Tucked away in a warm, sunny corner of Portugal, and just a short flight from London is the aptly named Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel, Europe’s newest medical spa destination. With murmurs that 2024 will be the year of medical wellness, it could not be a better time to learn what that actually means and how it will benefit you.
Following a hectic flurry of late summer travel, I made my way to Longevity for a full body and mind reset, with the help of an in-house team of health professionals at its onsite medical spa, offering cutting edge and specialist wellness services. I was both there to relax and recharge, as well as learn more about preventative healthcare.
Longevity is situated on a panoramic hillside above the coastal, whitewashed town of Alvor. It boasts 70 modern and spacious rooms exclusively for adults only, further enhancing the hotel’s serene atmosphere. Each room is minimally decorated in fresh and calming shades of white, grey, and blue; furnished with large plush beds, and have their own private balconies alongside stunning views out to sea or over the town of Alvor. The rooms are peaceful and well sound proofed, ensuring you can fully switch off and unwind. There is also a small rooftop pool and sun deck, which is ideal for lazy afternoons.
From a distance, and shaped like a wave, Longevity looks like a futuristic wellness centre – because that is exactly what it is. The hotel is partnered with the HPA hospital group to create a 5-star medical spa, which is a first in Portugal.
Housed within the hotel is a full-sized, world class medical spa that spans two floors, complete with state-of-the-art facilities. The spa is led by a distinguished and dedicated team of medical and wellness experts who offer a comprehensive spa menu. It’s said to be the first of its kind to embrace modern integrative and regenerative medicine with the most advanced wellness and preventative diagnostics, therapies, and programmes.
Longevity is home to two restaurants, the casual and relaxed Pure Café with a panoramic view of Alvor Bay, and the more private Mediterranico Restaurant. The hotel focuses on delivering functional food that is tasty but also rich in bioactive compounds, and anti-inflammatory components.
The rooftop Pure Café is where breakfast is served. It is light and airy with expansive vistas across the coastline, so do not be surprised if you stick around after you have eaten – the views are stunning. I found myself sitting on the café’s sunny rooftop terrace post-breakfast each morning I was there and only left when I was scheduled for my first treatment of the day.
I highly recommend Pure Café’s Fresh Salad from its lunch menu, which I ate no less than three days in a row. The salad is packed full of feta cheese, citrus fruits, roasted corn, and avocado – it was absolutely delicious and I am already missing it. I also recommend the raspberry brownie with red fruits as a treat.
For some variety and an evening excursion, I suggest A Lota D´Alvor restaurant, which is just a five-minute drive away from the hotel, and serves the most scrumptious selection of fresh fish that is caught daily.
The Medical Spa Programme
Longevity’s ethos is that making the right health choices today will lead to a better life tomorrow, and aims to treat complex and chronic conditions before they occur, hence the term medical spa. The medical spa’s five fundamental health pillars of integrative medicine are: Preventative, Personalised, Holistic, Integrative, and Regenerative.
The team at the medical spa look at how genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors may affect your long-term health and then offer an extensive range of life-enriching programmes, including ones covering fitness, wellness, intense detox, weight-loss, anti-aging, cardio health, and sleep optimisation. The programmes are then tailormade to suit your specific needs through a variety of treatments.
The onsite facilities are excellent offering everything from a generous wet spa area, to cryotherapy, ozone and oxygen therapy, colonic hydrotherapy, infusion therapy, and osteopathy.
I sampled 12 different treatments during my stay at the hotel and a few of my favourites were: the Almond and Sweet Orange Scrub, which left my skin glowing and soft; the Medical Pressotherapy combined with a Cellulite Contour Ritual, which felt like a warm massage and helped to tone my legs; the Iyashi Dome because I have never experienced anything quite like it; the Detoxing Seaweed Treatment, which helped to strengthen my lymphatic circulation and reduce inflammation; and the Stress Relief Massage because I floated off into a much needed deep slumber.
Sitting back and letting the experts do what they do best was the perfect remedy to the effects of modern life and fast living. Longevity felt like a bubble of tranquillity, and the one time that I did leave the hotel was for a fresh morning walk to the nearby beach, Praia de Alvor.
A visit to Longevity is completely tailored to you, whether you are there for a long weekend or even a month (yes, many guests have chosen this option), and thanks to the expert team in the medical spa, your treatment list is designed with your future health in mind.
With wellness tourism becoming more mainstream, Longevity is the perfect place to dip your toes in and try it out for yourself. Afterall, prevention is always better than cure.
What: Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel
Where: Alvor, Portugal (45-minute drive from Faro Airport)
Surrounding areas: Portimão, Lagos, Albufeira, Faro
Hotel rating: 5-stars
Price: From £140 per double room
As a holistic health break designed to cleanse the gastro-intestinal, visceral, and lymphatic systems, Longevity’s Essential Detox Programme starts from £2,171 per person for five nights.
Born in Hong Kong and based in London, Sarah Highfield is a leading international yoga teacher and writer. Follow her travels on Instagram: @SarahHighfield