Italy is a fabulous destination for a spa break, with world-renowned hotel spas gracing its most famous cities, perching on the shores of the Great Lakes and nestling in acres of rolling countryside.
Sardinia’s Forte Village Resort was the 2016 host of the World Spa Awards, which saw Italy take home Europe’s Best Spa Destination and Sardinia walk away with Europe’s Best Wellness Destination. If you’ve got a special trip coming up, book in a few days of pampering at one of our favourite luxury spas…
Best for keeping fit: Capri Palace Hotel, Capri
The effortlessly chic Capri Palace Hotel is home to the acclaimed Capri Beauty Farm, a 2,000-square-metre medispa known for its uninterrupted sea views and extensive wellbeing programmes. There’s the ‘Leg School’ (a series of treatments designed to correct common leg issues); ‘Posturology’ (improving posture); and nutritional programme ‘Metabolic Response’ (the hotel has the only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Capri, so no celery sticks here).
The hotel puts Capri among the Maldives and London as the new home of Bodyism, a world-famous system that’s all about achieving a long, lean body. As its latest outpost, the hotel earned a nod from Condé Nast Traveller’s Spa Guide, winning Best Fitness Programme 2016.
Best for relaxation: Lefay Resort & Spa, Lake Garda
Nestled in 11 hectares of parkland with views across Lake Garda, Lefay Resort & Spa offers a blend of Chinese medicine and Western therapies, with a dizzying choice of programmes, detoxes and à la carte treatments.
Surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in Italy, the Lefay Spa is our choice for getting away from it all. It’s divided into three zones: the ‘World of Water and Fire’ spans swimming pools, saunas and even lakes, while the state-of-the-art gym and studio ‘Nature and Fitness’ will keep you in shape. Finally, there’s the hotel’s beautiful outdoor space, where you reconnect with nature (and your inner calm) on running trails, cycling in the hills or with a spot of lakefront tai chi.
Best for treatments: Rome Cavalieri, Rome
Rome Cavalieri is one of the city’s finest luxury hotels, and the spa more than meets its high standards. The Grand Spa Club spans over 25,000 square feet, with fabulous pools, Turkish baths and saunas themed around Ancient Rome.
The treatments are where the Grand Spa Club really shines. Ten luxurious treatment suites feature themes like sunset, rainforest and desert, and come complete with soothing music and herbal teas to complement your chosen treatment. The spa uses exclusive La Prairie products, as well as natural (and tasty) ingredients like chocolate, caviar and honey. Look out for coconut oil body peels, caviar facials and soothing Chakra stone massages – just the thing after a busy morning’s sightseeing.
Best all-rounder: JW Marriott Venice, Venice
Winner of Europe’s Best Resort Spa at the World Spa Awards 2016
The spa at JW Marriott Venice is the largest in the city. The hotel is set on its own private island, gazing out across the Venice skyline and St. Mark’s Square. The views from GOCO Spa are spectacular, with floor-to-ceiling windows that let you soak up the sights from the huge vitality pool. And, since it’s still gleaming new (the hotel opened in 2015), facilities are contemporary and state-of-the-art, with a sauna and bio sauna, gym and hammam.
Thanks to its island setting, water is the main focus here; hydrotherapy, massage beds and an aqua-tonic zone are on the cards, as well as personalised rituals, treatments with AMALA organic products and a luxury spa suite, where couples and individuals can have a more private thermal experience.
Best for couples: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como
The T Spa at Grand Hotel Tremezzo boasts spine-tingling views of Lake Como. This modern and ultra-stylish spa is known for its unique design and materials, which create a soothing sanctuary. Facilities are extensive, but T Spa’s crowning jewel is undoubtedly the lake-view infinity pool that appears to float within the lake itself.
For honeymoons and couple’s breaks, T Spa can arrange a private experience after hours that begins with cocktails in the infinity pool, and finishes with strawberries and champagne overlooking the lake. It takes place in the new T Spa Suite, featuring a private whirlpool tub, sauna and steam baths, where you can choose from a50 or 80-minute ESPA couple’s massages.