Review: Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls, Austria

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls has a global reputation for delivering quality and excellence in the field of Modern Mayr medicine. Situated just outside of Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol, the medical retreat has adapted the traditional Mayr cure for the modern age, combining the best of western and complementary medicine. Cutting edge technology and medical expertise are complement more traditional therapies like massage, yoga and Kniepp treatments for the targeted regeneration of the digestive system.

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Blending detox, cure and escape, the team at Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls have developed a programme that balances diagnostic medicine, with a professional approach and caring attitude. Managing director, Andrea Gnägi explains the philosophy, “We are not a wellness centre or medical hospital, but are very specific medical health centre combining both quality and a commitment to find solutions to the problems that people have.  It’s a perfect combination between medical expertise and the comforts of a resort. We are the best at giving people friendliness whilst attending to their individual needs.”

The medical team consists of a select group of doctors lead by medical director, Dr Peter R Gartner each with their own specialism ranging from neural therapy, cardiology, homeopathy, clinical psychology to advanced ultrasound diagnostics. Working with experts from the Innsbruck University Clinic, Parkhotel Igls follows the principle of early diagnosis and comprehensive preventive medical care. Under the guidance of Dr Gartner I was thoroughly checked out from head to toe, weighed measured and examined. Few problems were identified, so I was out on the Mayr plus protein food combining programme.

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Central to the health programmes at Park Hotel Igls is the Modern Mayr Medicine philosophy, which is designed to rest and reset the digestive system whilst improving lifestyle behaviour. Its regarded as the key route to restorative health. Arguably less punishing that the traditional Mayr method, the doctors at Parkhotel Igls developed a programme that includes eight different food levels.  Ranging from tea fasting through to food combining, each is designed to rest and regenerate the gut depending on the needs and diagnosis of the client.

Located within easy reach of Germany and the rest of Austria, the majority of guests are naturally from these countries, with many international guests hailing from Switzerland, France, the UK and USA.

The business is clearly defined between the medical services in a new wing, and the accommodation, restaurant, thermal suite and pool which are in the older part of what was historically the hotel. Whilst physically the buildings are linked and the two areas work in unison

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Keep on moving

Some therapies are included as part of the pre-determined programme like massage, hydrotherapy, daily Kneipp treatments, heat packs, or physiotherapy. In addition there are the gardens to enjoy, morning walks, cycling, group exercise classes and excursions to local points of interest. Exercise is an essential part of any stay with at least 20 minutes per day recommended. The panoramic gym on the top floor is stunning, the indoor pool and sauna area give a spa-like feel and the fitness studio has a variety of classes for yoga and movement. Exercise and personal training plans are designed to support the medical programme and enhance the results for the guests.

Mayr Method

Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls has developed eight levels of Modern Mayr ranging from tea fasting through to food combining. The development of the Mayr levels began before Gartner’s time, when Dr Winkler, the head physician before him, started to combine the different existing types of Mayr diet. It recognises the challenges of the strict diet and built on the received knowledge and wisdom of years of practice and observation. Gartner explains, “The stricter the diet is, the more careful you have to be with your muscles. That is the reason why we invented the diet levels, starting with zero which is the traditional level or tea fasting, but you can suffer from sarcopenia or a loss of muscle.” So the doctors added in small portions, around 30 to 50 grams, of protein like cheese, meat or fish to keep the muscles in shape.  The levels step up with additional quantities of protein and progress to food combining in different proportions.

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls

Despite the regime of portion control and the importance of constant chewing, chef Markus Sorg has created a menu that is varied, healthy and appetising.  Under the direction of Dr Gartner, Sorg is able to use the skills he developed in four and five star hotel kitchens to create a menu that is both seasonal and tasty for guests who are on tightly controlled diets. So, whilst you will be expected to chew (lots) to active the salivation and pre-digestion process, allowing the the gut to rest, you will get to eat food and what food there is, is wholesome, delicious and beautifully presented.

There are some down sides. You evacuate your bowels every day thanks to a concoction of water and Epsom salts called Bitterwater. You can get hungry and your energy levels do drop as your calories are restricted. You have to drink LOTS of water, but combining it with teas and clear consommé is manageable. I loved the heat pack (liver compress) before bed. It was cosy and comforting. A couple of times I did find it hard, but then taking a walk in the mountain air with views of the Austrian Tyrol takes the pain away.

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Integrating conventional medicine, complementary therapies and Modern Mayr medicine with, innovative cuisine and healthy exercise programmes, the team at Parkhotel Igls deliver a unique health retreat for guests looking to rest, recuperate and rejuvenate their mind, body and overall wellbeing. Impressed with the staff connectivity, the flow of information from one department and each specialist is excellent.


This is not a spa with a medical focus, Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls is a medically led heath retreat that includes therapeutic treatments as part of the programme. Every day you will enjoy Kneipp treatments which involved soaking your feet in warm to hot water, then after five minutes walking in cold water, traditionally this would be over stones and then repeating three times.

Cranial sacral therapy with Alice.

First session focused on posture and my sitting and standing. We talked through my body issues and then she offered some great advice on how to incorporate movement into my working day. Then she worked on some tension in my stomach. The second visit utilised very fine movements to manipulate my head and skull. So intricate that some were barely perceptible. I felt light headed and woozy after wards and had a lie down.

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Doctor massage therapy – this is a deep intense manual manipulation of the stomach area going right up into the stomach cavity to work on the diaphragm. It’s designed to release toxins from the body and is completed every couple of days and can only be conducted by the doctor.

I had a lovely warm wrap of moor and hay – you lay on mats of moor mud with a hay pack on your stomach with a hot water bottle on top.  This is all in a heated water bed therapy beds cocooning, comforting and therapeutic. Amazing.

I was also treated to a massage with Harald which was intense and very focused which worked on the meridian lines down the back to release tension through the spine. This was no spa massage – and it was a real stand out treatment.

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man


Friendly warm and genuine staff.

Modern well appointed rooms, great views of the mountains,

Excellent facilities

Fabulous food

Thorough care and attention to fine details

Lots for activities to do throughout the day with a health focus from fitness and mobility to posture plus outdoor walking and riding.

Park Hotel Igls, Austria - The Spa Man

Accommodation: Deluxe single room



Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls

The Basic Programme      €850 per week (best combined with therapy modules).

Mayr-Classic One week    €1,090; Mayr-Intensiv €1,465; Metabolism & Detox €1,660; Musculeskeletal System €1,450; Heart & Circulation € 1,700;

Super Medical Check €2,116; Preventative Ultrasound Arrangement €1,039; Modern Mayr Medical Check €3.516.

Accommodation costs are excluded from the prices above and charge in addition.

Rooms from: €134 to €356 per person per night.

+43 512 377305