Photo courtesy of Landhotel Moorhof
These days, travelers wanting to book health and wellness vacations have many choices. With a few clicks of the mouse it’s possible to find global destinations offering an eclectic array of holiday packages. Always popular are the luxury spas, in tropical destinations, that offer relaxation with facials, therapeutic massages, and mud baths. For those with more specific interests, it’s possible to detox and cleanse in Bali, rejuvenate in Thailand, lose weight or do Pilates in California, go to martial arts camp in the U.K., or visit yoga retreats in such varied places as Morocco, Nicaragua, and Peru. However, for a truly unique vacation experience, why not visit a beer therapy spa?
Yes, it’s true. While others are relaxing with a jojoba body polish in Dubai, or getting healthy hiking in Canada, it’s possible to relax, and get healthy, with beer therapy. “"No, it's not a joke,” says Jiri Plevka, chief brewer at Chodovar brewery in the Czech Republic. “The idea to take the beer as a mixture in the bath is very old - it came from ancient Rome - and everybody knows it's really healthy."
While there are several beer bath spas in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, the Landhotel Moorhof, located in Franking, Austria, offers the widest range of services and amenities. Frau Hedwig Bauer, co-owner of the Landhotel Moorhof, says, "Beer is very good for the skin, because of the vitamins and the yeast. It's cleansing and drying."
Each beer spa uses its own unique brew. At the Landhotel Moorhof, Schnaitl brewery supplies a special lager for the baths. At the hotel, the sudsy lager is made into a beer extract fortified with brewer’s yeast, malt, and hops. This beer extract is then poured into couple-size wooden barrels and topped off with mineral water for a final concentration of 20% beer extract. According to their website, “Bathing with this beer extract can be effective against many inflammatory rheumatic afflictions, gout, certain skin diseases as well as poor circulations in the hands and feet. The skin becomes softer and more elastic and tissue metabolism is activated. In addition, beer extract reduces irritation and helps against eczema and itchiness when used regularly.”
Each beer bath treatment is 30 minutes in length. During the bath, visitors are invited to draw themselves a few cold pints from a tap located within arm’s length of the tub. After the bath, visitors are taken to a canopy bed, where, instead of lounging on a mattress, they settle into a thick soft pallet of fragrant hay. This hay is a natural mixture which is reputed to have many health benefits. After the hay bed, and a quick rinse in the shower to remove any residual beer extract, patrons may hop into the inviting indoor pool.
In addition to beer baths and hay beds, the Landhotel Moorhof offers a variety of other wellness services including hops baths, whey baths, hay whirlpools, therapeutic massages, organic facials, sauna, and a colored light caldarium.
And, the hotel’s amenities don’t stop there. For epicureans, the hotel offers several meal menus; a four-course vitality meal, a four-course gourmet meal, a four-course beer meal (all of the food uses beer as an ingredient), and beer tasting. They also have an extensive a la carte menu and breakfast buffet.
Along with the afore mentioned services, there are many leisure activities available in the surrounding area. Guests can enjoy rowing, fishing, and swimming in healthy moor water, or can rent bikes and go exploring on meandering bike paths. There is a farmer's golf course, a miniature golf course, and an 18 hole golf course. At nearby stables, equestrians can go horse-back riding, and non-equestrians can tour in horse-drawn coaches and sleighs. Throughout the year, special events and activities are scheduled to celebrate local holidays, or to coincide with specific seasons. They also have seminar facilities and equipment for rent.
A visit to the Landhotel Moorhof in Franking, Austria is a must for beer connoisseurs, and anyone looking for an exciting and unique theme vacation.
For details, pictures, and pricing be sure to visit the Landhotel Moorhof website.
Breweries and Beer Therapy Spas
Chodovar Beer Spa in Chodovar Plana, Czech Republic
Chodovar Brewery in Chodovar Plana, Czech Republic
Landhotel Kummerower Hof in Neuzelle, Germany
Kloster-Brau Brewery in Neuzelle, Germany
Starkenberger Beer Pool in Tarrenz, Austria