As all of us are becoming more aware of the need to look after our wellbeing, destination medical retreats are popping up on everyone's radar
Often set amidst stunning natural landscapes and refined properties that offer luxury, exclusivity, and privacy, these medically-minded retreats go far beyond the pampering destination spas we’ve come to know and love – though there’s plenty of that on offer, too. The focus at these retreats is on programs that draw on medical practices – both modern and ancient – to create holistic wellness from the inside out. The aim? To improve guests’ overall wellbeing, increase their vitality, and extend their longevity. Here, we check into some of the world’s best – and most effective – medical retreats.
Chenot Palace Weggis
Situated in the pure airs of the Switzerland and on the shores of Lake Lucerne, Chenot Palace Weggis is a sprawling 5,000sqm medical spa dedicated to providing regenerative journeys. The integrative approach here combines state-of-the-art diagnostics, medical technology, hydrotherapy, aesthetics, and human performance. The focus here is the scientifically-driven Chenot Method, which was designed to promote balance between the mind and body, and increase energy and vitality, by combining Chinese medicine with Western medicine in a powerful program of protocols, treatments, and nutrition. Guests embark on one of three focused programs – Recover & Energise, Advanced Detox, or Prevention & Aging Well – depending on their needs. Check into one of 97 elegant, historic guest rooms, and when you have some time, visit the resort town of Weggis, which Mark Twain once called the “loveliest place” he ever visited.
RAKxa Fully Integrated Wellness & Medical Retreat
Samut Prakan, Thailand
Combining the best of modern and traditional medicine, RAKxa is a wellness oasis hidden on a forest-clad island just outside Bangkok on the Chao Phraya river. Amidst this tranquil hideaway, guests can unwind in 60 stunningly appointed villas that have been carefully designed to promote deep sleep. Journeys here begin with a full diagnosis of the body’s current state and are carefully tailored to each guest’s requirements and include specific issues like mobilization, immunity, stress, detoxification, and gut health. Medical facilities include technologically-driven equipment like hyperbaric chambers and cryo-saunas along with V Nutrient Therapy drips. Drawing on Asian practices, RAKxa also offers Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Thai Medicine, and Energy Medicine, as well as a therapeutic spa with hydrothermal facilities. All of this is underpinned by personalized menus of delicious, nutritious cuisine created by the property’s chef and dietician.
Villa Stéphanie Spa & Wellbeing
In one of the world’s most prestigious spa towns – Baden-Baden, Germany – you’ll find the exclusive Villa Stéphanie, a standalone destination ensconced in the world-famous Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa. Well-groomed parklands surround this former royal residence, which cocoons guests in comfort in 15 rooms and suites decked out in classical style. But the real magic happens at Haus Julius, the space-age clinic where holistic health meets cutting-edge medical care under the supervision of Germany’s top practitioners across disciplines like aesthetics, gynecology, and ophthalmology. Dr. Harry F. König oversees the targeted medical programs – which are focused on preventative medicine and diagnostics – and pairs them with healthy yet decadent meals created by nutritionists and time in the exquisite 5,000sqm spa. No wonder Victoria Beckham’s a fan.
SHA Wellness Clinic
Perched on a mountainside in Alicante, Spain, with sweeping views of the Mediterranean, SHA Wellness Clinic focuses on its signature eight-pillar approach that’s designed to help you live longer. Combining nutrition, natural therapies, preventative medicine, advanced aesthetic beauty, cognitive and emotional health, physical performance, wellbeing and balance, and healthy living, the SHA Method is about giving you the tools to improve your health and quality of life. A range of programs are designed to address your goals, from weight loss and detoxing to healthy aging and rebalancing, but a new addition, the Post-Covid journey, is designed to alleviate the long-term effects of this new disease. During your downtime, duck into the 6,000sqm wellness facility that features a hydrotherapy circuit, two indoor pools, and a gym.
Maria Wörth, Austria
VIVAMAYR offers tailored holistic health programs led by a team of doctors that are designed to promote long-term health and a good quality of life with traditional diagnostics and therapies. Modern Mayr Medicine is the specialty of VIVAMAYR Maria Wörth, where guests can enjoy the peaceful surrounds of Lake Wörthersee along with personal training, hydrotherapy, Kneipp therapy, and more. Guests can enjoy individualized nutrition plans laced with local, seasonal, and organic products so they learn how to support their wellbeing through food. Focused programs include Active Detox, Post-Covid, Anti-Inflammatory Skin, and Diabetes. Relaxation is impossible to resist at this unique location with its own generous lakeside plot and breathtaking backdrop. VIVAMAYR has another stunning retreat in Austria in Altaussee, where guests can immerse themselves in magical lake and mountain scenery and medical practices like Modern Mayr Medicine, Functional Myodiagnostics, and TCM, as well as regenerative sports, and wellness and beauty facilities.
Lanserhof Lans in Tyrol, Austria is an upmarket wellness destination boasting sweeping views of the Nordkette Alps, forests, and picturesque villages, along with a slightly monastic quality designed to encourage relaxation and introspection. The resort has one of Europe’s most comprehensive medical facilities, overseen by a team of experts that create bespoke journeys for each guest. Diets take centerstage here with personalized – sometimes very restrictive – detox and fasting programs. Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol are strictly verboten, and guests learn strict dietary practices – such as chewing each bite 35 times – that help improve wellbeing. The Lanserhof art of healing has been developed over three decades and practiced to perfection at Lanserhof on a daily basis. The LANS Med Concept is the combination of the most valuable insights that nature and science have to offer: Wisdom of traditional naturopathy, energy medicine, psychology and psychoneuroimmunology, chronomedicine, and advanced modern medicine. The property’s famous Lanserhof Cure Advanced package is designed for a period of two weeks and includes various medical examinations such as blood mineral and bioimpedance analysis, basal metabolism measurement and much more. Lanserhof also has a sister property in Germany at the Tegernsee.
Clinique La Prairie
This award-winning spa clinic in Switzerland will be familiar to anyone even remotely interested in wellness. A leader in longevity since 1931, Clinique La Prairie has won legions of followers with its advanced health and wellness programs delivered in sumptuous surrounds. Programs here combine preventative medicine with personalized lifestyle and nutrition plans developed by a coterie of 50 medical professionals and holistic experts. Believing the cornerstones of longevity are medical insight, nutrition, wellbeing, and movement, the resort offers diagnostics, innovative science, modern technology, proprietary genetics, and epigenetics. You can also choose from highly-targeted programs such as weight loss, sleep, cell boost facelift, immunity boost, and anti-aging stem cells to address your most pressing problems. The onsite Medical Center covers all specialties, from acupuncture and oncology to eye surgery, gastroenterology, neurosurgery, and psychology.
Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa
Miami, United States
A lavish estate set amidst 650 acres of lush gardens outside Miami, USA, Pritkin features all-inclusive journeys centered around issues like weight loss, diabetes, and heart health. Stays here include medical consultations, education on healthy living, cooking classes, and more, all led by board-certified physicians and nutritionists. When you’re not learning to live better, spend your time at the award-winning Doral Spa, which offers a menu of more than 100 rituals, championship golf courses, tennis courts, and swimming pools. Want to make health a family affair? The Family Health Camp gets the whole clan in on the action with healthy cooking skills teaching life-long wellness.