Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Germany Holidays: Ayurveda on the Moselle


Hotels in Germany: Ayurvedic hotel Parkschlösschen in Traben-Trarbach, Moselle

The very German Moselle region can be more exotic than you think. The Parkschlösschen resort will show you how.

Now, this is weird. Traben-Trarbach is a typical village on the Moselle, surrounded by the steep vineyards widespread through the region, with lots of timber-framed houses and oozing the very special German (very) small-town feeling. You’d expect wine, good and hearty food, lovely cycling and walking along the river but surely not Europe’s first Ayurvedic luxury resort. However, the Parkschlösschen is just that.
Located on the fringes of Traben-Trarbach in an art nouveau manor house and surrounded by a park, this place is 100 percent and whole-heartedly committed to Ayurveda. The brainchild of a wealthy German entrepreneur, it does not make any kind of concessions and offer a toned-down version of Ayurveda as so many do. Regulars – mostly Germans but with an increasingly international clientele – come here every year for their yearly Panchakarma detox programme (note: not for the weak-spirited) and swear on the expertise of the resident doctors and staff.  For the less self-disciplined, an Ayurveda weekend to start with will do as well.
Europe’s first Ayurvedic luxury resort is on the Moselle
Since 2008, the Parkschlösschen has had its very own ‘Vaidya’, a traditional Indian doctor, and having your pulse ‘read’ by him is a fascinating, yet almost scary experience. Someone holding your wrist and telling you more or less exactly what kind of a person you are, your physical strengths and weaknesses and conditions that run in the family. How can he possibly know?
The Ayurvedic cooking classes run by the hotel’s cooks are a welcome distraction, and eating the food is even more so. (No Moselle wine served with it, though.)The dishes are delicious and do not taste ‘healthy’ (in other words, unpleasant) at all. Which leads us to a very important point, for a stay at the Parkschlösschen is about one’s well-being, yes, but not about being made to feel bad about all the nice things in life.
And then, of course, there’s the surroundings. The Moselle region is simply lovely, and you could always sneak off for the odd glass of wine. Mind you, the Vaidya will notice, next time he holds your wrist.