Wellness weekend at Thermia Palace Hotel, Slovakia

By Christina Raptis

In need of some much-needed R&R but tired of the usual spa day, why not indulge in a spa break unlike any other? As a luxury lifestyle editor I’m used to visiting state-of-the-art spas and hotels replete with the latest facials, treatments, life coaches, and all types of green juices you could ask for! However, I’d never visited a hotel quite like the Thermia Palace.

Head back in time and try an immersive and traditional way of healing and rejuvenation at Thermia Palace in Western Slovakia.Operating since 1912, the five-star Art Nouveau Thermia Palace Hotel boasts 118 rooms, a café, conference rooms, restaurant and, of course, the newly renovated Irma Health Spa which offers over 60 treatments. Thermia Palace’s reputation has been based on the healing power of natural thermal mineral springs as well as its unique sulphur mud. The therapeutic effects have been proven not only by centuries of experiences by physicians but also by demanding scientific research.

Located on Spa Island in the small town of Piestany – you won’t find any of the new-age trends so abundant in modern spas but rather a place where people come to be healed in a more natural holistic way. This retreat is fully immersive and not a dip-in for 30 minute spa session. Here, leading medical professionals examine your body and medical history to truly tailor your spa experience. After a short but thorough examination with a medical practitioner I was “prescribed” treatments for the entirety of my stay including treatments using their famous healing sulphur mud.

Where does the mud originate from you may ask? The unique living ecosystem of sulphur mud forms in the dead arm of the Vah River due to the action of geothermal and biological effects. After being withdrawn from the river, the mud is stored in special pools where it matures for at least one year. To enrich the mixture with mineral components, sulphur thermal water from the springs, with a temperature of 67 degrees Celsius, constantly flows into the pools. The matured mud has a greasy consistency and a steel-blue to black colour and it is not found in a similar form anywhere else in the world.

The most important effect of the mud is its thermal effects. Since the mud transmits a temperature four times slower than water, the body is heated more sparingly. The application of the mud reduces swelling of the joints, reduces muscle tension, suppresses inflammation and joint and muscle pain, improves mobility and joint cartilage nutrition. Legend says the beneficial effects of the mud were discovered by a peacock which used it to heal its sick leg.

In addition to the sulphur mud, thermal mineral water is the main natural healing resource used in the Spa. It rises from a depth of 2,000 meters, has a temperature of 67 degrees Celsius and contains approximately 1,400 mg/l of minerals and free gases – sulphides and carbon-dioxide. The treatment is suitable for musculoskeletal diseases, neurological diseases, skin diseases or as a supplementary treatment for osteoporosis and gout.

I was invited to stay and experience all that the Thermia Palace hotel has to offer but I was also lucky to be there to experience their newly-opened 5-star wellness-relaxation centre located in the Irma Health Spa. Located adjacent and connecting to the hotel, the vast and bright wellness area occupies an area of 1,200 m2, including indoor and outdoor pools filled with thermal water, a spacious whirlpool, as well as a sauna, steam room, Finnish infrared sauna, and a relaxation area overlooking the hotel’s gardens. After a few hours of mud treatments the wellness area was the perfect spot to unwind and relax. A dip in the outdoor pool is a must! And is open all year round thanks to the thermal water.

Thermia Palace’s reputation has been based on the healing power of natural thermal mineral springs as well as its unique sulphur mud – which I now can attest to. The therapeutic effects have been proven not only by physicians but also by scientific research and after a few days of treatments I began to feel the benefits. A visit to the five-star Art Nouveau Thermia Palace and the newly built Irma Health Spa should be next on your list for a truly healing spa experience.