Swiss hotels are medical spa champions

June 28, 2019 •

5 min reading

Health spa: lessons from 3 Swiss luxury hotels

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Switzerland has a long history of medical hospitality going back to the days of the tuberculosis sanatoriums, as immortalised in Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg), which was set in Davos and published in 1924.

To this day, Swiss hotels and spa resorts continue to be leaders in the field of luxury medical spas. Indeed, since the first palace hotels were created about 150 years ago, Switzerland has been a worldwide reference for luxury hospitality.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Switzerland has also been known for its clinics, such as the Clinique Valmont in Glion which was founded in 1905. These two longstanding traditions have combined to create today’s ultra-modern luxury medical spas in Switzerland.

Three excellent examples of Swiss medical spas include: Clinique la Prairie; Grand Resort Bad Ragaz; and The Dolder Grand

Clinique la Prairie

Clinique la Prairie is located on the Vaudois Riviera on the shores of Lake Geneva, in the village of Clarens, which is in the Commune of Montreux. The establishment offers an extensive menu of treatments in addition to medical procedures, including longevity, wellbeing and beauty and is staffed by 50 doctors and some 200 experts in various domains, such as diet, sleep therapy or aesthetic beauty.

Since 1931, Clinique la Prairie has been treating the rich and famous with a long list of celebrities that has included Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, King Ibnsaud of Saudi Arabia, Charles de Gaulle and even one Pope (Pope Pius Xll), as well as Mick Jagger.

Medical procedures

Clinique la Prairie claims to be a pioneer “in rejuvenating and medicinal therapies that optimise vitality, slow down the aging process, and help you to live a longer, healthier life”. Medical procedures include: stem cell treatments; a full check-up; treatment to enhance mobility and à la carte services.

Stem cell treatments

Stem cell treatments can “turn back the clock by a decade or more – restore youthful vitality and looks”, according to the clinic. The treatment lasts for four days, including three overnights, but doesn’t come cheap at an all-in cost of CHF 35,900, which includes full board and limousine service.

Full check-up

The clinic offers two treatment programmes in this area, including a medical check-up which lasts for four days with three overnights and costs CHF 10,900 or a combined check-up and wellness treatment which lasts for six days with five overnights and costs CHF 17,900. The stated objective is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s physical health, so as to identify any health concerns at an early stage.

Better mobility

The goal of this treatment programme is to reduce pain and discomfort during sport or activity. The programme lasts seven days with six nights, going from Sunday to Saturday and costs from CHF 19,200.


Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is located in the municipality of Sarganserland in the Canton of St. Gallen at the foothills of the Alps in Eastern Switzerland. The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz AG comprises two five-star establishments: the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites and the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz. The group also includes the Medical Center with the Clinic Bad Ragaz rehabilitation clinic, the Bad Ragaz and Heidiland golf courses, and the two subsidiaries Tamina Therme and Casino Bad Ragaz, as well as the Hotel Palais Bad Ragaz and the Hotel Schloss Wartenstein.

Medical Center

Bad Ragaz’s medical center offers a range of treatments, which are marketed under the following labels:

  • ‘Check-up & diagnostics’ emphasises prevention through regular check-ups and thorough diagnostics; patients receive recommendations for an optimised approach to eliminating health risks. Medical team specialisations encompass sleep diagnostics, gynaecology, fertility and complementary medicine;
  • ‘Nutrition & workout’ promotes a balanced diet, regular exercise, healthy sleep habits and a pragmatic approach to stress;
  • ‘Dermatology & beauty’ treatments feature allergology (treatment of allergies), derma-cosmetics and laser treatments, as well as dental health and implantology. Also included are general dermatological consultations and treatments with rejuvenating factors. Specialists provide treatments in the areas of aesthetic and plastic surgery; and
  • Movement, therapy & sports medicine’ focuses on helping patients to achieve their personal fitness goals. The team of doctors and therapists at the center aim to relieve complaints with individual therapy and training methods. A wide range of therapy methods in the water emphasises the healing effects of the Bad Ragaz thermal water.

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The Dolder Grand

The Dolder Grand is a five-star luxury hotel and spa perched on a promontory on the edge of the Adlisberg forest, overlooking Zurich, a few minutes from the city centre. The hotel offers ‘tailored wellness experiences’, which could include: personal training, a change in eating habits, or a ‘Haute Couture’ facial as developed by Dr Marc Burgener in 1955. The hotel’s spa offers several à la carte treatments or analyses.


For CHF 225, a client can undergo a cardio-scan which takes 90 minutes. To determine one’s personal situation, a professional fitness and body composition analysis is conducted at the cardio-scan checkpoint. This includes an electrocardiogram as well as the recording and evaluation of heart rate variability and stress levels, metabolism, body composition and blood pressure. This approach allows for the creation of individual programmes for the achievement of personal training goals, according the Dolder.

GenoType nutritional analysis

Thanks to the latest developments in the field of epigenetics (study of inherited phenotype changes that do not alter the DNA sequence), it is possible to actively change a person’s genetic ‘destiny’ through dietary measures, according to the Dolder; a personal genotype is determined on the basis of more than 90 pieces of personal information. A filtering system shows which foods are good for a person and which to avoid, while an app helps a person to choose the right foods. This analysis costs CHF225 and takes 90 minutes. 

Spa programmes

The Dolder offers three multi-day spa programmes, as follows:

  • The 3-day programme includes two overnights nights and one 90-minute spa treatment or personal training session of one’s choice at a cost from CHF 2,100;
  • The 7-day programme with 6 nights includes a choice of two 90-minute spa treatments or personal training sessions, medical consultation including performance and analysis of laboratory tests and discussion of nutritional measures, at a cost from CHF 5,135.00; and
  • The 14-day programme includes 14 nights, a choice of four 90- minute spa treatments or personal training sessions, medical consultation including performance and analysis of laboratory tests, discussion of nutritional measures, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) for 3 months, 3 individual infusions in accordance with the assessment of the client’s SWAMI GenoType nutritional analysis, all at cost starting at CHF 10,910.

Photo Credit: The Dolder Grand 

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Lecturer Spa Management at EHL Campus Passugg

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