Spiritual healing with a difference, in Umbria (of course).
Whilst the Umbrian born St Francis would, no doubt, have been horrified by the idea of his region's houses of worship one day being transformed into luxury resorts, today's well-heeled spa lovers are, needless to say, delighted! Especially so when staying at Gubbio's Park Hotel Cappuccini: one of the world's finest examples of a monastery converted into an award-winning hotel and spa.
Where luxury is a virtue
The 17th century monastery dedicated to San Nicola of Bari dominates the peaceful countryside just beyond the walls of the historic center of Gubbio.
Meticulous restoration has conserved the building's original features whilst, at the same time, allowing for the integration of the very latest in technology and state-of-the-art hotel facilities.
An ancient monastery, a modern spa
Today's resort is set in extensive gardens, home to both centuries-old trees and unique works of contemporary art.
The interior decoration of the spa, which is situated within the thick walls of the former monastery, is in soothing earthy tones, with ample use of local walnut wood and stone. The air is laced with the delicate scent of the natural essences which Aveda uses in its superb spa products.
Salus Per Aquam
Water is the key element of each and every "wellness experience". When they are not floating in the Mediterranean bath or enjoying a session in the emotional shower, guests staying at Park Hotel ai Cappuccini might easily be found bathing in the wonderfully warm waters (28°) of the indoor swimming pool. The pool opens out on to a terrace which, in the summer, provides the perfect outdoor relaxation area.
Raxul: relaxing like a Roman
The spa's signature treatment is Raxul, inspired by the thermal rituals of ancient Rome.
Just like in an authentic Roman bath, the Raxul ritual is performed in a special treatment room, on a slab of heated marble
Raxul is an exclusive exfoliating treatment which, according to the effect desired, is performed using clay, mud, salt, chocolate or grapes. The elevated temperature in the treatment room ensures that the scrub quickly dries to the skin. Steam is then used to moisten the ingredients which are subsequently rinsed away under a tropical shower, rich in natural essences.
The result is perfectly cleansed and moisturized skin', and a blissful sensation of wellbeing.
Ideally, a visit to the spa should conclude with a tour of the 'monastery's pharmacy, or Monasticum. Following the ancient monastic tradition of cultivating plants and aromatic herbs for medicinal purposes, this is where, today, an impressive range of natural essences, creams, infusions and oils are created.
Put it in your diary...(or on your smartphone)
Park Hotel ai Cappuccini
Via Tifernate - 06024 Gubbio (Perugia)
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