Chenot Palace Weggis_Medical Spa_©Chenot Palace Weggis_1
© Chenot Palace Weggis

Best of Medical Spa

They operate at the highest level: modern medical spas are more in demand than ever. Holistic approaches and the highest standards characterize these private clinics - which oscillate between fountain of youth and oracle of the future. They heal and prevent.

3 January 2022

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach - and so is his health. That's what you learn in the world's best medical spas. Their concepts may differ from one another, but they all agree on that. They all have one more thing in common: mental and physical well-being are viewed holistically and take time - perseverance and the will to change are required. You have to get involved. Top athletes may be familiar with this: In a race, it is not always about storming the first stage as quickly as possible, but about the big picture. A minimum stay of one week is therefore recommended in medical spas, but the motto is: the longer, the better. Those who commit to it will be richly rewarded: with health, new perspectives and a boost of energy - which may even have a life-prolonging effect.

Vivamayr, Austria 

Long-term life concept change instead of cosmetic makeover of life circumstances: VIVAMAYR is THE institution worldwide in terms of healthy lifestyle. They've made it their business to heal people and to prevent diseases. According to the personal ideal of health - because here everything is tailor-made, no guest is given the same treatment as another, no food tastes the same. Their success proves VIVAMAYR right: In 2004, the first house on the glamorous Wörthersee, to be more precise in Maria Wörth, was launched, then in 2015 a second establishment followed in the idyllic Altaussee in the Styrian Salzkammergut, meanwhile two day clinics have joined. Most guests come back again and again - carrying incredible success stories in their luggage. At first glance, the concept of the five-star health resort seems very simple. It is based on the research of the Austrian physician F. X. Mayr, who discovered that a healthy intestine is the basis of a healthy life - and even prevents illness. For this purpose, he recommended the "Semmelkur", which is still known today and which VIVAMAYR adapted: The contemporary diet is adapted to a balanced acid-base balance, one eats alkaline at hood level, avoids raw food and addictive substances such as caffeine & co. There are different levels of treatment - it may well happen that you are served only an alkaline soup in the evening. However, you don't have to go hungry: one of the most essential components of the modern VIVAMAYR cure is chewing. You should practice this up to forty times per bite, which is why you sit alone - nothing should distract you, apart from the beautiful nature, which presents itself as a real place of power at both locations.

Good feelings

Furthermore, diagnostics are one of the most important components of the cure - this not only turns out to be incredibly comprehensive, but also daily. Every day, the doctor meets his patient, can empathize and, if necessary, readjust by changing the treatment plan, adjusting the diet or even the supplements. Like abdominal treatments, these are part of the standards and are as varied as the extensive range of therapies and applications. Exercise, for example, a central element of the VIVAMAYR principle, takes place in hormone yoga classes - these, too, of course, after medical consultation. It is difficult to understand the VIVAMAYR principle if you have not experienced it. But suppose you travel to Altaussee, for example, then you find yourself - after a period of preparation at home - in a cocoon of friendliness and helpfulness, which makes you feel as if you are on clouds - and carries you through the perhaps difficult first days. The feel-good ambience, which is enhanced by the unique architecture and homey accents from the Altaussee surroundings, can only be topped by the medical staff: One may quite call the contact affectionately familiar. Guests stay for a minimum of seven days, many like to stay longer, because everyone soon notices a difference: the skin becomes more beautiful, the eyes clearer, the mind more alert and one is generally more vital and life-affirming. Now you still have to make the transfer to everyday life, but here, too, you will be helped: Psychologists are available as well as nutrition coaches. You can also consult them from the comfort of your own home. Sustainability takes on a whole new dimension here. Places of peace and tranquility Finding your balance - both physically and psychologically: nowhere can you learn this better than here. One week "VIVAMAYR Classic" program, exclusive accommodation, from € 2145,-.

Altaussee, Fischerndorf 222, 8992 Altaussee, T: +43 3622 71450
Maria Wörth, Seepromenade 11, 9082 Maria Wörth, T: +43 4273 31117

©Michael Königshofer, Vivamayr

Chenot Palace Weggis, Switzerland

Just this year, the newest Health Wellness Retreat of the Chenot brand opened in the venerable Belle Époque house "Park Weggis" on Lake Lucerne. Here, state-of-the-art treatments blend into a traditional setting and are emblematic of the Chenot Method®. This method was developed by Henri Chenot and became famous in 1974 when he opened his first center in Cannes. Preventive health care, based on the idea that a certain lifestyle causes toxins to accumulate in the body, causing degenerative diseases, was a novelty at the time - with Chenot integrating many principles of traditional Chinese healing. Today, this lectures under "alternative medicine"; at the time, it was virtually unknown in Europe. "To stay in good health, you must live in harmony with yourself," is Henri Chenot's guiding principle. To establish this state, the Chenot Method® activates self-healing forces. These strengthen the defense mechanisms and prevent diseases as a result - an approach that is more in demand today than ever! Strengthening the immune system, but also the reduction of chronic stress is one of the standard wishes of guests and is offered in customized programs. Detoxing, to regenerate body and mind and gain new vitality, is another pillar. Because health today means not only the absence of illness, but also a plus in vitality and energy. This includes a special (mostly vegetarian) diet that is personalized and consistently followed through - including afternoon tea! One quickly notices: The house is not a hotel with wellness offers, it is a health philosophy in hotel form, which performs seamlessly. The best example is the sleep technology. This was optimized in four rooms on the basis of scientific research results in such a way that longer deep sleep phases are achieved during the night. This includes natural sounds and daylight when you wake up. "Recovery & Energise program, 7 nights, from around € 5737.

Chenot Palace Weggis,
Hertensteinstrasse 34, 6353 Weggis, Switzerland
T:+41 41 255 20 00

© Alex Teuscher, Fabrice Fouillets

Lanserhof, Germany

Originally and eponymously located in Lans, near Innsbruck, more than 30 years ago, the parent company has since grown to include a location on Lake Tegernsee and a branch on Sylt, as well as two day clinics in Hamburg and London. The house at Tegernsee, which opened in 2014, has earned a reputation as a medical spa par excellence within a very short time. Here, too, fasting and living are based on the Mayr cure. The building has a sacred feel to it: Its lavishly wide circular corridors are reminiscent of monastery corridors, and the meditative-contemplative inner courtyard perfectly complements this impression. It was designed by a guest of the house, none other than Enzo Enea, the most important contemporary landscape architect. Like the garden, the rooms and suites are state of the art. Only pictures on the walls are missing, because nothing should distract here from the true reason of the attendance: the personal recovery. The "Lanserhof" not only works like a highly complex private clinic where you can have every conceivable examination (such as colonoscopy and gastroscopy), but also functions as a family doctor. Findings are collected and stored, and international guests sometimes ring through from the USA if they have a question or feedback on a consultation. The LANS Med Concept, however, is based on several pillars that include not only check-ups and advanced diagnostics, but also energy, holistic and sleep medicine, to name a few. Here, one thinks out of the box. It can happen that besides naturopathy also a shaman is used. For skeptics, craniosacral therapy is recommended as an entry model. The sports scientist can recommend something more tangible: cryotherapy in a cold chamber! This can also be done in the day clinics, whereby each location has its own focus. The diversity of specialists is enormous here and there; in the future, epigenetics will be integrated more naturally. The gateway to holistic care is already open; as a guest, you just have to walk through it. "Cure Classic", 7 days (excluding accommodation), € 2259.

Lanserhof Tegernsee,
Gut Steinberg 1-4, 83666 Waakirchen, Germany
T:+49 8022 18800

©Alexander Haiden

Sha Wellness Clinic, Spain 

What the name "Sha" stands for can only be guessed - the fact is that today it is synonymous with what is probably the most exclusive wellness institute in southern Europe. And not only that: idyllically located on a hill above El Albir, between Alicante and Valenica on the Costa Blanca, the "Sha Wellness Clinic" is dedicated to a healthy lifestyle accompanied by a luxurious feel that is second to none. The futuristic, spacious building complex is complemented by infinity pools that appear to be free-floating, reminiscent of a spaceship from the future. In this way, the architecture also perfectly conveys the core message of the hotel: Here, it's all about the personal future, because the focus is on "Healthy Aging". In contrast to other medical spas, aesthetic procedures can also be performed here, but the focus is on preventive health measures. The "Sha Wellness Clinic" has made a name for itself in genetic research, and thanks to numerous examinations, it is possible to detect any predisposition and counteract it immediately. Preventive medicine on this scale based on the analysis of the genetic profile is unique. Gender-specific therapies and applications complement the extensive range of services. In addition to doctors, guests also have access to a large number of physiotherapists who choreograph a specific exercise for every physical weakness, no matter how localized - so that no problem will arise there in twenty years' time. This symphony of highly complex, scientific treatments is chorded by Far Eastern naturopathy and the special location of the house, which is in a special microclimate. This was certified "Sha" even by the World Health Organization by means of distinction. A fact that should not be underestimated - as well as the macrobiotic diet, to which is attributed a great self-healing power. 7-day "profound transformation" from € 7500,-.

Sha Wellness Clinic*****
Carrer del Verderol, 5, 03581 L'Albir, Spain
T: +34 966 81 11 99

©Sha Wellness Clinic

Chiva-Som, Thailand

Lush, tropical vegetation, powder-sugar beaches and guaranteed sunshine: "Chiva-Som" in Hua Hin, Thailand, the country's oldest seaside resort, is the Asian outpost of health resorts. Unlike its European counterparts, the spaciousness of the resort plays a very special role in the concept: "Chiva-Som" describes itself as a "sanctuary," a "holy place." You don't just come here to get healthy or lose weight, but above all: you can lose yourself here. Strict digital detox, a ban on cell phones and cameras on the one hand, and the reserved, always friendly manner of the staff on the other make this possible. Coupled with a resort consisting of picturesque pavilions in lavish natural surroundings, which should help guests redefine the "nature of their lifestyle." They can do just that, thanks to the oversized health offerings: more than 200 different services are available to guests here, and Western methods are combined with Eastern philosophy in 70 treatment rooms. Loyal fans of the hotel, which has enjoyed world-class status for 23 years, swear by the various sports options - and emphasize how easy it is to do sports and eat healthily here. The Thai cuisine, which is already balanced in principle, plays a positive role here. One has the feeling of being on vacation. Because "Chiva-Som" moves with the times and always keeps in touch with its guests, online classes are also offered. You can continue to train with your yoga teacher, which is good, because the therapists are in a class of their own! Guest therapists are also flown in from time to time to teach dance therapy, Pilates, yoga and tai chi. But you can't avoid a visit, at least 14 days are recommended. Tip: Watsu. This involves being pulled through a warm pool of water. Some guests speak of a revival experience, others of rebirth.

Chiva Som*****,
73/4 Petchkasem Road, rachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand

©Kiattipong Panchee

Villa Eden, Merano

The "Villa Eden" in Merano is one of the most renowned medical wellness hotels in Italy and sees itself as an oasis of deceleration. This is also confirmed by the medical director Dr. Emanuele De Nobili, who emphasizes how important happiness, cheerfulness and a certain light-heartedness are for a healthy lifestyle. The psyche plays a role when it comes to the immune system. The hotel is designed accordingly: Majestic Lebanon cedars impress in the lush parkland, and the rooms and suites are full of light and life, thanks to exciting textures and exclusive designs. Hotel owner Angelika Schmid strives to fulfill her guests' every wish, and in the spa, the staff prove to have golden hands when it comes to applying the specially developed products. "Harmonious sensuality for inner peace", that's the slogan and double bottom you can fall into when you book a stay here with medical catering. The offers are sophisticated, but also particularly effective, such as ozone-oxygen therapy, which aims to activate the immune system and revitalize both mind and body. Right now it is more timely than ever, as it is also used to treat viral or bacterial diseases. Individual treatments can be booked separately at the Longevity Medical Center, but a complete program such as "Women's Care" is recommended, which is tailored to female needs and their cycle and integrates innovative methods such as hormone yoga. Fans of the house report how playfully they have succeeded in making the change in their everyday lives, because the care excludes all eventualities. One takes home not only the good feeling, but also a master plan for life. Further visits are not excluded, however, since one strives here for 35 years for constant advancement. Standing still does not apply, only lovingly lingering. A week "Women's Care" with full program, around € 1760, - p. P.

Villa Eden*****,
Winkelweg 68-70, 39012 Merano, Italy
T: + 39 0473 236583

©Daniele Paternoster, Wolkersdorfer Gerhard

Fritsch am Berg

The concept of the Mentalspa near Bregenz is unparalleled - thanks to its far-sighted owners

Thomas Fritsch and his wife Diana have transformed a beautiful, family-run hotel on the Pfänder into a one-of-a-kind. Fritsch comes from a family of hoteliers, and his wife is a dedicated coach and director of the health center. Both combine here to create an island of the blessed: At the MentalSpa, you can learn to sleep well again, increase your resilience or simply practice mental hygiene. Diana Fritsch runs the practice sensitively and with vision. The idea behind it was originally to create a place for people who "want their own life". This has succeeded brilliantly here. P. a. A.

Fritsch am Berg****,
Buchenberg 10, 6911 Lochau, Austria
T: +43 5574 43029

©Hanno Mackowitz, Petra Rainer

Aroma Medical Spa

A successful mixture of private hospital and wellness oasis in an idyllic location

The hotel has found its own niche and plays it perfectly: The Tyrolean Alpine resort specializes in orthopedic AHB, outpatient physiotherapy as well as the outpatient rehab block. The difference to other houses: A unique feel-good atmosphere is guaranteed. The 38 rooms all face the lake, behind which an exciting mountain panorama opens up. Also culinary you get your money's worth here - and the best thing about it: You don't necessarily have to arrive with pain, day guests and also - in good Tyrolean - "Pumperlg'sunde" are just as very welcome! Prices on request.

Armona Medical Spa Resort****,
Breiten 110, 6335 Thiersee, Austria
T: +43 5376 21400

©Armona Medical Spa


Ayurveda is in vogue - but you don't necessarily have to travel to India for it

Here you can find the right balance again: The award-winning five-star hotel in Germany specializes in Ayurveda. This Indian healing method is aimed at bringing the body's doshas back into balance. This is achieved with the right diet, yoga and treatment with specific plants tailored to personal needs. The body is thus detoxified and the self-healing powers activated. And all this takes place in the picturesque ambience of a castle with a beautiful park and dignified rooms. Programs for nine days from € 2270.

Wildbadstraße 201, 56841 Traben-Trarbach, Germany
T: +49 6541 7050

© Ayurveda Parkschlösschen


This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Winter 2020.

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