“Who wants to live forever?” sang Freddie Mercury. By the looks of things, many do these days.

While we may not be able to control the threats of war, pandemic and natural disaster, humans continue to be fascinated by the search for eternal life. Or at least, extended life.

And there is a growing industry in technology to help people do that. The traditional stuff – fasting, cold therapy, nutritional tailoring, meditation – is being enhanced and expanded with technology to break the boundaries of ageing.

Your average spa treatment is no longer a mudpack or a ten-man jacuzzi. It’s now diagnostics and data.

So, while some might say that the secret to ageing well is as simple as good humour and good company, science says no.

Here are five of the most innovative longevity centres.



As of now there is no godly formula for everlasting life. What Hooke – located slap bang in the middle of Mayfair, just a short walk for your averagely stressed-out financier – can do is tell you what you are deficient in and how to change your lifestyle to eke out a few more years of life.

This involves the most rigorous MOT of your life. The data-driven treatment centre has every kind of test, measurement, gadget and gauge to quantify a person’s health from top to bottom and every bit in-between.

That means blood tests to check vitamin levels, kidney and liver functions, lipids, minerals, hormone levels, immunology, tumour markers – the list goes on. Fitness tests come next, with a view to seeing how athletic is your VO2 max range, strength, balance, metabolic immunity and body fat levels. Hooke’s house doctor runs through more traditional stuff – reflex tests, ECG, lung functions.

You’ll then have your diet looked at. What do you eat? When do you eat it? Why do you eat it? Note it down, they want to know.

Hooke also gives you wearable technology – an Oura ring to monitor sleep habits and a blood sugar monitor – and for those wanting to go further there are organ ultrasounds, colonoscopies, endoscopies and mammograms.

The friendly physicians, dieticians and clinicians come together to deliver you a plan of action at the end.

Client follow-up work can be as thorough or broad as you like. Some return to get micro-level weekly feedback and health advice to help them continue on the right path for longevity. Others may use it as a spur to fix their wrongs themselves.

With full-level membership coming in at £54,000 per year this doesn’t come cheap. But you may be thankful in the long, long run.

Palazzo Fiuggi


“Please choose your parents well. That is the secret of a long life.”

So says world renowned geneticist Professor Giuseppe Novelli who believes your age prospects are mostly inherited from your parents.

Novelli set up his SPG Project practice in Italy’s Palazzo Fiuggi wellness resort, located in a private eight-hectare park, 50 minutes away from Rome, to help clients catch their risk of developing diseases – cancer, Alzheimer's or cardiovascular illnesses – and try and deal with them early.

The work comes as a result of Novelli’s expertise on the genome and, specifically, genetic mutation, the root cause of ageing.

But the aptly named Palazzo offers much more than just gene testing. Its spa waters are famous in Italy and the place has added new levels of wellness luxury since a refurbishment in 2021. It currently combines old-fashioned beauty – ballrooms, huge gardens and salons – with the virtues of science, including bespoke training, movement consultations, virtual-reality fitness, 3D body scans, hydrotherapy, ozone and cryotherapy, intravenous infusions and on and on.

Even if you don’t discover the secret to eternal youth, the Palazzo will help you feel 16 again for at least a few days.

Buchinger Wilhelmi


It is not new but fasting has caught on in the wellness industry. Buchinger Wilhelmi takes the intermittent fast to another level.

The “Buchinger method” – devised by Dr Otto Buchinger in the late 19th century – holds with the argument that proper cell regeneration takes a bit longer to occur than a day or two. To help spread the word his daughter Maria set up the Buchinger Wilhelmi clinic in Überlingen on Lake Constance in 1953. It has been drawing adherents ever since.

The ten-day fasting programme is the classic here – although you can stay as long as 28 days. It incorporates a preparation day, six days of pure fasting and three refeeding days that slowly add back the calories. That is backed up by daily health checks, vitamins, nightly liver packs administered by a nurse and colonic irrigation every other day. You will rise early, go to bed early and drink a lot of vegetable consommé and juice to sustain you.

The idea is that fasting can flip the metabolic switch so our bodies consume fat for energy rather than glucose.

“Fasting is the most powerful approach to live a healthy lifespan and maybe even an extended lifespan,” says Claudia Prahtel at the clinic. “Through fasting we can activate and stimulate the self-healing abilities of our body.”

There are a whole range of additional therapies and diagnostic tests, should you require, from stress ECG and abdominal ultrasound to psychotherapy, craniosacral, acupuncture and beauty treatments; sleep specialists, orthopaedic surgeons, yoga and meditation.

Does it really prolong life? Well, Maria lived into her mid-90s if that is anything to go by.

Ananda in the Himalayas


Technology does not always have to be modern. Ananda in the Himalayas uses the Ayurvedan eastern healing tradition, which has been observing human behaviour for almost 5,000 years. This retreat, used by famous folk from Bollywood to Hollywood and even King Charles, has seen an increasing number of inquiries related to improving survival potential, in recent years.

The method says that longevity – or degeneration – is factored into your responses to external stimuli and thought process. Based off the three Ayurvedic forces of Vata, Pitta and Kapha the method analyses tongue textures, facial and pulse readings, and bowel “evacuation” to ascertain biochemical imbalances, stress levels, digestive and metabolic function to an advanced extent that, it believes, can elude typical modern blood reports.

Following that, you will undergo traditional therapies. These range from massage and diet plans targeting therapeutic healing of the joints and the deep fascial web of skin to yogic exercises to improve musculo-skeletal health and natural cosmetic treatments to combat early ageing, stiffness, rheumatism and arthritis.

But the ancient is now combined with electronic health records, wearable health devices, and AI-powered diagnostic tools to enable remote consultations, data-driven healthcare, and personalised treatment plans. Holistic is the word here.

“Ayurveda’s attitude to adapt has allowed technology and tradition to coexist and evolve together,” says Mahesh Natarajan, COO.

Live fast, die young has become live slow, die old.



The immortal jellyfish, on reaching maturity, is able to shed senescent cells and revert back to its juvenile stage – essentially a blob – in an endless process of life. While it may eventually get eaten, this death-cheating trickery has raised the curiosity of scientists to see if they could replicate it for humans.

RAKxa in Thailand aims at finding your inner jellyfish. The centre is on Bangkok’s green lung Bang Krachao “island” with a minimum three-night stay for its programme.

Guests are assigned personal doctors who will analyse your history and give you the standard physical assessments.

The specialist identifies areas of concern through the use of diagnostics, which they use to create what they call “hyper-personalised” treatments to “restore and optimise” your health. The result is a complete package that resets the body and basically revitalises your life.

In truth, the range of treatments on offer are pretty mind-blowing. Thus, the ankle brachial index test that compares the blood pressure in the upper and lower limbs see if you have an artery disease in your legs. There is intravenous cold laser therapy which applies laser light directly into the bloodstream using a special fibre-optic IV catheter technology to stimulate blood cells.

It has an LED beauty boost formula to promote the release of collagen and antioxidants into the skin. There are liver detoxes, cryo saunas, botox injections, infusions for gut and energy, spirometers to find out about your lung function, urine tests for heavy metals, various ozone formulas to activate the immune system to name but some.

This is the veritable Willy Wonka factory of longevity. Go, enjoy, just don’t be Augustus Gloop.