European Spa shines a spotlight on the best new spa openings across Europe
REPORT BY MARK SMITH
Investment in new spa and wellness projects continues to accelerate across Europe. We have seen major new announcements from leading global operators over the past few months with the pipeline for new projects signifying positive news for industry growth.
In our summer round-up, we highlight five new projects that are coming to fruition across the continent. In the UK, we visit The Nici in Bournemouth, which brings a touch of Miami Beach chic to England’s south coast. Then we head north to The Municipal Liverpool – MGallery, Accor’s £40 million (€46.5 million) development. In Italy, we shine a spotlight on 7Pines Sardinia and pay a visit to the bar-raising urban wellness hotel Six Senses Rome during its opening week.
We also report on Pnoé Breathing Life, which has launched on Crete. It appears that Greece is the word when it comes to new projects, with One&Only near Athens and Ikos Odisia on Corfu also scheduled to open this year. Banyan Tree, Six Senses and Ensana Hotels have also announced projects.
From city locations to coastal wellness, please enjoy our pick of the best new spas in Europe.
1. Six Senses Rome, Italy
Best for urban wellness
Offering a new vision for urban wellness in a hotel setting, Six Senses has opened its first property in Italy. Designed by renowned Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, the original façade of the 15th-century Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini has been preserved outside a modern, welcoming, contemporary hotel.
Six Senses Rome features 96 rooms, sustainable architecture and design accents, with imaginative planting, natural light and relaxed open spaces.
The spa, set over various levels, combines ancient healing rituals with the latest biohacking technology to improve guest health and wellbeing.
“When experiencing something out of the ordinary, we begin to feel a change for the better,” says spa and wellness manager Elisabetta Trezzi. “Guided by the elements of health and beauty in our spa design, rituals and treatments, guests are invited into a world of peace and tranquillity.”
Salus per aquam
Drawing on the history of bathing culture in the city, the spa introduces a Roman bathing concept with a modern slant. “Our guests are projected thousands of years into the past, to the time when the ancient Romans took care of their physical, mental and social wellbeing in typical bath houses, and today we want to recreate the experience,” says Trezzi.
A bas-relief inspired by the myth of Daphne and Apollo adorns the walls of the bathing area, creating an authentic feel. Three plunge pools reproduce the calidarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium, reducing inflammation through heat and aiding muscle recovery during a 60-minutes guided journey.
Beyond the baths, there’s a hammam, biohacking and meditation rooms, a sauna, a rooftop yoga deck, a fitness centre and five treatment rooms. Classes include meditation, yoga and sound healing. As at other Six Senses properties, the team offers Wellness Screening for guests measuring 30 clinically evaluated biomarkers and 10 physiological indicators, and workshops at the Alchemy Bar.
Set on a cliff overlooking the sea in Bournemouth on England’s south coast, The Nici has opened its spa following a £20 million investment in the property’s refurbishment. Designed by Anthony Rudolph, the hotel features 84 luxury bedrooms, many with impressive sea views and some with garden hot tub suites. The hotel also includes dining options at South Beach Restaurant, Bar & Terrace.
Drawing on clean lines with a nod to art deco and a Miami Beach aesthetic, the hotel also offers a 28m outdoor heated pool, an outdoor activity centre and wellness activities.
“We want to transport our guests to a completely different place, somewhere away from home,” explains spa manager Kaitie Phillips. “Our outdoor spaces are extremely sociable, featuring the bar, restaurant and pool. There are also great possibilities for guests to relax elsewhere in the spa, thanks to our treatments and thermal areas.”
Space to unwind
The Nici Spa is a tranquil haven, decorated in soothing honey-toned shades, that offers guests complete relaxation from the outset. Set across two floors, the spa offers an 18m heated indoor pool and hydrotherapy pool as well as a poolside steam room and aromatherapy sauna. On the upper floors there are eight treatment rooms, including a couples room, as well as a stunning relaxation space that cocoons guests before and after treatments.
The spa has partnered with award-winning brands OTO CBD and Oskia to create a bespoke menu of treatments and holistic therapies, which includes bamboo massage, sound therapy and innovative anti-ageing techniques.
A fully air-conditioned gym offers modern equipment, a studio space and personal training options for one-on-one sessions. Fitness and wellbeing classes include aqua aerobics, yoga and Pilates, Qigong, boot camp and HIIT classes. The spa is open to hotel guests and a select membership that is capped at 300.
Located on the north-eastern coast of Sardinia, 7Pines Sardinia, part of Destination by Hyatt, opened in August 2022 and has recently announced the launch of its Pure Seven spa.
The 76-room resort and spa, designed by Piazza Martiri 7, is surrounded by 15 hectares of pristine coastline. “The Pure Seven spa at 7Pines Resort Sardinia champions the uniqueness of Sardinia,” says resort general manager Vito Spalluto.
“As well as our team using local products, we have also created signature massage treatments which use techniques inspired by the island’s different prevailing winds.”
Overseen by spa manager Angela Chessa, contemporary wellbeing facilities include five treatment rooms for individual or couples’ treatments, a relaxation area, steam room, sauna, emotional shower, ice room and outdoor areas for Kneipp therapy.
Inspired by the prevailing winds on Sardinia’s Gallura coast, the expert team has designed three bespoke signature Sardinian rituals; Maistràli, Liànti and Punènti. To enhance their wellness stay, guests can also choose from indoor and outdoor yoga classes, Pilates, and meditation sessions.
Part of the new Greek-owned MK Hotel Collection, which also includes Sentido Unique Blue, Pnoé Breathing Life is located just outside the historic city of Heraklion on the north coast of Crete. Designed by Aria Lironi, the £772,000 adults-only property with 60 suites and private pools is one of a new breed of small, contemporary resorts where wellbeing and food are the focus.
Pnoé translates as ‘the breath of life’ in Greek and this concept is at the centre of the wellness journey.
“Rejuvenation and rehabilitation are at the core of Pnoé Spa. We are focused on soothing the mind, body and soul of every guest through a series of holistic treatments blending traditional and modern techniques in our state-of-the-art treatment rooms,’’ says spa director Elpida Goutkidou.
The spa features a wet area, Himalayan salt stone room, wood fired sauna, ice fountain and onsite beauty salon. Guests also have access to recovery programmes such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Zerobody and breathwork therapy, alongside a well-equipped fitness facility that offers classes with professional personal trainers.
The latest hotel offering from the Accor Group in the UK, The Municipal Liverpool – MGallery is a £40 million 179-room property that features a new luxury hotel, restaurant, bar and spa in the heart of the city’s bustling commercial district.
The hotel opened in May 2023 in the refurbished Municipal Building, a Grade II-listed heritage site that dates from the mid-19th century, the interior of which has been redesigned by Jenny Denton at Grayland Interior.
“I am absolutely delighted to be opening the Municipal Spa. This is an incredibly exciting time for us,” says Ella Pearson, director of rooms. “The Municipal Spa is certainly one of a kind within Liverpool, bringing together luxury facilities and exceptional brands, as well the highest level of service headed by our spa manager, Natasha Robinson.”
Beauty and wellness facilities include a tranquil 16m indoor swimming pool, Himalayan salt sauna, steam room, experience shower, ice experience, Jacuzzi, fitness area, laconicum, relaxation room and four treatment rooms.
BEHIND THE PROJECT
The Municipal Liverpool – MGallery
Spa size: 238sqm | Product partners: Elemis, Grown Alchemist | Spa Suppliers: Ursell Pools and Wellness, Alexander Rose, Ellisons, BC Softwear, Matrix Fitness, Premier Software