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Integrative spa
Tangible results for optimal living

Camiral Golf & Wellness delivers integrative programmes as part of a 360-degree wellness model that treads new ground for the industry. Neena Dhillon pays a visit


The Camiral Golf & Wellness resort in north-east Spain is famous for its link to the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). It has one of the world’s top PGA golf courses and has hosted the PGA European Tour numerous times since opening in 1999.

Once known as PGA Catalunya, it rebranded to Camiral in late 2022 to reflect its location on the ancient Cami Ral hiking route between Spain and France.

Resort owner, Irish entrepreneur Denis O’Brien, who also owns the Quinta Do Lago golf resort in Portugal, has spent the last two decades developing it as a year-round destination.

The most recent investment is a €5m (US$5.3m, £4.3m), 1,000sq m Wellness Centre, adding to the resort’s existing offering, which includes restaurants and leisure facilities, hotels and holiday rentals and high-end residences.

Ramping up the spa offering
Although the resort featured a small spa and gym previously, CEO David Plana admits it needed a far more comprehensive facility. “Golf is not enough,” he explains. “You need family activities, outdoor pursuits, sports, gastronomy and, of course, wellness. People expect this, and as diversification is important to us, we’re looking for the new Wellness Centre to attract people for longer stays and also to appeal to guests with different budgets and demographic profiles.”

Despite a year of on-off COVID restrictions, the summers of 2021 and 2022 highlighted a regional appetite for travel, with hotel occupancy more than 75 per cent in July and August, while golf and hotel revenues returned to 2019 levels. Plana wants to retain this increasing regional and domestic clientele, and adding more wellness is part of achieving that mission.

‘Accessible’ and ‘recovery’ may not be buzzy marketing terms, but they sit neatly at the heart of the Wellness Centre’s concept. A 60-minute holistic massage at Camiral costs €120 (US$116, £107). Meanwhile, its programme-based approach that lies between clinics like Chenot, Lanserhof and SHA Wellness, and operators such as Aman or Mandarin Oriental, encourages guests to invest in their wellbeing with precision and efficiency.

A new business model
Industry figure and consultant Greg Payne, who worked with the resort’s team to conceive the offering, explains more: “The bigger-is-better spa model hasn’t worked for the hospitality industry since the 2008 financial crash, with return on investment in 2,000sq m-plus facilities failing to add up. There’s been a vacuum since, as we’ve waited for the next model to be developed.

“Relaxation, a massage and a robe are simply not enough these days, with consumers wanting more tangible results. In short, luxury alone is no longer the story.

“At Camiral, we’ve created day-long and short-stay programmes that support clients looking for symptomatic relief, by combining elements you’d find at world-leading wellness clinics, but which also offer incredible value for the operator when you remember they’re being delivered in a 1,000sq m space.

“Considering that spa facilities and thermal areas in particular have an average build cost of €3,000 (US$3,200, £2,600) per sq m, this translates into real financial impact on the potential for profit.”

The Wellness Programmes, which start at €385 (US$411, £327) per person, per day, combine movement, relaxation, holistic touch therapies, nutritional expertise and high-tech treatments – some very new to Spain – with a recovery focus. “Back in 2018, I visited a football club and saw how state-of-the-art technologies such as cryotherapy and oxygen chambers were being used to get athletes back on their feet,” says Payne. “I thought about the golf/sports setting at Camiral and how there could be a continuum from spa right through to athletic performance for anybody interested in optimal living.”

Wellness manager Núria Camins, a 15-year spa veteran, says the new concept represents a 360-degree offering to anyone seeking to restore equilibrium, resolve a particular problem, or take preventative action. This holistic approach benefits from the integration of high-tech therapies because “they are able to access a level of the body – the deeper cellular levels – which hands cannot.” The important distinction, however, is that the tech works as a complementary and amplifying component to touch, nutrition and movement.

The programmes
The varied menu comprises individual spa treatments and rituals alongside celebration experiences, for example, the one-day Spa-Cation is €300 per person (US$321, £255) or a two-day Bridal Countdown at €450 (US$481, £383), to appeal to the Wellness Centre’s target audience. This ranges from residents who have homes or rentals at the resort, and local visitors – be they from Girona, Barcelona or the wider Catalonia region – to European guests, including from France and other source markets, such as Germany, the Nordic countries, Switzerland and the UK.

While the menu will continue to evolve, there are currently three wellness programmes: Immunity Support, Weight Loss and Detox and Ageing Well. The two-day Ageing Well programme, priced at €755, (US$807, £642) includes a signature hammam experience, a 60-minute massage, an IV vitamin infusion, four additional high-tech therapy sessions, light lunches and wellness refreshments.

“We personalise elements to suit our client’s needs, but each programme addresses specific concerns that are relevant today,” says Camins. “COVID-19 has shown the importance of a healthy immune system, so our Immunity Support programme works to improve its functionality through Kneipp and hammam treatments combined with infusions, photobiomodulation and oxygenation therapy.

“With our Weight Loss option, we believe that the body benefits from a seasonal reset and detox, so here we work on optimising a client’s metabolism, stimulating their circulation and sharing nutritional advice that moves them towards clean eating, rather than calorie counting. Finally, our Ageing Programme is really about the client’s quality of ageing rather than being ‘anti-ageing’ in its focus.”

Getting assessed
Experts assess guests, looking for things such as issues with sleep, feelings of tiredness, burnout or sadness and dehydrated skin and then recommend the most appropriate high-tech treatments. If they don’t want to commit to a programme, however, guests can also take a single therapy session to deal with a particular complaint, such as problems with the sciatic nerve.

Indeed, the choice of technologies is designed to aid sports and workout recovery for sports enthusiasts, semi-professionals and professionals alike. Recent visitors have included English and Polish football players who were particularly enthusiastic about their experience of whole-body cryotherapy – this is proving to be one of the most popular high-tech therapies and is priced at €60 (US$64, £51) per session.

During a cryotherapy session, clients step into a Mecotec chamber, initially set at a temperature of -60°C for 30 seconds followed by two-and-a-half minutes at -110°C. “As a client stands in the extreme cold, blood in the body rushes to protect vital organs. As soon as they step out, it floods back into the system, boosting circulation, moderating adrenal stress and releasing endorphins,” says Camins.

Popularised by personalities from Lewis Hamilton to Cristiano Ronaldo, the therapy is designed to reduce inflammation and muscular pain.

Equally intriguing but less extreme, photobiomodulation light therapy also priced at €60 entails clients lying down for 20 to 30 minutes inside a MitoGen pod, during which time a red laser light powers cellular regeneration by stimulating ATP energy production. The third tech option is oxygen chamber therapy, while the fourth involves IV infusions provided by London’s NADclinic.

NADclinic collaboration
The Camiral team worked with Dr Saskia Kloppenburg of NADclinic to produce three specific infusions containing different combinations of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and electrolytes: the first is formulated for sports recovery, the second to boost the immune system and the final for essential immunity. They’re delivered on-site by a registered nurse in the privacy of a treatment room.

Camins acknowledges that IV infusions are proving the most challenging to introduce: “International guests, from the US, are the most likely to be familiar with them, so we’ve had to think carefully about how to introduce them to our European guests. We’re still testing this but, as with all the technologies, it helps when our therapists explain how they work in person during an introduction to the spa, and how they can specifically support a guest’s particular needs.”

This challenge of ‘the unknown’ is also picked up by Payne, who says: “A few years ago, cryotherapy would have been regarded as too extreme to be included in a spa environment, but now it’s going mainstream. And with the IV infusions, we’ve had to tread carefully to consider the correct level of staffing and medical oversight to deliver them with a sense of security and assurance.”

So are there any promising early signs about tech uptake? “When we opened in spring [2021], we made the decision to focus on spa over the summer, returning to wellness in the winter to prepare for 2022,” says Payne. “Despite not pushing wellness, we were encouraged to see that the high-end leisure market already had an appetite for tech-led treatments, which made up 26 per cent of the treatment mix in the summer months. But the most interesting fact was that they were additional treatments, contributing to an average of 1.8 treatments per guest over a three-day stay, meaning they represented incremental income and not just a shift in the therapies sold.”

As to be expected of a facility that aims to become one of the leading European wellness centres, Camiral’s spa partners are highly regarded and include Aromatherapy Associates and Biologique Recherche. Clients booking individual rituals, treatments and facials have access to the thermal pavilion in which to recover and relax by experiencing the hot and cold pools, sauna and steam.

Food and environment
Nutritionist Mireia Cervera has worked with the destination’s executive chef David Vives to create menus for each wellness programme. “We use integrative nutrition to help our clients achieve all-round health; not just to lose weight,” she says. “In a world that can make it challenging to maintain control over your diet, we guide clients by showing them how a natural, nutritious diet can help prevent disease and improve symptoms.”

Cervera is available to personalise diets, but there is a sample seasonal menu created in advance for each programme. For example, a typical Immunity Support meal includes a salad of cabbage, celery, apple, pomegranate and raisins, followed by tofu, mushroom and pumpkin lasagne, and fruit salad with a soup of green tea, fennel and celery to finish.

Enclosed in 540 hectares of tranquil green landscape and a recipient of the IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection, Camiral’s environment is akin to a nature reserve. In-house biologist, Oriol Dalmau, is responsible for “preserving green infrastructure, nurturing botanical diversity and reintroducing near-extinct species to the terrain”. With its own organic garden, vineyard and beehives, the destination’s secure and spacious green setting is well suited to the addition of the Wellness Centre, which was built from scratch.

"We’re looking for the new Wellness Centre to attract people for longer stays" – David Plana, CEO

"Relaxation, a massage and a robe are simply not enough these days" – Greg Payne, consultant to Camiral Golf & Wellness

"The concept represents a 360-degree offering to anyone seeking to restore equilibrium, resolve a problem, or take preventative action" – Núria Camins, wellness manager

About Camiral Golf & Wellness

Less than an hour from Barcelona, 20 minutes from the Costa Brava and 15 minutes from Girona, Camiral Golf & Wellness is based around real estate development.

It incorporates two championship golf courses, two hotels – the 5-star Hotel Camiral, designed by architect Lázaro Rosa-Violán and the contemporary Lavida Hotel – as well as a Kids’ Club facilities and five restaurants.

Camiral Golf & Wellness offers outdoor activities designed to enable guests to enjoy the surrounding countryside, including Forest Park – a family adventure park with a zip-wire, cycling, trekking and horse-riding on trails through nearby forests and mountains.

Villa plots are for sale, enabling owners to develop their own property in keeping with the resort’s architectural concepts, while the resort offers move-in-ready, architect-designed villas.

The Residents’ Club offers owners and guests access to facilities including a 20m outdoor pool, solarium, children’s pool, Technogym-equipped gym and the new spa and wellness offering.

www.camiral.com

"We believe in using integrative nutrition to help our clients achieve all-round health; not just to lose weight" – Mireia Cervera, nutritionist

"We’re preserving green infrastructure, nurturing botanical diversity and reintroducing near-extinct species" – Oriol Dalmau, biologist

First Person
Neena Dhillon tried out the Immunity Support programme at Camiral Golf & Wellness
Personal reboot

I’d been feeling fatigued, with dull aches in my back – a sure sign of inflammation, which is a classic symptom of a long-term lung condition I suffer from, so the Immunity Support programme seemed the right option.

I was most nervous about the cryotherapy, but as I was in the hands of the caring therapist, I felt reassured as she talked me step-by-step through the process. I loved that I could choose my own music and was able to see my therapist through the glass; she gave me countdowns, so even though time seemed to slow, I never felt unable to endure the chill.

While in the chamber, numbness became apparent, as did intense aching in my knees. Stepping out into a warm dressing gown, however, felt incredible and for the first time, every nerve ending in my body felt intensely alive.

After a 15-minute break with tea, in which a lovely feeling of hyper-awareness remained, I moved on with the same therapist to a hammam scrub and cleanse, during which hot, warm and cold water was used. The intuitive touch of the therapist felt even more welcome following the cryotherapy and the use of alternating hot-cold was very effective.

Other firsts

In other firsts, I tried photobiomodulation, a warming and enveloping experience, as well as an IV infusion, which passed pleasantly enough thanks to the regular observation of the staff. Fortunately, I don’t mind needles. Perhaps those who do will need more persuasion to sign up in a wellness/spa setting.

Over the course of two days, I felt the most impactful therapeutic sequencing when tech was followed by hands-on treatment and then rest in the Thermal Pavilion. I can safely say I’m a convert to these high-tech therapies, but the winning aspect of the experience remained the combination of tech and touch.

The therapists at Camiral are a real asset; a sign of any good holistic massage is when you feel your therapist has understood your very particular and idiosyncratic vulnerabilities through her touch.

In this case, her observations about my pain and tenderness were spot on, and her recommendations of how to optimise the rest of my time in the centre were welcome. My overall sense of wellbeing was notably lifted, my back pain-free and my energy revived.

More than a month on, I still felt the benefits of my short stay. It would undoubtedly elevate the programmes further to have some form of physiological testing to fully validate the experience.

The most impactful therapeutic sequencing was when tech was followed by hands-on treatment and then rest
Chilling in the cryo chamber / Photo: Neena Dhillon
IV infusion was a first for Dhillon / Photo: Neena Dhillon
Relaxation, movement and nutrition are expertly blended together Credit: PGA Catalunya
Tracking results can show clients the treatments are really worth doing Credit: PGA Catalunya
The Wellness Centre offers a mix of high-tech and high-touch therapies Credit: PGA Catalunya
Officially recognised for its sustainability, the landscape of the resort is akin to a nature reserve Credit: PGA Catalunya
Credit: PGA Catalunya
Whole-body cryotherapy is a popular treatment Credit: PGA Catalunya
Botanical diversity is nurtured at the resort, and food is nutritious Credit: PGA Catalunya
Credit: PGA Catalunya
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Integrative spa
Tangible results for optimal living

Camiral Golf & Wellness delivers integrative programmes as part of a 360-degree wellness model that treads new ground for the industry. Neena Dhillon pays a visit


The Camiral Golf & Wellness resort in north-east Spain is famous for its link to the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). It has one of the world’s top PGA golf courses and has hosted the PGA European Tour numerous times since opening in 1999.

Once known as PGA Catalunya, it rebranded to Camiral in late 2022 to reflect its location on the ancient Cami Ral hiking route between Spain and France.

Resort owner, Irish entrepreneur Denis O’Brien, who also owns the Quinta Do Lago golf resort in Portugal, has spent the last two decades developing it as a year-round destination.

The most recent investment is a €5m (US$5.3m, £4.3m), 1,000sq m Wellness Centre, adding to the resort’s existing offering, which includes restaurants and leisure facilities, hotels and holiday rentals and high-end residences.

Ramping up the spa offering
Although the resort featured a small spa and gym previously, CEO David Plana admits it needed a far more comprehensive facility. “Golf is not enough,” he explains. “You need family activities, outdoor pursuits, sports, gastronomy and, of course, wellness. People expect this, and as diversification is important to us, we’re looking for the new Wellness Centre to attract people for longer stays and also to appeal to guests with different budgets and demographic profiles.”

Despite a year of on-off COVID restrictions, the summers of 2021 and 2022 highlighted a regional appetite for travel, with hotel occupancy more than 75 per cent in July and August, while golf and hotel revenues returned to 2019 levels. Plana wants to retain this increasing regional and domestic clientele, and adding more wellness is part of achieving that mission.

‘Accessible’ and ‘recovery’ may not be buzzy marketing terms, but they sit neatly at the heart of the Wellness Centre’s concept. A 60-minute holistic massage at Camiral costs €120 (US$116, £107). Meanwhile, its programme-based approach that lies between clinics like Chenot, Lanserhof and SHA Wellness, and operators such as Aman or Mandarin Oriental, encourages guests to invest in their wellbeing with precision and efficiency.

A new business model
Industry figure and consultant Greg Payne, who worked with the resort’s team to conceive the offering, explains more: “The bigger-is-better spa model hasn’t worked for the hospitality industry since the 2008 financial crash, with return on investment in 2,000sq m-plus facilities failing to add up. There’s been a vacuum since, as we’ve waited for the next model to be developed.

“Relaxation, a massage and a robe are simply not enough these days, with consumers wanting more tangible results. In short, luxury alone is no longer the story.

“At Camiral, we’ve created day-long and short-stay programmes that support clients looking for symptomatic relief, by combining elements you’d find at world-leading wellness clinics, but which also offer incredible value for the operator when you remember they’re being delivered in a 1,000sq m space.

“Considering that spa facilities and thermal areas in particular have an average build cost of €3,000 (US$3,200, £2,600) per sq m, this translates into real financial impact on the potential for profit.”

The Wellness Programmes, which start at €385 (US$411, £327) per person, per day, combine movement, relaxation, holistic touch therapies, nutritional expertise and high-tech treatments – some very new to Spain – with a recovery focus. “Back in 2018, I visited a football club and saw how state-of-the-art technologies such as cryotherapy and oxygen chambers were being used to get athletes back on their feet,” says Payne. “I thought about the golf/sports setting at Camiral and how there could be a continuum from spa right through to athletic performance for anybody interested in optimal living.”

Wellness manager Núria Camins, a 15-year spa veteran, says the new concept represents a 360-degree offering to anyone seeking to restore equilibrium, resolve a particular problem, or take preventative action. This holistic approach benefits from the integration of high-tech therapies because “they are able to access a level of the body – the deeper cellular levels – which hands cannot.” The important distinction, however, is that the tech works as a complementary and amplifying component to touch, nutrition and movement.

The programmes
The varied menu comprises individual spa treatments and rituals alongside celebration experiences, for example, the one-day Spa-Cation is €300 per person (US$321, £255) or a two-day Bridal Countdown at €450 (US$481, £383), to appeal to the Wellness Centre’s target audience. This ranges from residents who have homes or rentals at the resort, and local visitors – be they from Girona, Barcelona or the wider Catalonia region – to European guests, including from France and other source markets, such as Germany, the Nordic countries, Switzerland and the UK.

While the menu will continue to evolve, there are currently three wellness programmes: Immunity Support, Weight Loss and Detox and Ageing Well. The two-day Ageing Well programme, priced at €755, (US$807, £642) includes a signature hammam experience, a 60-minute massage, an IV vitamin infusion, four additional high-tech therapy sessions, light lunches and wellness refreshments.

“We personalise elements to suit our client’s needs, but each programme addresses specific concerns that are relevant today,” says Camins. “COVID-19 has shown the importance of a healthy immune system, so our Immunity Support programme works to improve its functionality through Kneipp and hammam treatments combined with infusions, photobiomodulation and oxygenation therapy.

“With our Weight Loss option, we believe that the body benefits from a seasonal reset and detox, so here we work on optimising a client’s metabolism, stimulating their circulation and sharing nutritional advice that moves them towards clean eating, rather than calorie counting. Finally, our Ageing Programme is really about the client’s quality of ageing rather than being ‘anti-ageing’ in its focus.”

Getting assessed
Experts assess guests, looking for things such as issues with sleep, feelings of tiredness, burnout or sadness and dehydrated skin and then recommend the most appropriate high-tech treatments. If they don’t want to commit to a programme, however, guests can also take a single therapy session to deal with a particular complaint, such as problems with the sciatic nerve.

Indeed, the choice of technologies is designed to aid sports and workout recovery for sports enthusiasts, semi-professionals and professionals alike. Recent visitors have included English and Polish football players who were particularly enthusiastic about their experience of whole-body cryotherapy – this is proving to be one of the most popular high-tech therapies and is priced at €60 (US$64, £51) per session.

During a cryotherapy session, clients step into a Mecotec chamber, initially set at a temperature of -60°C for 30 seconds followed by two-and-a-half minutes at -110°C. “As a client stands in the extreme cold, blood in the body rushes to protect vital organs. As soon as they step out, it floods back into the system, boosting circulation, moderating adrenal stress and releasing endorphins,” says Camins.

Popularised by personalities from Lewis Hamilton to Cristiano Ronaldo, the therapy is designed to reduce inflammation and muscular pain.

Equally intriguing but less extreme, photobiomodulation light therapy also priced at €60 entails clients lying down for 20 to 30 minutes inside a MitoGen pod, during which time a red laser light powers cellular regeneration by stimulating ATP energy production. The third tech option is oxygen chamber therapy, while the fourth involves IV infusions provided by London’s NADclinic.

NADclinic collaboration
The Camiral team worked with Dr Saskia Kloppenburg of NADclinic to produce three specific infusions containing different combinations of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and electrolytes: the first is formulated for sports recovery, the second to boost the immune system and the final for essential immunity. They’re delivered on-site by a registered nurse in the privacy of a treatment room.

Camins acknowledges that IV infusions are proving the most challenging to introduce: “International guests, from the US, are the most likely to be familiar with them, so we’ve had to think carefully about how to introduce them to our European guests. We’re still testing this but, as with all the technologies, it helps when our therapists explain how they work in person during an introduction to the spa, and how they can specifically support a guest’s particular needs.”

This challenge of ‘the unknown’ is also picked up by Payne, who says: “A few years ago, cryotherapy would have been regarded as too extreme to be included in a spa environment, but now it’s going mainstream. And with the IV infusions, we’ve had to tread carefully to consider the correct level of staffing and medical oversight to deliver them with a sense of security and assurance.”

So are there any promising early signs about tech uptake? “When we opened in spring [2021], we made the decision to focus on spa over the summer, returning to wellness in the winter to prepare for 2022,” says Payne. “Despite not pushing wellness, we were encouraged to see that the high-end leisure market already had an appetite for tech-led treatments, which made up 26 per cent of the treatment mix in the summer months. But the most interesting fact was that they were additional treatments, contributing to an average of 1.8 treatments per guest over a three-day stay, meaning they represented incremental income and not just a shift in the therapies sold.”

As to be expected of a facility that aims to become one of the leading European wellness centres, Camiral’s spa partners are highly regarded and include Aromatherapy Associates and Biologique Recherche. Clients booking individual rituals, treatments and facials have access to the thermal pavilion in which to recover and relax by experiencing the hot and cold pools, sauna and steam.

Food and environment
Nutritionist Mireia Cervera has worked with the destination’s executive chef David Vives to create menus for each wellness programme. “We use integrative nutrition to help our clients achieve all-round health; not just to lose weight,” she says. “In a world that can make it challenging to maintain control over your diet, we guide clients by showing them how a natural, nutritious diet can help prevent disease and improve symptoms.”

Cervera is available to personalise diets, but there is a sample seasonal menu created in advance for each programme. For example, a typical Immunity Support meal includes a salad of cabbage, celery, apple, pomegranate and raisins, followed by tofu, mushroom and pumpkin lasagne, and fruit salad with a soup of green tea, fennel and celery to finish.

Enclosed in 540 hectares of tranquil green landscape and a recipient of the IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection, Camiral’s environment is akin to a nature reserve. In-house biologist, Oriol Dalmau, is responsible for “preserving green infrastructure, nurturing botanical diversity and reintroducing near-extinct species to the terrain”. With its own organic garden, vineyard and beehives, the destination’s secure and spacious green setting is well suited to the addition of the Wellness Centre, which was built from scratch.

"We’re looking for the new Wellness Centre to attract people for longer stays" – David Plana, CEO

"Relaxation, a massage and a robe are simply not enough these days" – Greg Payne, consultant to Camiral Golf & Wellness

"The concept represents a 360-degree offering to anyone seeking to restore equilibrium, resolve a problem, or take preventative action" – Núria Camins, wellness manager

About Camiral Golf & Wellness

Less than an hour from Barcelona, 20 minutes from the Costa Brava and 15 minutes from Girona, Camiral Golf & Wellness is based around real estate development.

It incorporates two championship golf courses, two hotels – the 5-star Hotel Camiral, designed by architect Lázaro Rosa-Violán and the contemporary Lavida Hotel – as well as a Kids’ Club facilities and five restaurants.

Camiral Golf & Wellness offers outdoor activities designed to enable guests to enjoy the surrounding countryside, including Forest Park – a family adventure park with a zip-wire, cycling, trekking and horse-riding on trails through nearby forests and mountains.

Villa plots are for sale, enabling owners to develop their own property in keeping with the resort’s architectural concepts, while the resort offers move-in-ready, architect-designed villas.

The Residents’ Club offers owners and guests access to facilities including a 20m outdoor pool, solarium, children’s pool, Technogym-equipped gym and the new spa and wellness offering.

www.camiral.com

"We believe in using integrative nutrition to help our clients achieve all-round health; not just to lose weight" – Mireia Cervera, nutritionist

"We’re preserving green infrastructure, nurturing botanical diversity and reintroducing near-extinct species" – Oriol Dalmau, biologist

First Person
Neena Dhillon tried out the Immunity Support programme at Camiral Golf & Wellness
Personal reboot

I’d been feeling fatigued, with dull aches in my back – a sure sign of inflammation, which is a classic symptom of a long-term lung condition I suffer from, so the Immunity Support programme seemed the right option.

I was most nervous about the cryotherapy, but as I was in the hands of the caring therapist, I felt reassured as she talked me step-by-step through the process. I loved that I could choose my own music and was able to see my therapist through the glass; she gave me countdowns, so even though time seemed to slow, I never felt unable to endure the chill.

While in the chamber, numbness became apparent, as did intense aching in my knees. Stepping out into a warm dressing gown, however, felt incredible and for the first time, every nerve ending in my body felt intensely alive.

After a 15-minute break with tea, in which a lovely feeling of hyper-awareness remained, I moved on with the same therapist to a hammam scrub and cleanse, during which hot, warm and cold water was used. The intuitive touch of the therapist felt even more welcome following the cryotherapy and the use of alternating hot-cold was very effective.

Other firsts

In other firsts, I tried photobiomodulation, a warming and enveloping experience, as well as an IV infusion, which passed pleasantly enough thanks to the regular observation of the staff. Fortunately, I don’t mind needles. Perhaps those who do will need more persuasion to sign up in a wellness/spa setting.

Over the course of two days, I felt the most impactful therapeutic sequencing when tech was followed by hands-on treatment and then rest in the Thermal Pavilion. I can safely say I’m a convert to these high-tech therapies, but the winning aspect of the experience remained the combination of tech and touch.

The therapists at Camiral are a real asset; a sign of any good holistic massage is when you feel your therapist has understood your very particular and idiosyncratic vulnerabilities through her touch.

In this case, her observations about my pain and tenderness were spot on, and her recommendations of how to optimise the rest of my time in the centre were welcome. My overall sense of wellbeing was notably lifted, my back pain-free and my energy revived.

More than a month on, I still felt the benefits of my short stay. It would undoubtedly elevate the programmes further to have some form of physiological testing to fully validate the experience.

The most impactful therapeutic sequencing was when tech was followed by hands-on treatment and then rest
Chilling in the cryo chamber / Photo: Neena Dhillon
IV infusion was a first for Dhillon / Photo: Neena Dhillon
Relaxation, movement and nutrition are expertly blended together Credit: PGA Catalunya
Tracking results can show clients the treatments are really worth doing Credit: PGA Catalunya
The Wellness Centre offers a mix of high-tech and high-touch therapies Credit: PGA Catalunya
Officially recognised for its sustainability, the landscape of the resort is akin to a nature reserve Credit: PGA Catalunya
Credit: PGA Catalunya
Whole-body cryotherapy is a popular treatment Credit: PGA Catalunya
Botanical diversity is nurtured at the resort, and food is nutritious Credit: PGA Catalunya
Credit: PGA Catalunya
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Veronica Schreibeis Smith and Amir Alroy join GWS Advisory Board
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has announced the appointment of two international wellness thought leaders to its Advisory Board.
FaceGym heads down under with first Australian studio, partnered with Mecca
Facial fitness and skincare brand FaceGym has entered the Australian market with its first bricks and mortar studio in Sydney and a new deal with Australasian beauty retailer Mecca.
Emlyn Brown, Kent Richards and Sara Codner outline top priorities for spa and wellness leaders in 2023
Spa and wellness industry thought leaders gathered yesterday (26 January) at the Grow Well webinar – hosted by We Work Well – to share their plans, vision and strategies for 2023.
Elemis achieves B Corp Status
British skincare and spa brand Elemis has announced its new status as a Certified B Corp after almost two years of implementing changes to processes, and practices and launching new initiatives across the business.
Recovery-focused spa brand The Covery outlines 2023 expansion plans
Recovery wellness spa franchise The Covery will expand with 15 new US locations and new partnerships in 2023 – including a destination at Texas’ iconic Trellis Spa at The Houstonian.
Greek spa and wellness market ripe for investment, reports Global Wellness Economy
The Greek wellness economy was under the spotlight today at the inaugural Global Wellness Economy conference, hosted in Athens, Greece.
London to get its own "Garden in the sky", as Camden Highline gets green light
Planning approval has been granted for Camden Highline, a project to transform a section of disused railway into a new elevated urban park for London.
Augustinus Bader’s first bricks-and-mortar clinic lands in London, partnered with Lanserhof
Austrian wellness operator Lanserhof has collaborated with science-led beauty brand Augustinus Bader to open its flagship clinic The Skin Lab by Augustinus Bader.
Longevity club and digital platform launches with focus on reverse ageing. Neil King and Alister Rollins are founders
Longevity, a startup providing longevity products, services, education and advice to subscribers, has launched a digital platform and will open its first club in Milton Keynes on 1 February.
Amanda Al-Masri joins Hilton as vice-president of wellness
Spa industry veteran Amanda Al-Masri is heading up Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ wellness division as its new vice-president of wellness.
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz plans £12m renovation to reinforce position in European wellness market
Switzerland’s established wellbeing and medical health resort Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is preparing to conduct a comprehensive renovation of one of its two five-star hotels.
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bbspa_France channels La Dolce Vita to realise Biologique Recherche’s new Rome outpost
Inside a historical palace once owned by the Colonna family – one of the oldest and most famous Roman patrician families – premium skincare and spa company Biologique Recherche has opened the doors to a new location in Rome, Italy. [more...]

Iyashi Dôme sets industry standard for touchless infrared sauna technology
Iyashi Dôme has been an industry pioneer for 20 years and is responsible for creating the authentic Japanese long infrared sauna. [more...]
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Bioline Jatò

Bioline Jatò is a family-founded Italian company operating in the professional skincare industry sin [more...]
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REM UK Ltd - REM Spa: relax, breathe, be inspired
Welcome to REM, quality salon furniture, spa furniture & barber furniture made in Britain since 1918 Find out more...
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DIARY

 

31 Jan - 02 Feb 2023

Spatex 2023

Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
05-06 Mar 2023

World Spa & Wellness Conference

Excel exhibition and conference centre , London, United Kingdom
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