body and spirits and advocate greater balance with the natural elements that reside in and around us all.

“When inner and outer harmony is achieved, we not only survive but also begin to thrive,” concludes Dr Kannan.

https://www.fourseasons.com/langkawi/

Pamper, play, nourish, sleep….reasons to wellbeing

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Highlighting the importance of nurturing oneself, the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui has launched a Reasons to Wellbeing programme.

Guests can experience different facets of wellbeing proposed by the resort which ranges from deep nourishment and restful sleep to luxurious pampering and active play, designed to suit individual wellness styles.

Reasons to nourish offers a sequence of replenishing spa experiences, including a rejuvenating body scrub, a healing wrap and a scalp massage with coconut oil extracted from freshly plucked Samui coconuts. A private session of yoga and the art of juicing using tropical ingredients is interspersed with six power-packed mini-meals through the day.

Reasons to sleep begins with a session of flow yoga, uniting breath and movement. A Lava Shell Massage ensues where warmed Pacific clam shells provide muscular relief, an hour of meditation, followed by a luxurious candlelit bath, massage and breakfast the next morning completes this experience of soul-deep relaxation in a private villa.

Reason to pamper involves a 3-hour-long Earth to Sky Ritual which takes the form of a fragrant and cocooning top-to-toe nourishing scrub, pressure point massage with gentle stretching techniques, and steam compress filled with local Thai medicinal herb.

Reasons to play features a range of activities that allows guests to rediscover their sense of possibility and adventure, from guided exercises at the gym or on the beach to learning Muay Thai, the ancient Thai art of kickboxing. This is followed by a Magnesium massage to release muscular tension and enhance sleep.

 www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui.

 

 

Wellness journeys in Sri Lanka

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The Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is offering 7-day wellness journeys based on the guiding philosophies of Ayurveda, and designed to balance and nourish mental and physical health.

With coconut palms lining the Sri Lankan coastline, this is a place to escape modern life, to re-centre and unwind at a slower pace and the setting to transform using the resort’s 3-pillars of mindfulness, deep sleep and self-care.

Each of the wellness journeys is tailored according to individual doshas and vikruti, (current imbalances) after a consultation with the Resident Ayurveda Doctor which addresses, holistically, exercise, diet, sleep, stress and relaxation needs. A week-long journey of coaching with personal yogis, life coaches, trainers and chefs culminates with a long-term plan for continued wellness back home.

According to Dr. Jayachandran Thampi, “These guided programmes are designed to balance and introduce the benefits of Ayurveda; perhaps leading to a deeper immersion upon return. Complemented by Yoga, healing arts and ayurvedic nutritional guidance they introduce the concept of ‘holism’ – not just evaluating our physical state, but along with it the more esoteric elements of being. Through our personalised approach, we gently ease guests through the process of healing.”

Each ayurvedic retreat offers a holistic journey of distinct benefits. Collectively these programmes encompass an ideal of happiness – a healthy balance of body, mind and spirit.

The Rebuilding Detox programme consists of two spa treatments daily using medicated herbs suited to your doshas. Virechana Karma evacuates toxins from the gut. The programme also includes detoxing the mind with three energy healing sessions, two life coaching appointments, a painting lesson with a local artisan, and daily journal keeping.

The Inner Harmony programme consists of three energy healing sessions, two coaching sessions with the Doctor of Ayurveda to understand individual lifestyle choices based on your doshas, ayurvedic nutrition counselling, daily spa treatments, local excursions, and a contemplative environment with technology blackout and journal keeping.

The Deep Sleep programme consists of two in-room slumber guru rituals, three energy healing sessions, two coaching sessions with the Doctor of Ayurveda to understand your lifestyle choices based on your doshas, and ayurvedic nutrition counselling. Unwind with daily spa treatments, a guided excursion to a local Buddhist temple, a painting session with a local artisan, and yoga sessions with the resident yogi.

The Natural Weight programme consists of invigorating daily exercise including four personal trainer sessions and a half day of surfing. Nutritional changes are recommended based on your doshas, with Eating for Balance counselling and life coaching according to ayurvedic principles to discover the ayurvedic approach to healthy weight management and vitality. Daily spa treatments, energy healing, and guided excursions to Buddhist temples are also included .

www.anantara.com/en/peace-haven-tangalle