An advocate of prevention rather than cure, Henri Chenot was one of the first to talk about “successful aging”, believing that the answer to a long and healthy life lies in the correct combination of genetics, lifestyle behaviour and environment. For almost fifty years, Chenot Group has specialised in the health wellness and hospitality sector.
Dr. Gaitanos is an expert in energy metabolism and received his MSc and Ph.D. at Loughborough University (UK) and, carried out substantial post-doctorate research at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. His research work has been published in numerous medical journals. Academically, he is an exercise physiologist, a certified clinical physiotherapist and a certified acupuncturist. Dr. Gaitanos served on the Gatorade Sports Science Institute Board of Advisors for Science and Education from 1993 to 1996 to foster education, service and research in sports nutrition, exercise, and sports medicine in Europe. He had 14 years of experience (1992-2006) in the field of sports performance on elite international competitive level and over 28 years in health promotion and disease prevention with an integrated and personalised lifestyle medicine approach. He has collaborated with multi-disciplinary and multinational teams of healthcare practitioners and managers attaining both operational and leadership positions in medical and wellness institutions.
Switzerland is an exquisite country in many ways. Gifted with beautiful nature, workaholic people, beautiful architecture, chocolate and watches, represents travel dream to many. Last week I have a life-changing opportunity to taste and enjoy Switzerland from the most luxurious point of view. I traveled to the little town of Weggis near Zurich to enjoy detox and to restructure my health. I stayed at Chenot Palace and had the privilege to meet Dr. Gaitanos to ask him several questions.
Dr. Gaitanos, please tell us something about your role with the Chenot.
I am the Chief Operating and Scientific Officer of Chenot Group. I joined the company in 2013. My role is strategically important in the development of the brand within the health wellness sector.
Please, can you tell us a bit about the Chenot method and why it is unique?
We do not treat disease instead; we promote wellness with preventative and health-promoting actions. We have a holistic vision of the body and thus, we adopt a multidisciplinary approach to our method of work, integrative and very personalised. Unique in its application and inspired by disciplines from Chinese and Western medicine.
How about Covid-19 pandemic and Chenot Group operations?
Trust in the brand, having been around for almost 50 years now, has given us the opportunity to grow despite the on-going worldwide challenge. The sense of security and the strict safety and security protocols we follow at our properties make everyone, from our employees to guests, feel safe and secure.
What are your projections for health/wellness industry in the post-pandemic period?
You might have noticed how our society has been changing over the past 10 years pre-pandemic, with a growing focus of a wider market towards health prevention, wellbeing, organic food, energy level, lifestyle, etc. The growing attention of people towards better aging and quality of life, coupled with a more and more stressful working life and society, has dramatically increased the demand for an experience and product such as the one offered by Chenot.
Now more than ever, people have undeniably become aware of the importance of staying in shape, of preserving their health capital. Integrating health into wellness is the new grail. Already there is and will be increasing the demand on bridging a wider and more in-depth wellness tourism experience in this direction. Travellers, health & wellness seekers and SPA-goers will be seeking ways to further enhance their wellbeing, from nutrient-rich meals to science-led treatments and diagnostics. Such increase in demand has brought our company to consider what could have been the most appropriate way to expand our presence on the market and reach a wider number of clients.
Please tell us something about Chenot Palace.
Chenot Palace is a Chenot destination. The property is designed to provide the necessary space to accommodate a state-of-the-art medical SPA facility with professional care at all levels in both medical and hospitality, warm and sophisticated interior design style, and the exquisite setting. At the same time, the location, Weggis, in Switzerland, has been known to offer tranquility and relaxation in front of a beautiful lake and Alpine panorama.
What are the health/wellness methods offered at Chenot Palace?
Our health wellness programmes are curated based on Chenot Method. The key concepts of our programmes though are: detox, energise and perform. We then translate this to programmes and experiences may it be at a Chenot Palace, Chenot Espace or a Chenot SPA destination. Of course, accompanying our guests on this path is a highly qualified team of medical and hospitality professionals.
What is so special about the Chenot Palace location?
As Chenot, being a Swiss-based company, it makes sense to have our flagship property and research centre in Switzerland. Weggis was the perfect choice for our new opening as it is a small-town set on Lake Lucerne, with the spectacular scenery of the Swiss Alps, fresh mountain air and a quiet and charming city nearby. The active and sustainable lifestyle of the location allows reflecting Chenot’s health wellness principles and philosophy which is rooted in balance and harmony of the body, mind and the environment.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Having devoted my professional career to science, the continuous development and evolution in both science and technology are my main inspirations. Additionally, I am a person who always seeks opportunities to be inspired by my day-to-day encounters, may it be with guests, conversations with journalists, and especially, with my colleagues from different parts of the world. I believe inspiration is everywhere as long you’re open to seeing things that way.
What is the Chenot diet?
Chenot diet has been carefully designed to work in synergy with our medical treatments. It consists of a reduced-calorie plant-based diet specially formulated to activate the body’s fasting mecha¬nisms whilst providing sufficient nourishment to the cells.
What are the signature programmes?
We believe that whatever we do, whatever programme, treatment, or recipe we create and introduce, they are our “signature” since developing all these require efforts, specialty, and craftsmanship from our whole team.
Please tell us how much does Chenot incorporate science?
Our concept is preventative care and not the pathological direction of repair and sickness. We provide science-led wellness and all of our programmes are results-driven, supported by significant independent research.
What can you tell us about the upcoming Chenot Espace One & Only PortoNovi in Montenegro?
Apart from being the first Chenot Espace housed in One&Only’s first resort in Europe, the coming together of One&Only and Chenot presents an array of experiences from tranquillity and improved health to a more energetic and sociable riviera-style lifestyle. Chenot Espace at One&Only Portonovi revolutionises resort wellbeing, featuring state-of-the-art, industry-leading treatments combined with the extraordinary level of luxury and service that One&Only is renowned for.
What is the reason Chenot Group chose Montenegro for the upcoming Chenot Espace One&Only Portonovi?
There is a quote by Lord Byron about Montenegro that says: “At the birth of our planet, the most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea must have happened at the coast of Montenegro. When the pearls of nature were sown, handfuls of them were cast on this soil.” With this specific project, the location in Portonovi matches what we were looking for, an upcoming destination where traditions, culture, people and the environment seemingly and harmoniously blend together.
How does nature and architecture complement the health-wellness programmes?
The manipulation of natural light enhances guests' transformational journey by encouraging a body and mind balance, and this combined with the neutral colour scheme ensures every angle of the palace reflects an ambiance of life and energy.
What’s the company’s future vision?
Our long-term objective is to create the world’s first boutique luxury chain of health wellness retreats on a global scale. At the same time, more broadly, I would say that our vision is to become internationally the brand of reference in the wellness and preventive medicine sector.
In an increasingly stressful world, Chenot wants to shine a light on the importance of investing in mental and physical health – at the earliest possible age – to achieve a high-performing, strong, healthy and well-balanced life.
Please share with us your tips for long healthy life.
Positive outlook on life with plenty of gratitude and compassion.