Of all the detox cures available, those proposed by Henri Chenot are certainly the most popular in the upper echelons. The reputation of its Palace Mérano made it the place to be for jet-setters looking to get back into shape. Today, Chenot has moved to his new Palace in Switzerland, but it is still possible to follow a cure of his invention in Italy: at the Albereta in Lombardy. Pascal Languillon, founder of Luxe Wellness Club, visited the site. Here’s the story of his 3-day cure, which will help you understand why Albereta offers a very interesting alternative to the stricter cures offered in Switzerland.
The best of the Chenot method over 3 days
L’Albereta, which we have already presented here, has been home to the “Espace Chenot” for some fifteen years, and some 50 people work there on a permanent basis, with regular visits from 8 different doctors. In other words, there’s a great deal of expertise here when it comes to the Chenot method and its famous detox.
L’Espace Chenot is a two-storey medi-spa in the basement of the hotel. The first basement includes the reception and massage rooms, while the lower floor features the fitness room, recently renovated indoor pool, sauna and hydrotherapy treatments.
It was here that I was able to test the 3-day “Restart” program, a detox aimed at strengthening the immune system, the body’s defenses and its repair mechanisms. This short but effective detox helps flush out toxins and recharge batteries.
One of the great advantages of the cures offered at l’Albereta is their flexibility in terms of duration. At Chenot Palace Weggis in Switzerland, the minimum stay for a detox cure is 7 nights.
All the consultations and treatments described in the following paragraphs are included in the “Restart” program, which costs around 1,500 euros for 3 days, excluding accommodation. This rate includes full board with Chenot’s biolight diet.
A medical consultation to get you started
As soon as you arrive, you’ll be given a small binder that will follow you throughout your care, like a health record. A detailed health and lifestyle questionnaire must be completed. This binder enables the doctor to write down his recommendations and the therapists to follow the doctor’s indications, adapted to the patient’s profile.
The initial medical consultation is with a doctor who has been trained in the Chenot method, using a blend of Western and Chinese medical knowledge.
Discuss medical history, measure weight, blood pressure, etc. The foundations have been laid. Perhaps even more surprising is the use of a bioenergetic measuring machine to determine energy imbalances for each organ in the body.
Personally, I was impressed by this first consultation. The Asyra Pro machine was able to identify certain weaknesses in my body, and the doctor was able to give me very pertinent advice enabling me to tackle fundamental problems, by prescribing probiotics for immune defenses, and glutamine, renowned for its beneficial action on the intestinal wall.
The morning ritual: the hydrotherapy cure
Each day begins with a one-hour hydrotherapy session, a must for the Chenot method: 20 minutes of hydro-aromatherapy, then 30 minutes of phyto-fangotherapy, followed by a hydrojet rinse.
Hydro-aromatherapy is a precious blend of essential oils added to bath water. Adjustment of water temperature and pressure is used to bring about alternating vasodilation and vasoconstriction of the capillaries.
Phyto-fangotherapy is the second stage of the hydro-energetic cure. A body wrap of white and green clay, minerals, microalgae and pure essential oils is applied to the skin. It’s pleasant, detoxifying and terribly relaxing.
Finally, thehydrojet is a kind of shower using a jet of hot then cold water at high pressure, directed by the therapist from a distance, to cleanse the clay that has stuck to the body. It’s like a garden hose rinse of sorts, except the hose is huge! It also firms and tones the skin while stimulating blood circulation. What I can tell you is that it wakes you up!
Chenot method massages
I was then lucky enough to be taken in hand byone of the best Chenot therapists, Porzia Giliberti, for most of my treatments, starting with the “Chenot Detox Massage”. This detoxifying body massage is always used at the beginning of Chenot programs to prepare for the following steps.
This massage uses a combination of manual techniques and a device connected to suction cups, in an undulating movement that accelerates the drainage of body fluids. This facilitates the elimination of toxins and stimulates cell regeneration. For my part, I found the treatment very pleasant.
I then tried an energetic massage which aims to to soothe the body and clarify the flow of energy in the meridians. Using suction cups once again, this massage facilitates the circulation of energy, the lymphatic system and blood flow, for an energizing effect. Efficient.
Anti-ageing and facial regeneration care
One of my favorite treatments was the anti-aging facial. This treatment combines a special massage technique with electrostimulation therapy. The effect takes place at the cellular level, stimulating the skin’s natural defense system and neutralizing free radicals. Skin elasticity and firmness improve, and a lifting effect is achieved.
Thanks to the immediate tightening effect, skin looks visibly rejuvenated, skin texture is improved and signs of skin ageing are reduced. Of course, the treatment ideally needs to be repeated several times to have a lasting effect, but I was delighted with the effects of this first session.
Detox or biolight cooking
Nutrition is one of the key elements of a Chenot cure. During your stay, depending on what the doctor tells you, you can choose between the detox menu or the more extensive biolight menu. These two menus comprise three meals a day, with no deviations possible.
Breakfast always includes a portion of fruit and an herbal tea. Lightweight! Those taking the biolight menu can eat yoghurt, bread and jam. Lunch: the starter is fruit-based, followed by a salad and finally a main course featuring wholegrain cereals. Dinner always includes a vegetarian starter and soup, as well as a dish rich in plant proteins. The biolight menu may include meat or fish.
Here are two examples of the menus I sampled. For lunch: Vanilla and almond pudding with passion fruit coulis for starters, polenta with parmesan and pesto for the main course, and a digestive infusion. Evening: Baked pumpkin, leek soup, lentil pate with miso, and herbal tea.
Chenot has devoted many years of scientific research to developing nutritional programs. All dishes are low in calories and acids, and served warm with optimum moisture content. This special diet effectively supports detoxification, revitalization and regeneration of the body. I won’t hide the fact that the portions aren’t huge, but I didn’t suffer too much from following this diet for a few days…
A comfortable hotel full of charm
While a detox cure is often the primary reason for a hotel stay, the hotel’s setting and service are also of great importance. L’Albereta is a Relais & Châteaux located near Lake Iseo, about an hour from Milan. It is surrounded by numerous vineyards that can be explored on foot. It’s a rural landscape in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, but Lake Iseo is only a 10-minute drive away, and from here you can admire the start of the Alps. I went there at sunset and found the lake magnificent. The small town of Iseo also has its charm.
The hotel’s decor is eclectic, both modern and traditional. All rooms are decorated differently. Mine had an essentially Chinese-inspired decor, which I found a little surprising, but which didn’t detract from the comfort of the facilities. I’ve visited others with a more modern style, and some have just been renovated and are more up to date.
One of my favorite rooms is the Greeneige lounge, where you can relax and unwind with plenty of books on hand. The hotel has several outdoor seating areas.
The hotel has three restaurants, one of which is reserved for guests of the Chenot spa. Because of the diet I had to follow, I wasn’t able to try the dishes in the other two restaurants, which serve traditional Italian cuisine, but I can attest to their beautiful decor.
The Chenot detox cure impresses with the quality of its treatments and the seriousness of its scientific approach. It’s all the more enjoyable at l’Albereta because it manages to blend deliciously with a dose of Dolce Vita that only Italians know how to bring.Luxe Wellness Club
Book a Detox Cure at l’Albereta
Please contact us to find out more about the Chenot cures and the Albereta, and to organize your stay.
Rates: from around 300 euros per night per room, detox cures extra. Prices start at around 10,000 euros for two people for a full week’s treatment. Exclusive Luxe Wellness Club benefit: one 50-minute welcome massage per person.
Call us for France: + 33 1 85 73 22 14 or for Switzerland: +41 22 501 75 16 to discuss your holiday plans.