Mind and Spirit

Natural wellness sparkles in Hotel Plunhof’s stylish Spa Minera

Swimming with snowflakes, floating by flames, massaged with stones, pummelled with rollers and immersed in the smoke of burning bark.  Wellness takes on the natural elements at the sparkling new Spa Minera at Hotel Plunhof, peaking out of the Stubai Alps in Italy’s South Tryol region.

It’s lilac and silver, wood and water, glazed with silver quartzite at every viewpoint. Natural elements represent the lifeblood of the spa, its DNA.

And I took full advantage. I likened the experience to swimming in a luxury lounge, the water like a rippled carpet flowing under stairs and dappled with reflections from Swarovski crystal chandeliers glittering from above. I floated by oversized loungers shaded with bulbous table lights, book shelves on one side, a stone log fire in the centre, wood-panelled walls, mirrored pillars and squidgy seating all around. Comfortable tranquillity, understated glitz.

How luxurious to wallow in such exquisite surroundings. Warm, intimate and decadent. And then, just like magic, glass doors opened to an outside poolscape where the snow taps you on the shoulder and a mist disguises the surface. It’s eerie and atmospheric. Towering mountains greet you, nothing in-between, except the water warm, the air refreshingly cool.

Relaxation areas seem to appear around every corner to surprise you, each dressed in a different style, another ambience to enjoy. But finding them a second time is an art in itself. They all offer those please-lie-on-me loungers of every shape and style, rugs in the right place, contemporary fireplaces and enviable panoramic scenery with a focal point towards the Santa Maddalena Church sitting alone enclaved into the side of the mountain.

The hotel is located about an hour from Innsbruck in the Ridanna Valley. It’s a family affair – run by the Volgger family whose personal attention is in evidence from the moment you arrive.  I met Thomas who proudly showed me the spa facilities, just three months old, all sparkly and new. Excitedly he told me of further plans although I was quite content with the stylish spaces they have painstakingly produced. Five saunas, two whirlpools, relaxation areas – too many to count, a fitness room, pools indoor and out and a dedicated room for classes.

With 67 rooms which overlook Alpine scenery, this dedicated wellness space has been designed to incorporate Spa Minera & Acqua Minera, all 4,000 sqm of it.  Here it never seems busy although you may spot a few guests strewn over sofas, strolling in robes or hanging out in the saunas, relaxed and chilled. Guests come here to ski in the winter months – there’s a daily bus to the slopes, – or for bracing hikes in the fresh crisp air. They all enjoy overdoses of pure relaxation, rejuvenation and therapeutic therapies.

The treatment menu reflects the Spa’s focus on natural elements with its creative use of local resources blended with traditional healing principles. My 80-minute massage was performed with pine wood rollers of various sizes delivering pressure and heat as it toured the body. Strong at times, the pressure and warmth re-routed the flow of energy unblocking areas to leave a sense of renewed calm. Billed as Pine Vitality, this relaxing ceremony aims to channel the inner spirit to activate self-healing powers.

From wood to stone, the Silver Quartzite Stone Massage experience was gentle, directional, purposeful and somewhat spiritual. In the background, haunting chants, as if resonating from a monastery chamber, kept my focus in the moment while long rhythmic strokes would halt periodically to grind energy in chakra areas and then swiftly sweep away negative residue. Enhanced by the burning of bark shavings, this meridian massage, combined  precious natural minerals with medicinal herbs, warm oils and raw materials to leave me released of negative feeling, grounded and strong.

Heat, water and steam, ancient bathing rituals, Kneipp pools, infra-red cabinets, a shower temple, a thermal grotto and saunas of every kind are plentiful here. Temperatures range from ice cold, mild, hot and only just bearably hot.  The revived ancient ritual “Thrown into the Knappensauna” is featured on the daily programme and not to be missed, It involves very hot temperatures in a large sauna cabin, au natural, save for a few towels. A staff member, acting like a central courtier parades around the central burning coals sporting a large fan to direct hotter air over each person. Red in the face, sizzling by the second, we brave souls lasted the 15 minute experience to be rewarded with a barefoot stroll in the outside snow followed by salt peeling in the steam room. All this to cleanse the skin, stimulate circulation, loosen joints, exfoliate the skin surface and improve the immune system…..

From tried and tested organic resources to the latest technology, The Spa Minera has moved with the times to offer a wide range of advanced cosmetic treatments.  The Dr Spiller Celltresor Facial followed an in-depth regime which included a machine-controlled cleanse and a serum massage followed by a collagen mask which felt and looked like an Egyptian mummy covering. The result, a thorough treatment and a plumper look! This facial is designed to maximize the skin’s rejuvenation by targeting muscles to relax facial features.

Qi Gong  and Yoga, exercise and wellness all have to be nourished and the Hotel’s restaurant does it well. Inventive menus, organic ingredients and a balanced fusion of tastes are a match to any high class establishment. Think venison steak with cranberry pear served with red sauerkraut with apples and polenta cream, roasted suckling pig cup with beer jus or guinea fowl with figs – exotic descriptions, plated artistically and served to your reserved table. In addition, a choice of irresistible desserts and a buffet area ever laden with homemade artisan breads, fresh produce and, homemade oils and dressings.  So much choice, an occasion in itself, a restaurant to be rewarded.

Spa Minera has borrowed wellness from Mother Nature. “Back to the origins… the force of the earth and the might of the stone” are the words inscribed on the glass window – wellness instilled in its structure, soul and spirit.

Hotel Plunhof is a member of Niche Destinations  www.niche-destinations.com

Prices for a double room Minera – from €118 pp sharing including half board and use of Spa Minera

Hotel Plunhof, Family Volgger, Obere Gasse 7, 39040 Ridnaun – Ratschings, Italy. Tel.:+ 39 0472 656247. info@plunhof.it     

www.plunhof.it

Wellness for the Soul

The Sarojin PS#2 spa treatment pavilion2 - Copy

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

 

Rock Your Spa

Sony Rock Star Suite Rendering copy

Forget those calming atmospheric background tones that usual pervade your treatment room. Make way for the world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu complete with amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns as the foundation of the centric spa journey.

This ground-breaking experience offered at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife carries its guests on a rhythmic massage journey with bass vibrations rippling through the massage table interjected by treble beats from above, sending pulses through the body to leave guests energised and invigorated.

Treatments include a Wrap Mix and a Smooth Operator. The Wrap Mix is the ultimate healing experience to detoxify and nourish with a 50-minute rhythm and motion massage. The Smooth Operator, in comparison, retunes the skin and rocks the soul, starting with the rhythmical Sweetgrass inspired dry brushing and closing with a soothing detoxifying wrap, to release toxins, hydrate, and smooth the skin, leaving body and soul on a high note!

These reinvented Rock Spa® Rhythm and Motion treatments transcend current spa rituals and inspire spa-goers to embrace the mantra of ‘Live hard, purify harder’.

 www.hardrockhotels.com/tenerife/ 

Peruvian Healing

_medium-sized_1261453_29-Aqlla-Spa

From healing spa treatments from indigenous Andean plants and herbs to cleansing ceremonies bathed in mystical culture, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is offering wellness experiences that allow guests to connect with the cosmic energy of ancient Peruvian civilisations, while touring nearby natural and cultural sites.

Treatments focus on local ingredients and curative Peruvian traditions. Pinda-style massages use warmed compresses loaded with Andean natural medicinal herbs and therapeutic natural scrubs use pink salt from Maras, an ingredient used over the years  by the Incas for its high mineral content.

Other indigenous ingredients include Muña, renowned for being a digestive aid as well as its soothing and calming effects on aches, pains and arthritis. Coca leaves are loaded with vitamins, protein, calcium, iron and fibre that help to counter the effects of high altitude in the Andes. Quinoa, the Andean powerhouse grain, is loaded with amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients and has been used for its health benefits for thousands of years in Peru and was the nucleus of the Inca diet. Treatments using quinoa tap the nutritional benefits to prevent premature aging of sensitive and dehydrated skin.

The other spiritual and wellness experiences, beyond the hotel, connect guests with the cosmic energy of ancient Peruvian civilisations with visits to natural and cultural sites. The Machu Picchu Mystical Tour takes guests to the historic sanctuary with a local shaman who uses his natural gifts to help them discover the spiritual and  natural energy sources that surround Machu Picchu.

Guests can also participate in the Payment to the Earth Ritual.This traditional practice of making offerings to Pachamama, or Mother Earth, has been passed down from the time of the Incas, as Ancient Peruvians held Pachamama sacred. This ritual remains a part of daily life for many locals in surrounding regions of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. With a shaman and private interpreter as guides, guests can discover a realm beyond the physical world and become more open to emotional and spiritual healing.

 www.sumaqhotelperu.com

Mii amo Destination Spa, Sedona

essential-oils-1851027_640

Unique indulgent journeys are offered at this destination spa, a haven for spiritual healing, transformation and rejuvenation reflected by a backdrop of Sedona’s soaring red rock.

Customized all-inclusive packages featuring exclusive, private accommodation, two spa treatments daily and nutrition-based meals. Mii amo also hosts three- to seven-day, all-inclusive retreats for guests to explore and rediscover themselves through expert-led sessions and activities. Guests can also indulge in a wide list of spa treatments including Native American inspired therapies.

Royal Palms Resort & Spa, Phoenix

1481349932_5fe693d2bd_b

Once a 1920s-era winter home, the Royal Palms Resort and Spa is located in Phoenix Arizona at the base of Camelback Mountain. The resort is an original Spanish Colonial Revival villa where tradition meets rejuvenating spa services, fine dining, and sweeping desert landscapes. At the Alvadora Spa, guests choose from a collection of signature treatments infused with natural botanicals, including the Citrus Ritual and Orange Blossom Body Buff. The Alvadora also specializes in various water therapies, including a Watsu® pool for in-water massages.

St Regis Langkawi, Malaysia

Unknown
The sophisticated St. Regis Langkawi is situated on the southern tip of the island, amid centuries-old rainforest fauna and nature. With 85 suites and 4 over-water villas, its enviable beachfront position over the Andaman Sea offers an idyllic setting for a wellness destination.  Enjoy a cocktail while watching the sunset on an individual canopy over the sea, dine in colonial style and relax in the tranquility of this luxurious new addition to wellness destinations.

Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia

lemon-906141_640

Located on a privately owned island in the Straits of Malacca, Pangkor Laut Resort is set amidst an ancient rainforest, blending into the natural resources of its surroundings. The award-winning Spa Village Pangkor Laut is a four-acre haven offering spa treatments inspired by the healing therapies of the Asian region

SHA Wellness Clinic Medical Spa Resort

SHA_Wellness Clinic Area_2

The award-winning SHA Wellness Clinic is an international pioneering wellness clinic dedicated to significantly improving and prolonging health and wellbeing. Regarded as one of the best medical spas in Europe, SHA combines natural therapies originating from ancient Eastern wisdom with the most advanced Western techniques. The Clinic is renown for cutting-edge programmes which include everything from weight loss and detox to cognitive brain training, de-addiction, sleep recovery.

The established SHA method was created and supervised by world renowned experts, including the famous Michio Kushi, who was appointed president of the World Federation of Natural Alternative Medicine in 1995 and has been advisor to many international organizations like the UN and the World Health Organization. Today he is regarded as the father of modern macrobiotics.

Bryn Tanat Wellness, Wales

soap-2726394_640

Bryn Tanat Wellness is a new five-star wellness retreat in Wales offering pioneering programmes designed to address physical, mental and emotional wellbeing with functional medicine at its heart.

Launched by Susan Martin and her family, one-day and four-day programmes use Metabolic Analysis Profiling, Genetic Profiling, and a 24 hour Adrenocortex Stress Profile to uncover and address health issues prior to guests arriving.

Located on the border of Mid-wales and Shropshire, progammes aim to uncover and address the root of a person’s health issue through personalised wellbeing options. The programmes begin in February 2017 using experts providing bespoke advice and support to individuals.