1. Merano Grape Cure
Where: Park Hotel Mignon & Spa, Merano, Italy
What to expect: Some may think that grapes are just for drinking in the form of wine, but the Merano Grape Cure has been a recognised remedy for wellness since the times of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The Merano Grape Cure consists of a daily feed of 300 - 1,000g of grapes, distributed over two meals, and is proven to cleanse organs and improve digestive and urinary functions. The hotel's spa also uses Merano grapes in its treatments including a body peel with the husks of pressed grapes and a massage with grape seed oil.

Alternative wellness retreats for the body and soul

2. Tailor-made tea prescriptions
Where: Lefay Resort & SPA, Lake Garda, Italy 
What to expect: Lefay Resort & SPA is renowned for its multi-award winning spa which combines the ancient principles of Chinese medicine with Western scientific research. The Lefay Spa Method uses the most ancient form of phytotherapy within its programme: herbal teas. Upon arrival, guests are prescribed a tailor-made tea, a concoction of natural ingredients curated by an in-house health specialist, to alleviate health complaints during their wellness stay. Over 40 medicinal plants are used, both because of their intrinsic characteristics (for example, birch for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties and blueberry for its antioxidant and vasoprotective properties) and their energising qualities.

Alternative wellness retreats for the body and soul

3. Laughter therapy on the beach
Where: Heritage Le Telfair, Mauritius
What to expect: They say laughter is the best medicine. At Heritage Le Telfair, with a backdrop of the sparkling Indian Ocean, this is most certainly true. Led by a laughter yoga specialist, guests are guided through a programme of playful laughter exercises and deep yogic breathing, encouraged firstly to voluntarily laugh before morphing into contagious laughter. Laughter therapy is shown to have an abundance of physical benefits such as releasing endorphins, relieving pain, boosting the circulatory system and relaxing muscles.

Alternative wellness retreats for the body and soul