Luxury Travel: An Award-Winning Spa Hotel in Albir
Along the sun-kissed coastline of Costa Blanca, there is no lack of seabreeze and fresh turquoise waters to frolick in. Quaint white villages abound, with the towering mountain range of Puig Campana as an intimidating backdrop. Tucked away from the chaos of Benidorm and the , this section of the coast is one of calm and tranquility.
Poised atop the beachtown of Albir is one of Spain’s most exquisite and refined spa wellness hotels: the SHA Wellness Clinic. Not only is its location itself a rarity, its spa facilities are also one of the best in the world. Awarded the best medical spa award by Conde Nast Traveller recently, SHA’s advanced approach towards wellbeing has drawn an international following, including celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell and Spanish actress, Elsa Petaky.
From the sleek all-white design and million-dollar view of the poetic surroundings, it’s evident that SHA is not just a regular spa hotel. Its string of holistic activities, top-class thermal spa, polished interior design and exquisite macrobiotic cuisine – all combine to give the finest experience.
Zen Living in Style
My experience at SHA began as I stepped foot onto its grand entrance, illuminated by gentle shades of green, red and purple. Upon entrance, the polished lobby gave a sophisticated but slightly aloof sensation. Through its clear glass panels, the night lights of the coastline unfurled before me. They would later transform into a gorgeous patchwork of beachtowns and tumbling mountains in the day. Before I could continue dreaming, the bilingual and professional staff whisked my luggage away, and led me on a quick tour around the property.
The four-storey property is tastefully decked out in shades of white and grey, exuding a zen atmosphere that has the natural relaxing power. Contrasting against the pure white decor are red and purple hibiscus and orchids sprouting out from the rooms’ balconies. On the property’s rooftop is its restaurant and edgeless swimming pool. By day, its waters sparkle in a gentle shade of blue, inviting you with yet another awestriking panorama of the surroundings.
On the way to my room, I could only hear sounds of water gently trickling in the backdrop. ‘Is that the background music?’ I asked the receptionist. He answered, ‘ Yes, it helps you sleep better and creates a soothing environment.’ I was already beginning to imagine how well I would be sleeping that night.
My sprawling classic suite opens up to an inviting view of the surrounding mountains. Split up into three main areas: a living area centered around a plush sofa and writing desk, a sleeping area with linen upholstery and an in-room music system, and the spacious terrace complete with deck chairs and tables. The resort is not the least stingy with space – my suite measures up to 70 square meters, enough to fit a party of twenty.
Macrobiotic Food at its Best
Before I could drown in the plush furnishing of my suite, it was time to head upstairs to the resort’s delectable Shamadi Restaurant to meet SHA’s general manager, Alejandro Batalle. With harmonious living in mind, the restaurant specializes in macrobiotic cuisine – a marriage between organic products and healthy accentuations. “Nature is the best doctor” The driving force behind Shamadi is the aim of adapting a healthy and therapeutic diet to high cuisine.
As we tucked into the chef’s masterpieces, Alejandro shared with us the secret behind SHA’s success. “At SHA Wellness Clinic, we aim to offer a platform for guests to find a harmonious balance through mind, body and spirit by blending ancient oriental techniques with advanced western medicine.”
“The wellness clinic started as an initiative to spread the importance of harmonious wellbeing after the Director tried these techniques himself. Since he set up this property 18 months ago, we have managed to convey the message to many people who have also seen the results for themselves.”
Indeed I could already sense the therapeutic effects from the starter I was having: Miso and lotus gazpacho with smoked tofu burger, seitan and bronzed prawns. Who said food cannot be healthy and delicious at the same time? I’d admit I’ve never been a believer, but – this – was enough to change my mind. Next up: Tuna tataki with mushroom risotto and sweet rice wine. At first glance, the dish resembled slices of beef steak, grilled to tender redness. But one bite gave away the fresh, crisp taste of tuna accentuated with the fragrant rice wine. The night ended with us washing it all down with outrageous chocolate coolant topped with ginger ice-cream and sweet dessert wine.
The next morning, sunshine poured through my windows, greeting me with a majestic view of the sea. Before departing, I made it a point to take a quick tour of the much-talked-about spa/clinic. The labyrinth-like spa sprawls over a large area, branching into massage rooms, hydrospa, beauty parlours and the gymnasium. Besides the daily tai-chi, yoga and pilates sessions, the spa also offers weight loss treatments, non-smoking therapies and the latest treatments in aesthetic medicine. The list of therapies and massages is endless, check out the SHA Spa‘s website for full details.
How to get to Albir: Albir is just 1 hour’s drive from the Alicante International Airport. It is a quiet beachtown located in the heart of the Valencia region, with easy access to major towns like Benidorm, Altea and Alicante.
Disclaimer: This blog trip to Valencia was sponsored by Land of Valencia, the Valencia Region Tourist Board. All opinions expressed are my own.