What the world needs now is connection. People are starting to travel again, or at least making plans, but what they are looking for is vastly different than pre-pandemic. Rather than many, quick, glamorous trips, people are looking for fewer, longer, and more meaningful experiences that connect them to nature and to themselves. The Preidlhof in Italy is this.
“It’s about opening our hearts,” explains Patrizia Bortolin, Preidlhof’s transformational coach and spa director. “This is the key to living a happy, present and more joyful life.” Alongside Italian spiritual shaman Stefano Battaglia (long whispered about in wellness circles worldwide) and an elite team of highly intuitive doctors and therapists, this cutting-edge destination retreat set into the hillside of Naturns in South Tyrol is tangible wellness in all its brilliance.
This cutting-edge destination retreat is tangible wellness in all its brilliance
Easy distance from the Italian spa town of Merano, this slice of alpine charm has been part of the Ladurner family for over 50 years and enjoys spectacular views of the lush Vinschgau Valley, with orchards, vines, olive trees and scores of medicinal plants that are tastefully transformed into restoring herbal potions and delicious soul-nourishing feasts.
At Preidlhof, emphasis is very much on transformation under nature’s guidance and, although we all so need her healing help, the programs are ideally suited to middle years folk who are often challenged by negative perceptions regarding their invincibility (myself included!).
With an expansive menu of healing treatments, Preidlhof’s new Transformational Journey retreats (from 4-10 days) are a precisely curated program of diagnostics and therapies designed to begin that inward journey and retune a vital connection with the heart. “In essence, it’s about finding this sweet spot where pure pleasure meets a deeper sense of self-discovery, purpose and meaning,” Bortolin clarifies.
Stefano Battaglia (or the Italian Shaman as he is fondly called) is an extraordinarily gifted healer and his understanding of the emotional language of the body is quite rare. During a typical Glowing Flow session, applying varying degrees of osteopathically-based manipulations, he uncannily releases long-held trauma from deep within, which after a few treatments slowly opens up to a happier, more joyful you.
“It’s about opening to self-awareness”
Science meets the best of natural healing in the presence of the warmly spoken Dr. Alexander Angerner who offers worthwhile medical assessments including comprehensive sleep monitoring and HRV (Heart Rate Variability) diagnostics which analyzes the energy efficiency of the heart and its ability to regulate stress within the body – which is ever more important as we grow older. For many of us, too busy with the “doing” in life, distorted sleep patterns become the norm. In Chinese medicine speak, this is the result of a dominant Yang (male, “doing”) energy taking charge through the night, with little energy left to nourish the softer, more receptive Yin (recessive, female, “being”) which should be in charge while we sleep. Enhancing the yin is Preidlhof’s Chinese Medicine expert Martin Kirchler’s specialty. “It’s about opening to self-awareness,” he explains. “You cant find it in books, you must find it in your own body,” and his exceptional Chinese-based massage therapies are designed to rebalance these wayward energies.
With recent studies on the land over which Preidlhof’s futuristic Spa and Sauna Tower is built showing a vortex of the highest vibrational energy feasible rising up from underground, it’s hardly surprising that guests tend to feel a deep energy connection within themselves while availing of the six floors of dedicated scented sauna and steam experiences and extensive range of cozy relaxation pods. The trailblazing hermetically sealed Deep Relaxation Zone guides guests through the vastness of the universe engulfed in light, sound and vibration with 12,500 LED lights dancing across all corners of the room.
Healing and Connecting With Nature
The hotel’s cozy chic interiors are very much in tune with the region, with local Alpine wood fittings splashed with bright, quirky soft furnishings and super comfy beds, dedicated pillow menus and light options all on hand to induce deep, restful sleep.
Preidlhof’s insistence on working with sustainable ingredients from listed local producers pays off in the restaurant with superb food and the best of local gin and organic/biodynamic wine. After early morning yoga, hiking or scooting through the olive groves on the coolest canary yellow Vespa scooters, a healthy hunger is worked up and breakfast is a celebration of vitamin-infused slushies, yogurts and freshly baked breads, with a dedicated menu of local butters, cheeses, meats, eggs (from happy hens, we are assured!) and homemade honey and jams from the Preidlhof orchard. The rooftop pool and hot tub is the spot for magical stargazing after a delicious meal, gong meditation or theatrical sauna ceremony with the award-winning certified Gus Master (or sauna expert).
So whether it’s daily yoga, mindful eating and sensory analysis sessions, shiatsu, sound baths and other vibrational energy healing sessions, Ayurvedic massage rituals, transformational dance, forest bathing or simply being in the coziest relaxation pods ever, the Preidlhof way means opening your mind, honoring your heart and coming home to yourself. And it works!
by Kate O’Brien
An Irish born science graduate and qualified dietician, Kate has a post-graduate diploma in Cosmetic Science (Society Chemical Scientists, London) and is a trained yoga teacher. Through her career in London, Dublin, Singapore and Hong Kong, she has become a respected writer and speaker on lifestyle, beauty and spa culture.
Kate writes with Condé Nast Traveler and Tatler UK, Asia Spa magazine (Asia Pacific), WANDER magazine (US), Image and The Gloss magazine (Ireland). She is founding judge of the prestigious annual Asia Spa awards and former judge of the Australian Association of Travel Writers. Kate has written nine lifestyle books, her most recent, GLOW: Your Complete Four Week Plan for Healthy Radiant Skin was published in March 2018. Her website https://kateobrienwellness.com/