People choose to visit spas for various personal reasons, but the goal is always to feel better after the experience. For years I have scoured the Internet on the lookout for different locations and programs that fit my requirements, and I have visited many wonderful spots.
I love the starvation vacation: the detox camps and the boot camps. They wake up the metabolism and renew good eating habits and exercise regimens. I also love the “lay around and pamper yourself” spas. At all of the different spas, I learn new and important facts about healthy living, and the benefits after even one week are hard to ignore.
These trips also become a place to think and plan for the coming months, to de-clutter the mind and body. I know that I could not keep up with my busy life without taking the time to collect my thoughts, shed a few pounds and re-energize.
There's a new crop of locations that not only do all of the above, but are also stunningly stylish. I have always valued my time spent in and among ancient buildings and surroundings. In Northern Italy, close to Milan, I discovered 1711 Ti Sana Detox Retreat & Spa.
Located on spectacular natural parkland beside the River Adda, views are peaceful and inspiring. Time has a way of standing still and reaching back as you hike through the nearby forest, or paddle on the river. Yoga, therapeutic and toning exercises, deep breathing and meditative exercises complement the dietary classes, along with water and heat therapies.
I chose to stay at Ti Sana for more than the scenery and clean air. Central to their philosophy of living a healthy lifestyle is their Detox Juice and Raw Food Diet. The kitchen is a food lab, where only the purest plant foods are juiced, dehydrated and transformed into delicious meals. I enjoyed the lessons with their local raw-food chef as much as any gourmet cooking lecture.
Raw food meals give you a whole new perspective on alternatives to the preparation of food. I have adopted that lab look in my kitchen at home now, and have my own juicer and a dehydrating oven.
The area dates back to Roman times and is rich in historical landmarks: churches and military fortifications from many different eras.
Ti Sana consists of three historical stone buildings connected to each other by an open courtyard. The spacious bedrooms have high beamed wood ceilings and large windows that let in the brilliant Italian sunlight.
They have utilized a simple neutral palette of white plaster walls and natural wood tones with an accent of pale olive green for the alcove, chair and blanket. Modern amenities are present throughout the resort but do not interfere with the timeless atmosphere. A row of LED lights behind the bed afford mood enhancement as candles would.
To replicate the modern rustic style requires basic materials, such as wood and stone, which connote a timeless strength and solidarity. Forest and plant greens, straw and hemp yellowish browns, and natural or weathered wood all set the tone for a room that is peaceful and inspires meditation and rejuvenation.
Create a calming focal point with an alcove or small table that has a beautiful sculpture or a small water feature, or an image that settles your mind. Take away all clutter so that surfaces remain smooth and airy. Possibly you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a splendid retreat in your own home.
Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Travis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit her website, www.debbietravis.com.