A far cry from the small cobbled, busy streets of the Italy I already knew is the Adler Spa Resort, within the Italian Dolomites. Unapologetically unpretentious.
Adler is a luxury complex sitting in the quaint Italian ski town of Ortisei, bordering Austria, dotted with pretty little villages. An easy train ride from Verona followed by a taxi will get you to this remote and peaceful spot.
The resort is in the centre of town, surrounded by snowy mountaintops for hiking, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney book. The hotel dates back over 200 years, featuring many original features including the staircase sitting proudly in the centre of the building.
The medical side of the spa is serious, but Adler is a million miles away from giving the impression of a classic, severe, health-oriented Swiss type of spa. Within the hotel, they offer yoga, breathing, personal trainers and classes, a fitness centre, spa… literally, any way you could think to feel good about yourself is right here.
Gastronomy is key, and the idea at Adler is to promote lightness. Maintaining a 3-course dinner, you are left satisfied. Breakfast is something else, and if weight loss is your goal, avoid it.
The yoga classes on offer included both introductory and more intermediate levels of participation. My first class was a one-on-one lesson with one of the teachers, the class was a beginners practice, moving slowly through 7 different postures, holding them and ensuring correct alignment of each position – a perfect class for those who want to understand the basic movements. Another one of the classes was yogic breathing, where the breath is integral to any yoga practice this class took an in-depth look at how the body uses it and how you can learn to control your breathing through practice.
While each class has a purpose, just as any yoga class does, this tends to be a little more specific. morning classes awaken the body, bringing life and movement, poses to get the metabolism working and setting you up for the day ahead. And afternoon and evening classes provide more relaxing movements with a focus on digestion and relaxation, slowing down the mind and body after a long day of exploring the town. As well as yoga classes, the wellness centre also features guided walks through the mountains close to the hotel – but beware this is not a hike to work up a sweat. Walking slowly and silently through the mountains, noticing the air around you (which is clearly noticeable after city life), and nature, bringing you a sense of grounding and calmness.
Being a luxury spa resort there’s a luxury spa. Guests spend their days shuffling about the hotel in their robes at all hours, on their way to the spa or pool, or the salt cave. Full body massages, facials, beauty treatments and more targeted massages for slimming or deep tissue. The salt cave beneath the spa, book your 20-minute slot in. Float for 20 minutes, shower off and then make your way to the salt sauna for another 20 minutes.
Moving towards the Sound of Music, take the funicular, or an electric bike if you’re feeling energetic, to grab a spot of spectacular Dolomite views. Take some water, a snack, and a windproof jacket and it’ll be worth it.
If you’re craving some self-love – this is where you need to book.
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