Luxury Hotels

Costa Rica – Horwath – Burgenstock -London – truffle hunting

As shown above, yoga at The Retreat at Barrio Jesus de Atenas in Alajuela, Costa Rica, might be just what Girlahead needs in the way of healing and rejuvenatiom at this time. The 13-bedroom adult-only hotel is perched high on a crystal quartz mountain overlooking a scenic rainforest valley and the Pacific. The Retreat, which offers world-class holistic wellness principles with Ayurvedic practices, is the vision of Diana Stobo, a wellness coach known for such books as Get Naked Fast.

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Also on the wellness front, the October 2020 Horwath HTL paper Merging Medical and Wellness Tourism in Integrative Wellness Destinations shows this ‘marriage’ is one of the fastest growing trends in the wellness industry today. Co-author Ingo Schweder says that forward-thinking spas and resorts have already started providing diagnostics and specialized therapies as part of health and wellness offerings. But, he cautions, it is important to know that doing so requires careful planning to ensure a safe, operationally efficient, and results-driven environment. Investors and operators will discover wellness destinations are anticipated to become the most sought-after wellness hospitality establishments, as they will provide all-round services in a comfortable and non-medical environment. Ingo Schweder is Founder and Chairman of GOCO Hospitality, based in Bangkok, and its many activities include the justifiably-successful 40ha  Glen Ivy Hot Springs adult-only day spa in the California desert, closest town Corona CA.

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The Corinthia London adds, to its wellness offerings. Elixir Clinic’s VitaDrip® infusions are a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids; all classifies as ‘essential nutrients’ vital for the body, brilliantly formulated to support with hydration, detox, enhancing energy levels, strengthening the immune system, while promoting anti-ageing. Benefits of the IV infusions include 100% absorption of the nutrients as it bypasses the digestive tract – our bodies absorb only between 10%-30% of vitamins contained in oral supplements – as well as ensuring high bioavailability of the ingredients. Intramuscular injections, referred to as booster shots take just seconds, whilst VitaDrip® infusions take from just 45 minutes. Signature Treatments include the VIP Vitadrip® £407, Anti-aging Vitadrip® £350, Immunity Vitadrip® £350 and the Antioxidant booster shot.

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World Economic Forum (WEF) members will be able to get oodles of clear Swiss mountain air next May. Qatar-owned Burgenstock Resort, 500m immediately above Lucerne, hosts WEF’s Spring meeting, 18-21 May 2021. Lucky WEF members! There are several hotels – Girlahead last stayed, looking far down to the lake, in corner suite #1111 of The Burgenstock Hotel (part of Leading). The entire complex has so many touch points, its still-working 1888-vintage pulley funicular, Europe’s tallest exterior lift (Hammetschwand), a working church (in 1954, Audrey Hepburn married Mel Ferrer at Burgenstock), lots of retail (learn all you need about Swatch), great food choices (overseen by Mike Wehrle), and superb health and wellness (with La Prairie, St Barth’s, Susanne Kaufmann and more) – the whole performance directed by Robert Herr.

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And now for something different and divinely sybaritic.  You can go truffle hunting year-round at Castelfalfi, Preferred’s magnificent resort  in Tuscany – see the video below. Matteo, 39, a 3rd generation hunter, has exclusive use of Castelfalfi’s woodland, fortunately heavy in oak and sparse in grass. His eight-strong dog pack, all males, always work in the same pairs. They rush off, their tails working overtime when they detect a smell 30-40 cm underground. Using his vanghetto, long-handled dibber, Matteo rushes up, allowing the dog to scrabble madly too. Within 5 minutes the first beauty was unearthed, €60-worth of the most valuable, white (€2,000/kg). In 40 minutes Matteo had two white, two winter black (€800/kg): the rain 10 days ago helped, he says. Only one truffle comes up per tree per year. January-April he might find small whites, May to August is Summer black season.  He tells Girlahead he normally starts pre-dawn, will hunt for four hours and then go home for breakfast, say ham, bread, perhaps eggs, perhaps old cheese topped with honey and truffle crumbs, and a glass of local red wine.  Truffles must never be frozen: keep in the fridge, use within a week and only clean, with a nail-type brush and a little water, immediately before using. Matteo sells direct to restaurants and he has a little shop, which also sells his truffle oil – and his truffle honey.