Czech Republic reports increase in cosmetic surgery tourism and wellness holidays

More foreigners are travelling to the Czech Republic for breast enlargements and facelifts as the economic crisis drives the search for cheaper cosmetic surgery, says Tomio Okamura of the Association of Czech Tourism Agencies, “We have witnessed a big increase in the number of medical tourists, from about 6,000 in 2008 to 9,000 last year in 2010.

Foreigners now account for a fifth of the total number of cosmetic surgery clients in the country. The economic crisis helps us as people want cosmetic surgery that is less expensive but of a quality comparable to that in the West.”

Most of the clients are German, followed by Brits and Austrians, but Poles and Slovaks have also gone to the country for cosmetic surgery. Czech prices are about three or four times lower than in the West.

Meanwhile, spa tourism is even more popular than medical tourism. Czech tourism highlights what is happening at top local spas – the top ten Prague spas-

• Teplice is the oldest spa in the Czech Republic having opened its 857th spa season this year. People fancying luxurious amenities could visit a newly refurbished Imperial suite in the Emperor’s Spa. A new treat is the speciality spa coffee prepared exclusively for Teplice visitors who can enjoy the drink with traditional spa wafers.
• The most famous spa in the Czech Republic is Karlovy Vary and there visitors can check the Elizabeth Bath named after the Austrian empress Sisi and celebrating its 105th anniversary this year. People can try Elizabeth’s bath with mineral water, an Indian anti-stress head massage or a Hawaiian relaxation massage.
• Mariánské Lázně sees the reopening of a renovated spa house Nová Marie that offers comfortable accommodation and wide range of services and spa treatment including natural Mary’s gas CO2 and peat.
• The spa hotel Royal Spa offers special spa and wellness packages and stays for high-end customers. The guests can enjoy wholesome baths at Balbín’s Spring or massages with herbal sachets.
• The first radon spa in the world with a detoxication wellness package is in the Radium Palace hotel while Běhounek hotel organises fit weekends – two-day programmes full of physical activities.
• Lázně Mšené is just under one hour from Prague and celebrates its 205th season this year with opening of a newly refurbished original interior of the spa restaurant Dvorana from 1905. Additionally the small family spa has diversified its treatment and wellness procedures and includes aerobic or zumba programmes as well as special physiotherapeutic packages for older guests.
• The Luhačovice spa offers a new traditional spa treatment package that includes various procedures of local mineral springs, traditional hydrotherapy and outdoor exercise signaling a return to a traditional type of wholesome exercise dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Newly renovated luxurious four-star interwar-style Spa&Wellness Hotel Alexandria was opened at the end of the last year.
• Mcely Spa is a chateau and English park as part of the spa. Private therapeutic suites offer a relaxing and inspiring environment. The English park also includes an outdoor jacuzzi, a small sauna building, natural swimming lake, multifunctional sports ground and a specially designed natural course for cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
• The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Prague is a former Renaissance chapel. Guests are greeted in a vast light-filled lobby, the former nave. The glass flooring encases illuminated remnants of a onetime Gothic church uncovered during the site’s reconstruction. Spread over two floors, the spa features seven treatment rooms including two couples’ suites. An underground passageway links it to the hotel.
• Offering well-being massages for relaxation of the body and soul and luxury procedures, the spa in Le Palais Hotel offers an upmarket spa experience.