by STELLA magazine writers, The Telegraph, June 12, 2017
Prescribe yourself some downtime and get off-grid with these healthy breaks in the sun.
SHA Wellness Clinic, Alicante, Spain
Best for...serious health fanatics
The low-down: The SHA may be a beautiful glass building with smartly-dressed receptionists and suites with beds to sink into, but don’t let that fool you. It is more a medical spa than a hotel, where you spend your days having everything from colonics through to cryotherapy. Food is delicious but macrobiotic and minimal. The massages are bliss, and the oxygen bar – where you sit with tubes in your nose – is an interesting pick me-up when you are feeling particularly peckish and aren’t allowed a snack. The terraces are stunning, with commanding views of the coast and a heavenly unheated pool. There’s also paddle tennis and a putting green, and a library full of books and art where you can go to drink tea. Each guest also gets an iPad for the duration of their stay, and thankfully Wi-Fi is plentiful.
Out and about: The beautiful old town of Altea is nearby, but then so is Benidorm. SHA guests tend to be the type who don’t leave until check-out. Once you’re in, you’re in.
Stella loves: Indiba, a new treatment that claims to ‘rebalance cell interaction’ through a massaging device similar to an ultra-sound. We don’t know if it did anything to our cellulite or wrinkles, but it was blissful.
Words by Bryony Gordon
Four-night Sha Discovery programme from £1,950 per person, including full board, flights & spa treatments; healingholidays.co.uk
The SHA is more medical spa than a hotel, where you spend your days having everything from colonics through to cryotherapy.
Victoria Jungfrau, Spa Nescens, Switzerland
Best for...restorative well-being
The low-down: Overlooking the snow-capped Jungfrau Massif and nestled between the two lakes of Interlaken, the Victoria-Jungfrau hotel is an exceptional spa destination. This ‘Grand-Dame’ of alpine hotels has been a place of pilgrimage for health seekers since Victorian times, now the recently dedicated Nescens spa offers a whole new level of bespoke better-ageing wellness and sublime relaxation. A personally devised – and utterly delicious – menu complements the bespoke treatments and training programme to set you on a path to optimise your health, to live better for longer.
Out and about: Incredible outdoor adventures await – let the hotel arrange for their trained instructors to take you skiing (when there is snow, of course), hiking or try an adrenaline hitting sky-dive from the mountain. Alternatively experience the views across the Alps by taking the Jungfrau railway to the view and adventure platform at 3,454 metres above sea level.
Stella loves: The sheer luxury of relaxing in the heated outdoor mineral spa pool whilst breathing in the fresh mountain air.
Words by Naomi McMullen
The four-day Nescens Better-Ageing programmes start from approx. £5,232 per person, including a four-night stay in a Deluxe Double; victoria-jungfrau.ch
Gazing across at the snow-capped Jungfrau Massif and nestled between the two lakes of Interlaken, the Victoria- Jungfrau spa hotel is in an exceptional location.
Masseria San Domenico, Puglia, Italy
Best for...a fresh start
The low-down: The hotel is set in an ancient olive grove carpeted, in spring, with wild flowers. The food (much of it grown in the grounds), is a delicate take on Apulian cuisine. Think tuna and fennel carpaccio; seabass millefeuille; spaghetti with clams and pine nuts. Olives are grown and pressed on the grounds, drizzled over food and mashed up for beauty treatments. Start your stay here with a consultation with Dr Grassi, eminent researcher into the Med Diet. He can create a bespoke programme of food, exercise and treatments whether you want to lose weight, banish cellulite or just want a fresh start.
Out and about: Masseria Le Carrube (masserialecarrubeostuni.it) offers the most decadent veggie Sunday lunch you’ll ever try: dig into orecchiette, chargrilled veg and sun-ripened tomatoes picked in the grounds, creamy burrata and cheese-stuffed pastries. Check out the trullo – an Apulian stone hut with a conical roof – in the grounds, too, as you try to stroll off lunch. Intrigued? See more traditional architecture in nearby Alberobello.
Stella loves: The thallasotherapy spa; the Hypothermal Marine Treatment is the ultimate treat(ment) for hot, achy, sun-scorched legs. The wrap, recommended for bad circulation and varicose veins, leaves limbs tingly-cool for hours afterwards. Truly (or should that be trulli?) miraculous.
Words by Olivia Walmsley
Three nights from £1196 per person, b&b; masseriasandomenico.com
• Read the full Masseria San Domenico hotel review here
Start your stay at Masseria San Domenico with a consultation with nutritionist Dr Agostino Grassi, who will create a bespoke programme.
The Nai Harn, Phuket, Thailand
Best for…beachfront blissout
The low-down: The Nai Harn, which offers luxurious beachfront living overlooking the Nai Harn bay at the southern tip of Phuket, has introduced a new holistic retreat. Set to the soundtrack of the ocean beyond, the five-star hotel’s healthy living programme will kick-start your personal wellness goals in effortless luxury. Enjoy a bespoke plant-based diet and carefully planned exercise regime complemented with yoga sessions and indulgent massages. This retreat promises to leave you feeling fully revitalised and reconnected. The hotel is on the edge of Nai Harn beach, one of the most beautiful in all of Thailand with platinum sand – and no big crowds.
Out and about: Grab a round-trip transfer to Phuket weekend market to drink in the local culture including culinary Thai highlights of the island or take a scuba dive trip with Sea Bees and discover Thailand’s stunning marine habitat. Be sure to discover the secret tree-lined beach of Ao Sane close by, where the water is so clear you can even ditch your snorkel gear. There’s just one tasty no frills restaurant to feed hungry bellies.
Stella loves: The fresh homemade breakfasts – everything from eggs Benedict to freshly-made crepes and energy-boosting juices – that come with stunning ocean views.
The Healthy Living Retreat starts from £260 for three days; thenaiharn.com
The Nai Harn has introduced a new holistic retreat to reduce stress and kick-start your wellness goals.