From health benefits to well-being activities to mindful eating and even medical treatments, detox holidays are one of the biggest things in travel these days. Why? First off, it’s a holiday that gives you optimum return on health. And if it comes with a view, then all the more better, right? Some resorts even advocate a stay that keeps one away from social media and technology, so one becomes more mentally aware. And then, there’s the body awareness and nutritional advice to keep you in good running condition long after the vacation has ended. With this in mind, one of the most popular destinations among celebrities and businessmen in the last decade has been Sha Wellness Clinic in Spain, an internationally recognised well-being clinic based in Alicante that is known for its uniquely tailored wellness programmes.
The private clinic (it is not backed by any big hotel chain) was founded by Alfredo Bataller Parietti, who has personally witnessed the curative power of healthy eating and natural therapies, coupled with ancient philosophies and the latest advances of Western medicine. In the last 10 years, the clinic has acquired cult status for its successful wellness programmes, and everyone from sports celebrities to royals have come to reap benefits. Located in Alfaz del Pi, near the town of Altea, the retreat, next to the beautiful Sierra Helada Natural Park, looks out onto the Mediterranean Sea.
From stunning views to wholesome food and luxurious rooms, this is nature’s chosen spot (WHO even declared it “one of the places with the best weather in the world”). The retreat has already won more than 60 international awards, including Best International Medical Spa, so it’s evident they keep their standards high and values close. The remarkable thing about this space is that it’s uncomplicated – no franchises, no branches, and absolutely no replicas. Alfredo and his son, Alejandro Bataller, co-founder and vice president of Sha Wellness Clinic, maintain the balance and keep it as private and exclusive as possible.
“My father Alfredo Bataller has been suffering with colon cancer and after searching for 30 years, he found that it was nutritional and lifestyle changes that brought him optimal health. It was transformative. I myself have suffered migraines for 10 years, so it all comes down to changing one’s lifestyle,” says Alejandro, who recently made a visit to India to celebrate 10 years of Sha Wellness Clinic. ‘The philosophy we work with is simple: It is optimal health in the absence of illness. Fifteen years ago, health meant only a clinic or a spa – one to meet doctors and the other for relaxation. But why can’t we have both? That’s why Sha is unique,” he adds.
The way it works at Sha is simple – lifestyle habits, genetics, daily routines, and nutrition are first looked at, and then specialists assess each aspect, and the treatments begin. Healthy nutrition first changes the dynamic with choices that are natural, organic, and balanced, and then it’s about using natural therapies to enhance the healing power of the body. The team also introduces newer habits while sifting through old ones to give a new perspective. Sha Academy, as they call it, is a selection of conferences, healthy cooking classes, relaxation, meditation, yoga, breathing, mindfulness sessions, and other group activities that aim at providing long-term benefits. Not just that, fitness and well-being take over with pilates, tai chi, and stress management – all creating a 360-degree approach. “We work with a demanding and knowledgeable clientele, which means we have to stay on top of everything and deliver personalised health and well-being. Our value proposition is not relaxation – it’s a lifestyle change,” he says.
Then it’s the turn of natural processes and metabolic systems to kickstart with the most luxe anti-ageing therapies. The most interesting parts of this process are the ways in which the retreat uses modern, innovative, and effective devices for body, facial, and capillary treatments. They also have professionals who specialise in physiotherapy, osteopathy, and personal training for deeper fitness. However, the most interesting programmes are Life Reset, Discovery of New Healthy Habits, Anti-Tobacco, and Sleep Recovery, which are the need of the hour in this digital age. Choose from the Occident, Orient & Balance Rooms, Nursing Facility, and Treatment Cabins, and get into shape and their well-equipped gym and pilates centre, alongside a fabulous restaurant that serves delectable healthy food.
It doesn’t stop there though. “We want to keep innovating, increase our treatments with the same enthusiasm. Staying relevant is tough because we have to keep giving the best. It’s a niche concept and extremely difficult to replicate – that’s our strength. We don’t want to change the concept, the quality standards, the essence, so it’s important for us to do it slow but do it well,” says Bataller.
The introduction of Sha Residencies for the whole family is the newest concept at Sha Wellness Clinic, where all members enjoy health benefits. Bataller also stresses on mental well-being. “It is the focus this year, so we will see a big evolution on that front,” he says.