Joanna reviews her stay at this Modern Mayr Clinic
Park Igls is a health retreat and medical spa specialising in holistic healing, detox and preventative medicine and is tucked away in the Alpine mountains of Austria, just a short 15-minute drive away from Innsbruck airport and the city centre.
I visited in September and was lucky enough to enjoy the 26-degree sun in the gardens, although the staff informed me that the snow-topped mountains in the colder months offer spectacular views. With 360-degree views of the mountains, I couldn’t imagine a more therapeutic setting to cleanse and recharge my mind and body under the care of the long-standing and experienced doctors and therapists.
The Mayr Cure
The original Mayr cure was developed by Dr Franz Mayr, a physician and scientist, in the early 20th century on the understanding that good health starts in the gut. This originally consisted of a method of therapeutic fasting with a diet of slowly chewed stale white bread and milk which he found was able to rest and detoxify the organs and help to lose weight quickly. Over the years, the doctors at Park Igls have developed a Modern Mayr method which combines early detection of illnesses and diseases with modern conventional medicine with six main principles to rest, cleanse, train, substitute, exercise and self-discover to specialise in programmes on sleeping disorders, stress and burnout, weight loss and dermatology problems.
The Medical Spa
At the start of my programme, I had a comprehensive initial examination with Dr Kogelnig who, after a thorough check-up with some weighing, questioning and gentle prodding announced that I was generally in good health and prescribed my treatments for my stay and vitamins to be picked up at reception.
My favourite treatments were the full-body exfoliation, where I was scrubbed from head to toe by 2 ladies then wrapped in plastic then left to relax on a bed which turned into a waterbed, leaving me floating blissfully for half an hour while the oils soaked in and the lymphatic drainage massage which was so relaxing that Dr Hanni Gartner had to wake me up from my slumber when it had ended. They try to allocate all your massages to the same therapist, so you get to know them well by the end of your stay. I did feel like my massages were more serious and medical than a relaxing treatment, as the treatment rooms are more like doctors’ offices rather than relaxing candlelit rooms.
The indoor pool is open until 10 pm for those not quite ready to go to sleep after dinner and is conveniently located next to the steam room and 2 saunas (one textile for those who prefer to not to be naked).
The hotel arranges a range of group activities throughout the week from yoga to Nordic walking to more strengthening fitness through the week so there’s plenty to do for an active stay. I particularly enjoyed the morning walks through the park and town before breakfast, as well as the morning gymnastics class with Mina.
The fitness centre is located on the 3rd floor of the hotel and offers stunning panoramic views of the mountains. I had a personal training session with Jessica, who was knowledgeable and friendly, giving me useful advice on how to improve my technique and make my workouts more effective back home.
I arrived on a Sunday, which is recommended as there isn’t much happening in the hotel then, so it’s nice to settle in and join the welcome cocktail and evening lecture to learn more about the Mayr Cure in preparation for the start of your programme on Monday.
Throughout the week, there is a range of educational lectures and activities available to guests from hikes in the mountains to golf lessons on the onsite putting course for those wanting to perfect their swing. I found the Sleep Coaching talk particularly useful as I had recently got into a habit of waking up in the middle of the night so was given tips for better sleep at home. I was given a complimentary bus ticket to go into Innsbruck centre which is definitely worth a visit with its colourful buildings and cute shops, although it wasn’t easy to resist the cafes and ice cream shops.
There is a relaxation area with a library filled with books and newspapers in a selection of languages, a pool table and board games, a tea bar and a grand piano. You’re encouraged to drink 3-4 litres of water, or as Dr Gartner said in one of the Mayr lectures, 1 glass of water for every hour of your 12 hour waking day, so there is water available in almost every room and corridor you enter in the hotel and spa as a not so subtle reminder. I was given a complimentary bus ticket to go into Innsbruck centre which is definitely worth a visit with its colourful buildings and cute shops, although it wasn’t easy to resist the cafes and ice cream shops.
I stayed in a Deluxe double room which was spacious and well equipped for a comfortable stay with generous wardrobe space. I would definitely recommend a more spacious room if you’re there for a longer stay. There was a spacious sitting area with a desk which led onto the balcony, equipped with a small table and a deckchair, offering spectacular views of the Tyrolean mountains. The bathroom had a separate shower and bathtub equipped with fluffy towels and dressing gowns as well as a hot water bottle to prepare for the pre-bedtime liver detox compresses. You’re encouraged not to use any moisturising lotions as this can block the skins ability to act as a detoxifying agent, so only a bar of organic herbal soap is provided along with shampoo.