Former bank CEO sets up luxury wellness retreat in Shropshire
A new luxury wellness retreat has been officially launched in the rural tranquil of the Shropshire countryside.
Overlooking the landmark skyline of the county town of Shrewsbury, Hencote is an elegant country estate which is now welcoming guests for an escape from the everyday stresses of modern life.
The exclusive property has been given a stunning makeover boasting five luxury bedroom suites in the restored Georgian farmhouse The Grange.
Specialist staff have been recruited to create a number of different packages offering the best in nutrition, yoga, exercise, wellness and relaxation.
The holistic retreat has been launched by former Qatari bank chief Andy Stevens who realised a relentless corporate career was taking its toll on his own health.
Mr Stevens, the CEO of Commercialbank in Oman for more than a decade, said failing to balance his work and personal needs inevitably had a detrimental impact on his well-being but he noticed an immediate improvement once he tackled the problem.
“I was delighted to be appointed CEO and still see it as a great highlight of my career but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would feel the need to commit all of my time to work,”added Mr Stevens.
“Suddenly work was 24-7, 365 days a year. It simply wasn’t a healthy way to operate because I was ignoring my personal needs which, as it happens, doesn’t make you more productive at work. In fact it can have a negative impact on performance.
“By chance I read an article about burn-out and decided to do something about it but I did need someone else to guide the way and I contacted a specialist company. It really helped me address both my physiological and mental wellbeing. I changed my eating, drinking, sleeping and exercise routines. I underwent hypnosis to address anxiety around frequent travel.
“As a result of doing these things I was able to achieve a better balance between my time and the company’s time. I felt so much better and actually my performance at work improved.”
Andy’s own experience inspired the move to launch Hencote as he believes not only do people need to look after their overall well-being but also that expert help can instil a long term change in lifestyle for the better.
“I wanted to create a haven where people could escape all the stresses they face as part of life these days even if only for a long weekend,” he explained. “But it was also very important to me to being together a team of experts who could help those people to bring about change in the long-term.
“That’s why our packages look at all aspects of wellness from what we eat to how we keep fit and how we spend our down-time.”
The Grange can be hired exclusively for parties of up with 12 with a concierge service available to take care of everything from unpacking your suitcases to creating a tailored programme of events for each individual guest.
Special shooting packages and sporting events can be incorporated into the stay, while a myriad massage and beauty treatments are also available.
Mr Stevens is also launching a specialist corporate package in a bid to encourage employers to take some responsibility for the well-being of their staff.
“I remember when I had recognised and tackled the issues in my work-life balance I was very keen to look around the office to see who else was struggling and how we could help. It is in a company’s best interests to address these problems and ensure they have a happy and healthy workforce which in turn will be more productive.”
Hencote is also home to Shropshire’s newest vineyard with aims to produce a world-renowned sparkling wine and plans in the pipeline for a new visitor centre.
Over 16 acres the estate nurtures 22,000 Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir, Fruhburgunder, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Solaris and Rondo vines.