Dominique Chenot on bringing five-star wellness into our homes
The co-founder of Swiss retreat Chenot Palace Weggis on the return to wellness
As Swiss health and wellness retreat Chenot Palace Weggis prepares to open its door to those seeking the health benefits of Alpine air on 11 June, the hotel group’s founder, Dominique Chenot, is also hoping to help her guests capture the benefits in their homes, too.
Chenot Palace Weggis is the flagship hotel for the brand’s Chenot Method, a personalised array of treatments and diet plans developed over nearly 50 years of research by the Chenot Group team. The aim of the method is to activate the body’s ability to heal itself, strengthen its defences and prevent disease. Combining the principles of traditional Chinese healing with the latest scientific advances of Western medicine, the Chenot Method is designed to help guests find harmony and healing.
Chenot’s newest development, Chenot Palace Weggis is located at the foot of the Swiss Alps at picturesque Lake Lucerne, with a range of treatments and detoxes on offer in the 5,000sqm medical spa facility. Here, Dominique tells us why the group’s newest property is already set to be a flagship of the luxurious treatments, and how to bring the art of wellness into our homes…
Dominique, how can people bring the hotel to their homes?
The philosophy of Chenot Palaces is rooted in the science behind wellness and creating an environment where the body and mind detox, energise and perform. During these days, the body has been stimulated and it continues to have effect when leaving the premises. What we aim is to have our guests continue these beneficial effects by making the right lifestyle choices to develop themselves into a new level of wellness. Additionally, our team of medical experts are now in the process of creating a "wellbeing coaching" in digital platforms where we will be able to follow-up with our guests in order to maintain the benefits of resetting at a Chenot facility.
Do you expect to see a return to wellness breaks after restrictions on travel lift?
We do anticipate a return to wellness breaks after the Covid-19 pandemic, as we are all now reminded of how important health and wellness truly are. Time spent in nature has never been more appealing, with travellers seeking meaningful experiences, in remote, crowd-free landscapes. With the current travel restrictions reminding us that freedom to roam is a luxury, people will make smarter and more sustainable choices, as they establish a newfound appreciation for their health and the world. >>
What is it about Swiss mountain air that is so beneficial?
Anyone who has visited Weggis will be able to tell you how clean, fresh and pure the air feels compared to other towns. The geographic condition and biodiversity mean that the mountain air in the Swiss Alps is believed to have relaxing and refreshing powers. The unpolluted, fresh air is good for the lungs and the climate is moderately dry which is beneficial for those with allergies. That is why we thought it made perfect sense for our new health and wellness retreat to be in Weggis, Switzerland, with its abundance of health benefits. As I am currently living in Switzerland, I can personally say how much the clean air and natural surroundings benefit overall wellbeing, with my favourite walk so far being up to Mount Rigi.
Could you describe your at-home routine?
I try to have as much balance throughout my day as possible. I start each morning by thinking of positive visuals and affirmations to help boost my confidence, and I always include meditation and prayer as part of my day. I then do HIIT exercise (high intensity interval training) as this helps the body build a better resistance to stress and illness. My typical HIIT routine is 20 minutes on an indoor exercise bike, core strengthening exercises and stretching. I practice intermittent fasting, only eating in an 8-hour window. One of my favourite healthy breakfasts is overnight chia seed pudding with fresh fruit and cinnamon. I love getting creative in the kitchen and using my knowledge of how superfoods can support the detoxification of the body to create new healthy recipes, without sacrificing taste or flavour. My daily diet is rich in high-quality, plant-based proteins and fatty fish, as well as healthy unsaturated fats and minimal sugar. I try to have a good night of ‘beauty sleep’ to reset the body, regenerate the brain, recharge the immune system and prevent premature ageing as sleep improves my mood and I believe keeps me youthful. This is a routine which works best for me personally, but of course, every individual is unique and it is very important to follow a routine which one can maintain in the long run. >>
Chenot Palace Weggis will open this month; could you tell us about some of the advancements that make this so exciting?
Chenot Palace Weggis is an exciting opening for us as it will be our most advanced property and is our new HQ, home to our dedicated research and development facility, and Chenot training centre and academy. One of the most thrilling new features consists of the Chenot Rooms with innovative sleeping technology. The first of their kind, these rooms are specially designed for sleep optimisation with soothing acoustics, lighting, and a fibre bed linen that coverts your body heat back into energy. The property will feature state-of-the-art diagnostics, medical screenings, bespoke programmes, and nutrition plans from the Chenot Diet, as well as an indoor spa, fitness centre, restaurants, a private beach and 97 lakeview suites. Other facilities - some of the most comprehensive and advanced in the Chenot portfolio – include a world class metabolic and sports laboratory, blood analysis laboratory, antigravity exercise training facilities and a cryochamber at -110˚C.
How does the design and architecture impact / complement the wellness programmes?
We worked with Swiss architect Davide Macullo who has beautifully designed Chenot Palace Weggis. Macullo has thoughtfully created a healing space which takes guests on a journey of the senses and evokes the calm and natural beauty of the surroundings. Natural and locally sourced materials have been prioritised to emulate a natural setting, for instance, the finest natural stone from the Alps has been used to build the 20 metre indoor pool, reflecting the unobstructed views of the lake and mountain backdrop, to recreate the sensation of swimming in a freshwater lake. The lighting has been carefully considered to enhance guest’s wellness experiences and take them on a spiritual journey, with the utmost natural light used. The design and atmosphere of Chenot Palace Weggis has been carefully considered to create a sense of vitality, life and energy, which mirrors the carefully researched and implemented wellness programmes.