The Best Spa Hotels in Italy for a Wellness Retreat

Take a dip in a rooftop jacuzzi at Rome Cavalieri with amazing views over the Eternal City
Take a dip in a rooftop jacuzzi at Rome Cavalieri with amazing views over the Eternal City | Courtesy of Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort / Expedia
Ellie Hurley

Contributor

From gourmet food to surf-licked beaches, and from bountiful wine regions to thrilling cities, Italy is known for the good life – or, as they call it here, la dolce vita. And the Italian wellness scene is no exception. From urban hotels with rambling spas to health retreats tucked in the mountains, Italy is brimming with brilliant stays that help you unwind and feel revived. Whether you’re looking for a great massage or a full-on restorative getaway, here are the best wellness retreats in Italy – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Castelbrando, near Treviso

Independent Hotel

The imposing Castelbrando castle perched on a hill overlooking the rolling prosecco wine region in the Veneto, Italy
Courtesy of Castelbrando / Expedia

One of the oldest and largest castles in Europe, Castelbrando looks as if it’s been plucked from a fairytale. Perched on a hill overlooking the rolling prosecco wine region, the postcard-worthy pile has opulent rooms and two popular restaurants. The Princess Gaia spa is set in one of the oldest parts of the castle, among ancient mosaics, and is furnished with a swimming pool, hammam and saunas.

2. Grand Hotel Terme, Sirmione

Spa Hotel

Indoor spa space with jacuzzi, sauna and indoor-outdoor deck overlooking Lake Garda at Grand Hotel Terme, Sirmione
Courtesy of Grand Hotel Terme / Expedia

Just the setting of the Grand Hotel Terme, overlooking the glittering waters of Lake Garda in the resort town of Sirmione, is enough to invoke instant relaxation. The blue vista stretches out from the windows of your bedroom – itself dressed in aquamarine shades – as well as the elegant L’Orangerie restaurant and lounger-lined terrace. The airy spa is also focussed on water, with thermal spring baths and mud on offer, said to be beneficial for a host of respiratory and skin conditions.

3. Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Florence

Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel, Luxury

The largest private garden in Florence, from the 15th century, with statues, fountains and trees at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Firenze / Expedia

You might not expect to find a rambling green space in the heart of Florence, but that’s exactly what you get at this Four Seasons – the largest private garden in the city, with statues, fountains and mature trees. Dating to the 15th century, these grounds are a great place to clear your head after a day of sightseeing, especially in summer, when you can make use of the swimming pool. On cooler days, retreat to the glam hotel spa for a 24-carat gold facial.

4. Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, Rome

Hotel, Luxury

Spa treatment room with glimmering silver mosaic floors and wall and rose-coloured lighting at Rome Cavalieri
Courtesy of Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort / Expedia
A vision in marble, the thermal baths in the Cavalieri spa wouldn’t look out of place in a Roman emperor’s villa. The rest of the experience is equally opulent, with revitalising facials infused with caviar (yes, really) and body treatments featuring chocolate or Damask rose. Make time for a plunge in the indoor pool, lined with windows to let the Italian sunlight pour in – and for dinner in La Pergola, the only three-Michelin-star restaurant in Rome.

5. Relais Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

Lush outdoor swimming pool area with lavender plants, olive trees and plush loungers at Relais Borgo Santo Pietro in Tuscany
Courtesy of Relais Borgo Santo Pietro / Expedia

At Borgo Santo Pietro, spa treatments start in the garden – this luxurious Italian spa resort, more village than hotel, sources fresh, organic herbs and blooms from its grounds for use in its facials and massages. Meanwhile, the tranquil pampering sessions take place in a romantic space, lined with old stone and filled with flickering candles and hanging chandeliers. Sign up for a Tuscan candle massage, where soothing wax infused with hydrating shea butter is massaged onto your skin.

6. Fonteverde, Tuscany

Resort, Hotel, Villa

Indoor-outdoor spa lit up at night with thermal waters overlooking the Tuscan hills at Fonteverde
Courtesy of Fonteverde / Expedia
Looking for a wellness experience that goes deeper than a basic aromatherapy massage? Try this luxurious resort set in a Medici palace outside Siena. As well as the usual indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centre and massage menu, you can sign up for targeted programmes such as fasting diets, face peels or anti-cellulite treatments. Of course, with thermal waters overlooking the Tuscan hills and soothing mud massages, relaxation is a priority, too.

7. Borgo Egnazia, Puglia

Villa

Dancers perform traditional Puglian dances in front of diners in the evening at Borgo Egnazia, Puglia
Courtesy of Borgo Egnazia, Puglia / Expedia

With a 360-degree approach to wellness, the spa at Borgo Egnazia – a rambling resort hotel inspired by a traditional Puglian village – has an unusual roster of treatments on which theatre, music and dance workshops join mindfulness sessions and sound-bath therapies to boost your happiness holistically. They’re a fun way to bookend a day at the pretty spa, otherwise filled with soaks in the Roman baths, expert manicures and pool dips.

8. Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti, Dolomites

Spa Hotel, Resort, Chain Hotel

Indoor-outdoor spa area with loungers looking out to snow-covered mountains at Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti in Italy
Courtesy of Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti / Expedia

Coddled by the soaring peaks of the Dolomites, this Val Gardena spa hotel is a favourite with nature lovers – you can spend summer days on lush hikes, and winters skiing through fresh powder. Whatever the season, after a day outside you’ll return to a spectacular spa, complete with saltwater floatation pool, saunas and tranquil relaxation areas. More than two dozen therapists, doctors and beauticians are on hand to pamper you with everything from qigong sessions to hi-tech radio frequency facials.

9. Hotel Millepini Thermal Spa, near Padua

Spa Hotel

Mauve-cushioned seating in front of the outdoor pool and jacuzzi at Hotel Millepini Thermal Spa near Padua, Italy
Courtesy of Hotel Millepini Thermal Spa / Expedia
Just outside Padua in northeast Italy lie the Euganean Hills, a volcanic region with a high concentration of natural hot springs, many of which now exclusively feed spas and resorts. The Hotel Millepini Thermal Spa is one of the most popular and offers a range of fangotherapy treatments. Fango, or mud, from the nearby Lake Costa is mixed with thermal water and kept at 38C (100F) for 60 days. The resulting bacteria are said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat a number of ailments and illnesses, as well as making for a soothing spa treatment.

10. Bagni Vecchi di Bormio, Bormio

Natural Feature

A woman looks out from a dramatic infinity pool toward snow-covered valley and mountains at Bagni Vecchi di Bormio, Italy
Courtesy of Bagni Vecchi di Bormio / Expedia
On the edge of the Stelvio National Park in the Italian Alps are the Bagni Vecchi, or old baths, of Bormio. Snowy peaks, winding mountain valleys and unspoilt alpine flora provide the backdrop to these ancient hot springs. They were used as far back as Roman times, and both Pliny the Elder and Leonardo da Vinci are said to have taken a dip here. As well as relaxing in a cave that holds original Roman baths, you can melt away stress in a natural Turkish bath set 50m (164ft) into the rock face and admire the views of the Bormio basin from the outdoor infinity pool.

11. Verdura Spa, Sicily

Spa Hotel

Parasols and lounge chairs sit on a beach backed by greenery as a windsurfer glides through the water at Verdura Spa in Sicily
Courtesy of Verdura Spa / Expedia
If lounging in pools all day and lying still for a massage is not your idea of fun, an active stay at Verdura Spa in Sicily might be more your thing. These seven-night retreats take place in the sun-drenched setting of Sciacca, a seaside town near Agrigento on the southwestern coast of Sicily. As well as the usual programmes focussed on stress management or detoxing, you can choose from more intense retreats packed with exercise classes to aid weight loss, or even a week of private tennis coaching.

12. Castel Monastero, near Siena

Spa Hotel

Aerial view of 11th-century monastery turned luxury resort Castel Monastero with stone buildings and multi-level pool, Siena
Courtesy of Castel Monastero / Expedia
An 11th-century monastery and later a walled hamlet, Castel Monastero is a luxury resort tucked into the Tuscan hills not far from Siena. The rural yet refined stone buildings that make up the complex are home to elegant hotel suites, a gourmet restaurant (where Gordon Ramsay is consultant chef) and, of course, a spa. Castel Monastero offers wellness with a purpose: book three- or seven-day programmes tailored towards anti-aging, detox or weight loss. It’s even used as a sanctuary for patients recovering from cosmetic surgery.

13. Kaliyoga Retreat, Puglia

Spa Hotel

Kaliyoga runs a number of wellness retreats across Europe, but the base in Puglia is especially stunning. This sunny region that forms the heel of Italy’s boot is characterised by dry-stone walls, rows of twisted olive trees and distinctive stone houses with cone-shaped roofs called trulli, the latter of which provide the accommodation for the retreat. Here, you can practise yoga in a traditional Puglian farmhouse. Natural health treatments such as reflexology and massage complement the sessions, while the alcohol-free, vegetarian menu is prepared using the best produce from local farms.

14. Lefay Resort and Spa, Lake Garda

Spa Hotel

A lounge chair sits on a lawn in front of an infinity pool with panoramic view of Lake Garda at Lefay Resort and Spa, Italy
Courtesy of Lefay Resort and Spa / Expedia

Set in 11ha (27 acres) of gently rolling hills, woodland and olive groves overlooking Lake Garda, Lefay Resort and Spa is a wellness retreat in Italy as kind to the environment as it is to aching bodies. The building itself was designed to blend in with the environment both inside and out – natural materials from the local area were used for the interiors, while the outdoor infinity pool appears to merge seamlessly into the lake. Eco-credentials aside, the spa has indoor and outdoor saltwater pools, six saunas at varying levels of temperature and humidity, an ice pool and a nature and fitness area where you can take part in outdoor exercise classes.

Emma Law contributed additional reporting to this article.
For more plush hotels in Italy, discover our guide to the best hotels in Siena, Italy, bookable on Culture Trip.

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