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Five wellness escapes to revive body and mind

Publication: FT Weekend

Discover your Zen within the hills of Tuscany

Castello del Nero sits in the Tuscan countryside 20 minutes south of Florence
Castello del Nero sits within the Tuscan countryside 20 minutes south of Florence
A heritage suite at the Castello del Nero
A heritage suite on the Castello del Nero

Christina Ong’s identify has been related to wellness virtually so long as southeast Asian wellness has been A Factor: her COMO Shambhala Property on Bali set the bar virtually twenty years in the past, and its satellites, from Singapore to the Maldives to London, nonetheless provide strong outcomes. Extra not too long ago COMO Shambhala has come to the hills of Tuscany: Castello del Nero, which sits about 20 minutes’ drive south of Florence, was quietly taken over by Ong’s COMO resorts group in 2019. Renovated underneath her aegis by the gifted and splendidly whimsical Paola Navone, the Castello is, as of final month, formally residence to a full-service COMO Shambhala Retreat. Its 1,000sq m of area comprise health studios (together with personal pilates and yoga rooms), in depth thermal swimming pools and saunas, seven therapy rooms and an out of doors train and coaching space. “Ritual” packages embody tailor-made menus and health, facial and physique therapies, limitless use of thermal suites and swimming pools, and guided hikes throughout the property’s 700-plus acres. comohotels.com, from £474


“Wilderness” retreats – and Dr Barbara Sturm – in Scotland

The former gatehouse has been transformed into a beauty lodge with nail bar, hair salon and treatment rooms
The previous gatehouse has been reworked right into a magnificence lodge with nail bar, hair salon and therapy rooms © Gleneagles
The hotel’s wellness, spa and fitness spaces have just undergone renovation
The resort’s wellness, spa and health areas have simply undergone renovation © Gleneagles

When Sharan Pasricha, he of hospitality powerhouse Ennismore, took the helm at Gleneagles in Scotland, an entire new stage of sophistication and gloss was dropped at bear on the historic property. As of this month, that’s complimented by a complete, formidable and pretty fabulous-sounding wellness providing, which can embody the primary resident clinic from skincare star Dr Barbara Sturm within the UK exterior London, together with curated dishes within the spa and Backyard Café by Rosemary Ferguson. Gleneagles’ new Wild Wellness retreats are two-day, turbo-charged nature immersions that embody waterfall bathing and foraging, mountaineering and fishing in your personal dinner (if you’re so inclined). All enhanced by the just-completed renovation of the resort’s wellness, spa and health areas, and the launch of its personal signature important and oils and essences created from botanicals harvested on and across the property. gleneagles.com, from £475


Go along with the snow in Colorado and Iceland

Deplar Farm, Eleven’s ski lodge on the Troll Peninsula in Iceland
Deplar Farm, Eleven’s ski lodge on the Troll Peninsula in Iceland © Eleven Expertise
The view from the spa at Deplar
The view from the spa at Deplar © Eleven Expertise

One to control for this winter: the alpha wellness retreats put collectively by the staff behind Eleven Expertise, whose tranche of ultra-exclusive takeover properties spans Chilean Patagonia and Iceland, the French Alps and the Bahamas. Eleven Life is one thing each visitor can have a style of – by way of single adventures, menus and meals, and coverings. The extra formidable can signal on for wellness experiences, that are at the moment being usually held at Taylor River Lodge, Scarp Ridge Lodge and Sopris Home in Colorado, and at Deplar Farm, their ski lodge on the Troll Peninsula in Iceland. They aren’t for the faint of coronary heart: assume snow showers and ice bathing, hardcore diet and common pushing of bodily and psychological boundaries. However the payoff is scientifically documented, and the surroundings, and surrounds, promise to be spectacular. elevenexperience.com, from £651


The advantageous artwork of feeling good, on Crete

The pool at Artful Retreats’ Villa Levanda
The pool at Suave Retreats’ Villa Levanda © Andreas Markakis

A handful of wellness propositions of a barely completely different stripe are set to happen on the finish of this month, in early October, after which once more in Could and June 2022, within the tiny village of Gavalochori, on Crete. Suave Retreats has been organising artwork therapy-based wellness programmes, in places starting from the hills exterior Zurich to Singapore, for near a decade. On Crete, company will keep at a contemporary, light-filled personal property simply exterior the village. After morning yoga and breakfast, they retire to the studio, the place guided sketching and portray is designed to assist entry and course of psychological and emotional blocks and points (lest it really feel a bit too near the woo-woo area, think about that using artwork to ease psychological and psychological misery has been championed by everybody from Hippocrates to Carl Jung). There are as much as six hours a day of artwork and dialogue, interspersed with strolls within the olive groves, visits to the village within the evenings and idle time by the pool (additionally identified to have a salutary impact on the thoughts state). artfulretreats.com, 4 days from £980 per particular person


Straightforward Ayurveda meets seashore bliss

And eventually, to the far northwest nook of Kerala, and the coast at Kasaragod, the place there’s a bit of place that’s made it on to the favourites record of some very worldly folks. Neeleshwar Hermitage isn’t an Ayurvedic retreat within the strict sense, although the delicacies and therapies it provides throughout the ethereal pavilions of its 12 oceanfront acres do incorporate many components of Ayurveda. Neither is it a five-star proposition, so these obsessive about thread counts and 2am room service ought to in all probability ebook elsewhere. What Neeleshwar is, is a sanctuary in probably the most absolute sense. It’s protected, each in Covid-19 phrases (Kerala had one among India’s most profitable vaccine rollout programmes and its quickest restoration, and is open for tourism once more) and within the private one (I rode my little bicycle – every visitor is given one all through their keep – all around the space, morning and early night).

“Very pretty”: the infinity pool at Neeleshwar
“Very fairly”: the infinity pool at Neeleshwar
Seaview Cottage sits among the 12 oceanfront acres at Neeleshwar Hermitage
Seaview Cottage sits among the many 12 oceanfront acres at Neeleshwar Hermitage

It’s beneficiant: the parts of fresh, contemporary, fish-and-vegetable-based curries and rices are strong, the breakfasts huge and diverse, the workers chatty and smiling. Oil therapies and massages are sometimes delivered by two therapists working in tandem, and the shirtmaker positioned on the resort’s entrance will fortunately unfold out bolt after bolt of sorbet-shaded cottons so that you can admire. And eventually, Neeleshwar could be very fairly: the cottages are giant and breezy, with wooden flooring and white beds, and patios throughout which rattan furnishings is organized and hammocks strung. The restaurant is the literal manifestation of toes in sand, with wealthy violet and pink desk linens. And the solar plunges spectacularly into the Indian Ocean, a nightly spectacle that appears to occur only for you, and has obtained to be meals for the soul. neeleshwarhermitage.com, from about £380 per evening, half board

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