Travel Diary: 3 days of Luxury at the Ayurveda Parkschloesschen, Germany
Dreams to reality, I found myself living three days of the epitome of Ayurveda in Europe, the Ayurveda Parkschloesschen, located in the small town of Traben-Trarbach, Germany lived up to my expectations in every single way possible.
Firstly, it’s the biggest centre in Europe offering solely Ayurveda and Panchakarma (the Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation program). Located in it’s own private parkland that spans over 11 acres and has it’s own gently flowing brook, Parkschloesschen translates to “mini castle” or “cute castle” and that it felt like a place of magic straight away.
Founded in 1993 by Wolfgang Preuss based on a deep desire to make traditional ayurvedic art of healing accessible to as many people as possible. This mission extended to his wife, Bridgette, hotel director Kay-Uwe Brehm, his daughter, Carina, who has now taken over as managing director (you can read my interview with Carina here), and the whole team. Together, a total commitment of living Ayurveda and passing the knowledge onto others.
Right from the word go, the service was phenomenal. It is 5-star after all. Public Relations/ International Press Manager and all round body of wisdom, Kathleen Landbeck had me all taken care of with itineraries, train departures, dietary requirements and a beautiful room to call home for a few days.
The Ayurveda Parkschloesschen has 58 non-smoking rooms in various categories Each furnished with pure natural materials, fresh towels, bath robes and hot thermal water delivered daily to assist the detoxification process. The entire building is vastu designed (architecture in accordance to the laws of nature to enhance the healing capacity) and a place of complete tranquillity and relaxation.
There is no wi-fi anywhere, but one separate internet room if you need as well as music channels in each room. Going on a digital detox is such a wonderful thing to do for yourself. I honestly slept the best I ever had and could feel nothing but peace and quiet in my mind especially when I listened to Gandharva veda.
Restaurant + Food
Located in the main building is refined and very rich Ayurveda cuisine prepared in many creative ways catered for both vegetarian and vegan people (if desired). The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a mini snack bar available all day long. Hot water, Ayurvedic teas and ginger water is also available in all public areas including the gym and pool.
If you love the food, consider purchasing the cookbook.
Ayurvedic Clinic + Shop
The Ayurveda Parkschloesschen is home to many Ayurvedic doctors, practitioners and naturopaths who are available 24/7. I was very impressed by my consultation with Vanita Kansal who was quick to pick up on the imbalances in my physiology (vrikriti) through pulse and tongue diagnosis. From there she prescribed dietary advice, treatments and herbal preparations which are available to purchase at the Ayurveda shop downstairs.
The shop also offers a selection of Ayurvedic products including teas, aromatic spices, oils, personal care items, high-quality yoga clothing, books and brochures. Products are also available online.
On the basement level are the therapy rooms, ladies one side, and men on the other. The therapists come from all over the world, however are all trained in the same authentic way. Following the original interpretation of the teachings of Ayurveda, females are massaged only by females, and males only by males.
I was fortunate to experience some of my favourite and much needed Ayurvedic treatments: abhyanga (ayurvedic massage), nabi basti (warm oil in the navel) and shirodhara (oil head flow). I fell asleep every time which is a sure sign they have done a good job. The treatments are all carried out in silence allowing you to concentrate fully on the touch and feel the benefits. The oils used are all pressed specifically for the Ayurveda Parkschloesschen making is even more special.
Yoga + Meditation
There are two yoga rooms on site used regularly for group Hatha yoga sessions and twice yearly retreats. classes are carried out particularly gentle to compliment the healing effect of treatments. If you prefer, individual lessons are available at an additional charge.
I also experienced my very first laughing yoga class. This was an interesting experience. As someone who is not a big laugher, forcing myself to laugh and act like a variety of zoo animals was a little out of my comfort zone. Once I had relaxed into it, things actually became authentically funny and wow laughing for an hour can feel good.
Laughter has many beneficial effects on emotional and social levels. It helps you adopt a more optimistic attitude to life, it leads to a positive charisma and develops social bonding.
I love to be in water. I tend to go to the ocean more these days as I can’t stand the amount of chlorine in pools. However, the thermal baths at Ayurveda Parkschloesschen make use of the only thermal springs along the Middle Moselle river. The water feels pure to swim in and was a refreshing and delightful way to start each morning, especially with Buddha looking over you.
The Wellness Department is also home to the sauna temple, steam bath, beauty oasis, gym and fitness area as well as an outdoors sun deck. supporting treatments such as craniosacral therapy, physiotherapy and Kathleen Landbeck’s “Mental detox” are also available here.
Cooking Workshops + Lectures
I was fortunate to take part in a cooking working in the in-house training kitchen along with several other guests. It’s a great way to learn from the chefs and find a new understanding of your eating habits. I will be sharing the recipes we cooked very soon.
Lectures on Ayurveda also run frequently in both German and English for those new to the healing art and science.
There are so many additional activities you can do while on Panchakarma that I could barely fit in because of my short stay. However, taking a nature walk around the garden is a great thing to do after you have just eaten or in between treatments. There are so many native and exotic plants from all over the world and a 40m high redwood tree which forms the centre point of the park.
taking a stroll to the heart of the vineyards is another walk I didn’t get a chance to see, however is known for its magnificent views. Cycling along the Moselle River is also a popular activity for tourists. The views are spectacular filled with old German buildings and historic castles. Visions you just don’t get down under.
Personally, I highly recommend a visit to the Buddha Museum which was also set up by Wolfgang Preuss, housing his collection of over 2,000 Buddha figures from all over the world. There are tours every Sunday and entry is free to guests of the Parkschloesschen.
The Ayurveda Parkschloesschen has many programs available including Panchakarma, anti-stress, liver detox and private yoga retreat. To find out what’s best for you, head to the website. You won’t be disappointed.
dreams really do come true.