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The Wellness Holiday Boutique's review of Euphoria Retreat



Euphoria Retreat is a holistic and well-being destination spa located in the heart of the Peloponnese. Surrounded by pine-clad forests, olive groves and ancient Byzantine villages, the retreat has been designed in harmony with the surrounding natural landscapes.


In a secluded setting, the retreat has been built into a hillside of Mount Taygetus in the 13th-century Byzantine village of Mystras and was founded by Marina Efraimoglou, a former chairwoman of a Greek bank, after a health scare which inspired her to retrain as a Chinese medicine practitioner create her vision of a haven of holistic wellbeing for those in search for their own spiritual healing journey.


Located in the heart of the Peloponnese, the Southern peninsula is bursting with history and surrounded by authentic natural beauty. There are direct flights from the UK to Kalamata Airport from April to October and is just under an hour away from the airport. Outside of this season, the retreat is a 2.5 hour drive from Athens Airport through the historical town of Sparta. On arrival, I was warmly greeted with a herbal infusion whilst taking in the beautiful surroundings.


The Hotel


The philosophy of Euphoria Retreat is centred on rebalancing the energies and emotions of the five elements of Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, and Metal to improve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of each individual. The architecture of the retreat draws inspiration from the Byzantine era with large arches and open light spaces throughout. From the walking trails in the private forests of towering pine trees to the colourful citrus groves to the endless views of the mountains, each part of the retreat has been to help you find your inner peace in its idyllic setting. Being adults-only, the grounds are very tranquil and enhanced by the beauty of the natural surroundings. In order to follow Euphoria’s principle of creating a space of calmness and silence, phones are only allowed in the bedrooms and the lobby area.



Rooms


Set within 3 uniquely designed buildings inspired by the Byzantine architecture, the 45 rooms are decorated in a neutral theme with warm and earthy colours, with every intention of creating a zen atmosphere. I stayed in a Superior Deluxe room which was spacious and equipped with all mod cons; my terrace overlooked the forest and valley and was the perfect place for me to practice my morning yoga on the yoga mat that was provided in the room.


The Wellness Facilities


For those looking to reset and reconnect with themselves, Euphoria Retreat offers a peaceful setting for a rejuvenating escape. While some guests visit for the relaxing facilities, most guests opt in for the range of wellness programmes from burnout to detox to weight loss to mindfulness. Inspired by a unique blend of Chinese Taoist and Greek Hellenic healing philosophies, combined with modern medicine, the programmes have been designed to nurture and guide you on your journey of personal transformation to a more holistic, socially aware and spiritually satisfying way of life.


The majority of wellness programmes start with 3GL analysis and respiratory test to detect your metabolic health. The 3GL analysis involves a simple pinprick of blood to analyse your glutathione levels; as everybody’s levels decrease as a result of ageing, diet, stress and toxin exposure, the dietary concept of Euphoria is based on eating little and often to ensure the balance of the body’s metabolic needs. I was told that my glutathione levels were low so my daily snacks were filled with antioxidants to regulate the levels.


One of my favourite things about Euphoria is the range of activities available each day with 4 – 5 activities per day including hikes, yoga classes, fitness and educational lectures on the philosophies of the retreat which allows you to be as relaxed or as busy as you like. I particularly enjoyed the hike up to Mystras Castle which is a UNESCO world heritage site as well as a morning run to the next village.



Spa


Upon entering the spa, I immediately felt a sense of calm; a serene oasis that spans over four levels with a 25m water well spiralling through the centre of the spa, which is said to represent the light and the emptiness at the core of us all. At the foot of the waterwell is a Kneipp pool bathed in natural light. Promoting relaxation and restoration, the spa features a variety of facilities, including a tepidarium, Byzantine hammam, salt room, experimental showers, marble steam room, outdoor California hot tub, and Finnish sauna. The indoor-outdoor pool has a hydrotherapy circuit and a womb-like sphere which offers a meditative experience to the sounds of whales and dolphins calling under the surface of the water.


I also had the chance to try some of the signature treatments and my favourites were:


Byzantine Hammam: Here my therapist exfoliated my body followed by a relaxing massage. My experience ended with my therapist rehydrating my body with cream and cocooning me in a towel before leaving me in a blissful daze in the tepidarium.


5 Element Balancing Massage: Prior to my treatment, I filled in a detailed questionnaire so my therapist could determine the imbalances in my dominant element to restore harmony in my energy flow. Each element has a different massage technique because each has a different energy flow.


Sanctuary for Busy Minds: The therapist opened the energy channels on my feed by gently pressing certain pressure points then moved onto my head. This treatment was so relaxing so that I kept falling asleep.


Dining


Rather than calorie counting, Euphoria Retreat focuses on a nutritious and balanced approach using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to offer a delicious menu of lamb, pasta, soup and salad dishes as well as a healthy menu for those craving more wellness focused options. I also met some guests on the detox and weight loss wellness programmes who had their daily meals tailored to their needs following their consultation with the nutritionist. As I was travelling alone, I especially appreciated the communal dining table that was available in the restaurant which was a great way to meet other solo travellers.


Our verdict


There is no question why Euphoria has won many awards since it burst onto the wellness spa scene 4 years ago; a wonderful mélange of wellness and luxury, Euphoria is the perfect escape if you’re looking to balance the mind, body and soul in a calm and peaceful setting.


Find out more about Euphoria Retreat here or call to speak to one of our specialists on +44(0) 203 886 0082.

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