Letters from Europe

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Bathing in Barolo

A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor at bay (or so we’ve heard, make ours a red please!) but did you know that wine is not only getting attention for its supposed medicinal properties upon consumption but also when used on the outside of the body. Some hotels across Italy and the world offer vinotherapy as part of their spa treatments and the contact of grapes/ grape juices with your body is meant to tone and rejuvenate the skin and promote freshness and vitality.

One hotel that is offering such services is the Relais San Maurizio, one of the premier hotels in Piedmont located in a converted 17th Century hill-top monastery that dates back to 1619! With its unique history, breath-taking views, Michelin starred restaurant and extensive parkland, there are many reasons to pay a visit, but one of its most outstanding features is its beautifully equipped spa offering a variety of facilities from indoor and outdoor pools to a fitness centre, a rosemary-scented Finnish sauna to its very own Salt Cave, featuring three pools with magnesium and mineral-rich waters. But the crème de la crème of their services is their wine treatments, which offer a unique experience you’re unlikely to come across, or replicate (or be able to afford!) again. (Just imagine how much it would cost to fill your bathtub at home with fine red wine!).
The wine treatment at Relais San Maurizio usually lasts about 90-minutes, and starts with a relaxing 20-minute stint in their bio sauna, which uniquely is inside a large, restored 1800s wine barrel – just to get the vino vibes flowing! Afterwards, you are transferred into a whirlpool of wine, so you can feel like a King (or Queen!) as you bathe in Barolo, the King of Wines (it’s not always Barolo that you soak in, we just like the alliteration!) Finally, you are treated to a 50-minute massage with grape seed oil and grapes themselves. By the end of it all your bound to feel tranquil, calm, and maybe a bit sleepy (especially if you sneakily consumed some red wine along the way!), so what better way to relax afterwards then heading out to San Maurizio’s terrace which overlooks the vineyards of the Langhe-Roero region, so you can feel even more at one (if you’re not grape-d out already!) with your favourite beverage and where it comes from.
San Maurizio

Relais San Maurizio

Prefer drinking wine than bathing in it? Well, don’t fear! Relais San Maurizio still can keep your liver entertained. Head down to “Guido da Costigliole”, their Michelin-starred restaurant located in the old monastery cellars, where vinophiles can choose from a whopping 2,800 different bottles of wine to enjoy with their traditional Piedmontese meal (dishes include local specialities such as vitello tonnato and agnolotti del plin). This extensive wine collection (which we can only dream of) can be seen tucked away in corners and small rooms leading off from the main tunnel of the formal restaurant, which is also lined with pieces from the restaurant owner’s art collection.


Guido da Costigliole restaurant

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