Caroline Sylger Jones reviews this delightful spa retreat in Tuscany in Italy and bonds with her family in privacy and comfort
I have been to ADLER Spa Resort THERMAE three times now and always loved my visits. The most recent was for a week with my husband Tom and daughter Annoushka for some serious family bonding in privacy and comfort. Most of the guests are Italian and we don’t speak the language, but this suited us, as we kind of disappeared into the cosy bubble of each other’s company.
We loved the simple space of our room, tripping down to the thermal pools all together in our white robes (little one clad in her own provided by the hotel) and taking time over meals. I would wake early and do yoga on our balcony (we visited late October and yet it was still sunny enough) while Annoushka slept and Tom, tempted by the steam coming off the hot water pool, took a pre-breakfast bathe followed by lengths in the cool pool.
We borrowed e-bikes one Sunday morning for a cycle ride through the Tuscan hills to the local town of St Qualico D’Orcia, arriving in the town just as the church bells were peeling, and we ambled a few times around the pretty little spa town of Bagno Vignoni, but we spent most of our time swimming in the large pool or hanging out in the thermal pool, with my husband and I taking it in terms to have treatments or use the sauna and steam rooms.
‘Annoushka enjoyed her very first massage here – a 20 minute ‘Chocolate Massage’ with a friendly therapist called Kristina who used olive oil infused with chocolate essence and was gentle and kind’
Tom reported an ‘awesome, thorough and deep’ Thai massage and Annoushka enjoyed her very first massage here – a 20 minute ‘Chocolate Massage’ with a friendly therapist called Kristina who used olive oil infused with chocolate essence and was gentle and kind. After, my daughter reported she felt ‘very tired’ (which I assume meant relaxed) and that she ‘wanted more’. I was impressed that they gave her a cupcake magnet, rather than a real chocolate one too.
Apart from a short but expertly hydrating bespoke facial with Elisa on my last night to make up for all the pool and sun action, and a friendly hair trim with Laura, I was on a bodywork journey here, trying to sort out very tight shoulders from too much computer work. Treatments were consistently good, usually carried out to a mix of piano and other classical music. I had a strong ‘physio-therapeutic’ massage with Claudia (though wasn’t convinced by her pronouncement that ‘a two hour strong massage is too much for the body’ – for me, it’s just right!), and a good deep tissue massage with Simone, who had kind brown eyes and encouraged me to breathe through my mouth throughout to help me relax more.
I also had a ‘Kerala’ – or ayurvedic oil massage – with Raymondo, who is an osteopath, and whose massage felt far more osteopathic than it did ayurvedic. If you want a 100% nurturing experience, do ask for the right therapist – whilst both Simone and Raymond were good, I wasn’t entirely sure what either of them were going to do next, so couldn’t entirely relax – by contrast, my Master Ayurvedic sesame oil massage with Dr Babu, was deep, nourishing and induced in me a feeling of total peace.
This is a very reasonably priced spa resort for the standard of service and facilities you get, and we took home clean, clear, brown soft skins, tension-free bodies and happy hearts.