Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is a very calm and tranquil resort in Austria just near the border with Germany. Set in a stunning position high in the Austrian Tyrol, Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is a unique retreat offering holistic health, wellness and healing. Pioneering the concept of European Ayurveda, they blend the best of traditional practice with modern principles, in a manner and style that suits both its European location and clientele. Comprehensive detox and health programmes sit alongside meditation, yoga and treatments to help clients rest, recuperate and regenerate, whilst escaping the rigours of modern life, all without the need for long-haul travel that traditional Ayurvedic programmes require.
A vibrant spiritual energy and a dedicated team of practitioners helps to distinguish the resort from its competition. Part of the Healing Hotels of the World and Niche Destinations groups, the design concept is Tyrol meets India where local and recycled timber blend seamlessly with vibrant colour schemes to create a calm and serene ambiance.
Recognising that the nature and flow of our seasons and diet is quite different from its traditional roots in India, the founders have adapted the programmes, food and treatments to accommodate European sensibilities, but it remains true to the heart and spirit of the ancient practice and delivers some impressive results.
The concept of European Ayurveda is founded on the idea that the principles of Indian medicine and should be adapted to the local situation. Developed in response to the ailments that clients were presenting, it offers a localised version of Ayurvedic food, supplements and treatments employed to resolve them.
Naturally, deities and statues of Hindu gods prevail and it sets the tones for daily yoga and mediation. Healthy eating is central to any stay and the starting point of the detox Panchakarma programmes. The menu is inspired by traditional Indian cuisine and utilises locally sourced herbs and ingredients to ensure that guests experience the very best of healing and health in one location. Predominately vegetarian is a real treat for the palette. There are some fish options for those who want additional protein.
DESIGN at AYURVEDA RESORT SONNHOF
The hotel and recently refurbished spa area at Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof are decorated with exposed, reclaimed wood and feature an array of bright colours including golds, orange and purple to lift the spirt and mood. Throughout the spa muted yellow and orange walls are present throughout the treatment spaces. The heat and thermal spaces boast graphite grey tiles and exposed wood giving it a cosy, secluded, warm feel. The new thermal suite has numerous saunas and steam rooms depending on pitta, kapha or data recommendations.
WHAT IS PANCHAKARMA?
Health and healing programmes form the mainstay of the business, with 95% of guests at Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof booking these in advance, from short stays of a few days to the full Panchakarma cure of between seven and 21 days. Following a consultation with one of the specialists, each guest is provided with a unique and personalised journey including a combination of yoga, meditation, body massage, mind work, plus medical and Ayurvedic consultations. The combination can also include: colon cleansing, acupuncture, joint and muscle therapy, reflexology and a limited treatment menu of beauty and cosmetic treatments. The Panchakarma is one of the most requested at the resort and combines five therapeutic elements for detox and focusses on excreting water soluble toxins, and in particular the fat soluble toxins that the programme regards as most problematic. Designed to restore the body’s self-healing processes Panchakarma enhances physical and spiritual healing and is said to be especially helpful for conditions such as rheumatism, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, headaches, migraines, allergies and removing environmental toxins from the body.
Guided by the expertise of two specially trained Ayurveda doctors, the cleansing and healing regimes offered at Sonnhof begin with a consultation to determine the client’s health and set the finer details of the regime, treatments and complementary therapies.
Delicately spiced with Indian and Asian spices, the food combines vegetarian and vegan options with some fish courses for an easily digestible meal. 3 courses for the Ayurvedic method, there is a buffet of vegetarian food that uses healthy grains like cous cous and quinoa, lots of vegetables and dishes that are tasty and innovative demonstrating that meat free is not boring.
Breakfast consisted of grain porridge, sheep yogurt, meat and cheese plus smoked salmon with lots of nuts, seeds and fruit plus healthy breads, spreads local honey.
Oil treatment with four hands.
Totally synchronised in perfect harmony, this treatment that is heavy on the use of oil begins seated on the side of hot treatment bed with some back massage and flows though the body to the feet. Laying on the back it includes stomach, chest and head all at once. The addition of four hands is incredible and elevates this to a supremely relaxing and totally engaging treatment. This goes on in a similar way for around an hour, attending to the back, each side and front again. Then a single therapist begins the oil ritual, pouring oil over the head in a continuous movement, swirling from side to side so that it envelopes the top of the head. Perhaps 20 minutes pass, it’s soothing and relaxing and takes you on a journey of the mind.
On another occasion I also had an invigorating warm oil and fresh herb body scrub. Rich with a combination of fresh and dried herbs, it was exfoliating and awakening. Top to toe and a real treat, the smell of hot he herbs filled the senses. I felt totally smooth and renewed afterwards.
THE BEST BITS:
Personalised meditation rituals
Meeting the doctor for pulse diagnosis
The four hands massage
Breakfast of quinoa porridge, bee pollen, sheeps yoghurt, rooibos tea,
Breathing in the fresh mountain air
Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof
6335 Thiersee, Austria
+43 5376 5502
Panchakarma Light by a single therapist
€ 1,419.00 7 nights, 6 treatment days, Excluding accommodation. Preventive treatment
Consultation & pulse diagnosis
Nutritional diagnosis & concluding consultation
Snehana – administration of ghee to loosen waste products
Virechana – day of purification
The following 11 treatments, tailored to suit individual medical history:
- 3 Abhyanga – Ayurvedic full body oil massages • Udvartana – herbal powder massage • Jambira Pinda Sveda – bag massage, or Garshan – silk glove massage • Udanavata© – special abdominal massage • Nasya or Akshi Tarpana – nasal or eye treatment • Shirodhara flowing oil treatment • Basti – gentle enema • Upana – Himalayan salt & oil scrub to release stressful energy and strengthen the immune system • Shiromardana – head & face massage , Swedana – heat therapy, Ushnodaka – hot water & ginger drinking treatment, Herbal remedies for the duration of your stay, Weekly programme of yoga & meditation, Use of the AyurvedaCentre, Full Panchakarma board (included in room rate)