Alder Thermae Wellness Spa, Tuscany

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by Anne Dimon

While many travel to Tuscany to indulge their passion for fine wines, I went for the water. Not to drink it, but to soak, swim and steam in it.

Visiting the region to ‘take-the-waters’ is all about health, and it’s been going on since way before people began travelling here to partake of the grape.

Adler Thermae Spa Resort

Embraced by Tuscany’s signature golden hills dotted with statuesque cypress, Adler Thermae Spa Resort is a facility with a distinct focus on wellness and relaxation. The theme is set from the moment you check in. Along with your room key, you also pick up a robe, two towels and slippers which can be exchanged for fresh supplies daily.

It’s Sunday when I arrive, and the lobby is busy with check-ins including families with children. The philosophy, I’m told, is to cater to a younger clientele including young parents. Children are not allowed in the spa or steam and sauna area and the resort offers a full-day kids program.

The thermal pools – both indoors and out – are the heart of the resort and where guests spend the majority of time. They soak up the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-heavy waters, then relax on lounge chairs just as they might at a Caribbean resort.

There is no swim up bar but there is fresh fruit, teas made from local herbs tea and mineral water available from a self-serve area. Along with pools, there’s a collection of saunas, steam rooms (for detox and stress release) and a variety of relaxation areas including a quiet space with water beds for napping.

While robes must be worn around the spa and pool area, there is no such rule in the saunas or steam rooms. If you want to wrap a towel around yourself – no problem, but go with the expectation that other bodies may be ‘towel free.’

Those same bodies are often also grabbing quick ice-cold showers both before and after a sauna or steam, so if the thought of discrete nude bodies jumping in and out of showers, steam rooms and saunas is uncomfortable, this may not be the place for you.

Beyond the waters

So guests don’t get bored or prune-like, there are also out-of-water activities and experiences. A variety of daily fitness classes, yoga, Tai Chi, plus a full gym where you can pump iron or hit the treadmill while overlooking the hills of Tuscany are a few of the things that will help flush out this wellness vacation.

There are also scheduled outings such as guided hikes, bike tours and visits to towns such as Montalcino, famous for its Brunello wines. The resort’s pool-scape setting is also just a short stroll from the ancient village of Bagno Vignoni where the ancient Romans once came to seek wellness by soaking in the town’s natural mineral pool.

Of course, there’s an extensive selection of spa treatments and services. Mixed in with the facials, massages, body wraps and water therapies, you’ll find that you can book diagnostic sessions with the resident Dr. Thomas Platzer who has designed and supervises the wellness programs.

You can arrange for a medical check-up, a food intolerance test, even a blood analysis. Signature treatments incorporate local products are on the menu too. I tried the Olive Oil Body Wrap which ended with the therapist handing me a small bowl of olives to nosh on during the recommended 20 minutes of ‘relax time’ that follows each treatment.

And, just because you go for the water doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the wine. Dinners are multi-course gourmet meals complemented by an extensive list of local wines.

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Adler Thermae offers all-inclusive wellness packages.