Adler Spa

WELL­NESS UN­DER THE TUS­CAN SUN

Upscale Living Magazine - - Content - BY YVONE YORKE Pho­to­graphs cour­tesy of Yvonne Yorke

Well­ness Un­der The Tus­can Sun

The Tus­can coun­try­side in Italy evoke bu­colic im­ages of golden rolling hills dot­ted with pointed cy­press trees, cen­turies-old vil­lages, vi­brant fields of pop­pies and sun­flow­ers, and vine­yards ripe with San­giovese grapes. As renowned as the re­gion is for its wines, I have come for the wa­ters. Since Etr­uscan times, Tus­can spa towns have at­tracted those seek­ing the heal­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing ben­e­fits of its nat­u­ral hot springs and ther­mal wa­ters.

The Adler Ther­mae Re­sort & Spa is a short stroll from the me­dieval spa vil­lage of Bagno Vignoni - an UNESCO World Her­itage Cul­tural site in the San Quirico Val d’Or­cia re­gion, 30 miles south of Siena. Opened in 2004, this five-star re­treat re­de­fines the art of well­ness with its nat­u­rally-heated in­door and out­door ther­mal pools, and a com­pre­hen­sive spa pro­gram of Tus­can and global treat­ments ded­i­cated to phys­i­cal well-be­ing and in­ner tran­quil­ity. The ther­mal wa­ters at the Adler Ther­mae are rich with bi­car­bon­ate, sul­phur and vol­canic min­er­als pro­vid­ing an ar­ray of health ben­e­fits such as im­prov­ing cir­cu­la­tion, boost­ing me­tab­o­lism, and strength­en­ing the im­mune sys­tem.

GUE­STROOMS

De­signed as a Tus­can villa on the ex­te­rior, the 90 mod­ern and up­scale gue­strooms at the Adler Ther­mae are spa­cious, and look out onto the gar­dens and out­door ther­mal pools with panoramic views of an­cient abbeys atop pic­turesque hills be­yond. The two room types – dou­ble su­pe­rior for 2-3 peo­ple, and fam­ily suite for 3 to 4 peo­ple (chil­dren over 4 years old are wel­come) – are both out­fit­ted with rich wood pan­el­ing and fur­nish­ings, floor to ceil­ing win­dows that bathe the room with nat­u­ral light, pri­vate ter­races or bal­conies, bio air-con­di­tion­ing with tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity in­di­vid­u­ally ad­justable, and a sit­ting area. The

bath­room in earth tones fea­tures a mar­ble bath­tub, huge walk-in-show­ers with rain­fall show­er­heads and be­spoke bath toi­letries made from lo­cal grapes and honey. There is free Wi-Fi and satel­lite TV although my fa­vorite thing to watch from the room was the steam com­ing off the pool in the early morn­ing as the sun rises over the hori­zon in an am­ber glow.

THER­MAL POOLS & SPA

Min­eral-laden wa­ter from nearby Bagno Vignoni comes out of the ground at 122°F (50°C) and cooled to 98°F (37°C) for the re­sort’s in­door and out­door ther­mal pools. Spread across the man­i­cured lawns are pools with var­i­ous tem­per­a­tures and strength of jets, wa­ter­falls, a fresh­wa­ter swim­ming pool with un­der­wa­ter hy­dro bikes, a chil­dren’s pool, and a Wild River chan­nel with a flow­ing cur­rent fea­ture.

Guests have un­lim­ited com­pli­men­tary ac­cess to the ther­mal cir­cuit which in­cludes salt and herbs-in­fused steam rooms to re­lax the mus­cles and pu­rify the skin, a Grotto steam bath and re­lax­ation cave, an out­door Watsu pool, a Fin­nish bio-sauna over the re­sort’s traver­tine lake, a “Panoram­ica” for­est sauna with a view of the Tus­can hills, and cold plunge pools to reg­u­late your body tem­per­a­ture. At an ex­tra cost, there is a Ra­sul bath with cu­ra­tive mud, or you can float in calm­ing still­ness at the ther­a­peu­tic Grotta Salina – a shal­low warm wa­ter pool filled with Dead Sea salts and flanked by a bronze pair of myth­i­cal grif­fons. There re­lax­ation area has two sto­ries with lounge chairs over­look­ing the lake and wa­terbeds for nap­ping.

The re­sort’s ex­ten­sive menu of spa and beauty treat­ments in­cor­po­rate the lat­est in well­ness tech­nol­ogy with mod­ern west­ern medicine, Asian heal­ing dis­ci­plines such as Ayurveda and Adler’s own bi-cos­met­ics line for both men and women. In the past few years, as more men are in­ter­est­ing in com­ing for the cu­ra­tive pow­ers of the ther­mal wa­ters, the re­sort of­fers anti-ag­ing and detox pro­grams tai­lored specif­i­cally for their male clien­tele. The Adler Med­i­cal has a team of doc­tors trained in lab­o­ra­tory and aes­thetic medicine as well as home­opa­thy, herbal medicine and nu­tri­tion. Guests can ar­range for a med­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion and check-ups, have a food in­tol­er­ance test and blood anal­y­sis at the in­house lab­o­ra­tory.

As be­fit­ting a spa re­treat in Tus­cany’s wine grow­ing re­gion, the Adler Ther­mae fea­tures sig­na­ture vinother­apy treat­ments in­cor­po­rat­ing red Brunello wine. My fa­vorite is the Diony­sus-wor­thy, Brunello Rit­ual where cou­ples soak by side-by-side in wine-in­fused, whirlpool baths fol­lowed by mas­sages with grape seed oil be­fore loung­ing on a wa­terbed for two while in­dulging in wine and eat­ing the re­gion’s cheeses.

Their new­est ex­clu­sive treat­ment is the Wa­ter Sen­sa­tion Mas­sage Ther­apy in ther­mal wa­ter that com­bines Ayurveda with Asian mas­sage tech­niques. Per­formed in the ho­tel’s 96°F pool sur­rounded by fo­liage for pri­vacy, guests wear floata­tion weights to help them stay near the wa­ter’s sur­face as their bod­ies are gen­tly guided and stretched by a ther­a­pist. The em­pha­sis is on the head, neck, shoul­ders, spine and hips and one devo­tee likens the ex­pe­ri­ence to “wa­ter bal­let com­bined with yoga el­e­ments”. The treat­ment is also avail­able in a cou­ples’ ses­sion.

DIN­ING

The courtyard din­ing room at the Adler Ther­mae is built around a large olive tree with an open re­tractable roof and arched win­dows over­look­ing lush gar­dens. Dur­ing the day, bring your sun­glasses, and in the evening, the room is ro­man­ti­cally lit up with can­dle­light as the stars above sparkle in the Tus­can sky. The re­sort’s in­clu­sive half-board pro­gram in­cludes break­fast and din­ner with an ex­ten­sive break­fast buf­fet spread with an egg sta­tion for made-to-or­der omelets, warm pas­tries (yes, cake for break­fast!), mul­ti­ple loaves of fresh-baked or­ganic breads in­clud­ing gluten-free, lo­cal char­cu­terie, freshly squeezed fruit and veg­etable juices, yo­gurts, ce­re­als, a huge se­lec­tion of fresh fruit and lo­cal hon­eys. A light lunch is avail­able at ex­tra cost in the din­ing room or at the cozy Os­te­ria in the park.

For din­ner, the cui­sine by Chef Gae­tano Vac­caro fea­tures light Mediter­ranean dishes as well gourmet Tus­can spe­cial­ties in­cor­po­rat­ing or­ganic herbs and pro­duce sourced from lo­cal farms Start with the scrump­tious an­tipasto buf­fet with char­cu­terie meats, cheeses, canapés and sal­ads be­fore se­lect­ing à la carte cour­ses such as the re­gional Pici pasta or the clas­sic Chi­an­ina beef Fiorentina. The wait staff is at­ten­tive and the kitchen can cater to a va­ri­ety of di­etary re­quire­ments. Save room for the ex­ten­sive of­fer­ings at the dessert buf­fet es­pe­cially the de­lec­ta­ble cho­co­late foun­tain which beck­ons me ev­ery evening. For the health and waist­line con­scious, guests can opt for the Adler Bal­ance menu con­sist­ing low-calo­rie se­lec­tions.

Pair your meal with bio-dy­namic San­giovese wines from the re­sort’s Tenuta Sanoner Win­ery which opened in Septem­ber 2016. With 30 hectares con­sist­ing of vine­yards and olive trees built on the Bagno Vignoni hill­side, the win­ery cur­rently pro­duces a 2015 Rosé which is 100% San­giovese with straw­berry fla­vors, a 2015 Ae­tos Rosé Sparkling made up mostly of San­giovese with a bit of Chardon­nay and Trieb­biano added, and the 2014 Rosso which is 100% San­giovese that is aged 12 months in both new French oak bar­rels and stain­less steel bar­rels.

AC­TIV­I­TIES & EX­CUR­SIONS

To work off all those de­li­cious calo­ries, the fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties are well-equipped with a gym stu­dio and out­door sports­ground, and classes range from Nordic walk­ing to pi­lates, hy­dro bik­ing, yoga (both in stu­dio and in wa­ter), TRX re­sis­tance train­ing, Tai Chi, and many more. You can also en­joy a per­son­al­ized fit­ness pro­gram with a per­sonal trainer, and there is a full-day kids pro­gram. Check out the Ho­tel Adler daily news­let­ter at break­fast which out­lines all of the day’s ac­tiv­i­ties and classes.

For hik­ing and bik­ing en­thu­si­asts, there are guided tours or GPS self-guided treks of var­i­ous lengths to dis­cover the scenic coun­try­side. You can ven­ture through 280 miles of sign-posted hik­ing trails, or cy­cle through over 600 miles of bike tracks past olive groves, vine­yards and Bene­dic­tine monas­ter­ies. The re­sort has com­pli­men­tary moun­tain bikes and e-bikes, with race bikes avail­able to rent. Horse­back rid­ing can also be ar­ranged. Guided hikes in San Quirico d’Or­cia are of­fered sev­eral times a week stop­ping at a win­ery and an or­ganic cheese farm where you can sam­ple the ex­cel­lent lo­cal Per­corino cheese.

Well worth an ex­cur­sion are Pienza, Mon­tepul­ciano and Mon­tal­cino in and around Val d’Or­cia. The Adler Ther­mae has mini vans and chauf­feured cars for vis­its to these me­dieval hill­top towns. Pienza is the largest of the three vil­lages and filled with 15th-cen­tury stone build­ings such as the sum­mer res­i­dence of Pope Pius II, and bou­tiques sell­ing lo­cal hand­i­crafts and Tus­can leather goods, wine and cheese shops. Dur­ing the sum­mer months, there are evening mu­sic con­certs in the Duomo di Pienza. Mon­tal­cino is well-known for its Brunello wine and there are nu­mer­ous winer­ies sur­round­ing the town to sam­ple the vin­tages at their source. Mon­tepul­ciano, with its clock tower and Re­nais­sance palaz­zos, has ap­peared in nu­mer­ous films and TV dra­mas such The Medi­cis: Mas­ters of Florence, The Twi­light Saga - New Moon, Un­der the Tus­can Sun and The English Pa­tient.

Bagno Vignoni is the clos­est vil­lage and a short walk away from the Adler Ther­mae Re­sort & Spa. In the past, Bagno Vignoni was a rest­ing and heal­ing point for Chris­tian

pil­grims trav­el­ing the Via Fran­ci­gena on their way to Rome. Past il­lus­tri­ous vis­i­tors have in­cluded St. Cather­ine of Siena and Lorenzo the Mag­nif­i­cent. In­stead of a tra­di­tional town square, there is a rec­tan­gu­lar hot springs pool which is the orig­i­nal source of ther­mal wa­ter from a sub­ter­ranean aquifer. You can’t swim there but you can en­joy a drink or a gelato at the nu­mer­ous cafes that sur­round the pool. Then head back to the Adler Ther­mae Re­sort & Spa for an­other bliss­ful day of heal­ing, re­lax­ation and well­ness un­der the Tus­can sun.

Adler Ther­mae Re­sort & Spa Strada di Bagno Vignoni 1 53027 San Quirico d’Or­cia

Tus­cany, Italy

Tel: +39 0577 889 000 Fax: +39 0577 889 999

Rates start at €198 per per­son, per night, in­clud­ing half-board. Ac­cess to the ther­mal cir­cuit, pools, fit­ness area and classes is com­pli­men­tary. Spa treat­ments cost ex­tra. De­pend­ing on the time of the year, a 3 or 4 night min­i­mum stay may ap­ply.

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