The glossy and glamorous have come here for over eight decades. Nestled in the Swiss Alps on Lake Geneva in the French region of Switzerland, it’s easy to see why. They come here for privacy, luxury, and of course, those legendary fresh fetal lamb cell injections. The appeal of the world famous Clinique La Prairie in Montreax is just as powerful today, thanks to the clinic’s own rejuvenation techniques of a new, luxurious $50 million dollar building addition, and a wide array of new treatments.
Sure, you’ve heard about it for years. And you’ve heard about “the treatments.” Also, you know of the skincare line of the same name. Yes, the rich and famous love to jet here to revive and renew – in secret. The clinic doesn’t quite promise a fountain of youth, but the experts there do feel like they can help retard the aging process.
Getting there isn’t difficult. Flying from any major Texas city to London, an hour connecting flight to Geneva, then taking a scenic train ride to the area of Montreaux is trouble-free. What waits for you upon arrival to the quaint villages of Montreaux is a complex three main buildings: the original chalet facility (formerly a boarding school until the 1930s), a modern medical center built in the early 1990s, and the recently completed Wellness Centre spa complex that rivals any piece of contemporary world-class architecture. And it’s all linked together with elegant terraced gardens. Yes, the retreat is idyllic. My suite’s balconies opened to a view of the docks at Lake Geneva, and beyond it, the Alps.
Plenty before me have enjoyed La Prairie, too. People like Marlene Dietrich, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Gloria Swanson and Miles Davis benefited from the clinic’s treatments. And at least 50,000 more patients have claims of renewal since the clinic began. In fact, last year over 87 nationalities were represented by the people who flock here to have virtually any possible treatment done. Anything except for heart or brain surgery. That controversial concept of cellular therapy dates back more than 3,500 years to ancient Egypt, yet it wasn't until 1931, when Paul Niehans implemented the idea of cells to be taken from fetal sheep for healing purposes. It’s interesting to note that Niehans was an aristocrat who moved in elite circles and through his friendship with fellow aristocrat Pope Pius XII, word about the injections and the clinic spread rapidly to form the international appeal it retains to this day. Those treatments remain controversial, as they now using lambs instead of sheep. Silence of the lambs indeed.