We’ve found it. We’ve discovered thee place, the steal, the ideal spa vacation location. It’s in a spa city called Marianske Lazne, aka Marienbad, and the Maria Spa is the spot. This resort, which is actually three in one – Danubius Health Spa Resport Nove Lazne and Centralni Lazne are connected to Maria Spa – is sprawling, centuries old, rich in history, and recently restored. The treatments are unique to the land; the natural resources are sourced locally. It is luxurious and medicinal at the same time. Let me explain. [Read more...]
Deep beneath the lush valley of Karlovy Vary (aka Carlsbad), Czech Republic, lies a hot spring so beneficial, that thousands flock to it yearly for its near-miracle curative properties. There are 12 such springs in the Czech Western region, each with a different effect on the body. Scientists have been exploring these springs since the 14th century, proving the medical benefits of this water. In addition to submerging yourself in the many bath houses and spa bathtubs, the key to a cure is to drink it. And surprisingly enough, liquor (the “13th spring”) is on the wellness menu, too. Czech it out.
@OzSultan and I, @JessicaLapidos have been up to our eyes in water, literally – and our skin looks amazing. The blemishes we arrived with are fading fast. We started the “procedures” (as they call them here) with a Pearl Bath at St. Joseph’s Royal Regent Spa. This 20-minute moment of relaxation in a bath of ancient minerals – completely natural from the springs in the Earth’s core – rejuvenated our heavily traveled bodies.
The typical stay here is 2-3 weeks, in which you’re put on an all-inclusive program overseen by a doctor, and entails massages, water treatments, mud baths, a prescribed diet and so much more, tailored to your needs. All of these treatments involve drinking the native water. The water is piped throughout the city and delivered via public taps, constantly flowing (as they are activated naturally by the pressure of the earth). Drinking is an active act – you walk along the lovely colonnades and shops whilst sipping through the traditional cup. The handle is the straw, and this means you don’t need to tilt your head to gulp it down. Drink it slowly, 10 steps per sip. The water in Karlovy Vary will improve your stomach and digestive tract, so take it in with time and let it marinate in your body.
We dipped into some other hotels to have a look see. Hotel Imperial is one of the oldest hotels still with a glass elevator/exposed (working, but mainly for show). The hotel is set high in the valley so view is actually to die for. It is removed from the city center, so the mineral water is pumped straight into the lobby, ready to cure.
Hotel Dvorak is set in the main part of the city (which is super adorable, like Aspen meets Disney meets the French Riviera). On a backdrop of luxury, you may indulge in a full range of treatments, one of which is an obesity butt-kicker. It will set you on what they call the “Sparse Diet” and includes water, lemon and honey for a week, followed by white bread and tea for the next week. It’s essentially the Czech version of the Master Cleanse, only it involves spa treatments, too. (Most people I know have attempted the Master Cleanse through a full week of work.)
Hotel Prezident is named as such because the founder, Dr. Milada Sárová treats current and past presidents of the Czech Republic. Her hotel was designed by her son, a young architect, and it boasts one of the most modern settings and a view of the German boarder kilometers away, and all that’s in between. Her state of the art equipment match her healing intuition; she taught us that two weeks of drinking the mineral water is enough to replace the 80% of your body that is made up of water. With your system flushed, the minerals can fully detoxify a human. She fills her footed steel bathtub with mud from Marienske Lazne (where we’ll be headed later this week), whose mineral properties are naturally strongest for detoxification.
The Castle Bath Spa, formerly (and literally) King Edward’s Cabin, is situated in the heart of the Karlovy Vary. It is one of the few spas that stands alone without an attached hotel. With a glorious stone mineral water pool, the spa was built in a natural cave. We tried treatments there ranging from Electro-aerosol Inhalation – a deep breathing session of the mineral water in mist form (awesomely sedating), a spring water dental irrigation system (ridiculously recharging), and classic massages. Do as I say, not as I do: speak up when a) you’d prefer deeper pressure, and b) when they press play on a CD of classic rock remade with a Czech accent and shaky high notes.
And just when you think the detox ends with water, think again. Becherovka liquor, made in Karlovy Vary is widely considered the 13th spring. Through the 10AM Becherovka museum tour/tasting, we learned about the therapeutic properties of the herbs that makes up this national beverage. For best results: one shot in the morning, one in the evening. Repeat. Live a long and healthy life. And drink the water.