THE ARRIGO PROGRAMME
BEST FOR: The purest of retreats – private, one-on-one, completely bespoke.
NOT FOR: Those who like to dress up. Forget make-up and smart clothes – you are here to hibernate and rest, everything here is inviting you to let go.
Nowhere else in the world compares, let alone in Britain. The focus on one-to-one care is what makes this programme truly unique. Here is somewhere so low-key and comforting that you can strip back every layer of your being and truly be yourself. Because that’s what a stay the loving arms of Fiona Arrigo, a psychotherapist and healer is all about. Come alone, rest up in your own adorable cottage, there’s no need to see anybody else for days, and enjoy a succession of profoundly transformative treatments all in the comfort of your own in-situ treatment room. If you want to veer away from a big hotel set-up and shuffling around in changing rooms and instead really focus on the inner work of the soul, this one if for you.
The Arrigo Programme is perfect for those close to burn out, anyone seeking private alone-time and also those wanting to confront some big issues but in a supported environment. As soon as you arrive (after a pre-retreat consultation) it becomes clear how well calibrated the set-up is. It may seem simple – sweet little farming cottages with log fires and hot baths (Epsom salts provided) in the heart of druid land Somerset – but every last detail has been thought over with immense sensitivity. It’s not just that there are fresh flowers, it’s that you’ll be sent home with them. It’s not just that the fires are lit for you, it’s that your ‘angel’ (housekeeper) creeps in to light them whilst you are still slumbering in bed in the morning. She’ll also clear the washing up, light little scented candles, pop on meditative music, and lay the table for your breakfast.
You can detox, fast, build up, cut down, mix in Indian and Thai spices, re-energise with chick-pea casseroles, cleanse with broth. The food is perfectly pitched to your needs –– all you need do is warm it up (impossible to resist DVD dinners under a blanket). Being looked after, and relearning to look after yourself, is what it’s all about. There’s no decision making, bar whether to go for a lovely country walk, or slumber on the sofa, and no boring signing either. Immediately your whole system starts to decompress. You are not on show here, and yet every tiny detail is reaffirming how special and worthwhile you are.
The treatments, all chosen specifically to suit you, are top level. Fiona has done her research thoroughly, to the point that some therapists are flown in especially for you. There’s Five Elements acupuncture to release the grief in your lungs or perhaps try the Transformational Breathing – a revelatory technique which quietens your whole central nervous system. And then there’s sparkly angelic Lasare (she looks like an angel too); her healing massage is akin to blowing great waves through the cobwebs of your past.
Guests usually experience up to four treatments a day, something you usually have to fly to Thailand to even come close to. And there is something about this level of care that truly sets you on a new path. Fiona visits you each day for enlightening chats about your life, subtly unraveling that which needs to be aired. She is the essence of womankind, beautiful, wise, fiery; twinkly – with deeply insightful powers. You feel as if she holds the secret key to life, constantly revealing a smoother path to ease and happiness.
For anyone on the edge or dealing with the more serious – depression, addiction, grief – an advanced clinical part of the programme (with its own separate price) offers hand picked psychiatrists and clinical psychologists alongside expert nutritionists. Fiona is renowned for her incredible research into the best. Guests report time and time again that her work is a life changer. When you leave it is with a greater sense not just of who you are, but how to look after yourself, respect yourself, ground yourself, protect your energy field. It truly is transforming. Expect huge shifts. And no airport either, bliss.
BOOK IT: From £890 per night. +44 (0) 1963 371476; www.thearrigoprogramme.com