Preidlhof, Italy

Transformational wellness retreats at a cocooning hotel in South Tyrol


Open all year round, except 9-25 December and 07–29 January.

From 1660€ for a six-night retreat based on two sharing a You & Me Suite, including all meals, treatments, workshops and special classes, as well as access to the Sauna Tower and other inclusive classes (based on Transformational Journey programme).

15


Best for: Anyone seeking a radical inner shift.

Not for: Style junkies. Children under 16.

In a nutshell:

Preidlhof offers a destination spa level of integrated healing with some of the finest therapists and healing masters in the world, amidst a family-run hotel in the cocoon of South Tyrol. Imbed yourself in nature and be as active or as still as you need to recalibrate yourself. This is the perfect place to come to profoundly rebalance both physically and emotionally, to receive spiritual succour or recover from trauma, illness or heartbreak, all looked after by a brilliant team led by Patrizia Bortolin.

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What’s Queenly?

The wall of love, where you can leave prayers for your beloveds. The elemental atmosphere of being plugged into nature and integrated into the slow pace of the surrounding village, where the church bells chime, taking you back in time. A Glowing Flow session with Stefano Battaglia, which may be an unforgettable shortcut to your inner path and is an experience rarely found in luxury spas.

What’s Lowly?

The staff speak limited English, while most of the guests are German and Italian couples, so there’s a dominant European loved-up vibe. The lunch buffet doesn’t start until 2pm, so if you like regular meals and get ‘hangry’, this is challenging. Most guests have come to eat, drink and relax, so if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise cast-iron discipline with the groaning breakfast and lunch buffets and four-course dinners.

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Our reviewer Anna Pasternak experienced a five-night Integrated Healing programme and found exceptional healers, memorable forest bathing and a cure for her menopausal hot flushes.

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Retreat Activities


Preidlhof offers a range of specialised healing and transformational wellness retreats that integrate complementary, medical and preventative health expertise for emotional healing, fitness, medical health, nutritional guidance and help with the menopause, sleep issues or general stress and anxiety. You can also come to enjoy retreats that pivot on wild swimming, walking, cycling and other rejuvenating activities. All guests can enjoy the Sauna Tower with its 16 different sauna and relaxation experiences, and participate in all-inclusive weekly wellbeing activities which include yoga, fitness, hikes, forest bathing, mindfulness and tennis.

The flagship wellbeing programme, Preidlhof ’s Integrated Healing retreat is the ideal choice for those who want to withdraw, lighten, take stock of life and rediscover their true essence, whether you are experiencing grief, trauma, general anxiety, the menopause or need help letting go and reinventing yourself both emotionally and physically. You’ll be guided by highly experienced and exceptional therapists, able to integrate and tailor their therapies to each guest.

The retreats includes a Glowing Flow session with renowned Healer Stefano Battaglia, a specialist in Trauma Touch Skills, who integrates techniques, conversation and bodywork to release emotional blocks, anxiety and trauma to connect and harmonise body and mind. Stefano also teaches and practises meditation. There is a therapeutic Ancient Healing Session with Martin integrating TCM; an in-depth medical consultation with Dr Angerer; and a Transformational Session with award-winning Transformational & Wellness Life-Coach Patrizia, who helps you discover new perspectives and promotes a vital, creative and inspiring approach to life.

You’ll also participate in transformational classes throughout the retreat including yoga nidra, mindfulness, mindful and sensorial eating experiences, dance therapy, forest bathing, barefoot meditation, sensory experiences, laughter yoga, dao yin yoga, sound healing, and purification rituals with alpine herbs. The coaches of these experiences are experts in wellness, health, self-improvement, meditation, mindful eating, and physical therapy.

Developed for anyone ready for and open to change and expansion, these journeys help facilitate change from within, and draw on intuitive, enlightened techniques to engage and inspire all levels of awareness: physical, energetic, mental, emotional and spiritual.  They include Transformational Sessions, Anmo Tuina, Kalari and Colour Healing massages, Shirodara, Kneipp therapy, Phyto 5 Facial, a medical check with Dr Angerer and a Glowing Flow Session with renowned Healer Stefano Battaglia to release emotional blocks and anxiety, to connect and harmonise body and mind.

You’ll also participate in transformational classes throughout the retreat including yoga nidra, mindfulness, mindful and sensorial eating experiences, dance therapy, forest bathing, barefoot meditation, sensory experiences, laughter yoga, dao yin yoga, sound healing, and purification rituals with alpine herbs. The coaches of these experiences are experts in wellness, health, self-improvement, meditation, mindful eating, and physical therapy.

This is a re-energising and regenerating retreat based on both the latest in neuroscience research and ancient practices. Tailored to your needs and interests in order to achieve specific goals, it can help you improve physical fitness (including circulation, tone, power and resilience), increase energy and reduce stress, improve the quality of your sleep, bolster your self-confidence, state of mind and attitude to life, and help you reconnect you with nature and self. An in-depth consultation with Dr Angerer, a body composition measurement and special Sleep Tracking will help customise your programme and ascertain the most effective times for you to exercise, rest or work once back at home.

You’ll also participate in transformational classes throughout the retreat including yoga nidra, mindfulness, mindful and sensorial eating experiences, dance therapy, forest bathing, barefoot meditation, sensory experiences, laughter yoga, dao yin yoga, sound healing, and purification rituals with alpine herbs. The coaches of these experiences are experts in wellness, health, self-improvement, meditation, mindful eating, and physical therapy.

This holistic, results-driven programme is for dynamic people who need to rebalance their energy, reshape their silhouette and free their mind. Body treatments focus on stimulating the body‘s inner energy, sport activity is mainly outdoors, and the food experience is centred on mindful and sensorial eating, and most importantly, enjoyment. Your mind will benefit from a series of transformational sessions, and in addition to detoxing and body shaping treatments, there’s Kneipp therapy, acupuncture, cupping and ultrasound, deep sea relaxation, and a medical consultation with Dr Angerer. You can also expect morning hiking, water and forest activities, mindful movement or more intense sessions if you need. Group classes also include restorative yoga, meditation practices and barefoot movement.

The Three Pillars of Health programme pivots on sleep, nutrition and movement and their interactions. It is led by Dr Angerer, who has many years’ experience in prevention, diagnostics and complementary medicine, and incorporates the latest advancements in technology, science and sleep analysis. Medical tests such as microbiome analysis and melatonin measurement will help ascertain the state of your health today and make a plan for your future. The retreat also includes acupuncture, a sleep analysis, consultation with a Sleep Coach, and tips and recommendations for an optimum daily routine.

This is a highly-personalized wellness programme to deepen and transform your quality of sleep, and on which your quality of sleep is assessed not just by observing the night, but also in considering the quality of your day. Are you a lark, a night owl or somewhere in between? You will discover your own personal rhythm. Supervised by Dr Angerer with the support of experts in Sleep Medicine, the retreat looks at your circadian rhythms, breathing, sleep habits, diet, emotional triggers such as past events and life stages such as menopause that may be negatively impacting your sleep and daily life.

The retreat includes a sleep discovery session with Dr. Angerer and the sleep coach, a heart rate variability test, acupuncture sessions, analysis with a sleep monitoring device, a specific body treatment for sleep, a session with renowned Healer Stefano Battaglia to release emotional blocks, anxiety and trauma and connect and harmonise body and mind; mindfulness and body therapies; a therapeutic Ancient Healing Session with Martin integrating TCM to improve the body’s energy and provide support to overcome any emotional challenges; as well as yoga nidra, barefoot training and forest bathing group sessions.

For women approaching or going through the menopause, these retreats help you tune in to yourself, and rather than fight and change nature, to apply wellness tools to renew energy, improve your lifestyle and address any physical, emotional and lifestyle issues. Mindfulness practice will increase confidence in your body’s intelligence, while sensorial training will provide a pleasure-booster and help you find a more spiritual pathway.

The retreat includes a Glowing Flow session with renowned healer Stefano Battaglia; a therapeutic Ancient Healing Session with Martin integrating TCM; an in-depth medical consultation with Dr Angerer; and a Transformational Session with award-winning Transformational & Wellness Life-Coach, Patrizia. Certified Mindfulness experts specialised in psychosomatic and mindful eating will also help you embrace holistic life-change.

Treatments include colour-healing and aroma-massages, acupuncture, a sleep check and psycho-aromatherapy applied to brain ageing, while transformational classes include ‘Find a new beauty routine’, yoga nidra, mindful-sensorial eating, forest bathing, barefoot meditation, sensory experiences and laughter yoga and OSHO meditation.

The Preidl Spa offers an extensive menu of à la carte beauty and wellness treatments to supplement and integrate with the core Transformational Wellness programmes. These are in keeping with their ‘hedonistic’ / ‘eudemonic’ philosophy, ensuring a balance between enjoyment/relaxation and a deeper healing across all treatments and experiences. The majority are signature massages and treatments, of which highlights include the Kneipp 100 and the highly personalised colour and aroma massage. There is also a dedicated Ayurveda therapist from Sri Lanka. Preidlhof also specializes in healing back massages and sleep care – the latter includes two wonderful massages (Tranquility and Onyricon). Ask for a personalised scent to enhance your wellness search based on psycho-aromatherapy mastered by Patrizia, the Spa Director. Just sniffing the right one for you will help you achieve related results much easier.

Don’t miss Forest Bathing with Irmgard Mossmair, a 73-year-old guide with great spiritual wisdom. An official mountain guide, Irmgard found her source of healing in the wisdom of plants, trees and in the regenerating power of forests, dedicating herself to the study of aromatherapy and natural remedies through herbs and Chinese medicine. Forest Bathing experiences are available on Sunday for all hotel guests, Mondays for dedicated retreats, and on Thursdays for longer excursions. Irmgard’s wisdom, kindness, mystic experience and joyful contagious approach to life and the future is priceless. Experiences take place on Monte Tramontana, a short walk from Preidlhof, and are a highlight for many on retreat here. Sensory interaction with the forest helps to increase our frequency, promotes mental calm and awareness, and spiritual renewal. You’ll slowly open up to your surroundings, finding yourself immersed in another world, in contact with nature and its secrets.

Preidlhof is very close to a number of wonderful lakes offering unforgettable wild swimming opportunities; the nearest is the Vernago Lake at the foot of the glacier with its dazzling azur-blue colour. There are numerous other bathing experiences available near waterfalls, in natural pools and alpine lakes, all within 20 minutes to 2 hours from Preidlhof. The famous Lake Garda is just 1.5 hours away; the northern part of the biggest lake is pollution free and has especially breathtaking scenery. The Preidlhof Team can offer detailed information and support.

Sport is central to life in South Tyrol and there is a myriad of beautifully maintained paths dedicated to cycling and e-biking. Cycle around the apple orchards and vineyards of the Vinschgau Valley or explore wildflower meadows, alpine forests, lakes and mountain pastures – Preidlhof is right on the doorstep of the Texel Group Nature Park. Preidlhof tailors retreats for cyclists with all levels of proficiency; these can be developed for solo travellers, or groups with up to 15 guests, and they can be escorted or unescorted. A bike clinic and mental coaching will help instil confidence, overcome fear and help you develop a winning attitude. There is an in-house internationally certified bike trainer available for personal training. All bike equipment is provided in the price of your stay.

Located in Naturns, Preidlhof is set in the foothills of the Texel Group Nature Park. Covering around 31,000 hectares, this is the largest Nature Park in South Tyrol, most of it situated within the Ötztal Alps. An endless array of hiking and biking trails, fitness and outdoor adventure possibilities stem from Preidlhof’s very doorstep. There are guided hikes daily, Tuesday –Saturday, around the property as well as three long hikes a week. Also included are several barefoot training classes with Barefoot Athlete Melanie, a mindful walk by the river with Patrizia, and Forest Bathing with Irmgard. Nordic walking equipment is available free of charge and includes backpacks, rain protection, GPS devices, mountain, racing and trekking bikes, helmets and water bottles.

Anti-diet, The Preidlhof Way is to focus on the very act of eating: Do you chew your food properly? Are you tuned into your body? Are you listening to what it is telling you? How do you feel? How do your emotions influence your food choices? Are you indeed aware of how your food choices also influence your emotions? Guests learn about the importance of having a varied, more alkaline, plant-based diet, how diversity is key to optimising gut health and how gut health also feeds into our emotional and mental wellbeing. This is also the place to come for a foodie retreat, for meals are a real highlight here (see our Sustenance section below). At lunchtimes, guests can enjoy live cookery demonstrations, or if you want to go further, there is a dedicated nutrition retreat that includes mindful eating, sensory analysis and other specific techniques taught by slow food experts, scientifically based to create an approach to food that is then integrated into an individually tailored plan devised in consultation with Dr Angerer and the in-house nutritionist. The eye-opening signature mindful and sensorial eating classes are designed with psychotherapists and naturopaths to help expand awareness through senses, reduce stress and emotional eating, improve digestion, calm the mind and transform a convivial moment into an opportunity for awareness and wellbeing.

Personal spaces

Bedrooms: Preidlhof has 71 suites, 27 of which are perfect for solo travellers. The older part of the hotel sports a rather dated patterned carpet and pine vibe, while in the modern wing, the rooms have trunks that hide mini fridges, copious levels of lighting and fluffy raspberry coloured rugs. Whatever your preferred aesthetics, all offer views of the valley and mountains and are designed with real comfort in mind. Beds have fantastic reading lights (though the bedside tables are a little low). Kettles, tea bags and fresh mountain water straight from the taps mean keeping hydrated is an easy delight. Thoughtful touches include boot jacks in the rooms to remove winter boots.

Preidlhof’s sleep expert ensures the best possible sleep support and comforts. There are endless pillow combinations, some are packed with soporific mountain herbs. There is also a choice of special mattresses with mattress pads and cushions. Sleep well tea bags, earplugs and a sleep mask are supplied as standard in each room. During the night, Preidlhof switches off WLAN to minimize sleep disruption and radiation, and light pollution is kept to a minimal. Several rooms have daybeds on their balcony enabling guests to sleep outside in the fresh air.

Personal spaces

Other places to stay: There are five penthouses and these are located on the top floor of the new building, each of them different. Penthouse 1 is the largest and has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, its own pool, fitness area and sauna and whirlpool.  One of the bedrooms is an award-winning Dream Well Suite where wellness was built into the very fabric of its in-room architecture and design. Guests can gently awaken to a slow-starting bird concert and sunbeams finding their way through treetops, or fall asleep to a sunset at a small mountain lake. Alternatively, they can choose the perfect sound of silence to ensure the deepest, most relaxed and regenerative state of sleep possible. Penthouse 5 is the top choice for a solo traveller. Penthouse 1 with its two rooms is the top choice for friends/couples travelling together.

Personal spaces

Other spaces to be: Throughout the property, there are numerous relaxation spaces to ensure that each guest finds his or her private place for quiet contemplation. In the sauna tower, amidst the 16 different saunas, steam and relaxation spaces, are indoor and outdoor decks with swing seats, reclining seats and day beds. In the mornings, these are empty as most of the guests tend to go on long hikes. There is a clean, Scandi feel and a feeling of relaxed space. By the indoor swimming pool there are modern pods to recline in. While in the spa itself, there is a vast, high ceilinged relaxation area with waterbeds. In the gardens, there are outdoor sofas and loungers tucked amidst lemon trees and around the pool. On the top floor infinity pool, again, early in the day, the loungers are empty and you can enjoy the sensational views across the valley.

Insider Tips

Relax in the point of highest positive energy that is indicated with a sign on the ceiling of second floor of the Sauna Tower. Experience the Aufguss with fire, ice and essential oils (check the schedule of the Sauna Team). Embrace the dolce vita and take a whirl around the apple orchards and vineyards on one of Preidlhof’s complimentary yellow Vespas.

When to Go

Preidlhof enjoys a magnificent year-round Mediterranean climate and the winters are mild. For sun and water lovers, May to mid-October is the best time to visit. Come for a more sociable visit over Christmas and New Year. Note - the hotel is closed from 9-25 December and 07–29 January.

Shared places

Inside and outside spaces: Although the hotel does not have one style aesthetic, it is not ostentatious or intimidating and has a quiet confidence about it. Based in South Tyrol, amidst orchards and tucked into the mountain village of Naturno with views of the Vinschgau Valley, you’ll feel immersed in local life. The hotel is on a slope, the two main buildings separated by an apple orchard, so there is a steep climb up to the pool and garden area. These are full of lemon and orange trees and a plethora of sunbeds around an old-fashioned style swimming pool with mini waterfalls and bridges. Preidlhof’s 5000m² of wellness space includes 10 in-and outdoor pools and whirlpools, and the 14 spa treatment rooms have names like Flow, Balance and Energise and enjoy lots of natural daylight. They are almost clinical in vibe, but you don’t notice or mind as the treatments are so superb.

Shared places

Sauna Tower: The highlight of the wellness space is the stylish, contemporary six-floor Sauna Tower, set in a natural high-energy field and purposely built vertically to make the most of the 360° views of the surrounding orchards, hills, the Vinschgau Valley and Ortler Mountains. On top is a sun deck and infinity pool. Sixteen different sauna, steam and relaxation experiences are on offer here, with meditation cabins, Himalayan salt and infrared lounges, Turkish baths, a wellness garden and Kneipp, and a Functional Fitness Hall. The Deep Sea Relaxation room is phenomenal. You go into a room and a whacky blend of colours, lights and sounds completely distracts you from your mind. There are daily Sauna events at 2.00, 3.00, 4.30 and 6.00pm: South Tyrol’s celebrated Aufguss is a shared experience that elevates the power of essential oils mixed with heat and steam, and is accompanied with a fascinating story-telling performance.

Sustenance

All meals are taken in the wooden, chalet style dining room, with wrap-around decks and invigorating views of the mountains opposite. There is no throbbing background muzak in the restaurant, so you can sit on the terrace and listen to bird song, and no smoking is allowed on the terrace restaurant.

Meals are a highlight here and Preidlhof’s restaurant has been awarded three toques by Gault Millau. The international kitchen team is guided by Emanuele Giorgione, an Italian Chef internationally known for his healthy spa cuisine and whose Wellness Healing Menu blends the Alkaline and Mediterranean Diet with the rich flavours and traditions of Italian and South Tyrolean cuisine. Preidlhof’s close relationship with the gastronomic culture and traditions of South Tyrol means they use local and regional suppliers, and they grow, cultivate and harvest much of their produce themselves.

With generous breakfast and lunch buffets, this is not the place for those with limited discipline who want to lose weight. Every conceivable home-baked bread; spelt, rye, wheat, oat, is available at breakfast, and in all buffets, you can be as healthy or unhealthy as you like. Most guests enjoy copious dishes, including meat, fish, fresh salads, pastas, desserts. It’s all home-made, robust and delicious. In the evening, you can select from the main menus – a four-course dining extravaganza – or if you are doing the healing programmes, eating from the Wellness Healing Menu is advised. This is gluten, soya, lactose and sugar free, while all dishes are alkaline. Although there are four small courses, these are exquisitely presented with vivid colours, flavours and edible flowers. Dinner might include cold tomato soup with basil pesto, shirataki spaghetti with red pepper sauce and nori seaweed powder, falafel on Mediterranean caponata and brown rice, and almond date pudding with chocolate and coffee.

Smoothies and herbal teas are available. In the Sauna Tower there are natural local syrups (Melissa, Elder and Raspberry) to perfectly complement the heat experience. Herbal teas and fresh infusions are available in the spa relaxation area. Preidlhof houses more than 400 labels to offer a rich wine-tasting experience. They also cultivate Urscheler, a red wine produced with Pinot Noir and Schiava grapes in their own vineyard.

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Sustainability

Being so close to Austria and Germany, South Tyrol leads Italy in sustainability and environmental standards. The South Tyrol region has already very strict standards in relation to water and electricity reduction, and Preidlhof aspires to always go over and above. They are especially stringent about reducing light pollution at night.

Preidlhof nurtures home-grown and regional talent, and many of its star therapists are from South Tyrol. They are strong advocates of maintaining a work/life/family balance, and there is an employee wellbeing programme in place. They use local material as much as possible, including local wood for furniture in the rooms. Preidlhof’s close relationship with the gastronomic culture and traditions of South Tyrol means they use local and regional suppliers, and they grow, cultivate and harvest much of their produce themselves.

LOCATION

Preidlhof, via San Zeno 13, 39025 Naturno BZ South Tyrol, Italy

Airport: Innsbruck (Austria) or Verona (Italy)

Naturns

From airport: 2 hours. From station: 5 minutes (provided on a complimentary basis).

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