As a massage therapist myself, I love getting massages when I travel. However, I never thought I’d get my first ayurvedic massage in the Czech Republic. Most people head to India or perhaps Bali for one of those, but the Svata Katerina Resort is the perfect place to get pampered in this ancient healing therapy.
Ayurvedic therapy originated out of Kerala, India thousands of years ago. Massage is just one small part of the therapy. Cuisine, yoga, exercise and lifestyle all play their part in ayurvedic treatments.
The Svata Katerina Resort is about two hours south of Prague in the Czech Republic has an entire ayurvedic delivery team that trained in Kerala, including an award-winning chef. The resort offers all-inclusive ayurvedic packages from 4 to 22 days. As I was on a time crunch, I only spent three days there…three days of absolute bliss.
The resort is located in the wooded countryside outside the village of Počátky. There has been a spa at that location for centuries, but the Svata Katerina resort is new. The facilities include three hotels, two cafes, a restaurant and a salon, plus venues for massage treatments, yoga, etc. Outside are sports fields, gyms, horseback trails and a golf course.
The decorations aren’t extravagant. Rather, it feels just like a holistic retreat with Asian decorations throughout. Beneath the main building are the traditional massage rooms – Thai, Balinese, Chinese, etc. The hydrotherapy rooms are a couple floors up.
All my massages were conducted a couple buildings over. Lying on an authentic wooden ayurvedic massage bed imported straight from Kerala, I received Abhyanga and Shirodhara, two of the four types of ayurvedic massages. Abhyanga is a full-body oil massage which uses vigorous, strong rubbing as opposed to the slow, deep presses of Thai massage. The massage was followed by ten minutes in a steam chamber, using a special shower unit.
My second massage was Shirodhara. If you’ve ever heard of ayurvedic treatments before, you’ve probably seen the photos of oil dripping onto the forehead. That’s this massage. For fifteen minutes, I had a steady stream of warm oil dripped onto my forehead and into my hair which was then massaged into my scalp, followed by another trip to the steam chamber. While I wasn’t sure how the oil directly affected my physical nervous system, it was extremely relaxing and I’m ashamed to admit I fell asleep during the massage (something I try never to do). They said most people do.
The massages were heavenly, but so were the meals. Rahul, the ayurvedic chef, cooks every meal for those receiving the ayurvedic packages. The ayurvedic diet is vegetarian, uses no oil other than coconut oil and has almost no dairy. You can see a full description of my meals (and the full package I received) in my article on Ayurvedic massages.
The only thing left is to book your own stay at the Svata Katerina resort!