A-listers swear by the detoxing benefits of this Italian wellness retreat – could it help me start 2024 right?

For someone who considers themselves an authority on wellness retreats and who has, over the years, embedded many of their practices into daily life, my December looked a bit like a month from the diary of Keith Richards. Drinks in Soho until I was tipped into a taxi well past midnight? Check. A debauched birthday party where the gin and tonics segued into champagne and then schnapps seamlessly? I did that too. Many, many beige foods where vegetables ought to have been? Guilty as charged.

And so it was a quite pale and puffy form I bundled onto the SkyAlps flight (incidentally, the inaugural one, flying from Stansted to Bolzano, Italy) eager to try the swanky and newly refurbished medical spa at Palace Merano in the South Tyrol region of northern Italy. It’s become known as a favourite of A-listers, including Victoria Beckham who has raved about it on her Instagram page, while footballers such as Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo were one-time regulars.

For me, the fusion of Chinese and Western medicine with proper testing to determine a course of action was what really appealed, and so I handed my body over to their doctors, masseuses, and energy experts in the hope of returning to London renewed.

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