Last updated: 12:13 PM ET, Wed July 01 2015

Classic European Spas Enter the New Age

Features & Advice | James Ruggia | June 30, 2015

Classic European Spas Enter the New Age

PHOTO: The Spa at Coworth Park in Ascot, England offers a male facial. (Photos courtesy their respective suppliers)

When it comes to spas in Europe, indulgents can make their choice between sleek new facilities and classic spas right out of Federico Fellini’s 8½. The latter appeals to many for the same reasons that classic old hotels do: they have a dramatic flair that comes with their historic design and their often long list of famous clients.

Marcello Mastroianni’s character in 8½, Guido Anselmi, ambles through a cloud of steam in his crumbled fedora and his terrycloth robe dodging rapacious business associates and his own amorous memories.  Here are a few classic historic European spas, a new classic and a few male-oriented spa rites.

The Abano Grand Hotel sits at the foot of the Euganean Hills, 30 miles west of Venice surrounded by olive trees, palms and tropical plants. Though old school, this classic European resort has upgraded its 20,600-square-foot spa. It still offers anti-aging programs, luxury body and facial treatments, and a comprehensive wellness center with aqua therapy, rehabilitation plans, Ayurveda, inhalation therapy, thermal mud treatments and more.       

Three large thermal pools create the impression of an oasis: The “Etoile” outdoor includes water jets and resistance pools; the “Soleil” has 18 different zones with water jets and underwater resting areas; and the saltwater pool “Lune” is ideal for relaxing. The new Venezia Spa combines deep red and gold colors, complete with natural stone, pillars and open-air spaces. The Aqua Center is a new fitness area with scenic views of the parkland and thermal pools dedicated to personal training and fitness consultations with a medical approach from a highly-trained team of experts including a sports doctor, coach, nutritionist and spa physician.

Four distinct dining outlets offer Italian cuisine including Pietro d’Abano and a wine cellar with more than 500 Italian wines. The menu from Chef Claudio Casarin features a wide variety of creative and colorful vegetarian, meat and fish dishes.

The Czech spa resort in Western Bohemia, Karlovy Vary is more commonly known as Carlsbad. This European classic has helped such historic heavyweights as including Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Chopin, Freud and Karl Marx improve their spirits. The town has a grand Beaux Art and Art Nouveau promenade of buildings along the riverfront. The curative mineral waters range from 104 to 162 degrees, and spout from as many as 60 hot springs. The Dvorák Spa Hotel features carbon dioxide baths direct from the town’s springs to impact the body’s tissue and circulation. This 15-minute nurturing treatment, priced from $34, relieves the inner organs and supports all of the body’s cardiovascular functions.

Mykonos has been the glamorous Greek island for decades now. Famous for its beaches, au natural and otherwise, the island sits in the center of the Cycladic Islands as a center for parties, fine dining and spa. The Belvedere, a five-star hotel located in Mykonos Town, known for the quality of its Matsuhisa Mykonos restaurant, the Belvedere Bar and the newly launched Mediterranean Thea restaurant, will soon have a spa in the more indulgent modern mode when the Belvedere opens Greece’s second Six Senses Spa on a hill overlooking the white Cycladic houses of Mykonos Town and the Aegean Sea.

PHOTO: Six Senses is bringing its Asian touch to the Belvedere’s new spa on Mykonos.

While the spa reflects traditional Myconian architectural influences, it does so with a modern twist, sporting whitewashed walls and marble floors from nearby Naxos. Natural fabrics in shades of Aegean blue and white, together with soft lighting, add warm highlights to the spa’s natural palette. Several frosted glass skylights provide additional splashes of the Aegean’s special natural light. Three treatment rooms, one double and two single, feature steam showers and daybeds. A separate manicure and a separate pedicure area offer seating built into the floor and wall.

The spa’s therapists take guests as deep as they would like to go, from core beauty that can redefine the way they look to specialist treatments. A selection of Six Senses signature massages, body treatments, rituals as well as beauty services use local ingredients such as cinnamon leaf and bark oils, honey and the finest sand from the Adriatic Sea. Aniseed, sesame and olive oils are used in a head-to-toe cleansing therapy, and pomegranate, sea salt, grape seed and fig are used in an anti-oxidant body cocoon.

Male Indulgence

Several luxury properties in the Dorchester Collection are offering treatments and packages exclusively for or tailored toward men. The Parisian palace, Le Meurice, recently unveiled its first spa treatment exclusively tailored for men at Spa Valmont. The Mister M is an ultra-moisturizing treatment that helps to combat fatigue and signs of aging. The treatment focuses on the eye contour area and restores radiance and firmness for visibly younger skin. Mister M is a 60-minute treatment and is $170.

Male soccer fans will shout “GOOOOAAAL!!!” at Milan’s Hotel Principe di Savoia if they sign up for the hotel’s Male N.10 Offer. The package includes accommodations, a buffet breakfast, massage at Club 10 Fitness & Beauty Center for two, tickets to visit San Siro Museum, a cocktail at Principe Bar and a football jersey of a Milan or Inter N.10 player for two. Rates are priced from $850 per person double until Dec. 31.

A Fast Facial at The Spa at Coworth Park in Ascot, England includes a deep cleanse, a facial massage and moisturizer treatment for men. This treatment lasts 40 minutes and costs $97. Men’s manicures and pedicures are also available at The Spa with 40 minutes starting from $75.

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