On the island of Sicily, you escape to a haven of tranquillity where you can indulge in yourself. The Adler Spa Resort Sicilia opened in July, offering guests tranquillity, luxury and well-being. Jeremy Webb visited to experience La Dolce Vita and let life’s stresses flow away.
It’s November and 18 celsius outside; two outdoor infinity swimming pools are lit and heated as the sun goes down on another beautiful day in Sicily. Families enjoy the huge pools while others relax inside and swim in the indoor pool housed inside a low-impact building built into the side of the hill, as are the guest rooms at Adler Spa Resort Sicilia. The hotel and spa are an immersive luxury experience where you concentrate on your wellness.
Sicily is located in the Mediterranean off the southern coast of mainland Italy. In autumn, the island is lush, with green fields and fruit trees everywhere, making for an ideal winter getaway. Its capital is Palermo, where you can fly into and then transfer to the Adler Spa Resort Sicilia via transport provided by the hotel. The journey takes roughly one hour and thirty minutes, and the views are gorgeous.
Sami Aglietti, General Manager, explained that the Adler Spa Resort Sicilia location took a long time to find as the company wanted a site with specific requirements. The brand focuses on the guest experience but doesn’t want to impact nature by simply clearing land and building a hotel and spa. They want to be at one with nature, so it was imperative to blend with the nature reserve close by, not have a large footprint or silhouette and be sustainable.
Guests and staff often see foxes running around, porcupines wabbling along, and many flocks of birds, butterflies, insects and the odd cat or two.
Sami said, “Adler has done the utmost to build the hotel and spa using materials sourced on Sicily to cut down on their carbon footprint. They employed Sicilians to carry out most of the work and continue to do so for the upkeep of the facilities.”
Adler Spa Resort Sicilia grows 25 different vegetables and has planted orange and grapefruit trees. It will continue to expand market gardening to use the produce within the restaurants, and what it can’t grow will be sourced from the island farmers.
Inside the opulent rooms, lights are on sensors, so they turn off, saving electricity, and the bulbs are low energy in keeping with the company’s ethos. Luxurious fittings, bedding and equipment, make the room an oasis where you can happily spend many days; although you have so much around the spa to enjoy, you will hardly spend any time in your luxury sanctuary.
Opposite your highly comfortable grand bed is a panoramic window from floor to ceiling, so you have a framed picture of the sea—complete serenity. There is a generously sized walk-in shower next to an enormous washing/dressing area where you can sit and take your time getting ready for another glorious day in Sicily. You also have your mini bar, fridge, kettle and coffee machine, so you are never short of refreshments. Every piece of equipment is state of the art, and through the tv, you can link to all your favourite apps.
At all mealtimes, you dine like you are attending a Roman Emperor’s feast, with vast platters of delicious morsels on offer. At one Dinner, the Chef was cooking an entire Swordfish, and there were vast amounts of local seafood. The only imported produce was Oysters. You have many Antipasto dishes on the buffet, a large assortment of bread, fruits and much more. Then you choose from the long list on the menu for your courses.
It is fine dining with dishes such as Lobster spaghetti and veal risotto, but as one guest said, “the buffet is on another level, as I have never had Oysters and Red Prawns where you can help yourself.” When they arrive, the dishes are not small tasters; they are fulfilling meals. If by chance you can’t find something you like, the chefs will make you a dish, so you are fed well.
The plethora of desserts is enough to satisfy the sweetest tooth with cakes, tarts, fancies, fruit and Italian gelato, which you help yourself to.
Most guests opt for half-board, which is Breakfast and Dinner, but General Manager Sami Aglietti explained, “the hotel is all about flexibility, so if you are out for Dinner, you can grab lunch at Osteria restaurant instead.”
Sami said, “Sicilian hospitality is innate; the people are welcoming, and everybody is treated like family. Many staff have travelled the world and worked in restaurants like Hide, Restaurant Gordan Ramsay and hotels, including Lansbury Heritage and the Dorchester, but they chose to come back to work in Sicily for Adler.”
The spa is what Adler builds its hotel around and the focal point for guests. Wellness is what they promote and deliver with 13 luxury treatment rooms for massages, facials and more. There are two medical rooms where there will be Doctors available for procedures from next year. All rooms look out to sea and provide a serene setting. You can choose from a broad selection of Spa treatments.
Drinks and fruit are available the whole time the spa is open, and the building has a spacious relaxation room where you can sit to enjoy your refreshments. The views are superb, and you can unwind after time in one of the two saunas or the steam room.
Spa Manager Giulia Ciccarello Spitaleri said, “Wellness is at the centre of what we provide to our guests, and all of my staff want you to leave feeling relaxed, refreshed, and, above all, happy.”
She continued, “We are a new resort, but we are already planning to expand the facilities in the spa and the treatments we will offer. We will be taking on Doctors next year to provide medical treatments and nutrition plans so guests can combine a holiday with procedures.”
Adler produces beauty products to supply their resorts and uses ingredients from Sicily. Bergamot, Organges, Grapes and nuts. Many of these are used in the treatments guests experience.
A special event you should experience is the Programma feller ventilazioni at 4.15 and 6.15 pm daily in the upper sauna. A spa staff member performs an ancient ceremony where they waft a towel around, which increases the heat in the sauna. They also have frozen balls of scented ice, which they place on the hot coals to produce fragranced steam. The person then spins the towel to spread the aroma and moisture around the room. It is not to be missed.
Another must-do experience is spending time in the Thalasso pool, especially when the sun is setting. It is a heated jacuzzi using salt water instead of chlorinated, and your body benefits from the warmth and salts. Unmissable.
For those guests that want to exercise, there is a comprehensively equipped Gym with the latest machines, free weights, ropes and more. Next door is the studio area where instructors host Yoga and Pilates classes.
On the site, there is a cold saltwater pool directly outside the gym for those dedicated swimmers who want to do lengths. Opposite this is one chlorinated pool, which they call the sweet water pool, which is heated to around 22c. Above this is a larger saltwater pool heated to 23.5c, with jacuzzi areas dotted around the perimeter. It also leads to the indoor pool with a relaxation area. Again the building has a place with refreshments and changing rooms.
You also have the Med sea, a ten-minute walk down a dedicated path from the resort, or after 9.00 am, you can use the electric shuttle to get you to the beach and back. The sea temperature in November was 22c. On the beach, which does have a LifeGuard from 9.00 am, you can use the hotel’s paddle board, kayak or the peddle-operated catamaran.
If you fancy exploring on your own or with a guided group, the hotel has free-to-use E-bikes. The tours range in their length but allow you to see so much of the area surrounding the resort.
Sicily has a long history being an island that has seen many nations inhabit its lush, fertile land. The Greeks were the first to reside in Sicily and cultivated the soil, establishing agriculture and taking abundant amounts of fish from the sea surrounding the island.
They also built temples similar to the Parthenon in Athens, and you can visit Valle dei Templi, located at Agrigento, a forty-minute drive from Adler Spa Resort Sicilia.
The area is a UNESCO heritage site, as three temples show the fantastic engineering skills used to erect the religious buildings. Go at sunset and experience a spiritual connection with nature as the light fades, and then illuminations shine on the structures. It is magical.
Siculiniana medieval village is twenty minutes by road from the resort and crammed with the history and culture of the nations occupying the island. A lot of Arabic influence still exists in the old town, with narrow, winding streets spanning from the castle on the hilltop. Originally an Arabic Fortress, it has changed throughout the town’s history as different nations conquered the island.
Wine is important to Sicilians, and much of the island is covered in vineyards producing both white and red grapes. Adler Spa Resort Sicilia uses wines from the island, which boosts the economy and gives back to the residents. The hotel organises Wine tours with one of the vineyards, Baglio Caruana, a forty-minute walk. You can explore other vineyards or anywhere on the island, and the hotel staff can arrange discounted rental vehicles for you.
A protected beach is below the Adler Spa Resort Sicilia and forms part of the nature reserve, which you can walk through. Sea turtles lay eggs from May to October, and you can watch this spectacular natural event as long as you don’t try to interact with the creatures.
Adler Spa Resort Sicilia is about luxury, opulence, therapy, wellness, and you. You immerse yourself in the ethos of the brand and the superb staff. Eat well, relax, and do as much or as little as you like, and you will have spent wisely investing in yourself. Get the most you can out of a stay there.
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