Feeling stressed, Donna Air heads to Austrian spa VIVAMAYR to find some calm and press the reboot button…
What a year 2016 was. Like many, I’m sure, I was desperate to get away from it all, leaving the headlines behind and giving myself some serious me time. I had been running on adrenaline and skinny lattes for too long and wanted to rest, re-set and completely reboot.
And so to VIVAMAYR. Nestled deep in the Austrian Alps, the newest addition to the VIVAMAYR family was just what the doctor ordered, almost literally. Based on the principles of modern Mayr medicine (fundamentally health based on good digestion) and combining a state-of-the-art medical facility with a luxurious spa, VIVAMAYR Altaussee promised a complete MOT for body and mind.
Thanks to its notoriously strict reputation (did anyone see Michael McIntyre’s skit on his experience there? Google it), I knew VIVAMAYR meant business but also sensational results (Michael Gove, Elizabeth Hurley and Sarah Ferguson are fans). But what to expect?
The week began with a consultation with my doctor – daily medical appointments are what sets this place apart – who immediately diagnosed stress. Blood tests and an applied kinesiology session followed, after which I was prescribed my bespoke programme
of treatments, therapies and meal plan.
Daily vitamin infusions left me glowing from the inside and the regular liver compresses were just heavenly (you lie cocooned in bed with a hot water bottle). Not to mention the aerial yoga, which I’ve been meaning to try ever since I met a woman on holiday who waxed lyrical about its benefits.
Famous for its emphasis on chewing (oh, the chewing!), I was perhaps most apprehensive about the food – but I needn’t have been. With a head chef who used to work in a Michelin-starred kitchen, the menu was fresh, local and utterly delicious. Yes, the amount of chewing took some getting used to (like most working women I am used to racing through lunch) but making time to enjoy my food is definitely something I’m sticking to at home.
But it wasn’t all about the treatments, the stunning location didn’t hurt either. I spent my down time hiking – anywhere that I can climb gets bonus points from me as I’d far sooner be outside than busting my gut in the gym.
VIVAMAYR encouraged me to really listen to my body – I went to bed early but was up at 5:30am and for once I wasn’t constantly hitting snooze. My mind felt sharper, more focused and, since I’ve been back in London, I’ve felt so much more energised. I’m not going to lie, the sugar cravings were intense but VIVAMAYR helped me to find my rhythm, and I intend to keep it.