Tag Archives: nature

Virtual Wellness

Medi-spas, wellness resorts, retreats, clinics and hotels may not be open at this time but they have your health at heart and tools for support.  From design tips for home spas, guiding your yoga poses, holistic therapies and green health, virtual wellness comes courtesy of the digital world from the best wellness retreats and destinations around  the globe.

Nature’s nurture from the Treetops in Turkey

With 8D Technology, Hillside Beach Club brings the sound of treetops of its Sanda Nature Spa to your home. This sensory experience is captured from above the resort’s Silent Beach. The Hillside team have recorded nature’s own sounds from the treetop spa in its new 8D technology.

Listen here for a complete sensory  experience to be transported in a deep state of relaxation.  www.hillsidebeachclub.com/en

Virtual wellness in the treetops

Treetop escape

Staying in shape from Monaco

Set along 3.83km  on the Mediterranean’s Côte D’Azur, leading Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo Wellness Spa offers a range of innovative spa, wellness and fitness facilities from its luxurious setting. Its digital therapy comes in the form of top tips for staying in shape at home. Try Cardiac Coherence – A simple, deep breathing exercise to enhance  the sense of well-being, improve sleep and reduce anxiety. Inhaling through the nose and out the mouth of five seconds, for five minutes, three times a day. Or the Stair Climb – Climbing the stairs in your home to improve cardiovascular endurance. Walking or jogging up 200 steps, either one or two steps at a time, once a day.

Yoga from Ibiza

Mojo Rising Yoga is bringing yoga to people in their own homes to help support mental health and mindfulness during these difficult times. Their virtual yoga retreat is streamed globally through Mojo Rising Yoga’s Instagram page.

The Virtual Yoga Retreat includes a series of yoga livestreams aired via Mojo Rising’s Instagram feed and led by their expert instructor. Each session aims to raise money for a different charity, with participants kindly asked to make a nominal donation if possible.The first charity it is supporting is Help Refugees. All details about the virtual yoga retreat and a sign up form for interested participants is available –  https://www.mojorisingyoga.com/yoga-livestream

 Organic Culinary Pathways from Austria

Food has that feel-good factor especially when it comes direct from its origins. Culinary Pathways is now offered on stream to virtual food havens – think chocolate and desserts, organic of course.

Plan an edible tour of Austria’s most sustainable region, where 50% of farmers adopted responsible farming techniques decades ago. You can use the easy-to-access Via Culinaria – Culinary Pathways – section of SalzburgerLand’s website to discover the tastes of the area. Visit www.salzburgerland.com and follow three easy steps to virtual foodie heaven:

Whet your appetite with this clip: https://www.salzburgerland.com/en/the-9-culinary-pathways/

Imagine the taste of tempting chocolates, markets, cakes and cafes throughout Salzburg here:  https://youtu.be/YLbwMWXqgfg

Bring the taste of the mountains to your table; prepare a feast of Freitagnidei (Pinzgau potatoes – better than chips) using easy recipes detailed on https://www.salzburgerland.com/en/pinzgau-potatoes-or-freitagnidei/

The 9 Via Culinaria pathways, a collection of 300 mouthwatering stops, are underpinned by organic produce and sustainable methods. Discover the charm of rustic mountain refuges on the Hut Lovers way.Tread the Herb Lovers path to learn about the healing and flavouring powers of indigenous plants in historic farms or monastery gardens. No meal is complete without a drink. The Beer and Schnapps Aficionados map points out where to find the finest craft beers and schnapps in Austria. SalzburgerLand’s brewing tradition dates back to 696 when Benedictine monks set up shop in St Peter’s Abbey; longevity and success is due to clear water and fresh local ingredients. Every village’s secret Schnapps recipe is passed down the generations, using local berries and herbs.

The most popular tour is the Culinary Pathway for the Sweet Tooth. Discover the greatest coffee houses and chocolatiers for seductive pastries and sweet treats including Salzburg City’s world-famous Mozartkugel (Mozart Balls).

Wellness culinary trails

Culinary experiences

Body & Mind from The Caribbean

The Body-Holiday’s mantra, “give us your body and we will give back your mind”  now comes in a digital form. Set in St Lucia, this renowned wellness resort is supporting its guests and wellness enthusiasts by sharing its renowned expertise to help those at home to enhance their wellbeing now and all-year-round with a digital series of workshops and masterclasses.

Utilising their guidance and techniques the wellness resort has carefully curated programmes for home use.  They have created their own ‘wellness weekend’ or self-care day to boost the immune system, mood and mental wellbeing:

Get your heart pumping with Mantas’ resistance workout
No need to worry if you don’t have gym equipment at home, BodyHoliday’s Mantas will show you how to utilise a suitcase to get a full body workout. You can also warm up with another fantastic video here

Boost your mood and immune system with Dr Maha’s breathing workshop

Unwind and relax your mind before bed with Tendel’s meditation

The series of videos and blog posts includes everything from cooking demonstrations and meditation sessions, to breathing workshops and exercise classes, and is available via BodyHoliday’s social media channels and website.

Wellness secrets from the UK

Dormy House, on the Farncombe Estate in the English Cotswolds, has been hosting live sessions with their wellbeing and massage guru  on Instagram stories, on Wednesdays at 8pm @dormyhouse. As part of the initiative to bring its House Spa into the home, Dormy House is making it possible for us all to learn some of the trade secrets and top techniques with a series of wellbeing massage tutorials to help us unwind. www.dormyhouse.co.uk

Dormy House offers virtual wellness

Sleep therapy from Northern Island

Hastings Hotels  is  increasing its offerings for  health and wellness at home which includes  decluttering for mental health and sleep techniques for sleeping better at home. Their two spa properties The Slieve Donard Resort & Spa and The Culloden Estate and Spa in Northern Ireland are the inspiration behind the virtual wellness ideas.

Sleep easy with Hastings Hotels’ resident sleep expert,  Phil McCartan who has taught Gary Barlow, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chris Evans. Here are eight top tips on getting a good night’s sleep.

Sunlight: Spend more time outdoors, especially at the beginning and end of the day. The less connected you are to natural cycles of darkness and light, the harder it is to adjust to the time change

Bedroom Environment: Eliminating external light and noise can help you get a better night’s sleep. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing and clean place. Avoid working from home in your bedroom and keep it a haven for sleeping.

Avoid Caffeine: Limit your caffeine intake in the hours before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant and can affect your quality of sleep.

Take a warm bath: A relaxing bath, shower or even a warm foot bath before bed can improve the quality of sleep and help you fall asleep faster.

Nightly brain dump: Write down any stresses or worries you might have before going to bed and leave them on the piece of paper.

Switch Off: Studies have shown that using a device set at top brightness for two hours suppresses the normal night-time release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Try to also have at least an hour before bed without TV, phones or computers.

Relax in the evening: Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia. Why not try listening to relaxing music, taking a hot bath or reading a book

Stay consistent: Being consistent with the time you go to sleep and wake each morning can aid-long-term sleep quality.

Stay health with virtual wellness. For more wellness tips at home, read here


The Next Big Thing in Wellness – Costa Rica 2018

The Costa Rica Tourism Board has launched a new tourism strategy for 2018 – ‘Wellness Pura Vida’ – a new ethos that redefines what it means to look after the body and soul.  According to the World Health Organization, “burnout”, the state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, is now a global issue. To combat this, UK travellers are increasingly combining travel with wellness, a trend that the tourist board is responding to with this new movement for 2018.

The phrase “Pura Vida” itself can be heard echoing throughout Costa Rica. Used as a greeting or expression of happiness, the phrase literally translates to “pure life,” however its truer meaning is “full of life,” which accurately symbolises the Costa Rican mind-set of energy and positivism that awaits visitors.

Costa Rica offers a huge number of authentic natural wellness experiences for all visitors looking for a healing holiday. These activities include yoga, meditation, earthing, forest bathing, treatments with hot springs, thalassotherapy amongst others, and can be carried out in pleasant and tranquil natural spaces throughout the country. Smoking volcanoes, dense virgin forests, unique wildlife and endless tropical beaches make this Central American destination one of the most diverse places on earth for a healing holiday.

Costa Rica is not only renowned for being one of the happiest places on Earth, but also one where people live the longest. The Nicoya Peninsula has one of the highest percentages of centenarians in the world.

Visitors should live this ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle whilst in Costa Rica, taking home new healthy habits, starting with its healthy food based mainly on grains including rice and beans (called “gallo pinto” when mixed). No trip is complete without drinking the calcium-rich water, indulging in the fresh fruits and sampling the local coffee. Other Pura Vida wellness experiences can include ‘forest baths’ (breathing in the fresh air of the forest) and ‘earthing’ (barefoot walks on the earth/sand). Reaching 100 is not guaranteed, but relaxation is!

Visitors hoping for a slice of Zen should head to the lesser known corner of Costa Rica – the Osa Peninsula. Located on the South Pacific coast, this region is a haven for those looking to experience complete unspoilt beauty and escape Wi-Fi. The opportunities for exploration are endless; iconic activities include watching the magnificent humpback whale migration, exploring the mangroves by kayak and the beaches and mountains on a recreational cycling tour, bird-watching, yoga, forest bathing and having a healthy organic meal on the beach. Visitors can expect sunrise yoga, beach Pilates and al fresco group meditation.

No wellness holiday to Costa Rica is complete without a visit to the hot springs, which are said to have healing and restorative properties due to the high mineral content. Visitors can harness the water for personal renewal by letting positive energy flow throughout the body. Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles Volcano, Orosi area, Perez Zeledon and the Caribbean are the country’s best destinations for thermal soaks, some of them boasting highly-rated hot springs, mud baths and spa facilities.


Connect with the cosmic energy of ancient Peru


From healing spa treatments using indigenous Andean plants and herbs, to cleansing ceremonies bathed in nature and mystical culture, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is offering its guests the opportunity to awaken and nourish mind, body and soul.

The hotel’s Aqlla spa uses treatments using local ingredients and curative Peruvian traditions. These include the Sabai Massage for Body & Face; a 60-minute pinda-style massage that uses warmed compresses loaded with 32 natural medicinal herbs. The Incas have used pink salt from Maras, a town near Cusco, for centuries for its energy boosting, high-mineral content and is used in the Maras Body Massage as a therapeutic natural scrub. The 90-minute treatment begins with an exfoliating salt scrub, followed by a body mask of papaya, lemon and lettuce that leaves a prolonged refreshing sensation. The treatment concludes with a relaxing massage with Andean herbal oils with medicinal attributes, including chamomile, eucalyptus and lemon grass.

Other treatments using indigenous ingredients include the Body Massage with Coca and Muña Essential Oils, which uses two time-honoured healing plants of Peru’s ancient Inca culture; Muña, renowned for being a digestive aid, as well as its soothing and calming effects on aches, pains and arthritis; and Coca leaves, loaded with vitamins, protein, calcium, iron and fibre that help to counter the effects of high altitude in the Andes. The Deep-Hydration Cleansing Facial with Quinoa taps the nutritional benefits of the quinoa to prevent premature aging of sensitive and dehydrated skin.

Beyond the spa, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel offers spiritual and wellness experiences that connect with the cosmic energy of ancient Peruvian civilisations, while touring nearby natural and cultural sites. During the full day Machu Picchu Mystical Tour, guests can visit the historic sanctuary with a local shaman who uses his natural gifts to help them discover the spiritual and natural energy side of Machu Picchu, as well as its magical connections to Pachamama or Mother Earth. During the visit, the shaman will lead a cleansing session, while back at the hotel in the evening; travellers will participate in a private coca leaf reading.

Guests can participate in a one-hour Payment to the Earth Ritual on the hotel’s private terrace. 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. Coca, which is a traditional Peruvian symbol of community and respect, plays a significant role in the ceremony.

Rooms at the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel start from USD 602.80 per room per night (from GBP 427) based on double occupancy and including buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner, luggage assistance between the hotel and Aguas Calientes train station

Silvotherapy – the art of Tree Hugging in Italy


Hugging a tree could seriously improve the quality of your life as demonstrated by a new package offered by Adler Dolomiti’s “Yoga & The Healing Power of Trees”

This three-night half-board package includes two sessions of outdoor yoga amid the natural beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Italian Dolomites that will help to re-charge guests’ batteries, while helping to establish inner harmony and peace. During the walk guests will be introduced to the theory of silvotherapy (the art of healing the body by harnessing the energy of the trees). It also includes access to the hotel’s spa and wellness programmes. This is available for one weekend only, from 21 to 24 September.  To book this unique package, visit:www.adler-resorts.com/en

Adler Dolomiti is accessible by flying to either Innsbruck or Verona, then to Ortisei by private transfer, rail or airport coach.

In the early 1980s, Japanese scientists discovered that simply inhaling the aromas produced by trees could immunise the body against disease. Phytonicides, which trees emit to protect themselves from harmful insects and germs, have strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities when inhaled by humans. American medical research has also proved that just being among trees is good for well-being, with stress levels and blood pressure lowered within three minutes of being in a green space.

Touching, stroking, leaning on and, above all, hugging a tree is beneficial to your health, with individual tree species having different effects on people. Among the trees that are prevalent in the Dolomites, beech improves concentration and well-being, will help ease a sore throat and improves kidney function, while pine is good for the respiratory system, helps to treat depression and restores balance, while reducing fatigue.

Many pharmaceuticals are derived from trees: aspirin comes from willow bark and Pycnogenol, which protects against deep vein thrombosis, is made from pine tree bark.