SOLO WELLNESS RETREAT
HELEN DERBYSHIRE - 4 MINUTE READ
If you haven’t already seen my Instagram, I just came back from a 5-day solo wellness retreat in the Italian dolomites which was simply divine.
And here’s the 411 on everything you need to know about this trip!
I landed in Verona airport direct from Gatwick, which took 1 hour and 40 minutes, then I had to take a 2 hour transfer which I organised via the hotel to ensure my safety but also for convenience. I was collected in an air conditioned Mercedes E class with snacks and water provided as well as charging leads for my phone (you definitely don’t get that in local taxis)! The drive was wonderful and the two hours passed quickly.
Upon my arrival I was greeted with a welcome drink (non-alcoholic) which was delicious and I enjoyed relaxing admiring the views from one of the balconies.
When I was ready one of the hotel staff showed me around the property. THE HOTEL HAD A TOTAL OF:
Three pools (one being an inside to outside which is amazing for swimming out to)
Two restaurants + a seating area outside where they also serve food
2 or 3 steam rooms which varied in humidity
Multiple relaxation rooms
Cold plunge pool
3 saunas (including women only, as well as two others which varied in heat. One including a panoramic view).
A fully equipped techno-gym plus exercise studios
And so much more
One thing you should know about the saunas in this resort (and most European resorts) is that you are required to be naked and sitting on your towel. You have the option to wear disposable underwear if you are not comfortable.
I stayed in a ‘Prestige junior suite’ which was incredible, I stepped out from my balcony to incredible views. I was on the ground floor which I usually dislike but in this property I loved as I had the entire garden area to myself and is where I spent a lot of my time meditating and journaling.
Although this hotel is centred around wellness, it is not structured like some retreats whereby each guest is there on a fixed programme. This hotel was bespoke to each individual, for those wanting to stay active all week, to those who wanted to indulge in the spa and sunbathe, those who wanted to eat exceptionally healthy, and those who wanted to enjoy the large selection of wines from the cellar.
I loved this flexibility as I didn’t feel compelled to mix with a group of people and enjoyed speaking sporadically to different guests as and when I bumped into them, which wasn’t all that often given the size of the hotel and the low occupancy (approx 50%) which was lovely.
This hotel has kids clubs and activities however, I didn’t see any children except one baby. But in all honesty, I wouldn’t take my child/children here as I feel it’s a place for complete solitude and there are many other locations where you could take your family on an active / nature trip that is closer to home and probably more cost friendly.
I booked a ‘scents of the forest’ package which included the following treatments;
1 Lefay SPA “Linfa del Bosco” massage (50 min.)
1 Body scrub with chestnut flower, alpine salt and traditional alpine butter (30 min.)
1 Hydro-aromatherapy with scents of the forest (20 min.)
1 Anti-age facial treatment with alpine flowers (45 min.)
Facials aren’t really my thing however I did enjoy this one, that being said, if I revisited the hotel I would perhaps choose a more bespoke option or build my own treatments and definitely recommend the Linfa Del Bosco massage and the Body Scrub, those two treatments left me feeling so relaxed and my skin felt incredibly. I also added on a deep tissue massage which was extremely intense but required after travelling and before I headed home. I also visited the ‘salt grotto’ and ‘salt lake’ which are exactly what they say, a room filled with salt in the air which is fantastic for your airways and a lake that allowed you to float due to the amount of salt minerals in the water. This was incredibly relaxing and I do believe is an extra charge but may also come included on a package, I didn’t find the salt grotto to be worth the €50 supplement (it was factored into my package but I am aware they charge for this).
The hotel puts together a group exercise programme which they rotate, and within this includes daily 1 hour hikes, mixing between vertical and flat, as well as circuit classes, pilates, qi gong and yoga which lasted for 30 minutes which was a perfect amount of time to get in some daily exercise without having to structure your own workout. That being said, the hotel gym was phenomenal and fully equipped with techno-gym equipment.
What else I got up to and why I took this trip:
Each morning I woke up and journaled for approx 30+ minutes followed by a 30-45 minute meditation session. My meditation sessions were centred around what I wanted to focus on this trip, which was healing.
The reason I took this trip was because around 4 years ago, I had the urge to travel alone and never got around to it, I was then pregnant and covid prevented me from travelling, once I had my daughter, I never found the right time to do this. I started to tell myself ‘I will go on a solo retreat when I’m 40’, and one day I was listening to an audiobook called ‘Regrets of the dying’ (morbid I know), and I just thought to myself, why 40? Why in 10 years? Why not now? And so I booked it.
I wanted to really lean into my independence which is a core value of mine and be with my own thoughts and in my own space. I think people assume by taking trips on your own means something is wrong or you need to escape, and that isn’t the case at all. I wanted time to be me, Helen, away from my role as mom, partner, business owner, life coach, taking care of my home, cooking etc etc, just daily life where I can give myself my own time and energy to pour back into myself.
I’ve been self developing for four years now and the more self developed we become, the more tools we learn to help us deal with anything from the past, or challenges/difficulties we may face in the future.
I did a lot of shadow work journaling and healing meditations which were incredible. I had a few things that I was holding onto from the past, decisions and mistakes I had made that I just couldn’t seem to forgive myself for, I would go around and around in my head trying to figure out ‘why did I do that’ and it was so limiting so I used this trip to really delve into the subconscious mind relating to that time of my life and I feel like I have come back so much lighter, with more capacity for the things I want to hold onto!
Let’s round up this blog with the question on everybody's lips…
The total cost of this trip was roughly £2,500 for 4 nights / 5 days and it was worth every penny. Now prices may vary depending on when you go, with it being a ski-resort I imagine the prices will sky-rocket throughout the winter. But with this being quite an outdoorsy trip, you don’t want to go too early in the year and risk it being in-between seasons and rainy. The end of June was perfect!
Here's the cost breakdown
£1640 (Bed + Breakfast, plus a spa package and private transfers from and to the airport)
£500 (Additional costs for lunch / dinner and a few additional treatments)
£400 flights (I included a large check-in bag which bumped up the price by almost £100, plus I chose better flight times rather than waking up insanely early and also factoring in the 2 hour transfer the other side)
Now this might seem like a lot for four nights in a hotel, however this was the cost for me on my own, if you was with a partner/friend of course the cost for Bed + Breakfast + Packages would be the same but covering two people.
Lefay Spa & Resort Dolomiti (Pinzolo) (they also have another located in Lake Garda and next year they are opening a property in the Italian countryside of Tuscany which I will most definitely be paying a visit to!)
All in all I would give this property a 9 out of 10. I thought the service was incredible and the spa and facilities were phenomenal. I would certainly recommend and I would most definitely revisit which we almost re-booked for in three weeks time for my partner's birthday. We have decided to take a different approach to our next retreat and visit somewhere close by the ocean.
I would recommend this trip as a solo retreat but this would also be wonderful as a honeymoon destination for the active couple who also loves spas! I wouldn’t however recommend this hotel if you are not into staying active and enjoy nature as I do not believe the 2hr transfer would be worth it when there are a multitude of other properties which could provide you with what you need.
Stay tuned for more travel blogs!
This was in no way endorsed by the hotel and I paid 100% and all opinions are my own
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