SHA Wellness Clinic
The lowdown Technically a wellness clinic as opposed to a spa, SHA will change your view of what it means to relax and unwind. With an individually tailored itinerary to suit each guest, you’ll have a unique experience which will leave you feeling like you are the only person staying here, despite the fact that there are 93 rooms. This is also helped by the architectural design of the hotel, which is made up of five interconnecting buildings via strategically placed bridges so you have all the space you need. Nestled in the Sierra Helada mountains, overlooking Albir Bay and on the edge of the Serra Gelada Natural Park, you will struggle to find a more beautiful location.
The rooms Can we call them rooms? Each of the sleeping quarters for guests are purposefully built as junior suites, which means that retiring to your room is more tempting than ever. Should you opt for the presidential suite, with its own private pool, you could enjoy an even more enviable view. Some of the rooms boast outdoor Jacuzzis - forcing yourself to unwind has never been easier.
Dining Here’s where it gets interesting. Upon arrival you are assigned to a consultation with one of the clinic’s several doctors and you will be allocated one of three diets: the kushi, the biolight or the SHA menu – all are macrobiotic and made with natural organic ingredients and are bought together in a revolutionary Mediterranean cum Japanese fusion. It may take a while for you to adjust to the new diet; but don’t be fooled, this is no punishment fast as the food, prepared by chef Pablo Montoro, is outstanding. Think grilled tofu, squid burgers and tuna fillet lasagna and absolutely no caffeine - it’s all about the natural, medicinal teas here. If you think this is an easy challenge, think again; and if you think it's not worthwhile, do a U-turn. After the initial shock, you will feel the benefits of this diet and will never feel hungry, despite the fact that you are encouraged to be active at several points throughout the day. That’s clever stuff!
The spa From conventional manicures and massages through to high-tech treatments and prescription facials (as well as being held by a handsome man in a pool for an hour – flotation therapy FYI), this spa focuses as much on the mind as it doeson the body. With innovative new treatments such as Ozone therapy (oxygenation of the blood with countless benefits) and Liposonix (liposuction without the surgery) this is so much more than your everyday spa. Should you choose not to have specific treatments then using the hydrotherapy pool is enough to make you feel like a new person - cleverly designed to work as a circuit so that you relax from head to toe.
What to do Your daily itinerary will start with a morning walk – a great way to awaken your senses and enjoy the surrounding natural environment. Personal trainers are always on hand in the well equipped gym and can help you to establish a routine that’s easy to maintain at home or help you to adjust your existing exercise routine to maximise the benefits. Lectures for a healthier lifestyle and cooking classes are also on offer throughout the day and with relaxing tai chi or Pilates classes to unwind in the evening your day will feel full and purposeful – but never rushed or busy. Of course, you could always choose instead to spend the whole day by one of the many pools and simply enjoy the stunning views.
Getting there British Airways has launched a route to Alicante with 21 flights a week from London Gatwick. To book visit ba.com. The clinic is located 40 minutes from Alicante International Airport and 80 minutes from Valencia International Airport by car.
The details SHA Wellness Clinic, Calle de Verderol 5, 03581 El Albir, Alicante, Spain; tel 0034 966 81 11 99. Rates for all-suite accommodation from 230 euros per night. Visit shawellnessclinic.com
By Bernadette Cornish