Masqi The Energy House, Spain
A boutique-style wellness hotel in a peaceful national park
Open all year round except for the 24th and 25th of December and 6th to 26th January. Packages are for 2, 3, 5, 7, 14 or 21 nights on your choice of dates.
Room with full board (two sharing) starts at 147€ per night. Room with full board (single occupancy) start at 220€ per night. All well being activities are at an extra cost and a range of retreat packages are available.
Best for: Anyone looking for luxurious comfort and a rejuvenating escape from the everyday
Not for: Those who aren’t happy to be remote. Nearby ‘civilisation’ can only be reached by car.
In a nutshell:
Located in the stunning national park of Sierra de Mariola between Alicante and Valencia, this beautiful 19th-century farmhouse turned boutique-style hotel offers elegant macrobiotic vegan cuisine and a varied range of bespoke wellbeing programmes. Join daily yoga and meditation classes in the spectacular dome, choose from a wide range of massages, energy healing sessions, and Ayurvedic treatments, explore the idyllic setting on foot or simply soak up the stillness.
Sonia’s dedication and passion to the project, which reverberates through everything Masqi does. Her hands-on approach and the time she takes to get to know each guest means you feel truly looked after. The circular wooden yoga dome with transparent triangular panels means you can practise amidst the trees with a chorus of birds and a front row view of the ever changing sky.
There are limited opportunities to socialise with other guests. Guests are seated separately at lunch and dinner, which might not suit some solo travellers. Some therapists only speak Spanish, but you can request an English speaker. Those allergic to dogs or cats might be put off by the resident pets.
Enjoy daily yoga, meditation, sound baths, walks, a swim in the outdoor pool, treatments and therapies, workshops, events and more. Book your room and full-board macrobiotic meals and then pick and choose your activities or sign up to a retreat programme with a set schedule. Pick the ‘Renewal Break’ or ‘Yoga Wellness Retreat' for a signature Masqi mix or choose a specialist retreat that focuses on detoxing, weight-loss, stress or deep transformation.
The in-house yoga teacher teaches two 90 minute classes each morning in the dome. The Vinyasa class (8.30am) is based closely on the classic Ashtanga series and is energetic and physical while the Hatha class (10.30am) goes at slower pace with positions held for longer periods. Both classes incorporate Pranayama (breathing exercises) and open and close with meditation.
The daily meditation session takes place in the dome at 6.10pm. The in-house teacher leads guests through a different technique each day using the breath, sound and visualisations in both seated and lying down positions. Classes are suitable for all levels and come with handy hints for continuing the practise at home. Once a week there is a sound bath instead of a meditation session.
There are three in-house therapists offing a number of massage treatments in the separate house by the pool. Each have their own speciality spanning Ayurveda, bodywork, and physiotherapy and tailor appointments appropriate. Guests can also book in for facials and body sculpting treatments.
Masqi offer a range of energy healing treatments that incorporate practises such as Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, sound healing and chakra balancing. Guests can also book in for mentoring, a counselling-style session with owner Sonia.
Guests can book in for mentoring, a counselling-style life coaching session with owner Sonia. This can help you work through a whole host of issues providing clarity with decision making and advice for instilling positive change. These sessions are included in the 6 night ‘Transform program’, 3 or 7 night ‘Executive Anti-Stress Program’ and the ’21 days to change your life’ program.
Sonia runs bi-weekly 90 minute macrobiotic nutrition workshops (once in English and once in Spanish) in the lounge. These informal sessions give a background to Chinese medicine and ‘Qi’, the concept of yin and yang and the premise of macrobiotic eating with practical advice for a healthy diet.
Bedrooms: Choose from one of the eight spacious ensuite bedrooms spread over the two floors in the main house - all with beautiful views. Rooms have been lovingly restored with traditional features such as beams, exposed stone walls and Juliet balconies and individually decorated with wooden furniture, colourful textiles and cosy rugs. Each comes with its own hi spec bathroom, the majority with baths, and natural shower products. The biggest rooms - the suites and junior suites- come with their own living spaces while the ‘Namaste’ bedroom has its own wood burning stove.
Mountain weather is changeable so pack layers and a light jacket. Don't forget a pair of flip-flops for slipping on for walking between the main house, massage house and yoga dome. If you want to explore the paths around Masqi, Lobo the dog will guide you on a lovely walk to the nearby river.
When to Go
The retreat is open all year round but closed over Christmas (24th and 25th of December) and again January 6th to 26th. Masqi is inland and 900m above sea level so it’s less hot than the coast. For guaranteed warm temperatures, May to September is your best bet. October to December and February to April are cooler but still can be bright and sunny.
Guests eat breakfast together around a long wooden table in the old dining room. Lunch and dinner are eaten in the more formal restaurant at separate tables. In winter there is an open fire burning while in summer the glass doors can be swung opened with the option to sit outside.
All food is vegan with the exception of one fish course served at dinner on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The elegant and tasty dishes are created by the in-house macrobiotic chef with a focus on seasonal and local produce. Breakfast is the same each day: miso soup, rice porridge, fruit, apple cake and homemade bread with a selection of nut butters and sugar-free jams.
Lunch (served at 2pm) and dinner (served at 8pm) consists of four courses: normally a fresh and crunchy salad to start, a wholegrain-based dish or soup second, a protein (e.g. pulses, tofu, tempeh) or fish with seasonal veggies for main and sugar-free dessert to finish. The majority of dishes are gluten-free but bread is available on the side. You are served at the table but seconds can easily be requested.
Kukicha tea (a macrobiotic speciality) and lemon infused water is available throughout the day while wine, beer, healthy soft drinks, tea and coffee are all available at both lunch and dinner.
Hot water is powered by solar panels. Cleaning products are eco-friendly, paper – including toilet paper, napkins, tissues – is all recycled and plastic bottles are avoided completely. In the kitchen everything is organic and they avoid using food wrapped in plastic as much as possible. Masqi employees are invited to use the classes and therapies for free.
Sierra de Mariola S/N, 03450 Banyeres de Mariola, Alicante
Nearest train station: Alicante
Transfer time: 1 hour