A review of the Alpina Gstaad hotel in Switzerland and its Tibetan healing program


Are you & # 39; bile & # 39 ;, & # 39; mucus & # 39; or & # 39; wine & # 39 ;? Discover the benefits of knowing your Tibetan energy type at a luxury Swiss spa

  • The Alpina Gstaad has 56 rooms, Michelin-starred food and an extensive spa
  • A history of glamorous fame and winter sports surrounds Gstaad
  • Thanks to the Tibetan therapies, Kate Johnson found it a restorative retreat

Antonis, the chief therapist of Tibetan medicine, looks me in the eye and says, & # 39; You are not very emotional, right? & # 39; I'm not sure how to respond. I mumble a confused response and we continue with what turns out to be a daily health consultation, so he & # 39; s checking my pulse and impressing me on my diet, digestion, family history and more.

He then explains that, in Tibetan medicine, we are all one of the three types of energy: bile, mucus or wine. Charming. I'm crazy, with top notes of mucus, if you must know. When one's mind, body, and nature are not in harmony, it causes anger in bile, adherence to wine, and ignorance in mucus. Or something like that. Antonis personalizes a program for me.

This is not the white fluffy dress and slippers love-in that I expected at The Alpina Gstaad. But it is intriguing, and I have the most space for myself. Despite the impressive facade of towers and timber, there are only 56 bedrooms. My & # 39; Group & # 39; tai chi and yoga classes are just one-on-one. Because no one else has the sweat in a sauna and steam rooms that are exclusively for women, I'm on my own, because I'm in the steamy open pool.

Swish: The heated outdoor swimming pool of The Alpina, which sat amidst the beautiful Swiss Alps

Good vibrations: A Tibetan singing bowl

Good vibrations: A Tibetan singing bowl

My chakras (if I have them) don't seem to appreciate the hour-long session of rebalancing them, and my colors aren't in the mood to be cured either, but Tibetan songbird therapy is different.

Antonis places brass on my back and gently strikes them with a hammer. I feel the sound vibrations through my body.

I am cocoon and catch up in the cleanest sound possible. It is a ten minute walk from this elegant, comfortable hotel to the chic, traffic-free village.

Years ago, you may have shared the space with fur-covered superstars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton who didn't have a row when Brigitte Bardot walked with her dog.

Gstaad has been a hotspot for winter sports since 1907, but the large, ritzy resorts of Zermatt, Courchevel and Verbier, which are taller and have longer seasons, may have stolen some of Gstaad's thunder.

After a few days of lush and refined splendor I feel completely fine. This is not one of those spas where someone heavy in a white jacket makes sure you chew every mouthful of your daily shared kale 40 times. It's the other way around.

Healing: Guests at The Alpina can discuss meditation with Tibetan therapists

Healing: Guests at The Alpina can discuss meditation with Tibetan therapists

Michelin-starred food is served in restaurants so special that even tap water is carbonated, and small footsteps are placed discreetly next to female dinners, so their designer handbags don't have to sit on the floor.

On my last night back to my room, I find a card on my pillow that suggests that I practice gratitude meditation.

I recommend focusing & # 39; on a few things for which you are grateful … you will sleep deeper and, when you wake up, you are probably more centered and motivated to start the day & # 39 ;.


Easyjet flies from (easyjet.com) London to Geneva from £ 48. Book Geneva to Gstaad trains via omio.com, from £ 52 back. The Alpina Gstaad (thealpinagstaad.ch) re-opens for the summer season June 9 with B&B doubling from £ 400 per night including £ 80pp daily food and drink credit and access to the spa. More information at gstaad.ch.


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