The Perfect Holiday

7 February 2011

I have always wanted to escape the holidays and go and really take care of myself… recharge, rest, relax… get ready for the new year. My darling friend Gordan always looks amazing and has told me of a place in the mountains of Nothern Italy where he does just that. It just so happened that I was having dinner with another pal Dario who raved about it also. A sign, I thought — so off I went.

Espace Henri Chenot, at the Palace Hotel in Merano Italy is heaven. The town nestled in the mountains is charming and from all the rooms the views are magnificent. Run by Henri Chenot and his beautiful wife Dominique it is the perfect refuge to recharge & relax.

Mr. Chenot has been a trailblazer in Phytocosmetics, which is the use of plants & essential oils for the theraputic purposes and Phytobiodermy, which is based on Chinese Energetic Medicine, looking at the physical and energetic aspects of our bodies.

Madame Chenot Dominique is a walking advertisement for his program. Gorgeous in every way, and they have an adorable little dog — what could be better! The products lines, spa and kitchen are her domain, and the food is delicious. I highly recommend taking the cooking class, which mind you is taught in a variety of languages. Dominique also has a cookbook, which is absolutely beautiful and filled with delicious recipes. I’m begging her to open a restaurant in NYC! The program is all about bringing the body back to it’s optimum mental and physical well being by detoxifying it and reactivating energy channels. It’s all based on our individual needs. All the treatments either in the medical center or spa are designed to induce deep tissue cleansing and are based on vegetable and hypoallergenic foods that re-balance the body.

Three programs are offered…The Comprehensive Program, Henri Chenot, The Slimming Program, and the Dominique Chenot Wellbeing Program. I did The Comprehensive, which is organic detoxification. It’s all about cleansing the body of all the toxins that we naturally accumulate through our lifestyles and eating habits. You are put on a detox diet, (it’s the most delicious detox diet in the world) given energy, hydro energy and drainage treatments that rebalance all your energy flows.

The most amazing thing about Espace Henri Chenot is how well everybody is educated on the human body, and their knowledge of meridians, pressure points etc., you name it, they all know it. At my first appointment, which was with my doctor, I was given a book, that never left me, it went everywhere I did. Every test, results and every treatment were recorded in it and everyone that gives you a treatments writes notes in it. In other words everyone knows exactly what is going on with you at all times and everyone is working together. The doctors let the technicians know what needs work and they get right to it. It’s a very harmonious way of doing things! My days started with breakfast, a small bow of fruit and some tea. Then off I went to the medical center for a vitamin IV and an energy treatment with Santi that is like acupuncture but instead of needles electric stimulation is used. Next was generally “The Fango” 20 minutes in a hydro tub with essential oils, 20 minutes wrapped in fango, i.e. mud, then hosed down with shower jets. After this I was pooped. So I would go out on the terrace wrap myself in a blanket have some tea, read and wait for lunch! Lunch was a yummy salad to start and then a grain or pasta or some sort of carb and it was always delicious. The detox menu is vegetarian with the exception of some fish, so being vegan I was in heaven. They have the best seitan I’ve ever eaten! My favorite dish was quinoa with blueberries with coconut sauce. I’m still dreaming of it. After lunch was spa time, starting with Patty my incredible masseuse, she would work on me throughout my stay. Her knowledge of the human body was incredible and her hands magical. Patty has been with the Chenots for years. She used cups for drainage and electric stimulation to unblock meridians and pressure point. My skin and body changed so much in one week — my skin was softer, firmer, tighter, it just, I mean I couldn’t ask for more! The facials work on the same premise. All the treatments are amazing. Scalp massage, reflexology, manicure & pedicure, the osteopaths they will advice you what you need. They have it all.

When my day was finished I would take a walk into town and walk along the river and through the mountains. it was so beautiful and the air so clean. Then a nap, and dinner generally a small appetizer, soup and some protein then bed!

The Medical Center, run by Dominique’s sister Marie Pierre will test your toxicity levels, bio-energetic levels and body composition. Every test imaginable is offered, blood work, food allergies etc…They do it all. I had a wonderful nutritionalist Monika, who really helped me understand how my body digested food and what foods & portions were right for me. Her guidelines are so easy and pleasant to follow, and the results are great.

My doctor, Silvano Mascadri, was so kind and full of incredible information and insights. He went over all my tests with me and gave me some supplements which I’m taking and love.

My appointment with Mr. Chenot was such a treat. He understands the body so well. The changes we go through as we age, how we are effected by everything around us, and most importantly how to take care of ourselves thru plants and therapies. He is constantly finding ways to keep our bodies in perfect harmony.

At the end of my stay I looked and felt like a different person. My energy has back, my eyes were clear and my skin glowed. Our bodies are like an orchestra — if one instrument is off the whole thing suffers. I am so grateful to the Chenots and everyone at The Espace Henri Chenot for taking such wonderful care of me and putting me back together. It is without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and can’t wait to go back. I felt just fantastic — the perfect way to bring in the new year.

Merci Dominique et Henri! Can you please open in the USA?