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The spa that set sail
Tristan Rutherford for Camper & NIcholsons
6th April 2020
One can expect more than kayaks and cocktails on a Camper & Nicholsons yacht. Wellness and bio-optimisation packages can be shipped from shore, with accompanying doctors and healers, refreshing mind and body alike. Fancy another massage? Go ahead, because zen fitness is considered good for business.

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The spa that set sail

Star Trek viewers may recall the medical tricorder. The handheld device could scan a patient’s body then instantly describe levels of nutrients, toxins, allergens and bacteria held within. Jaime Iredale owns such a device. Although his machine is a bit bigger than the one aboard the USS Enterprise.

“At Royal Wellness we use special luggage trunks to transport our wellness electronics onto Camper & Nicholsons yachts,” says the Canadian health guru. “The kit connects to military grade laptops where we scan the human body onto the screen. Once our equipment receives bio-feedback indicating where health concerns may reside, we can then counterfrequencies back to these precise regions, essentially seeing tumours and bacterias being zapped by the electronic or magnetic vibrations our machine creates.”

Bioresonance therapy is the most high-tech of Iredale’s therapies. Royal Wellness also offers far gentler treatments like kinesiology, where body movements and emotional blockages are tracked then improved to promote balance and energy flow. Other programmes, led by as many as six visiting practitioners, healers and doctors, focus on weight loss and sleep management. “Improving your body and mind used to have hippyish connotations,” says Iredale. Now “zen fitness” and “mental wellness” are considered good for business.

Iredale’s idea was incubated on the most fantastic of locations. After running and selling several start-ups, he relocated to Koh Phangan, an Ibiza-style island in the Gulf of Thailand. His entrepreneurial spirit didn’t flag. “We built a yoga retreat with a vegan restaurant and a moonlight cinema,” explains Iredale. “The silent sort where viewers wear BOSE headphones while watching Star Wars on beach mattresses.” What struck Irelade was the disconnectedness of holistic therapy. “Guests would fly thousands of miles to Thailand to undertake our ayurvedic cleanses. Yet they’d stay in a sanitised hotel awash with detergents and pathogens. The thinking wasn’t joined up.”

Nor were treatments tracked. Business people like Iredale wanted results that could be logged, compared and optimised. Decreasing blood pressure or increasing bone strength must correlate to the time and cost involved in the transaction.

High net worth individuals not only demanded a bespoke group of medical doctors and holistic practitioners - they also wanted to discuss their aims with the professionals in advance. Iredale’s healing team now includes a Swiss banker turned burnout specialist, and allopathic doctors turned yoga therapists. A web call, often lasting several hours, will hone the treatments, lessons and exact practitioners needed to promote happiness or enrich life. Both aims that Iredale has experience in delivering.

Royal Wellness is headquartered in Palma de Mallorca. But the hand-picked teams can bring their healing powers to luxury yachts in most locations. “We’re essentially delivering thousand-year-old treatments from Asia to solve Western problems right now,” sales Iredale.
“But as many yacht owners and guests are time-poor, onboard retreats have been distilled into one, four and seven day packages.” The single day - or two half-day - programme wakes up with detox shakes laced with Thai herbs and Indian spices, indulges in guided meditation in a bucolic bay, then drifts through toe baths, shamanic sound sessions and healing dances.

‘Bio-optimisation’ is a growing request among Royal Wellness clients. The manipulation of brain and body to perfect performance was first pushed by the ‘Father of Biohacking’, Dave Asprey.
The Californian tech guru - one of Iredale’s heroes - had his lightbulb moment while trekking in -23°C (-10F) conditions in rural Tibet. When Asprey’s energy plummeted he was revived, both mentally and physically, by a cup of yak butter tea. The hacker inside Asprey determined to find out why.

Using Chinese medicines, a low fat diet and lashings of 'bulletproof coffee' (a mix of coffee beans, ghee, coconut oil and other health secrets) Asprey replaced foggy thinking with laser sharp focus. Leading CEOs now swear by his lifestyle techniques.

Iredale's biohacking course, which can operate on a yacht from 1 to 14 days, also includes transcranial magnetic stimulation (“another Star Trek addition where patients wear electronic headbands”) and the intravenous introduction of natural vitamins to restore nutrient levels and aid jet lag recovery.

It’s not all space age thinking. “Most guests are looking for physical or spiritual rejuvenation rather than bootcamp with electronic machines,” says Iredale. Does he practise what he preaches? “I believe we can use quantifiable data to optimise our biorhythm,” he continues. Not that every ‘biohacking’ trick costs the earth. “My own day starts with a cold shower”. The icy water increases both depth of breath and heart rate, resulting in a greater mental awareness. The addition of ‘holotropic breathing’, or fast controlled breathwork, can make adherents dreamily lucid during the process, then become acutely conscious straight after. “Other tricks to take away include increasing mindfulness on the commute to work or in the gym. I actually get the best meditation from washing dishes after dinner.”

Guests who prefer to stick to rose petal baths and Balinese massages are spoilt for choice on Camper & Nicholsons’ yachts. Saluzi is a 69m floating beach club with a spa to match. Two wellness rooms and two full time beauty therapists dispense a host of wellness remedies. The yacht’s pièce de résistance is the ‘golden bed’ - essentially an electronic massage table within its own suite. Saluzi’s entire complement of 32 guests may partake in morning yoga sessions on the bridge deck.

Tranquility also follows the sun from the Mediterranean to South East Asia during an annual relocation. At 91.5m in length, she hosts a 20m2 swimming pool plus a wellness clinic. A spa zone comes with a stone treatment table, a hammam steam bath and a Finnish sauna. Braver souls can dip into Tranquility’s freezing plunge pool before refreshing in the experiential showers. A fully equipped gym lets the elements inside. Quite literally, when its sea-facing wall completely opens to offer panoramic ocean views. Wellness has never been so appealing.