Katya's Eye with Alejandro Bataller, Vice President of Sha Wellness

Lifestyle and nutrition, as well as genetics, condition our health and well-being. This is why the Sha Wellness Clinic was created and launched in 2008, in Spain near Alicante, by Alfredo Bataller Parietti. This centre has become a worldwide reference in the field of wellness. Based on medical advances, innovative programmes and revolutionary innovations, it is the pioneer of the temple of wellness and macrobiotics in the world.
Interview with Alejandro Bataller, Vice President of Sha Wellness and one of the founder's sons.

Who are you Alejandro?

Alejandro Bataller - © Antonio Terron

I was born in Argentina, with Spanish-Italian roots. Then I studied at the Pontifical University of Comillas and ended up with a degree from the Harvard Business School (Business Management). I then moved to London to start my career in the financial industry, which has nothing to do with wellness (smile) and then to LVMH before joining the family business in 2007, one year before the launch of the Sha Wellness Clinic.

Can you tell us again why this temple of wellness was created?

Sha Wellness Residence Alicante - © Sha Wellness

The basis of the clinic is above all based on a new food reflex: well being and healthy food. And this for a good reason, my father, suffering from colon cancer, was able to test on himself the self-curative power of his body while changing his diet and thus see the changes and positive results on himself, coming to terms with his long illness. This is why he wanted to share this new approach to well-being and health with the world. He called on the world leader in macrobiotics, Michio Kushi, who created for us a special natural therapy, accompanied by innovative and groundbreaking programmes, integrating and merging ancient philosophies with the latest revolutionary techniques.

Does this mean that macrobiotics can overcome serious diseases?

Sha Wellness Residence Alicante - © Sha Wellness

We do not claim to cure, but rather to prevent, and this is the core of our approach

What is the average age of your customer base?

Sha Wellness Alicante - © Sha Wellness

Around 55/60 years old, with more and more company directors as well. We realised that we were facing a new profile of customers, very cultured, refined and highly educated, already aware that food has a considerable impact on health. We also saw our clientele getting younger (40/45 years old) who want to stay healthy and preserve their capital!

What is the minimum length of a stay to best optimise the program?

It all depends on where you are going and what types of pathologies (if you have any) or your goals you have. It can range from 4/5 days, for someone in good health who just wants to get back to good habits and detox from the urban or professional rhythm, to 10 days or more.

Sha Wellness Alicante - © Sha Wellness

Some clients have even stayed for two or three months! I'm thinking in particular of a banker who came to lose a few kilos out of his 20 kg to be lost and who was so bluffed to lose 4/5 kg in the first week that he prolonged it by two months in order to become "a better version of hiself" so he could return to his normal life in good health. It looks simple from the outside, but it is not so simple when you start a programme. You have to get rid of your old nutritional, physical and daily habits while integrating new ones that are beneficial to your mind and body. Everything is tailor-made!

Just tell us about the programmes and the client welcome

When you welcome a client at Sha Welness, it's not just about massages and treatments. Here, each client will have about 50 staff to take care of them. This includes accommodation, food, consultations, coordination, specialists, therapists, coaches, etc. Each programme is, as I mentioned before, tailor-made and adapted to the personal needs and possible pathologies of the client. This requires a real flexibility and a panel of specialists in order to respond as closely as possible to their needs. Here, like the client, we are looking for results and excellence.

What do you think makes it unique and in your eyes?

Alejandro Bataller - © Antonio Terron

We combine three complementary and inseparable axes: a healthy diet combined with a holistic method associated with extremely advanced preventive medicine as well as education on new habits to take on healthy lifestyle.

You were talking about the specialists in your programmes. Who are they?

Alejandro Bataller - © Antonio Terron

We have 300 specialists including several dozen doctors working exclusively for Sha Wellness. We have very little turnover and our doctors are loyal to the house.

What are their profiles and techniques?

We have all kinds of specialists with whom we combine holistic medicine with preventive medicine and the most innovative techniques in the medical field. So we will have anti-ageing biologists able to work on telomerase, proteome, doctors specialising in genetic diseases, photo bio modulation, electro magnetic stimulation, chromotherapy, treatment of degenerative diseases, work on cells, holistic doctors and nutritionists ... We have even launched the Sha Academy online.

What is your vision for the future Sha Wellness?

We want to set up accessible diagnostics, lower our prices to allow more people to have access. Today there are more and more diseases and less and less solutions. This is therefore proof that we also need to change our lifestyle and become much more interested in holistic medicine.

How do you integrate sustainability at Sha Wellness?

Sha Wellness Alicante - © Sha Wellness

We have integrated it from the beginning. In our eyes it is not an option, it is the essence of our centre. We have an organic farm, have eliminated over 90% of plastic, and have a dedicated green team.

What are your current plans?

Sha Wellness Mexico - © Sha Wellness
Sha Wellness Mexico - © Sha Wellness

We are going to open two more Sha Wellness retreats, one in Mexico and one in the Emirates in 2023 and 2024. 80% of our offer will be the same, adding to each 20% of a specificity that corresponds to their local culture and lifestyle. For example, at Sha Wellness in the United Emirates (between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at ALJurf) we will focus more on the weight problems. At the one in Mexico City (not far from Cancun), we will incorporate a more elaborate fitness programme. The one in Spain is specialised in regeneration and anti-ageing.
Sha Wellness Emirates - © Sha Wellness
Sha Wellness Emirates - © Sha Wellness

We've also been thinking about opening new stores for a long time, but we didn't want to alter or distort the very concept of Sha Wellness, but this implies, beyond the concept, finding staff who are qualified and competent, with the experience required to pass on our DNA and keep this excellence and these results of which we are proud. So we'll take it step by step.

What is your definition of luxury?

The most important element remains is health. Otherwise you can't enjoy life. Having a healthy body, a healthy mind and being in harmony is luxury.
Décembre 2021