Scooping the award for ‘Best Medical Spa in the World’ last year, SHA Wellness Clinic is stunning – think spotless white-on-white interiors, swaying palms and stylish lounge areas fringing the infinity pool. However, it is the medical spa, with an extensive treatment list covering everything from massages and facials to botox and peels, that makes this resort world class. Home to some of the top doctors in the world, SHA offers some of the most high-tech anti-aging and aesthetic treatments on the market.
I experienced the ancient Chinese method of cupping and the contemporary and somewhat scary practice of mesotherapy. This treatment involved six vials of blood being taken from my arm. The plasma was then extracted and enhanced with oxygen and vitamins before being re-injected into my face and decoletage. It was painless and left my skin radiant and plumped up the next day. Mesotherapy apparently promotes healing and skin rejuvination by using the healing plasma to activate fresh cell growth.
SHA’s elegant restaurant serves only macrobiotic cuisine. Macrobiotics is essentially eating a diet which is pure, unprocessed and well balanced. It steers clear of excess foods such as red meats, sugars and seasoning and relies heavily on beans, wholewheat and vegetables. With this in mind we were expecting bland, tasteless dishes. When the waiters flooded our table with the likes of gelatin lobster and scallop gazpacho followed by an indulgent chocolate dessert our eyes lit up. However, for those in search of a serious detox head to their nutritionist for a personalised macrobiotic consultation. Just beware: this is not for the faint-hearted. Following my consultation, I sat down to dinner only to find my daily glass of red wine had become a glass of water; my lobster was quickly replaced by unseasoned polenta with steamed vegetables, while bread was nowhere to be seen. These guys mean business.
The hotel itself has a clean, clinical feel with spotless white surfaces, clean lines and stunning views. On arrival we were bowled over by our immaculate open-plan bedroom. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the impressive all-glass wall which led on to our generous, well-appointed sea-view balcony. The light and airy room also boasted an enormous walk-in wardrobe and quite possibly the comfiest bed in the world. It also had a relaxing lounge area with a giant flat-screen TV and the electric black-out shutters ensured that we slept like logs each night before jumping into the blissful rainforest shower each morning.
Who Goes There?:
SHA attracts the beautiful, rich and famous from around the globe. We played ships in the night with Simon Cowell jetting off from the penthouse’s helipad, plus Kylie Minogue and Naomi Campbell are also said to be fans.
Out & About:
For many, part of the attraction of SHA is its isolated feel. Despite being only a short drive from the infamous Benedorm, its tranquil location close to the local nature reserve leaves you feeling miles from civilisation. However, you can wander downhill to the popular holiday town of El Albir. The main promenade is host to an array of bars and tapas restaurants which, despite not being particularly impressive, offer a nice pit-stop to enjoy a glass of sangria (shh!) while looking out at the waves crashing in over the vast sandy beach. In summer you can also enjoy the local craft market, selling jewellery, leather goods and crafts.
The Best Thing:
Without doubt the sheer quality of service, level of luxury and attention to detail is what is so striking at SHA. The complex is immaculately kept, the staff are charming and the spa is bordering on space age.
The Worst Thing:
For those on a serious detox or health kick there is nowhere better than SHA. However, for those going along for the ride the strict macrobiotic diet can seem suffocating at times.
SHA Wellness Clinic is just 45 minutes form Alicante airport. Transfers available on request. Prices start from around £200pppn
www.shawellnessclinic.com; +49 (0) 89 2020 49 917
Verderol 5, El Albir 03581, Alicante, Spain