Independent Minds: Angelika Schmid, Villa Eden

Encouraging guests to embrace a better lifestyle in just a few days of staying at her Art Nouveau wellness retreat in the Italian Alps, Angelika Schmid and her team of medical experts can personally advise on how to transfer healthier habits from hotel to home.

A stay at Villa Eden – The Leading Park Retreat is seen as a stepping stone on the journey to a higher quality of life by its owner, whose secrets to “serene longevity” have been instilled in the villa’s well-balanced walls. Promising guests a relaxing, restorative experience which has been carefully created through more than three decades of research to extend beyond the hotel’s beautifully manicured gardens, Villa Eden takes the meaning of ‘health holidays’ to new, luxurious levels.

What does being ‘Independently Minded’ as a hotel owner mean to you?

“Casa mia, casa tua” – we are privileged to have our own small hotel with only 29 suites where we can put in our personal note, our sense of taste and style in order to make guests from all over the world feel at home. Our mission is to combine our highest hospitality standards with a very special interpretation and experience of it, completely dedicated to guests who are looking for a homelike, cosy retreat where they can have a restoring rest and feel pampered.

What was the inspiration behind the hotel, and where do you continue to find sources of inspiration?

At the beginning, Villa Eden was a family affair but it became my passion project. With Villa Eden, I was allowed to create a hotel where my husband and I would love to spend our holidays – an oasis of peace not far away from the historical city centre of the Alpine town of Merano, an ideal place to regenerate, relax and have a restoring rest from the hectic daily routine.

How do you think your hotel stands apart from other boutique hotels?

The highlight of Villa Eden is our Longevity Medical & Spa Centre. Its treatments, developed over a period of more than 35 years and matured through daily practice, is what really makes Villa Eden stands apart from other boutique hotels. The constant introduction of the latest medical-scientific discoveries, the application of the principles of natural and energetic medicine, of psycho-neuro-immunology and of Chrono medicine, are the foundations of this path of success. Through a holistic approach, we promote health, disease prevention and the adoption of a virtuous lifestyle, which is essential for serene longevity.

Our guests can enjoy perfect psycho-physical harmony through our tailor-made programmes and treatments, each designed to promote a long and peaceful life, the rediscovery of our self-image through our individualised care, and to find the true expression of the inner self.

If you only had 24 hours to get a taste for your hotel experience, what would you recommend a guest must do?

Villa Eden is a particularly luxurious and elegant villa. Each of the 29 suites were created with an incredible love for detail by an Italian interior architect. There is the Pavarotti Suite, the once favourite suite of “big Luciano”, as well as the Fendi Suite, where Carla Fendi loved to stay; the Signature Park Suite – embracing the contemporary luxury, a favourite of Barbra Streisand and James Brolin, and many more of our returning guests.

Our Executive Chef of the Mindful Kitchen delights our guests with a delicate and aromatic cuisine that guarantees an authentic taste in exciting combinations. That is why we exclusively use products of the highest quality and optimum wholesomeness, which have been fairly produced, and whenever possible with local organic ingredients. Different options are possible: guests can choose from a healthy detox menu as well as from our à la carte menu with a particular selection of superfoods and vegan options. Otherwise, guests can enjoy the Tasting Menu, a culinary experience by our award-winning kitchen.

Guests should absolutely experience our signature spa treatment called “body cast” – a highly effective treatment against cellulite and localised fat. In our Longevity Medical Centre, guests can benefit from the oxygen ozone therapy or the Villa Eden IV Therapy, both medical treatments ideal to eliminate physical and mental fatigue, improve the metabolism and immune system.

To experience the surrounding natural beauty, we highly recommend the botanical garden of Castel Trauttmannsdorf and the family-owned winery Rametz Castle, which are both within a 15-minute walk from Villa Eden.

How would you describe your own perfect luxury experience?

The real luxury for me is the service, the cordiality and warmness of the staff you can feel in a hotel. Of course, the hardware is important, but cleanliness and the detailed service make all the difference.