Chenot Palace Weggis

What to expect during a 7-day detox programme at Chenot Palace Weggis

I try one of the world’s most scientifically advanced wellness retreats

Aside from a short-lived juice cleanse and a brief break from caffeine, I’m new to the world of detoxing, so where better to start than Chenot Palace Weggis, dubbed the world’s best detox programme for three years running. In the sleepy Swiss village of Weggis, right on the shores of Lake Lucerne, Chenot Palace employs a method developed by Dr. Henri Chenot over 50 years of research and experience. His approach integrates cutting-edge technology with traditional practices, aiming to revitalise both body and spirit.

There are three seven-day programmes on offer here; Advanced Detox, Recover and Energise, and Prevention and Aging Well. I opt for the Advanced Detox, their signature programme, aiming to ‘induce a deep purification and detoxification of the body to eliminate toxins, increase vitality, reset energy levels and rebalance its physiology.’ While at times challenging and more often rewarding, this is certainly no ordinary wellness retreat. Here’s what to expect.


Dining room at Chenot Palace Weggis
Dining room at Chenot Palace Weggis

If you told me I’d be sitting in an elegant restaurant, eating a three-course meal by a world-class chef, only to look down to see I was wearing a bathrobe, I might assume I was in a bad dream. But that’s the daytime dress code here at Chenot Palace Weggis (switching to smart casual for dinner only), and it’s actually pretty great. The restaurant, overlooking Lake Lucerne and the Swiss Alps, is where I’m served three plant-based meals a day: a breakfast of fresh fruit or fruit puree, a three-course lunch, and a three-course dinner. Coffee is off the menu, but caffeine-free chicory and barley alternatives hold me over for the week. It all comes to a grand total of 850 calories a day.

The Chenot Diet is a crucial part of every detox programme, designed to trigger the body’s fasting response while ensuring the cells are still properly nourished with good fats, low glycaemic index carbohydrates and limited amounts of plant protein. Despite being cooked with no salt or butter and at a low heat, the meals are some of the tastiest I’ve ever had. Highlights include sweet potato gnocchi, vegan tzatziki, and mushroom and tofu ‘meatballs’. Those with dietary restrictions are well looked after – I’m allergic to nuts and replacements are provided with no fuss.

The truth is, you will be hungry. Day three of the programme is spent holed up in my room watching ‘what I eat in a day’ videos on Instagram and researching restaurants at Zurich airport. But by the time day five rolls around the pangs in my stomach have subsided, and when it’s finally time for my much fantasised about meal at Zurich airport at the end of the week, I find I’m not hungry at all. In the weeks after the programme, I discover a notable absence of my usual salt and sugar cravings, and I still haven’t gone back to coffee.


Swimming pool at Chenot Palace Weggis
Swimming pool at Chenot Palace Weggis

As part of my Advanced Detox programme, each morning begins with a series of hydrotherapy treatments. On day one, I’m greeted by my therapist Andrea who explains the first treatment will involve sitting in a bathtub topped up with ‘Chenot Elixirs’, while jets of varying pressures and temperatures work on different parts of my body to stimulate capillaries for toxin removal and skin rejuvenation. This turns out to be the most relaxing of the treatments, and I’m almost asleep by the time Andrea returns.

I’m then led next door to a table covered in what looks like cling film. Andrea uses a paintbrush to draw a square of clay enriched with minerals, microalgae and pure essential oils in the centre of the table, which I’m told to sit on. She then covers my body in the clay, wraps me in the plastic, then puts more sheets on top of me. “The emergency stop button is on your left, if you need it,” Andrea tells me. Emergency stop what exactly? I start to think, but my question is soon answered. The centre of the bed deflates until my sides are enveloped, and hot water begins to bubble away beneath me. I wonder aloud what would happen if there was a fire alarm and I needed to run outside covered in mud and wearing nothing but paper underwear – Andrea assures me this has never happened before. This treatment is designed to eliminate physical muscular and psychological stress tension, as well as drain and detoxify the body (and from the amount of sweat left in in my plastic burrito, I can tell you it works).

Next in the circuit is the hydrojet, which looks suspiciously like the pressure washer I use to clean my terrace. I’m told to face the wall, and I have my first what have I gotten myself into moment, but mercifully, the water is hot. The pressure-jet firms and tones the skin while improving circulation and energy (with the added bonus of washing all the clay and sweat off). The session ends with the option of a few cold blasts of water, which I agree to, and I leave feeling invigorated.

The daily routine ends with a massage, which my massage therapist Tomas explains is designed to work on my ‘meridians’, focusing on different parts of the body each session. According to traditional Chinese medicine, meridians in the body are pathways through which Qi, or vital energy, flows. These channels correspond to specific organs and functions, and imbalances in their flow are thought to contribute to health issues. These daily treatments help loosen up and refresh the energy flow in your body's meridians, giving you a boost of energy, while cupping is incorporated to re-equilibrate your energetic circulation and improve blood circulation.

Aside from the treatments included in the programme, there’s an extensive list of ad hoc treatments that may be recommended to you. Covering everything from facials to cryotherapy, each stay is personalised to suit your needs.


Medical reception at Chenot Palace Weggis

As well as daily treatments, my programme also includes two consultations with a doctor, two with a nutritionist, two bio-energetic treatments, a body composition analysis and a series of Chenot lifestyle biomarkers tests. The biomarkers tests take place on day one, where I’m given a vascular age assessment, minerals and heavy metals intoxication analysis, measurement of advanced glycation end product (AGEs) and a skin collagen thickness assessment. I then meet with the doctor who explains I have the vascular age of a 17-year-old, but that my skin’s collagen is my biggest weakness, and I’ll develop wrinkles faster than most. I query if it’s possible to switch the two and have the skin of a 17-year-old instead, but I’m told they don’t have a machine for that (they do, however, have a medical aesthetic department, if that’s what you’re after).

The first appointment with the nutritionist also takes place on the first day of the programme, giving me the opportunity to discuss my current diet and adapt my meals if necessary. We meet again towards the end of my stay to discuss the results of my body composition analysis, where I learn my muscle to fat ratio isn’t quite where it needs to be (which comes as no surprise to someone who hasn’t willingly exercised since 2008). I’m given realistic and manageable suggestions on how to improve my everyday diet once I return home.

The bio-energetic treatments come as the biggest surprise. My session begins with a bio-energetic screening, using Resonance Analysis Technology. I hold my hands on two metal roads, and the machine analyses the energetic state of my vital organs and body’s functions. It picks up a known issue with my ear, and also suggests my gallbladder needs some TLC. I’m then given acupuncture to target these problems, once again focusing on my body’s meridians. I’m sceptical at first, but by the end of the session I feel like I’m floating. I have another session before I leave, where the screening suggests my organs and body’s functions are back where they should be, and I finish with a final acupuncture session – something I plan to continue back at home.


Classic Room at Chenot Palace Weggis

Take away the state-of-the-art treatments, expert consultations and enriching food, and you’re left with a simply fantastic hotel. The original 1850-built turreted building oozes old-school charm, with cosy bedrooms, a wood-panelled library, and an elegant tea lounge with views over the lake. The atmosphere carries through to the contemporary extension, and from the inside it all feels like one seamless building. A private tunnel leads to the lakefront, where sun beds are set up for hotel guests to relax and admire the incredible scenery.

My Classic Room is super spacious, with a marble-clad bathroom and a private terrace overlooking Mt Rigi. The bed is huge and comfortable, the blackout curtains are ideal for daytime napping, and there’s even a pillow menu with ‘anti-ageing’ options. The minibar is empty, sans a few bottles of water, but that’s to be expected. From the restaurant and reception to the spa and the gym the staff are the crème de la crème. Everyone seems to remember my name and room number without me saying a word, so my dietary and medical requirements are catered to without a second thought.

The Bottom Line

Before my stay Chenot Palace Weggis, I hadn’t considered myself someone who had anything to detox from. I don’t eat meat, I don’t smoke, rarely drink and I’m not particularly stressed. But I’d also made peace with the fact that I’d always be a bit tired, always struggle to get out of bed in the morning and always need coffee to get me through the day.

A week doesn’t sound like a lot, but the impact of the programme has extended far beyond the seven days I spent at Chenot Palace Weggis. I find myself with far more energy, waking up earlier and getting up straight away instead of spending half an hour scrolling on my phone. I feel full after eating less, and my salt addiction has all but disappeared. I’m even a few kgs lighter, although this isn’t the main goal of the programme. Whether you’re burnt out, not eating well or just lacking in energy, a stay at Chenot Palace will give you the reset your body needs and leave you functioning at a higher level.  

Book your detox programme at Chenot Palce Weggis.