One of London’s most prestigious hotels, The Lanesborough has a new wellness program, Bodhimaya, which promises to reduce stress and shift your mindset.
Can this really be achieved in one day?
In May 2019, the World Health Organization updated its classification of burnout from “a state of vital exhaustion” to a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.
Those who have experienced it will know it can creep up unexpectedly. You find yourself working a bit later, checking emails in bed, taking calls on weekends and feeling more irritable and less connected with your personal life. Bit by bit, everyday workplace stress and anxiety gradually undermine one’s mental and physical health. Cue The Lanesborough Club & Spa’s newest residency to the rescue. The exclusive London lifestyle club has teamed up with Bodhimaya’s award-winning wellness experts to offer retreats specialising in stress and burnout, as well as a range of new programs including overnight retreats and bespoke one-to-one wellbeing experiences.
The central London location makes these retreats ideal for high-flying executives who need a quick fix close to home, while out-of-town guests can opt for a night or two of luxury staying at the iconic Lanesborough Hotel.
The world-class wellness and fitness members’ club, which is spread over about 1,672 square metres, offers an integrated approach to wellbeing that has been developed by leaders in their respective fields. Located in the heart of London, between Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Belgravia, the club and spa has sumptuous interiors, which reflect the elegant architecture of the grand Regency-period building that houses the landmark hotel.
It’s modern yet still quintessentially British. It was conceived by interior design studio 1508 London, and features opulent materials such as marble, silk wallpaper, leather upholstery and peacock-blue satin. The spa features cutting-edge technology while social spaces include a restaurant with private dining room and an opulent spa lounge with dedicated spa butlers on hand to provide a personalised client journey and concierge service.
The retreat itself combines Bodhimaya’s knowledge and expertise of personalised nutrition, authentic meditation and body movement run by founder, Cornelius O’Shaughnessy, an experienced meditation, stress management and Eastern philosophy expert. With over two decades’ experience, he offers a highly effective approach to the mind, which focuses on helping people explore and resolve personal issues, find clarity, manage stress and increase their confidence.
“There’s no use telling a CEO to take a walk for an hour every day. That’s never going to happen. We negotiate and help them to get into a place where they’re happier with the changes.” – Cornelius O’Shaughnessy
Each retreat is bespoke, so activities are tailored to suit every guest’s individual needs. Following the results of a lengthy (and, at times, intrusive) questionnaire data is gathered and a personalised program is devised.
“We’ve been dealing with burnout as far back as 2011, even though it was only declared an official health condition last year.” Says Cornelius, who also runs retreats in West Sussex and the Harley Street Clinic. While clients come from all over the globe, many are C-suite professionals with demanding jobs and lifestyles. “People burning the candle at both ends, either because they have to or they choose to.
“We’re known for getting clients from A to B with as little upheaval as possible. We’re firm believers in making sure the intervention suits the person’s lifestyle. There’s no use telling a CEO to take a walk for an hour every day. That’s never going to happen. We negotiate and help them to get into a place where they’re happier with the changes. These people are time poor. They don’t have two weeks to go to some exotic destination, but they do have two days to come into London and sit here while we destress them a little and find out what’s going on with them.”
The concept of transformative travel is right up my street so I happily sign up. My retreat includes a personal training session, a consultation with a nutritionist, delicious lunch, Pilates, a 60-minute massage, meditation session and reflexology. While I didn’t arrive burned out, I’ve been that soldier. I bought the T-shirt and matching baseball cap, for good measure. Thinking back on that time in my life, I wish I’d had access to this program then. It helps you to immediately destress and recalibrate the mind, before leaving you with the tools to take back into your busy life.
“We put them on a sustainable program that is tailored to them, that’s how you get transformation.” – Cornelius O’Shaughnessy
The day’s retreat left me feeling cocooned in luxury, my body challenged in all the right ways and my takeaways included invaluable insights into my diet and nutrition. However, it was the meditation session that left the biggest impact. On returning home, Cornelius sent on a recording of his guided session, so I’ve been able to practise. Within a few short weeks, I feel calmer and more focused.
“You can get someone to kickstart themselves, but it’s all about how the person follows up with their program, so it’s about aftercare,” Cornelius advises. “We put them on a sustainable program that is tailored to them, that’s how you get transformation. Especially, with the mind, you can really have quite an impact on someone even in 24 or 48 hours in terms of how they’re dealing with things in their life. The nutrition side of things takes longer. If you go home and are drinking half a bottle of wine a night, it unravels. That’s why the mind aspect is so important.”
Bodhimaya’s one-night Restorative Retreats at the Lanesborough Club & Spa start from £1,795 per person, including overnight hotel stay. Meditation and Nutrition Retreats start from £1,499 per person. Day Retreats start from £750 per person.