Experiencing the best spa in Europe
Published on 11 June 2016
In today’s day and age, luxury is feeling relaxed, happy and physically strong. Luxury is having more than enough energy to meet the day. Luxury is living without discomfort but instead with a joyful sense of wellbeing.
Opened early 2015, Villa Stéphanie at Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa refines the European Spa experience for the 21 century, thereby redefining this sense of luxury today. For, in an era of increasing awareness about our responsibility towards our own health and happiness, Villa Stéphanie is the perfect place to get started in a new way of life, to escape and rediscover balance or to simply relax in state-of-the-art, supremely contemporary surroundings. The concept of Villa Stéphanie is centred on four axes: beauty, detox and nutrition, emotional balance, and medical care. Each element of health has a degree of cross influence upon the others, so the approach is a customised combination, a holistic view, and a blend of expertise.
Baden-Baden, literally meaning “Bath-Bath” is a wink to the town’s over 2000-year heritage as a health retreat, considering that the health benefits of Baden-Baden’s natural springs were well known to the Romans under emperor Hadrien. Furthermore, at Brenners-Hotel & Spa particularly, Spa activities have been central to its ethos and appeal. “Brenners is one of the founders of the Spa movement in Europe and we have carried the name ‘Spa’ in our name since 1983. With over thirty years of experience, we feel it is the right time to bring the subject to a completely new level. Addressing the character of a big private house, we will create a highly individualised approach to health and wellbeing,” describes Frank Marrenbach, Managing Director Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa and CEO Oetker Collection. Connected to ‘Haus Julius’, a 1700-square metre property dedicated solely to Brenners Medical Care, Villa Stéphanie itself represents total immersion in the Spa experience over five floors comprising: a generous, sleekly modern 500 square-metre sauna, plunge pool for recovery, a private gym, hammam, Ladies Sauna with the possibility for privatisation and a verdant inner court-yard. A unique attraction, this open colonnade allows for open-air exercise and private yoga classes. Twelve oversized double rooms and three impressive corner suites are crafted in elegance and designed to feel like home. With a total of only 15 rooms there is maximum privacy at Villa Stéphanie, which is crucial for the type of treatments and services on offer. The rooms have even been carefully considered, including taking into account the concept of “digital detox”, earning Villa Stéphanie the title of ‘World’s Best Digital Detox’ by the 2015 Tatler Spa Awards. “We took the idea of disconnecting literally,” elaborates Frank Marrenbach. “We believe that the quality of a good night sleep is so important to recharge. Every single cable is triple-insulated; this reduces the electro-smog to a minimum. There is also a switch close to your bed to interrupt all electricity flow including TV and other devices – disconnecting the entire room from the electric grid.
Furthermore, you can select to switch off the Wi-Fi; this was technically quite difficult, as each wall has to be specially equipped to avoid neighbouring Wi-Fi impacts. Luxury,” he underscores, “is all about choice.” For relaxation outside the rooms, Le Salon features an impressive library and, as an ‘encore’, a beautiful private terrace faces the Brenner’s park to take advantage of the instantly calming surroundings of verdant foothills of the Black Forest.
How one seeks health is something that each does in their own way. Again, luxury is all about choice. The four axis approach at Villa Stéphanie allows guests to target and address why they may not be living to their fullest in health and wellbeing. We take a tour.
Beauty: Fifteen treatment rooms with high ceilings offer contemplative calm and large lamps immerse guest in atmospheric colour compositions; partly with private terraces overlooking gardens. Carefully selected and refined by the Brenners spa professionals, a panoply of treatments use the formulas of world-renowned and innovative brands, including main partner Sisley, a well-established European brand, based around the concept of phyto-cosmetics. Spa Manager Hans-Peter Veit has chosen the line of exclusive spa products of the family owned German company Anika Organic Luxury using a choice selection of herbs, flowers and oils for maximum effecticy. Also featured are medical products from SkinCeuticals, developed by world-renowned dermatologist Dr. Sheldon Pinnell based on decades of research using highly concentrated antioxidants and formulas with pure active ingredients. For further finishing, the Horst Kirchberger Styling Lounge is a communicative space, where beauty professionals, make-up artists and hairstylists provide comprehensive advice on every aspect, from personal styling to special events.
Detox and Nutrition: In addition to the developed concept of ‘digital detox’, there are trained massage therapists, beauticians, sports scientists, experts in the field of nutrition and qualified specialists to oversee areas including unique QPNT nutrition coaching, weight loss and detox programmes as well as athletic performance diagnostics featuring body analysis and lactate measurement. At the Michelin-starred Brenners Park-Restaurant, specially designed healthy menus with a two-star rating (one dinner is part of all detox programmes) assure culinary variety and gastronomic pleasure. To help guests keep up the good work started during their visit and to reinforce the principles they learned when they return home, a recipe book containing a complete meal plan with simple but delicious recipes is provided. But there is no better detoxifier than rest and recuperation. Above all, Villa Stéphanie offers a peaceful environment in a breathtaking location, on the banks of the river Oos in one of Europe’s most beautiful and tranquil areas.
Emotional balance: Villa Stéphanie offers some of Europe’s best coaches and therapists to regain strength, focus and mental health. Pierre Clavreux is a Shiatsu Master and in 1992 created Kiyindo Shiatsu, a revolutionary massage treatment. Kiyindo Shiatsu translates as ‘pain relief by touch’ and focuses on manipulating the body’s energy to relieve tension and sore joints. Four therapists have been personally trained by Pierre Clavreux to perform this unique treatment. Meanwhile, Henry Charlet, a former 5-time European Kickboxing Champion and Mental Trainer, performs personal training sessions with strength and poise. And Reiki Master Martina Nesselhauf practices the long forgotten art of healing through the transmission of universal life energy. Reiki treatments can aid mental or energetic imbalance, to find inner balance and to activate self-healing at all levels. And the best practioner of all – nature. Deep forests, wide-open meadows, mysterious lakes and lovely valleys, Baden-Baden inspires all kinds of outdoor activities, including a visit to the regional thermal spas.
Medical expertise: Directly connected to Villa Stéphanie is Haus Julius – a dedicated medical care centre offering a complete spectrum of traditional and modern diagnostic techniques and therapies. This new Brenners Medical Care stands for holistic medical excellence, offering a combination of prevention, diagnosis, consultation and care, based on the successful concept of providing pro-active health management – the finest doctors and medical services all under one roof. This unique network, together with a wide range of therapies, is provided 365 days a year, and is coordinated by a medical care consultant to accompany guests through the process. Haus Julius offers a variety of services from some of Germany’s top experts including those in aesthetic medicine, gynaecology, ophthalmology, multi-functional dentistry, laboratory work, GP, cardiology, health check-ups, physiotherapy and nutritional coaching. The medical partners work closely with top national practices to ensure after care and recuperation. This offer is designed for guests who seek to maintain optimal wellbeing as well as those who wish to prolong their work undertaken at Villa Stéphanie. And if there is any work worth doing, it is certainly that of caring for our health. Here, along the ‘Lichtentaler Allee’ nearby some of the world’s most renowned opera houses and lush parks is a little haven of health. Designed with intelligence, focus and open-mindedness, Villa Stéphanie marks a new era in the long tradition of the European Spa. Health is one of the greatest riches we have, with its care refined here for the century ahead.