Venice spas are as luxurious as they come. Enjoy a massage in Casanova’s garden or have a steam bath in a former 17th-century palace – just a couple of the treatment options available in Italy’s most romantic city.
As a city so strongly associated with romance and indulgence, it comes as no surprise that Venice excels when it comes to opulent pampering treatments. Hidden down the cobbled canalways are spas offering ludicrously lavish rituals – many devised with couples in mind – and relaxing bubbly pools. Just beyond the city, wellness resorts take full advantage of the Veneto region’s natural bounty: thermal springs and mineral-rich mud. Adding one of these spas to your Venice itinerary will make visiting the city of love an even dreamier experience.
The spa at Aman Venice is tucked out of sight on the mezzanine level, comprised of three serene private rooms with wood-beamed ceilings and touches of white marble. Treatments at Aman spas are all unique to their specific destination, taking inspiration from traditional therapies and environmental stressors. In Venice, the hotel recommends the signature foot treatment to soothe achy soles after a day getting lost along the city’s canals. It begins with an exfoliation using pink Himalayan salt crystals, followed by a foot and leg massage with a blend of peppermint and arnica oils – an old treatment for soreness and swelling. To conclude the treatment, the therapist wraps your feet in a hot compress while administering a hand or head massage.
Hotel Ai Reali refers to its wellness centre as a “royal spa”, a nod to the hotel’s original incarnation as a 17th-century palace. Hop from the dry sauna to the Turkish steam room, then soak in the jacuzzi as light filtered through stained glass windows saturates the bubbles with rainbow hues. Afterwards, make an appointment with the hotel’s team of skilled massage therapists. Inspired by the city of love, the Reali Wellness Spa offers a selection of couples rituals and pre-wedding treatments designed for two, which promise to up the ante when it comes to romance.
The Lanna people of northern Thailand are known for their indigenous wellness traditions, which seek to restore balance in the body by incorporating the elements: earth, wind, water and fire. At Lanna Gaia, a rejuvenation centre located on the Venice Lido, this ancient wisdom is channelled into no fewer than 14 massage types. The most popular treatment is tok sen, a traditional Lanna massage where relaxing vibrations are created by tapping a stick (not just any stick – this one is from a special tamarind tree that was struck by lightning) across the body, releasing tension from the muscles and stimulating the nerve endings to increase blood circulation.
Bibione Thermae bills itself as a “thermal establishment”, which should give you some indication of how legitimate this place is. Situated an hour-and-a-half away by car from Venice in the seaside town of Bibione, it combines medically focused treatments like injury rehab and diagnostic testing with straight-up pampering. The thermal spa is huge, complete with indoor and outdoor pools with waterfalls, hydro-massage beds, and geyser-like features – all fed by natural, mineral-rich springs 500 metres (1,600 feet) below ground. Elsewhere on the property, you’ll find dry saunas, Turkish baths, herbal baths, treatment rooms and relaxation areas – more than enough to fill a day trip from Venice.
The Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s garden, full of pink roses and pergolas woven with wisteria, is where adventurer, author and famed lothario Casanova used to woo his lovers. When visiting its spa, it feels fitting to book the romance ritual for two – a scented footbath and all-over exfoliation, followed by a soak in a giant bathtub and a treatment in the couple’s suite. If you’re solo, book a massage inspired by traditional techniques from Thai, Balinese, Indian, and Hawaiian cultures, or a body treatment created by phytocosmetic (plant-based cosmetics) brand Mei SPA, which employs skin-friendly extracts from Italian wild plants.
Terme di Relilax Boutique Hotel & Spa has been a wellness getaway since opening in 1892. Based in the municipality of Montegrotto, about a 45-minute drive from Venice, the resort includes a full-service spa, three mineral pools and two seasonal health-focused restaurants. Start your visit with a consultation, during which the guest relations manager will tailor a personalised program of treatments for you, utilising thermal water and mud – natural, local resources which are said to have healing and beautifying properties.
After a day exploring the historic canalways and sights of the city, a few hours at the Gritti Palace’s namesake spa will get you loosened up for a lavish dinner. If you’re feeling flush, book a session in a private spa suite. Couples can share joint access to the steam bath and chromatic waterfall showers, enjoy a customised massage, then relax with champagne and fresh berries. Alternatively, romance yourself with a private aromatic Turkish steam bath and luxurious lounging appointment for one.
Duelling elephant statues greet you at the entrance of Thai Spa, a 25-room massage studio located in the mainland area of Mestre that is decked out in opulent gold and red furnishings. Unsurprisingly, this place specialises in Thai massage: from the classic rhythmic technique that stretches and kneads the muscles to oil-based treatments, and even ones that utilise hot herbal compresses to loosen the body. Equally delightful are the bath rituals, where you’ll soak in a tub full of aromatic oils, coconut milk and petals to soothe and soften the skin.