Waldhotel puts health at the forefront, pairing its 17,000-square-foot spa (not to be confused with Alpine Spa, the larger facility in the resort’s 102-room Bürgenstock Hotel, set in a striking, cantilevered cube of glass) with a 37,000-square-foot medical center. So while I’m scrubbed, massaged, and cocooned in blankets on a waterbed during an 85-minute detox treatment with natural, made-in-Austria Susanne Kaufmann products, elsewhere in the complex, visitors are undergoing sports-medicine treatments, cosmetic and dental procedures, physical therapy, and more.
This explains the handful of guests hobbling on crutches or pushing walkers. People come to Waldhotel’s medical center to recuperate, perhaps after knee surgery; for medical testing or a mindfulness boost; or for seven-day detox programs and nutritional counseling. With on-staff physicians and an actual hospital permit, the center offers myriad healthful getaway options, from the three-night Waldhotel Basic Med, which includes a dermalogic check and a volley of diagnostic testing, to a 14-night weight-management regimen involving training sessions, cooking lessons, spa treatments, and a personalized meal plan.
Austere treatment rooms and deprivation diets may have dominated the Swiss spa scene of yore, but Waldhotel showcases a warmer alternative indicative of the current shift toward more grounded, nurturing wellness rituals. Below, six more European spas that also place a premium on in-depth, personalized treatments culled from diverse disciplines.
The worn-down and weary have long sought a salve in Baden-Baden’s restorative thermal waters. Brenners Park, an institution since 1872, draws on the curative powers of this elegant nineteenth-century spa town at the edge of the Black Forest for its treatments. At Villa Stéphanie, the adjacent mansion turned medical spa – complete with plunge pool, hammam, and, with the push of an in-room button, Wi-Fi blocking – guests often check in for long-term bespoke retreats. Revolving around detox, fitness, and weight loss, these visits put nourishing cuisine and on-site physician consultations front and center. What’s more, a walk through the leafy grounds of the 104-room property is as recuperative as the thermal algae mud wrap and pulsating underwater massage.