Parkhotel Igls Perfection
Situated in the clean fresh air of the Tyrolean Alps in Austria, the Parkhotel Igls is a medical spa complex subscribing to Modern Mayr philosophy and practice. It has won a host of awards, most recently the Most Effective Medi-Spa by Condé Nast Traveller’s 2015 Spa Guide. I visited it in December.
My favourite Spa Hotel
I first went to Parkhotel Igls for a luxury weightloss programme and had to tear myself away from the hotel to see the local sites. My corner room, decorated in stylish simplicity with white and natural colours, had a huge terrace and a good sized desk along part of the wall as well as the flat screen TV, free internet, spacious bathroom and cupboards nearly the size of a walk-in wardrobe.
Billed as a hotel spa, the place feels more like an upmarket retreat. I enjoyed sinking into the comfortable sofas in communal areas, burying myself in a book or unobtrusively people watching over one of the many free magazines available to guests. The entire hotel has a clean, simple but stylish design that melds woodwork, stone, white walls and splashes of orange and lime. Some rooms have wheelchair access. Once there I discovered I could have pre-booked a DVD players. A peak into one of the luxury suites on the top floor revealed infra red cabins and incredible views.
Penthouse gym and privilege
The glass-walled indoor pool, daily activities, beauty spa, friendly staff, serene Kneipp baths and comfortable communal areas gave me a relaxing sense of privilege. However, my favourite place was the penthouse gym. It has a 210 degree panorama of the Tyrolean Alps and the local town. Watching golden sunlight pouring over the mountains during an early morning workout, and at dusk when everything but the clouds turn purple-blue became the high points of my days.
I learned about the Mayr technique and other aspects of personal health maintenance from talks given by experts and the staff were always happy to facilitate any of my ideas or requests. My weight loss programme included regular medical check-ups, sports massages, supervised (light) exercise in the gym, optional water workouts and other group exercise programmes. I could also have had Lifestyle consultation and mentoring, detox and cleansing regimes. I was amazed by the alternate and supplementary treatments offered by the beauty spa. My colour massage removed many of my heavier wrinkles for months!
I arrived sceptical about the Modern Mayr practices, expecting to be hungry all the time and to be put through some hard exercise. I was never hungry, the exercise was only moderate and I left impressed with the quality of service, the logic and efficacy of the complimentary practices and feeling considerably better than I had when I arrived. While I didn’t lose weight, I did loose 3cm from my waist. That’s how it should be as muscle is heavier than fat, but the biggest surprise, and the reason I have done my best to return is that, through following the Modern Mayr programme as set out by their doctors many of the symptoms that have wracked my body for the years since finishing chemotherapy for aggressive breast cancer were eliminated or hugely reduced.
It’s a very expensive experience, but justified. For me, Parkhotel Igls provides as close to perfection for a spa hotel as I am likely to find. It’s relaxing, fixed many of my long term post-chemo medical problems and in a beautiful part of the world.
More about the medi-spa
If the resident facilities and experts are insufficient then expertise can be provided through their close working relationship with the nearby University Innsbruck Hospital, providing you with the comfort of knowing you’ll get the best and newest tests and treatments. The staff are intelligent and flexible, so whatever your need you can expect a stay that is planned well, excellently executed and that fulfils all your needs and the medical facilities are supplemented by careful catering (catering and serving staff will also be briefed on your needs and are happy to help), a hydrotherapy pool, steam rooms and a lovely little beauty spa, all in the same well-appointed complex.
What is Modern Mayr
Modern Mayr Medicine is based on the work of F. X. Mayr, M.D. (1875–1965). Despite opposition from his contemporaries, Mayr worked on the link between digestion, intestinal health and overall health. He said; “The intestines are to man what the roots are to the plant. Only when the roots are kept in an optimal condition of nourishment and cleanliness, can the plant (man) itself thrive and remain healthy.” He believed that the body is built on what it digests and absorbs and believed in a direct link between intestinal health, cleanliness, overall health, and beauty. Mayr initially gave his patients only soup, but thinking has moved on from that, treatment incorporates massages and exercise, and guests are told they can eat pretty much anything provided they chew it sufficiently (at least 35 times per mouthful), take regular Epsom salts and don’t drink much before or after meal times.
Things to do
Great for both winter and summer sports, the futuristic Hungerburgbahn funicular; designed by Zaha Hadid, ascends 2,256m from the city centre up to the Nordpark resort, making winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding and summer pleasures such as hiking and mountaineering easily accessible to all. I particularly liked the bell foundry and outdoor market in Innsbruck but was quite happy to spend most of my time either in the hotel complex, joining other guests for Nordic walking and nature tours, or hiking (in this instance I mean wandering for hours, without plan) on my own.
I took a lunchtime Eurostar to Paris followed by the TGV-Lyria, stayed over at the wonderfully luxurious Hotel Schzweizerhoff in Zurich (their porter meets you on the platform) and then travelled on to Innsbruck through the fabulously scenic Arlberg Pass. However, it’s possibly to get there in a single day for €59 each way by leaving London early morning, changing at Brussels on to a high-speed ICE to Frankfurt and take a direct EuroCity train to Salzburg.
Was first published in a slow travel magazine in 2015, although I have added to it for this blog.