I want my zen mood back, I said the other day. Therefore, I will travel around the world to find it! Here are 5 beautiful escapes in the amazing Spa hotels in Europe.
Argentario Golf Resort and Spa, Porto Ercole, Italy
Do you think that Tuscany only means Florence and the terracotta buildings in some vineyards? Well, I have discovered a few years ago that there is another part of Tuscany as beautiful as the famous one, the southern one, wilder and (still) undiscovered. Not far away from Rome, heading to the natural park of Maremma and all the little towns near the sea, in Porto Ercole, in Tuscany’s Monte Argentario Peninsula, the Augusto Orsini managed to imagine a beautiful hotel & Spa in the middle of an golf course.
The highlights: Why a Spa here? Because the calm and the beauty of the place make you dream at the summer holiday, while you recharge your batteries: the Spa treatments are based largely on organic products. Try the delicious meals ar Dama Dama Restaurant and The Bar, specialized in locally inspired cuisine made from indigenous ingredients. Take a walk to the Giannella beach and try the best ice-cream in the world (I still remember how it tasted!) in Orbetello. (Argentario Golf Resort and Spa, Porto Ercole, Italy is member of Design Hotels™.)
Pedras Salgada Spa & Nature Park, Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal
In a little town in Portugal you can have not only a beautiful Spa, but a eco-friendly accommodation. That’s because the hotel is, in fact, composed of 12 modular eco-houses and two tree-houses, designed by architect Luis Rebelo de Andrade.
The perfect day here? After a good night sleep in the middle of the nature, with an amazing view over the trees and lush vegetation around, you can try he wonders of the thermal Spa, a 19th century one, that includes a pool, hammam, sauna, Vichy shower: all of the treatments benefit from the Pedras Salgadas historic mineral springs. For the sporty ones, the bike trails are waiting! (Pedras Salgada Spa & Nature Park, Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal is member of Design Hotels™.)
The Thief, Oslo, Norway
Oslo is not the usual Nordic city, I was about to discover when I landed there for the first time: as soon as I got away from the city center and I headed to Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (one of my favorite so far in the world), I discovered a new town. More light, with a lot of wood and glass, a beautiful new district with a touch of Scandinavian art& design.
Why The Thief? Because the hotel overlooks the canals of Tjuvholmen and the Oslofjord, with most of its 119 bespoke rooms offering brilliant waterfront views and the interior artwork pieces were selected famed curator Sune Nordgren. And because you cannot go to Oslo without trying the Finnish sauna at its home ground. (The Thief, Oslo, Norway is member of Design Hotels™.)
La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel, Spa and Villas, France
Let’s forget for a minute about the beaches of Saint-Tropez, and move a little bit higher, on a hilltop. Because I know I will switch, anytime, a party on the beach with a day at Spa. So, La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel, Spa and Villas should be the perfect choice.
The reasons to choose it? First of all, those 1,000-square-meter spa are seamlessly integrated into La Réserve’s private domain, a gorgeous pine-covered expanse. Then, I love the view of the Mediterranean Sea from the private terraces or scented garden. But most of all, I love this destination because its enormous Spa, very zen-like and very white includes 10 treatment cabins, indoor pool, fitness studio, steam bath and solarium. But it is also perfect if you want to have a special program: stress reduction, slimming, detoxify or beauty treatments. (La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel, Spa and Villas, France is member of Design Hotels™.)
Mainport, Rotterdan, The Netherlands
Overlooking the port of the Rotterdam, Mainport hotel is a perfect choice for a weekend retreat. Especially when you want all the zen from a Spa but you don’t want to be isolated in a top of a mountain. Therefore, many Mainport’s rooms (designed by Feran Thomassen) offer facilities usually reserved for hotel spas, such as oversized hot tubs or private Finnish saunas.
The plus: Spa Heaven will be waiting for you with Turkish steam room and rejuvenating hammam complex. Wide glass windows wrap around the waterfront building, allowing guests to see and feel the vibrancy of the inner harbor. For the evening, try Down Under restaurant; chefs offer a culinary world tour with a menu that includes everything from Argentinian steaks to Japanese sashimi. (Mainport, Rotterdan, The Netherlands is member of Design Hotels™.)
Bookings through www.designhotels.com or via the appropriate toll-free number.
Photo: Design Hotels™