Friday, June 23, 2023

Vert Wellness Festival is a summer camp for adults

The Vert hotel chain recently held its second Wellness Festival at the Vert Lagoon Hotel in Netanya, which included three days of health classes and workshops, performances by leading musicians, fair of local artists and creators, and more. The festival that was produced by Sorento Health and Wellness is a celebration for the body and soul. The third festival will take place next year at the Vert Dead Sea Hotel; It is worth looking forward to!

Vert Wellness Festival is a summer camp for adults (photo Daniel Stravo)
Vert Wellness Festival is a summer camp for adults (photo Daniel Stravo)

The festival included performances by top artists - Marina Maximilian, Alma Zohar and Nelly Tagar. The wellness workshops included lectures on balancing the body and mind, yoga classes, Pilates, sports, creative writing and more. Among the facilitators at the festival: the health and fitness guru Ira Dolfin, the queen of Pilates Lea Schenirer, the actor Shai Avivi who guided acting and relationship workshops, and Dana Berger who conducted a circular breathing session and intuitive writing. All in all, there were more than fifty workshops in three complexes with the best facilitators and trainers in Israel. In addition, the hotel's spa complex offered a special treatment menu for festival guests.

Shai Avivi, photo: Daniel Stravo
Shai Avivi, photo: Daniel Stravo

Sharon Alon, CEO of Africa Israel Hotels, owners of the Vert, Crowne Plaza and Indigo brands, said, "The Vert hotel chain was established three years ago as a new brand of the Africa Israel Hotels. The meaning of the word Vert is green in French, a name chosen out of an aspiration to create a brand that seeks sustainability, a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. The Vert wellness festival, which is taking place for the second year, is based on a combination of fitness, nutrition and some treats also for the soul. The event has become a tradition and we are happy about the impressive response."

The wellness festival is like a “camp” for adults, an opportunity to forget the daily troubles and surrender oneself to 72 hours of retreat for body and soul. In addition, It’s an opportunity to try and learn different types of activities. For example, it was our first time to do Nia, passive stretching, Wim Hof ice bath and various methods of yoga. The number and variety of exercises, workshops and classes was outstanding. At any given time, there were at least three activities plus a few additional ones each day. These included lectures, classes and workshops, performances, parties with a DJ, and of course, all the hotel facilities were at our disposal.

Full of anticipation, we arrived at the Vert Lagoon Hotel in Netanya on Thursday late afternoon. A healthy welcome awaited us with fresh fruit and dates. In a moment we forgot the hardships of the day and entered a state of relaxation. The hotel overlooks the magical shores of the Mediterranean and its design corresponds to the environment using elegant brown and blue colours. The hotel has 15 floors containing 272 suites and rooms with balconies overlooking the sea. On a fourth floor height there is a beautiful semi-Olympic infinity pool with a waterfall, a children's pool and a wooden sunbathing deck overlooking the blue Mediterranean. The hotel's spa spans over two floors and includes a Turkish bath, a wet and dry sauna, a fully equipped gym and several changing rooms.

Vert Room photo: Roy Mizrahi
Vert Room photo: Roy Mizrahi

Even before checking in, we deliberated between a Buddhism workshop, Ashtanga yoga, circular breathing workshop or intuitive writing. The program is so rich and high quality that choosing between the activities was difficult. After we checked in, we started with the Buddhism workshop with Gita. She talked about the conflict between the brain and the heart. We received tools on how to let our thoughts pass - to listen and analyze why we react the way we do and how to deal with the unpleasant feeling involved so as to restore balance between the two returning to be in peace with ourselves. At the end of the lecture, everyone chose a note that contained a sentence for life to take along with us. The next class I chose was Nia – an intuitive movement to the rhythm of music that helps to release negative energies and summon positive ones. It was exhilarating!

Yoga, photo: Daniel Stravo
Yoga, photo: Daniel Stravo

In between the workshops, we enjoyed a concert of Marina Maximilian, one of my favourite singers. Thereafter we took a short lunch break. The meals served in the hotel restaurant are buffet style with emphasis on quantity and quality with no compromise. The selection of food was huge, with lots of healthy options, a real culinary celebration of colours and flavours, with fresh fish and fine meats from local produce; everything we ate was delicious!

After the show and dinner we gathered again, this time for a passive stretching workshop that includes deep tissue massage with Naga Weiss. This was a relaxing class that released all the muscles after the series of activities in the afternoon. In the class we used a yoga cube and hard balls for a strong and deep massage from head to toe. The class ended with meditation to the sound of music, which was a perfect end to the day.

On Friday, we started with an invigorating Power yoga class to energize ourselves, which helped us get the blood flowing and wake up for the start of a long day full of activities. Then, we continued to Shai Avivi's lecture, "crazy in a suit" which talks about how to overcome fear while standing in front of an audience. From there we made our way to Ilan Heitner's lecture on "How to summon inspiration into our lives" that gave practical tools on courage and how to change life for the better. In the lecture, Ilan shared with the audience insights that we all sympathised with, and subsequently we participated in writing activities that gave us a good understanding of the subject.

The highlight for us was Ira Dolphin's class - a powerful HIT class that combined strength and endurance exercises, with regular work and rest times. It was a pleasure! We talked with Ira after class and it was very exciting to meet her. Later in the afternoon, we enjoyed a concert by Alma Zohar and in the evening a concert by Nelly Tager which was funny and fun to end the day with incredible energy.

Towards the end of the festival we joined the Wim Hof workshop the new trend of immersion in an ice bath. We went there with some concerns that calmed down quite quickly. We started with half an hour of breathing practices to put our body in a parasympathetic state of relaxation that assists the exposure to the expected cold. This by itself was an unusual sensation. Then, came the moment of immersion that we prepared for – we dipped in the frozen bath filled with ice cubes for two minutes. During the two entire minutes we surrendered to the experience. The feeling after dipping is unique and inexplicable – we felt refreshed and serene. Along with that came the feeling of achievement, the understanding that nothing can defeat us - we are capable of everything!

As the festival came to an end, we digested all the experiences - this was a weekend packed with fun and unique experiences we will take along with us. We will certainly come back for more - the next Wellness Festival will take place at the Vert Dead Sea Hotel in March 2024

For more information

The author was a guest of the Vert Wellness Festival.

No comments:

Post a Comment