The spa was located on the ground floor of the Adler Thermae Spa and Relax Resort Tuscany, in the town of Bagno Vignoni, known since Etruscan times for its therapeutic thermal spring waters. I took a sneak peak of the spa facilities while standing in the outside entryway of the hotel, which offered a lovely bird’s eye view of a peaceful and well-manicured outdoor garden built next to a hillside made of travertine marble. Surrounding the top of the travertine walls were brightly colored flowers and plants typical of the region. At the center of the garden was a light green mini lake filled with thermal water that had a wooden footbridge leading to a relaxation area, Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath and Watsu (treatment area for shiatsu massages in thermal water). The infrastructure of the Tuscan-style villa in which the hotel and spa were housed was made of white travertine marble and walnut wood. The décor, simple yet tasteful, blended a classic Tuscan villa style with a clean modern design.
In the waiting area next to the spa reception desk on the ground floor of the hotel, I enjoyed the views through large glass windows of the hotel’s thermal pool with indoor and outdoor sections, and the breathtaking Tuscan countryside serving as the backdrop.
My first treatment, the Brunello Ritual, was a 45-minute relaxation massage with Tuscan red grape seed oil, followed by a 12-minute soak in a tub filled with bubbling warm water and Brunello wine from Montalcino to enhance blood circulation, followed by 15 minutes of relaxing on a waterbed while nibbling on a plate of four distinct pecorino cheeses and sipping a glass of Brunello wine. At the conclusion of the Brunello Ritual treatment I was mentally and physically relaxed while at the same time I had a feeling of increased blood circulation.
The next day, I had the Poppea Massage, a 50-minute relaxation massage in which the therapist used a deliciously scented cream made from locally produced honey and sheep’s milk, immediately followed by the Excellence Anti-aging Facial. While I enjoyed all three treatments, I was most impressed with the Excellence Anti-aging Facial. On our third day at Adler Thermae Spa and Relax Resort Tuscany, my husband and I visited the sauna and steam rooms surrounding the thermal water lake that I had seen from the entryway of the hotel. By sunset, I had reached a new state of relaxation that I don’t ever remember experiencing before spending time at Adler Spa.
After two consecutive days of spa treatments followed by an afternoon of enjoying the steam and sauna rooms and relaxation area, I left Adler Spa in a strikingly better mental and physical state than when I arrived. Because I wanted to experience treatments unique to the spa and the Tuscan region, I was happy with my choices of the Brunello Ritual, the Poppea massage, and the Excellence Anti-aging Facial treatments, which utilized bio-cosmetics made from local products, as well as ingredients from the Italian Alps. The calming atmosphere, attractive décor, high quality organic products, and the talented staff who seemed genuinely dedicated to providing outstanding treatments made Adler spa a relaxing and unforgettable experience for me.
Location Within the 15-acre grounds of Adler Thermae Spa and Relax Resort Tuscany
Number Of Staff 42
Owned-Managed The Sanoner family
Size The spa had approximately 3,500 square meters of indoor and outdoor space including indoor and outdoor thermal pools, treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, mini thermal lake, humidity rooms, locker rooms, showers, and front desk area.
Staff Training Maria Bonella Pinzi received the following training: Chiropractic course at the Italian National Association of Prana therapists, Ayurveda Massaggio with Sirio Carrapa Master, Shiatsu School at Zen Monastery Il Cerchio di Milano with Master Tetsugen Serra, Zen Shiatsu School third level at Shin Shiatsu in Abbadia San Salvatore (SI) with Master Libano Rossi, Reiki first and second level, Reflexology at Shin Shiatsu School of Abbadia San Salvatore (SI) with Libano Rossi Master, and Course of Andean-Peruvian Massagewith Curandero H.H. Mamani of Peru.
Veronica Maione studied at the School of Estetician A.M.E Aurea Mediterranea in Cosenza, Italy. She had four years of training in facial treatments and relaxation massage. According to Minnie Romano, spa manager, Adler Spa invests a significant amount of money in additional training for the spa staff. Management constantly keeps an eye on trends and demands in the spa world and when a kind of treatment is in high demand, they have experts in that area come to the spa to offer training to certify the staff in these techniques.
Treatment Rooms The Brunello Ritual took place in a spotlessly clean candlelit room with rich deep colors large enough for couples and bigger than any spa treatment room I had ever seen. It included two massage beds, two bathtubs, a standup shower area and a waterbed for two.
The Poppea massage and Excellence Anti-aging Facial took place in two separate rooms just down the hall from the couples treatment room. In contrast to the windowless couples treatment room, these rooms were filled with natural light that complemented their soft yellow walls. With white shades on the window that provided privacy, these rooms faced the outdoor garden area and were simply but pleasantly designed with walnut-colored wooden floors and white bedding. While the ambience of the first room was dark and enigmatic (but still conducive to relaxing), these rooms were warm yet soothing.
Year Opened-Renovated The spa first opened in 2004 and each January it closes for maintenance and upkeep of its facilities. The management planned to add a relaxation room in January of 2013.
Facilities There were 21 treatment rooms: private massage rooms (one had a Vichy shower), private facial rooms, a couples treatment room, an aromatherapy room, an Aqua Baths room, a Terra body treatment room, a Fango packs room, Ayurvedic treatment rooms, and oriental massage rooms. There was also a steam sauna with Tuscan herbs (the Aremisia), an Etruscan sauna with salt steam (Salino), a Finnish olive wood sauna (Olivae), a Turkish-style steam bath in a cave (Grotta del Filosofo), an underground salt bath (Grotta Salina), a Watsu with thermal water, and a clay bath room (Argillae). There was also a beauty shop where guests could purchase exclusive Adler Spa bio-cosmetics and beauty items made from local products. Outside the immediate spa area, guests had access to the indoor and outdoor gymnasium (with the option of private coaching), a coiffeur, and a manicure and pedicure station.
Pools Spa guests had access to the hotel’s thermal pool with indoor and outdoor sections, the children’s fun pool, and the 25-meter freshwater sports pool. Next to the outdoor pools, guests had the option of paying extra to enter the Salt Water Grotto, a spa treatment, a thermal water pool with Dead Sea salt.
Other The spa had been recognized as 2011 World’s Best Spa by Trip Advisor and World’s Best Wine Spa by gayot.com that same year.
While check-out from the hotel was at 11 a.m., we had the option of paying 50 euros per person to access spa facilities for the day, or 100 euros a day to access spa facilities and have access to a hotel room. While it was possible for non-hotel guests to pay 50 euros and book at least one spa treatment in order to access the spa for the day, the hotel staff did not advertise this day spa option because they preferred that hotel guests be the primary clients and have optimal appointment options for spa treatments. Eighty percent of spa guests were repeat hotel guests, staying at the hotel two to three times a year for an average stay of four days.
Date Of Review June 2012
Number Of Treatments Three
Reviewers Article by Laura Scheiber
Photos by Matthew James Harris
Treatments Experienced The Brunello Ritual, the first treatment I received, began with a 45-minute full body massage. Using a generous amount of red grape seed oil, my massage therapist, Veronica Maione, applied soft pressure in long strokes along my back, arms legs, feet, stomach, feet, chest and head. The time seemed to fly by and because I was in such a relaxed state by the end of the massage, I am not sure how I would have made it from the massage table to the nearby bathtub for my follow-up hydro massage had it not been for Veronica’s help. She made sure my head was comfortably placed against a rolled up towel on the tub’s edge and then added a pitcher of Brunello wine to the bathtub before leaving me to enjoy the effects of the warm water and wine. Bubbles erupted from all directions and cool water sprouted from the bottom of the tub which contrasted in a pleasant way with the warm bath water. About 12 minutes later, another person came in and helped me into my robe and onto a nearby waterbed, leaving a plate of four distinctly-aged pecorino cheeses and a 2007 glass of Brunello from the Conti Costanti Vineyard. I took my time savoring the different flavors of the cheese and appreciated how well each of them went with the Brunello wine. After getting dressed, I sat outside in the garden area in my robe and enjoyed my state of bliss thanks to the Brunello Ritual. A gentle breeze kept me cool while I took in the hot Tuscan sun.
The next day my spa experience began with the Poppea massage. With over 20 years of massage experience, Maria Bonella Pinzi executed a delightful 50-minute Swedish massage using a thick cream made from locally-produced honey and sheep’s milk. Already sold on the delicious scent of the honey fragrance, I later learned that the honey in the cream was aged for at least three years. This meant that it contained concentrated amounts of sugars, which was thought to be good for the skin. I was impressed that Maria Bonella pinpointed my trouble spots without me mentioning them to her.
Already feeling like a loose noodle, my massage was immediately followed up with the Excellence Anti-aging Facial which began with cleansing and toning lotions. Monica, the same person who gave me a massage during the Brunello Ritual, gently massaged my face with a thick cream that had a high concentration of melatonin. At this point I started drifting off because her massage technique was so soothing. A few minutes later, she applied a skin masque that also had a high concentration of melatonin. After the masque, Monica applied a special skin serum and a melatonin-rich cream. Integrated into the facial was a fantastic head and foot massage. I was out cold by the end of the treatment. Monica is a talented massage and facial therapist with a special touch conducive to relaxation. Part of the reason she impressed me was because she seemed to truly enjoy her work and appeared dedicated to ensuring I had excellent treatments.
Would You Return? Yes