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Health & Wellness

SmarterTravel Spotlight: Adler Spa Resort Thermae

The Adler Spa Resort Thermae offers a full-immersion wellness experience that includes bountiful sauna options, a vast menu of medi-spa offerings, and thermal pools. In addition to its spa program, this resort in the heart of Tuscany’s Val D’Orcia offers excursions, health programs, and a kids’ club.

The Location

The Adler Spa Resort Thermae is nestled next to a tiny town in the heart of the Val D’Orcia in Tuscany, Italy. The valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers iconic Tuscan landscapes of rolling hills and cypress-studded lanes. It’s an hour’s drive from Siena, about two hours from Florence, and about two hours and 20 minutes from Rome. To get to Adler Spa Thermae, you’ll take country roads past olive groves and through forests. As you drive, you’ll get views of Tuscan hill towns and the rugged landscape that characterizes this valley.

As you wind up the road to the resort, you’ll pass a small public parking lot for the tiny nearby town (it’s a quick and easy walk down a picturesque path from the resort to the village) and its natural hot springs—an extension of the hot springs network that feeds the resorts’ pools as well. The resort’s sign signals that you’ve arrived, though you’ll continue to wend your way up the hill before you see any sign of it—it’s woven into the landscape in such a way that you almost don’t know it’s there until you’ve arrived.

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The Spa

saunas and pond at adler spa resort thermae

In the world of wellness resorts, there are hotels that offer a spa as part of their offerings, and then there are wellness resorts like the Adler Thermae. Its spa + med approach mingles traditional spa treatments with wellness-oriented medical offerings including dermatologic micro-surgery, cryolipolysis, needling, and Ultherapy natural lifting. There are customizable programs built around wellness goals including detox, weight loss and nutrition, stress management, prevention and anti-aging, and aesthetic medicine. The spa also offers a range of Ayurvedic treatments and massages.

And yes, there are massages (and they’re great), but the reason people come from all over the world to Adler Spa Thermae is its extensive offerings of treatments rarely found in this relaxing of an environment. Treatments included on the 30+ page spa menu include facial radiofrequency, oxygen bath, watsu, hydrokinesiotherapy, mineral mudtherapy, Somato Emotional Release, and HAKI treatments.

Beyond scheduled treatments, there’s an abundance of self-directed wellness and relaxation activities to choose from. The spa has 12 different saunas, including the Philosopher’s Cave, a sauna built into a rock formation; a clay therapy sauna; and a sauna that incorporates local herbal traditions. The resort’s crowning glory: two pools, centered at the heart of the resort, overlooking the valley.

Spa treatments range widely in price, from under 20 euros for 20 minutes in the blissfully peaceful Salt Grotto and around 50 euros for mineral mudtherapy to 1,800 euros for Ultherapy natural lifting. Most treatments cost about the same or, in many cases, less than what you’d expect to pay at North American spa. There are also a number of programs and packages that combine treatments for optimal effect.

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The Rooms

room at the adler spa thermae

There are just two room types at the Adler Spa Thermae: superior double rooms, with terraces or balconies yielding views of the surrounding wild Tuscan landscape, as well as wood floors, walk-in rain showers, and satellite TVs; and two-bedroom family suites, which offer the same amenities plus space for up to five people.

Dining

outdoor dining at adler spa resort thermae

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on site, with breakfast and dinner at the upscale resort restaurant and lunch at the more casual poolside cafe. There’s also a bar next to the lobby.

Meals unfold in an unhurried Italian style, with multiple courses offered at a leisurely pace. While offerings are, for the most part, healthy and light, the tradition of multicourse lunches and dinners reminds guests that self-care does not have to mean self-denial. You’re in Italy, after all, a place where meals are not an afterthought but a non-negotiable centerpiece of the daily routine.

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Amenities

spa relaxation room at adler thermae

The Adler Outdoors program offers daily guided activities like guided hikes and biking tours. Mountain bikes and e-bikes are available to borrow at no cost, and racing bikes are available at a nominal daily rate. Guided fitness activities at the resort are part of the Adler Fit program, which includes daily yoga, access to fitness facilities, and more. The AKI Kids’ Club offers supervised activities and excursions for children four and older, and allows parents and caregivers time off to enjoy the more relaxing elements of the resort.

Price and How to Book: Rooms start at 194 euros ($214 at time of publication; check XE.com for current exchange rates) per night and can be booked on the Adler Spa Resort Thermae website, or you can compare rates with TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company).

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Christine Sarkis visited Adler Spa Resort Thermae as a guest of the resort. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography for more advice about making every vacation the best vacation.

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.

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