Can a wellness clinic make me a new man?

July 6th, 2010 in European travel by Terry Lee 2
View from the Sha Wellness Clinic | pic Sha Wellness Clinic

Hands up anyone who’s been to my home town – the Midlands’ gem of Nuneaton, England? If you had you’d know you’re unlikely to find many men open to alternative therapies. So when I was invited to stay at the Sha Wellness Clinic, in Valencia, Spain I felt as though I was a long way from home!

The term wellness clinic suggested hallways thick with the smell of disinfectant, medical types in white coats brandishing syringes and dormitory beds where lights out was by 9.30pm.

I hurried to the hotel’s website to investigate. There it said: “The Sha Wellness Clinic had been created to help guests care for their mind and body through a combination of ancient oriental techniques and advanced western medicine, thus re-establishing a harmonious balance between body, mind and spirit.” Hmm, nothing too bad about all that I thought, but I still remained to be convinced this was really for me.

Stepping out of the taxi the calming sound of the hotel’s expansive water feature was complemented by the freshness in the air. The Sha is set on a hill near the town of Villa de Altea allowing for refreshing breezes and panoramic views across the region as far as Benidorm and the Sierra Heldada natural park.

The first thing that struck me was that the staff weren’t wearing white coats. Although I understood you could find one or two in the clinic area itself which offered a huge menu of treatments and procedures from cellular stimulation to focalised ultrasounds and sleep recovery – many of these things left me bemused, but I understand they can be very beneficial. I was sure these features would suit the hotel’s celebrity guests such as Kylie, Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow. But what could it offer a bloke like me?

Well I have to confess the views and the spaciousness of the public areas immediately impressed me. My room was even more stunning – the terrace alone was bigger than the ground floor of my house and conservatory combined – complete with a hot-tub.

The room had all you’d expect to find in five-star hotel accommodation – flatscreen TV, fluffy bathrobes, white leather sofas, cordless phones, safe, a rain shower, in-room wifi (not sure if there was charge for this or not) and sharp design. Then there were a few extras like window shutters that opened and closed at the touch of a button. I had no trouble relaxing.

That evening we dined at the hotel and were all surprised to be served up what was termed a macrobiotic meal. This is where I started to panic just a little. I’d heard of macro photography and macroeconomics but wasn’t sure I wanted macros in my dinner.

Macrobiotic cooking it seemed utilises organic products based on the suggestions of nutritionists. It was surprisingly delicious and I savoured every last morsel from dishes including rare tuna, mixed vegetables, chocolate coulant with ginger ice-cream. Perhaps the strangest part of it was a juice we were served in hollowed out bamboo. But it really was amazing and made me think, if healthy food was always this good I’d eat it more often.

When it came time to leave I did so reluctantly. The hotel had won me over with it’s light and airy design, wonderful food and it’s focus on health and well-being. Would I say I’d left the Sha Wellness Clinic a new man? Perhaps not. But I did feel more open to the possibilities of what a wellness clinic could offer, even to a Midlands boy like me.

I visited the hotel as part of blog trip hosted by Land of Valencia and the Spanish Tourist Office.

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