Karen visits Terme di SaturniaKaren Nyoni
Karen Nyoni is a spa enthusiast and one of our wellness consultants. She recently visited Terme di Saturnia and was kind enough to share her travel blog with us.
What could be better than a nice weekend in the Tuscan sunshine? Not much! So I set off for a 2 night stay at Terme di Saturnia located in the rolling hills of Tuscany's Maremma region. It is just under 2 hours drive from Rome making it perfect for a short getaway.
The hotel blends very nicely into the surrounding countryside with its traditional Tuscan stone exterior. The décor in the room is a mix of Italian chic and functionality. I stayed in a deluxe room which is very spacious it even has a walk in wardrobe (every woman should have one of these) and a nice seating area to chill out. I just have time to unpack before it is time to head to the spa, I know it’s a tough job. Personally I am not a great lover of facials as I tend to prefer a full body pampering session, however, the DNA facial is one of the treatments the Ultimate Spa specialise in and as it has been recommended to me I head over to the spa.
At the main spa reception I am met and directed to the waiting area. The Ultimate Spa is like a spa within the spa, it is 6 luxury treatments rooms located upstairs. My therapist doesn’t speak much English and my Italian is limited to mostly restaurant ordering phrases, however, this doesn’t faze me for the treatment as I prefer absolute peace and tranquility during a spa treatment. She has a magic touch and perfect pressure; I lost count how many different lotions were gently applied and massaged into my face including the very special mask made from Arctic Ice! It was so relaxing I fell asleep - I just hope I wasn’t snoring or drooling (it didn’t help the heated massage bed is so comforting and relaxing). After a blissful hour I am finished and my face feels like the skin of a new-born baby honestly! I am shown to the separate relax area for post treatment relaxation; it is all I can do to peel myself off the bed and down to my room to get ready for dinner.
Dinner tonight is at the Aqualuce restaurant and we leave ourselves in the capable hand of the restaurant manager who has selected a fish menu for us to sample. The food here is traditional Tuscan cuisine, using organic and bio-dynamic products which combine to give the best gastronomy with the wellness content too. For those who want to follow a more restricted diet there is a specific spa wellness menu available or dishes indicated on the main menu. The four courses are all exquisite from the fish sashimi to the, seafood pasta, the sea bass as the main course and of course room for a light sorbet to finish off the meal.
After a restful sleep, I had breakfast early the next morning. A buffet style with healthy fruit, muesli, continental meats and cheeses, the usual array of bread choices and some hot selections, other hot food can be ordered to be cooked. Many guests sit in their robe and slippers ready to head out to the thermal springs later. It is very relaxed and no need to dress for breakfast.
I would recommend venturing out to the nearby town of Pitigliano which is about 30 mins from the hotel. It is known as Little Jerusalem because of its historic Jewish population who sought refuge in the late 1500’s. It is a lovely old city with narrow paths full of interesting little shops and a good choice of restaurants and well worth a visit. The views of the surrounding countryside are breathtakingly beautiful as only Tuscany can be on a lovely clear day. The town was so captivating we stayed for lunch; we selected some local delicacies of soup and pasta, and it was finished off nicely with a Limoncello the Italian lemon liqueur.
Back at the hotel and I am somewhat nervous as I have a golf lesson on the driving range (if you want to spa and your partner wants to play golf it is the perfect place to be!). I quickly find out that there is more to golf than I ever imagined and whilst trying to remember everything I have been told by the Golf pro I keep missing my ball! So I decided not to over-think and hit a perfect shot! Some putting practice follows; I quickly decide golf is not for me…..
As I excelled at my first ever golfing lesson, well survived - without hitting anyone with a ball or my club surprising myself! I decide its time to venture for some relaxation. I don my swimsuit, fluffy white bathrobe and complimentary flip flops and set off for my first experience of the thermal Springs. Surrounding the main pool are a collection of Jacuzzi type baths, these have the ‘cleaned’ version of the Spring water. I start here in one of the pools for around 10-15 mins which is the recommended time to start off with, then you have to come out. There is not a cloud in the Blue sky though the temperature is still less than 10 degrees, this makes the 35 degrees water feel lovely and warm. I sit back and let the water relax and cleanse me. I am yet to master the art form of getting out of the water and back into my robe without feeling the chill.
Next I go to explore the main pool, I must say doesn’t look as inviting with its floating black algae, you can’t see the bottom either, so I continue walking and head for the Roman Baths and take a quick dip before opting for a warming steam in the authentic Turkish Bath. The main pool is busy mostly with local Italians sitting along the concrete shelf at the edge of the pool or hanging off the ropes through the middle. It is with some trepidation that I decide its time to venture into this dark water with floating bits of algae. The water is the same temperature as the cleaned Jacuzzi baths - so lovely and warm. I edge my way in between the locals and perch myself on the shelf. The younger girls are catching the algae and rubbing on their skin so I decide why not and give it a try myself. They are slippery little suckers but eventually I get enough on my face so I look like I have a face mask on.
Again we dine in the Aqualuce restaurant, tonight I start with a prosciutto salad followed by, a roast lamb dish which is to die for and finish with the irresistible tiramisu, well I had missed out the pasta course…..
I have breakfast in my robe and slippers ready to get out into the thermal springs and make the most of my time here. My skin is already starting to feel so silky and soft. I spend time flitting between the pools and the steam room before heading off to the spa. I have booked myself in for a mud wrap this morning before lunch. The treatment is in one of the 48 regular spa treatment rooms located downstairs, the room is bijoux but has all the necessary equipment for my treatment. Firstly a lovely aromatic oil is applied before the cold mud is painted on and I am trussed up like a Mummy from head to toe, a gentle head massage follows then I am left to relax on my own.
The hotel seems deserted now as most guests seem to leave first thing. A light lunch taken from the spa wellness menu of soup and raw vegetable crudités with salad and some dips sets me up nicely for the drive back to Rome Airport for our return flight home. After the thermal springs and facial my skin feels amazing, it is so soft. I have enjoyed a great weekend in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, I feel truly ready to face my Monday morning fully rejuvenated, there is a lot to be said for the short break to revitalise and de-stress yourself. Some would say almost essential!
- The hotel is very busy at the weekends with lots of local Italians taking the opportunity for a spa break and why not but it does mean that the restaurant and the spa are very busy.
- I would recommend that you pre book spa treatments and perhaps golf tee off times if you plan to travel at the weekend.
- My suggestion would be that a mid week break is also a great getaway as the resort is much quieter and services less busy.
The transfer we booked via Healing Holidays on the arrival pick up was great, again very pleasant and no problems however on the return we decided to cancel direct with the company as we no longer needed it. We didn't want a refund just called the gentleman to say we didn't want it, on the phone call he was rude, aggressive and refused to cancel still showing up at 2:55am in the hotel lobby in the morning making trouble with the reception staff. Terrible transfer company!!"