You don’t have to travel to India for its renowned Ayurveda healing. This ancient medicine has landed in Italy high up amidst the peaks of the Dolomites. The Engels Ayurpura, a family-run boutique hotel, recently opened its doors to a sanctuary of wellness overseen by Dr Vaidya Swami Nath Mishra one of the most respected pulse diagnosticians in India and Italy’s only Ayurveda physician.
Ayurveda is the oldest known natural holistic medicine tried and tested over centuries and is still widely used today. Combining physical, psychological, and spiritual health, it focuses on whole-body healing and sees a person’s dosha as the dynamic principle that determines their personality and health.
Encircled by breathtaking views at an altitude of 1200 feet, it’s quiet and still, protected by soaring mountains topped with shawls of snow accessorised with pine trees standing statuesque like feather dusters. The reception area is a cosy affair with lounge chairs and a library of books on wellness to browse at leisure while soaking up the scenes which flow through the frames of floor-to-ceiling windows.
Anyone looking to enhance their wellness within a doctor-led luxury boutique sanctuary.
With just 15 rooms, you are assured of personal service. The design is chic in natural tones reflective of the theme of balance and calm. Each room has an oversized terrace to gaze at the undulating valleys and the changing moods of nature, to feel the breeze of the fresh air, listen to the noise of silence and watch the stars wink in the dark.
Ayurveda is all about relaxing and places to do this are around every corner. Looking out to the heated outdoor pool and the bio-sauna is a spacious relaxation room where the mountain falls to eye-level vision.
On the top floor this repeats with the addition of infrared chairs and an elevated view of the valleys from lounge beds with cuddly blankets. Bliss.
An atelier offers crafts to promote mindfulness while gentle walks in the fresh air and swimming are encouraged. There is a cooking class and an evening talk on Ayurveda.
Cure programmes range from a 4-day Approaching Ayurvedic, 5 or 7-day Rasayana Fountain of Youth and 7, 14 or 21-day Panchakarma cures. The 7-day Rasayana programme includes 6 cure days with 12 treatments aimed to slow down the ageing process and strengthen the immune system supplemented by yoga in the mornings and meditation in the evening.
Each human being is a unique combination of five elements, earth, water, fire, air and space. There are three vital forces of life: Vata meaning air and space, Pitta meaning fire and water, and Kapha earth and water. The balance of all these forces is said to be the answer to keeping you fit and healthy.
There’s a menu of massage styles to complement and support your prescribed treatment plan. From head to foot. there’s a massage to suit all ailments using medicinal oils. Abhyanga is the supreme discipline among Ayurvedic massages to restore balance of the three doshas to bring body and mind back into harmony. Synchronous Abhyanga is performed by two therapists. With a reputation for it relaxing effects, Shirodhara is top of my list. This involves an even stream of warm oil poured on the forehead from a height of 10cm.
Food here is medicine, paired with your prescription. Ayurveda consommé with herbs, organic Ermes rice (red rice) with pumpkin seed cream and cinnamon, courgette mille feuilles with basil pesto and tomato sauce. Creative, colourful and nutritious, gluten and lactose-free, dishes are mainly vegetarian using seasonal cooked, digestible vegetables.
Breakfast is an array of porridge options, stewed fruit and broths. Lunch is the main meal which starts with a fasting soup made with algae extract while dinner is light to ensure sleep. Herbal tea and water are recommended 30 mins either side of a meal to assist the digestion process with a cup of detox tea taken first in the morning. The airy restaurant looks out over spectacular views. Tables are assigned or there’s a designated social area to join others.
The location Nova Levanti in South Tyrol provides the perfect setting with its backdrop of the legendary Rosengarten mountain range which performs its alpenglow when the sun kisses the horizon as the days’ finale. The Nature Park Schlern-Rosengarten is the oldest nature park in South Tyrol and part of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes not only unique Dolomite peaks, but also is part of the famous high plateau Seiser Alm and the unspoilt Tschamintal Valley. Pretty as a picture, the area is dotted with mountain huts, relaxation embraces you in a place to harness the nature-nurture effect. The region’s capital city of Bolzano is 20 minutes away while Bressanone, the oldest town in Tyrol, is 50 minutes. The hotel provides a bus pass to explore the local area during your stay.
How to get there:
Fly from London Stansted Airport to Bolzano, Italy direct with Skyalps which operates twice weekly. The journey to the hotel by car is 30 minutes.
Skyalps provides the unique experience to fly on a propel plane in sight of the mountain peaks rather than the vast expanse of sky and cloud. Since Skyalps launched in 2021, sustainability has been part of their genetic makeup to minimise the ecological footprint. The fleet consists of modern and efficient turboprop aircrafts serving South Tyrol is the only airline offering direct connections between Bolzano and over 10 European cities and produce up to 50% less emissions compared to other regional jets with a consumption of just 2.3 litres per passenger per 100km. https://www.skyalps.com/en/
More info: Hotel Engel