At the end of November, I spent a week in the Czech Republic. For the first four days I went to Prague – I spent two days on my own (which means that the Czech Republic is the fifth country I have been to on my own this year) and then Haydy and her boyfriend flew in to join me. We then went on a press trip to the beautiful region of Karlovy Vary with Boho Travels where we stayed at the Hotel Prezident. We spent three days in the most incredible town, learning more about the area and relaxing in a spa hotel. This was my very first experience at a spa, so I didn’t know what to expect. I completely fell in love with the whole spa experience and the region.
Boho Travels is a travel company which specialises in natural medical treatments and medical spas based in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. They offer spa breaks which focus on wellness and your health. There are so many different packages available and each one can be tailored to your specific needs. The one package that they were keen to promote is the anti-aging skin cells programme. The team at Boho Travels has worked closely with Czech scientists who have researched and implemented the stem cell technology.
The stem cells programme is 100% natural and is said to significantly reduce wrinkles, smooth and regenerate the skin. All of the stem cells that are used will be from your own body, they are obtained via liposuction. These stem cells are then injected back into your skin depending on the area that you want to concentrate on. They can be placed into your face, neck or hands – wherever you feel that you need the anti-aging. This isn’t one of the treatments that we sampled whilst in Karlovy Vary, so I can’t say how well it works.
During our time in Karlovy Vary, we stayed at the amazing Hotel Prezident. Whilst we were there, we were very lucky to be shown around both the hotel and the town by the hotel founder and resident doctor, Milada Sárová. Milada is really enthusiastic about spring water and the treatments which are available at Hotel Prezident. I felt like I learnt so much from her when we had our tour of the town and the hot springs. She had a lot of time for us and was around to answer any questions that we had about the treatments and the hotel itself.
The room that I stayed in was a standard twin on the 5th floor. There are a lot of different rooms throughout the hotel. Haydy was in the room next door which was a double and everything was the same apart from their shower which was a bit more modern. Downstairs on the second floor, Becca had a lux room which featured a jacuzzi bath. I was very jealous when she told us about the bath! The room had everything that I needed for my two night stay, however I would have welcomed tea and coffee making facilities within the room. I love waking up in a hotel room and making myself a coffee to wake myself up a bit before I go down to breakfast.
The food at Hotel Prezident is what you would expect for a health spa. It is all very healthy but with a lot of choice. We had breakfast each morning, dinner on the first night and lunch on the second day. We were able to pick from a variety of different meats, rice, vegetables and salads. There is also a section of “diet food” which contains things like plain, boiled rice and fish. Breakfast is different each morning, with plenty of variety again. I really liked the selection of sausages, eggs and pastries. There is something for everyone, even fussy eaters like me! I managed to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. The selection of ice creams at lunch and dinner were also a bonus.
The hotel boasts a variety of different treatments. Whether you are looking for something to help you lose weight, something to help you relax or something to ease your aching muscles. There is something for everyone. Whilst we were staying at the Hotel Prezident, we were able to try out three of the treatments. These were randomly allocated to us, so we didn’t get a choice. As I have a bad back, I would have loved to have experienced a massage. If I was to visit again, I would book myself in for a Thai back massage. However I was so excited to see that my first treatment was the mud bath. Out of the three treatments that I experienced, the mud bath was my favourite.
As I said earlier, I’d never visited a spa before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I nervously went along to my first treatment in my swimming costume and my gown. When I arrived I was told that I could either keep my swimsuit on, or I could go naked. It wasn’t a difficult decision, but I chose to keep the swimsuit on. I wasn’t keen on getting completely naked in front of a stranger! If you’re unsure, you can always call the spa beforehand to ask. You would definitely benefit more from being naked in the mud. It is best to expose as much of your skin to the mud as possible.
The mud bath takes place in a treatment room on the eighth floor of Hotel Prezident. Once you arrive, you will be shown to a tin bath which is already full of warm water. You are able to check the temperature of the water before you step in. I found the water to be a great temperature. Once I had taken my gown off, I was invited to lie down in the bath. A pack of fresh mud is opened for each individual treatment. The idea is to crumble the mud into the bath or smear it over your body. The result is very murky looking water.
The treatment is great for your skin. The mud contains peat which can help to relieve stress and joint pain. It is also great for any musculoskeletal ailments. It is a great treatment to do if you don’t have a lot of time. It’s also very relaxing! It’s probably best to do it naked though, as I carried a lot of mud back to my room with me under my swimsuit.
I had to lie in the bath for twenty minutes. If you are planning to have a similar treatment, then I recommend you take something in there to read. I took my kindle in with me. The bath was so warm that I think I might have fallen asleep if I hadn’t had something to distract me. Being in the warm bath is really relaxing and a lot like having a normal bath at home.
Paraffin Hand Wrap and Oxygen Therapy
The final two treatments were a Paraffin Hand Wrap and Oxygen Therapy. Due to the nature of these treatments, it is possible to undergo both at the same time. My treatments took place after the mud bath. I had enough time to get a quick shower and put some clothes on. These treatments took place at the same time. You get the most beautiful view of the town from the room that we were in which was on the eighth floor of the hotel.
Once we entered the room, we were treated to the Paraffin Hand Wax. This involved submerging our hands three times into paraffin, before having them wrapped in plastic and placed in cloth gloves for twenty minutes. Over the twenty minutes, the paraffin hardened onto our hands which means that it simply peeled away once the treatment had finished. The paraffin wax acts as an emollient which means that it helps to trap moisture into the skin. As I suffer from dry skin in the winter, particularly on my hands, I was really excited to try this. I found that after the treatment, my hands felt really soft and hydrated. I definitely enjoyed this experience but I don’t think that I would choose this treatment again.
Oxygen Therapy is something that I had never considered trying before. During this treatment, tubes are inserted into your nostrils which are linked up to a canister containing oxygen and vitamins. The oxygen and vitamins are to be inhaled for 50 minutes. This procedure improves your physical and mental wellbeing as well as regenerate brain cells and can help to ward off headaches and depression. I didn’t notice any difference to myself after the treatment, but I believe that this is because I only had one 50 minute treatment. Many of the packages at the hotel would include having this treatment once a day and I think that this would be a lot more beneficial. This treatment is very relaxing and in a great environment.
In the hotel, we had access to many wonderful facilities. I was really excited about using the pool as I love swimming and don’t often get a chance to go. There’s just one pool at Hotel Prezident, but it was never busy when I wanted to use it. On my first night I decided to have a swim after dinner and I did 30 lengths just before it closed. The pool and sauna facilities were on the fourth floor and were open until 9pm each night. The staff on the fourth floor are really friendly and helpful. They are happy to give tours of the facilities and explain each one.
On our second day at Hotel Prezident, I took part in an aqua exercise class. This took place at the pool and involved gentle exercise in the water. This class is a part of the Boho Angels package that is provided by Boho Travels. I found the class to be very enjoyable. You don’t feel like you are doing much exercise when you are in the water, but I could feel the effect afterwards. If I had been staying longer, I definitely would have taken part in this class every day.
There are private spa suites available, which you can book out. These contain a sauna, a bath and places to relax. I would definitely consider these if you are looking for some privacy as a couple.
The sauna and steam rooms are great places to relax, especially after a long swim. I really enjoyed these and I wish that I had had more time to experience them. The saunas are open from 1pm most days until 9pm, however they open earlier at 9am on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. As these facilities are only available to hotel guests, they are never too crowded. Becca and I tried out each kind of sauna and were so relaxed that we almost got locked in at the end of the night!
If you are looking for a spa break, I definitely recommend that you look further afield to the Czech Republic. Karlovy Vary is such a beautiful town and I will definitely be back to spend at least a week there in the future. I must say a big thank you to Jitka at Boho Travels for allowing me to go along on the trip.