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The Longevity Hotel in Portugal That's Helping You Live Better For Longer

What is the secret to a longer life? Our beauty editor Becki Murray checked in at Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel in Portugal’s Algarve to find out.

Longevity – aka the science behind living healthily for longer – is already set to be one of the travel industry’s biggest trends for 2024, as we increasingly search for the best scientific methods for supercharging our health. Considering its name, it’s hardly a surprise that Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel has firmly embraced the concept, offering tailored programmes that target all aspects of biohacking, from genetic testing and personalised detox protocols to spiritual therapies and the latest sci-fi technologies.

With incredible experts on site too, including the world-renowned osteopath Ricardo Rosa, we set out to discover how the hotel’s focus on gastro-intestinal health, holistic stress relief, and high-tech treatments combine to provide a truly tailored health reset in less than a week.

The Vibe

Located on the beautiful coastline of the Portuguese Algarve, Longevity emerges like a white wave against the landscape – a symbol of calm that befits its status as Europe’s latest medical wellness destination. Paired with a neighbouring private hospital group – HPA hospital – the hotel can be used as a base for full medical services including plastic surgery, cardiovascular intervention and cancer analysis. But it’s increasingly becoming known for its in-house, health-boosting, preventive and regenerative programmes too; and with only 70 rooms, it is a quiet and intimate place to begin your quest for greater mental and physical wellbeing.

From detoxing, smart ageing, and stress management, right through to weight optimisation, muscle and joint care, heart health and mental health, the available packages are all dependent on your personal health goals and discussed with the hotel team in advance, leading to a bespoke itinerary. What’s common for everyone’s experience, though, is a programme that seamlessly combines the very latest science-led technologies with expert-driven sessions run by psychologists, osteopaths and massage therapists, focused on treating your mind, body and soul collectively. A stay at Longevity is powered by the important understanding that living longer and better needs a well-rounded approach to get the best results.

The Programme 

To get a holistic overview of the wide array of treatments and therapies on offer at Longevity, I sampled what could be best described as a weekend-long ‘pick-and-mix’ itinerary, which covered many aspects of the most popular DeStress, Gut Health, Sleep, and Detox programmes (these tend to be five days to a week long, with options to extend). The experience began with a detailed conversation with the wellness team before I even got on the plane – a discussion designed to identify what I really wanted to get out of my stay; namely to tackle the mental fatigue, sleep, and the gut issues which stress tends to bring. This was followed by another check-in meeting on the day that I arrived to confirm any changes I wanted to make to my itinerary. Personalisation really is at the heart of what Longevity does.

As for your programme itself, you can expect to spend a lot of your day hopping from one treatment room to another, with your fluffy robe and slippers becoming a much-loved uniform among you and the sprinkling of other guests you bump into. Each day also offers the perfect balance between indulgent spa-based therapies such as facials and massages to ease out tension and provide youth-boosting results; spiritual practices and workshops such as Reiki, astrology and crystal healing to soothe and calm your mind; tech-driven experiences such as infra-red therapy; and bodywork sessions that are designed to biohack your body back to maximum health. What that means is that there really isn’t one standout treatment from your stay – unlike traditional spas where you might be counting down the minutes until your singular chosen treatment. Instead each therapist you see is building on the work of the expert that has come before them, adding layer upon layer of relaxation (or re-energisation, depending on your goals), for longer-lasting benefits.

The Longevity hotel is also designed to be a wellness space where you can experience something new in a comfortable and supportive environment. Whether that’s being wrapped up (a little like salmon!) in a foil blanket during a detoxifying body wrap (and laughing about it with your friends over lunch); experiencing a gut-cleansing colonic for the first time to reset your system; or trying a session in the incredibly futuristic (and rather sweaty) infrared Iyashi Dome to beat bloating and trigger body toning, the hotel aims to help you really relax and unwind while still achieving great results.

If – like me – you sometimes find yourself being so mentally preoccupied you can’t relax during a massage treatment, Longevity aims to help you break this cycle of ‘still stressed-out wellness’. The inclusion of Mindfulness Therapy sessions and Body & Mind Tech Therapy, for example, allow you talk to through the key triggers of your stress with a trained psychologist, followed by the practice of meditation techniques that break negative thought cycles. I was promptly sold on the idea when I emerged from my exceptionally peaceful doze during the signature Himalayan Salt Body Scrub and Hot Shells Massage that followed, and I felt a similar aura of calm during a brilliantly run Reiki session.

I was equally primed and ready for my meeting with osteopath Ricardo Rosa the following day – and it was plain to see why he is such a leading name in his field. Armed with an array of gadgets and an alignment scanner to look at vertebral dysfunction, he is testament to the fact that a practical approach to boosting overall wellbeing really works. In fact, he was able to identify the underlying effects of a car crash-related whip lash injury I’d had years ago, without me even mentioning it. He then used this information to further release even deeper tension in my neck and shoulders (where I hold a lot of my stress), using short bursts of microcurrent therapy to stimulate muscle contractions. The release was almost instant.



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The Facilities 

When not having your treatments, there is a small but nicely-formed spa area to supercharge your relaxation on the ground floor. Focused around the wellness benefits of hot and cold therapies, what the area lacks in space, it makes up for in terms of facilities. The fountain-adorned indoor pool has two sections: a cool plunge pool to really invigorate your muscles, and the warm, bubbly indulgence of the heated pool to relax in afterwards (swimming caps are required). All the relaxation loungers are designed to give you a feeling of floating too, whether they are in the sauna over looking the gardens, in the impressive blue mosaic hammam filled with scented aromatherapy steam, or in the heated crystal-decked relaxation pod.

You can take a dip in the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool as well should you wish – a particular hotspot when the sun is shining (which happens for, on average, 300 days a year in Portugal). Then, whether exercise is at the core of your current routine or not, your retreat further encourages you to try something new with a fully-stocked gym and a weekly programme of group activities, such as yoga, pilates, core training, and fit ball. The focus is on helping you leave with a smile as well as suitably worked muscles.

The Dining 

As with many medical wellness concepts, health is certainly on the menu at Longevity. But, while your nutritional consultation (available on some programmes) may suggest a type of diet you should follow, or foods to avoid, this isn’t a place where you have to go hungry. In fact, with a menu built around ingredients sourced locally and organically, the hotel kitchen offers hearty, joy-inspiring dishes that offer the best of the Mediterranean’s famously fresh cuisine, known for its brain-boosting, anti-inflammatory health benefits.

The best place to eat at the hotel for breakfast (served buffet style), lunch and dinner is Pure Cafe, which offers a panoramic view of Alvor Bay on the third floor. You can expect plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grain-rich meals, including some superb salads that you’ll want to eat again and again. The prawn Caesar salad and the salad of feta cheese, citrus fruit and avocado are particular stand-outs, alongside the indulgent – yet gluten-free – raspberry brownie. The new wellness dinner menu also offers a sophisticated three-course dining option in the restaurant’s relaxed environment, with seasonal creamy soups, fresh fish, and heartier rice-based options beautifully displayed to delight your tastebuds.

The Rooms 

Each of the rooms at Longevity has a simple elegance, with a minimal design that makes the most of the Portuguese sunshine; a soothing colour palette of creams, greys and wood seamlessly extends your relaxation out of the treatment room as well. Understated but comfortable and spacious, you can expect your room to be functional rather than fancy (as with much of the hotel), with beautiful views out over the Algarve, especially if you choose one with a balcony (an ideal space to curl up on with a good book). You do have to adjust to the clear panelled bathrooms – you can see right through to the shower and toilet from the bed, which can be awkward if you are sharing a room – but, as your itinerary tends to keep you suitably busy, you’re doing Longevity wrong if you are spending hours in your room.

The Little Extras

During the rest and recuperation time in your schedule, don’t miss the opportunity to take a leisurely walk into Alvor town and to the seafront boardwalk; it takes about half an hour at a moderate pace. In fact, the stroll is actively encouraged by the experts on site – after all the fresh sea air, circulation-boosting walk, and (if you are brave enough) a paddle in the chilly Atlantic sea, is as good for your soul as it is for your body. You can also enjoy a trip to the coastal town at night (the hotel can help organise the short taxi ride there) where traditional Portuguese restaurants including A Lota De Alvor, specialising in fresh fish and local wine, warmly invite you in for a memorable and authentic experience.

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