Some tend to think of thermal spas as being just a sauna and a steam room. But when thermal spas are done properly, they are meaningful wellbeing spa treatments in their own right. Here are some of the spas taking them to the next level…
Anyone who’s ever gone to Italy knows that it’s a magical destination filled with charm, character, culture and history, but Grotto Giusti’s thermal spas really offer something uniquely special.
Built on top of a deep underground lake that rises to the surface with thermal waters that remain at their natural temperature, the spa is blessed with a thermal cave bath divided into three distinctly (and humorously) named areas called Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. It’s a unique experience, characterised by warm steam, sparkling water and a mesmerising lattice of stalactites.
The ancient Tuscan Grotto with its millennial thermal cave and a thermal underground hot spring lake, was regarded by composer, Giuseppe Verdi, as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. Today, it’s not just about using it as a space to relax in meditative style however.
Making the most of the caves, the spa also offers thermal yoga classes there, where the natural warmth of this underground labyrinth amplifies sensations, aids concentration and raises body temperature whilst guests benefit from the therapeutic effects of the cave’s thermal vapours rich in salt, sulphate, and alkaline earth coming out of the ground at around 34°C.
First built as a renaissance palace for the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Fonteverde has a reputation for being one of the best hotels in Italy. Surveying the Tuscan landscape, the resort overlooks the majestic rolling hills of Val d’Orcia, and does everything to five star standards. Set on top of natural hot springs, rich in therapeutic properties (calcium, sulphur, magnesium and fluorine) that bubble to the surface at a temperature of 42 degrees celsius, and bring their healing power to the thermal spa’s pools .
Originally built in 1743 for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, over the years Bagni di Pisa has hosted royalty, dignitaries and celebrities, and it remains as dedicated to unparalleled service as it ever has been. Retaining its 18th century charm with frescoed ceilings, extravagant furnishings, floral gardens and captivating nature in abundance, its five star spa includes thermal pools, a gym, thermal muds and a cave built in the early 700s, where a small waterfall creates a warm and humid environment that stimulates the senses.
On the ruins of the 12th century ancient convent of Sancti Spiritus, Castilla Termal Balneario de Olmedo 4* is a thermal spa of four-star status. Getting to the heart of what a spa experience is all about, its the composition of its waters and their associated benefits that sets it apart. The moment you enter the spas you feel the difference, the smell, the touch, and even the sound of the water. The waters are from natural springs and are believed to help with digestive, metabolic, antacid, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and nervous system treatments. Meanwhile, you are surrounded by a Mudejar convent, the best preserved Cistercian monastery in Europe, making it a uniquely beautiful experience.
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