Although the modern concept of wellness has been around since the 1970s, it’s only during the last decade that it has steadfastly entered our collective psyche, evolving from a buzzword used to sell gym memberships, spa visits and dietary supplements into a trillion-dollar cross-industry market underpinned by our newfound enthusiasm for a complete wellness lifestyle. Entwining several distinct industries, from fitness, nutrition and personal care, to preventive medicine and tourism, the burgeoning wellness market may be offering an ever expanding range of products, programs and services, but it’s usually up to the individual to piece together a holistic approach to well-being – a confounding task made all the more daunting by our nebulous understanding of what wellness really means. We were therefore delighted to discover TATOΪ Club, a private members club that holistically addresses all aspects of wellbeing in a euphoric natural setting of understated sophistication. When we recently visited the Club on a typical Greek mid-summer day, a light breeze was blowing through the pine trees and herb gardens that are dispersed across the landscaped grounds, filling the air with lavender, rosemary and other Mediterranean aromas that gloriously complemented the hypnotic soundtrack of the cicadas. Strolling through such an idyllic setting, courtesy of Athens-based landscape architects H. Pangalou & Associates, complete with a picturesque lake where scenic yoga sessions take place and two outdoor pools with a team of baristas and mixologists at hand, it seemed to us that, far from being an abstract concept, wellness was within our grasp.
Located at the pine-covered foothills of Mount Parnitha in the north of Athens, Greece, the Club couldn’t have chosen a more suitable location for nurturing the overall wellbeing of its members, both geographically and symbolically. The spot combines a serene, natural setting that can be enjoyed all-year-round with close proximity to the cultural and commercial delights of Athens. But more than that, the Greek setting taps into a long-standing tradition in health and wellbeing practices, centred on Plato’s belief that the part can never be well unless the whole is well. It was after all the Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, who was the first to suggest that prevention is just as important as treatment, arguing that disease is a product of diet, lifestyle and environmental factors – an axiom that has become the bedrock of the modern approach to wellness which also informs TATOΪ Club’s health-promoting lifestyle, holistically conceived in order to address the overall wellbeing of its members.