Healing spa waters of Sardinia
Sample the unique Italian hot springs, which were first discovered by the Emperor Trajan more than 2,000 years, ago at
the Sardegna Grand Hotel Terme and SPA.
This Mediterranean island certainly has the feel-good factor with its iridescent light immediately boosting your spirits, the hot water pools embracing your body in warmth and last, but not least, the use of wine therapy.
Health and wellbeing are what we all look for from a spa break – especially in the New Year when we’re trying to shake off the excesses of the festive season.
So, where better to head for than a spa holiday on the idyllic Italian island of Sardinia – which is only a two-and-a-half hour flight from the UK - and where five of the world’s oldest people live and some 135 people per million live to see their 100th birthday.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise to hear the traditional Sardinian greeting is "A kent'annos" (may you live to 100).
I can only conclude that there must be something in the water!
And this is exactly what the spa resort of the Sardegna Grand Hotel Terme and SPA is harnessing as they are ideally located near Fordongianus, a small village built on a hill in one of the very few volcanic areas of Sardinia with its very own natural spring.
The water for the SPA comes from a well that pulls from the same source used by Emperor Trajan for his thermal bath more than 2,000 years ago.
When you walk into the unique ship-shaped lobby you immediately get a sense of calm and wellbeing as the huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the historic hot water pools and stunning countryside beyond.
Bathers at the SPA bask in a temperature of 32 C (outside pool) and 36 C (inside pool) but the spring water actually gushes from the depths of the earth at 56 C and is rich in minerals having crossed pre-historic faults. There is a very useful passage which links the two pools.
The surroundings are also influenced by the presence of the spring waters as the indigenous stone has a magical pink hue due to the compressed volcanic ashes and there is always a waft of perfume on the air due to the abundance of flowers as the soil is rich with minerals.
What better place to start your spa experience? This Mediterranean island certainly has the feel-good factor with its iridescent light immediately boosting your spirits, the hot water pools embracing your body in warmth and last, but not least, the use of wine therapy - more of which we’ll come to later.
The modern Thermal Centre is one of the largest and best equipped in Sardinia. Its natural properties come from the minerals that are included while water slowly seeps through the pre-historical faults. It is classified as salt-bromine-iodine water with traces of radio activity. This makes it suitable for the treatment of obesity, gastritis, slight liver defaults, all the main air way pathologies, gout, nerve affections, psoriasis and chronic rheumatism.
The spa treatments include the use of therapeutic mud which is made at the hotel using the hot spring water and lasts six months. In that time it gets enriched with green alga that enhances the therapeutic properties of the water.
Some treatments are recognised by the National Health Services of several nations.
All therapeutic treatments are delivered after a visit to the Thermal Centre. Such diagnostics include cardiology, otorhinolaryngology, dermatology, geriatrics, aesthetical and dietology.
The thermal centre mud vats
The SPA includes 24 rooms for mud treatments, ozone bath, scrub, peeling, 30 inhalation stations, 12 massage and aesthetics rooms, two rooms for hydro-massage and under water massage, two Scottish shower rooms (cold, reactivating), one outdoor pool and one indoor pool, one Finnish dry sauna, one hammam and wet sauna plus six surgeries (for general and specialist medical visits) along with a bar, fitness and relaxation area.
And if that’s not enough there is also a Beauty and Aesthetic Farm within the hotel which is a small, cosy and extremely relaxing area where both aroma and chromo therapy are the basics.
The products that are used are mainly exclusive (high end cosmetics and mud based on our own thermal water); however they also use professional lines from Natures (www.natures.it) and Tauleto (www.tauleto.it).
In this area, which is organised to provide well-being, the therapists deliver massages (including Ayurveda, Shiatsu, Californian, deep tissue digito pression, foot and face massage, wine therapy), scrubs and peelings, other beauty services (including waxing, nails, pulsating laser hair removal).
And for those of you eager to try out the wine therapy this combines the expertise of the therapists along with powerful antioxidant products made from organically-grown Sangiovese grapes and wines (this is the same kind of grapes used for world class super Tuscans such as Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti).
Interestingly, grapes are one of the red fruits with the highest amount of natural antioxidants and are used in the manufacturing of Detoxifying Cleansing cream, Renewing Face Cream (this product also has oils and vegetable proteins coming from the seeds), Renewal Serum, Wine Scrub, Body Mousse and Detoxifying Bath and Shower Gel. All these products have a great revitalising and rejuvenating power.
These treatments are ideal also in couple and in combination with thermal water and mud treatment.
Guests can buy these wine-based products from the hotel while a new outstanding line of cosmetics based on the SPA’S water can be purchased from
Energy is the other way the SPA uses the water, aiming to reduce its carbon footprint and have the lowest impact on the environment. All the hot water and the heating of the hotel and the SPA is done through huge heat exchangers, by bringing the water at 56 C to the temperature needed for the warm swimming pools.
The excess heat is intercepted and you find it in the rooms or in all the other areas of the hotel. They don't burn any fuels for this and their equivalent carbon emission is close to zero.
This is a SPA which is not only kind to its guests but also the environment.
|FUN FACTS ABOUT SARDINIA
• Sardinia's coastline (1,250 miles) makes up a quarter of the entire Italian coast
• The Sard language is based on Latin but still bears the influence of the ancient languages of the Nuraghic period (such as the word Nuraghe itself) as well as smatterings of Catalan, Corsican, Arabic, Phonecian and Genoese... legacies left by the island's many invaders.
• The English phrase "Sardonic grin" comes from the effect of a toxic local herb which causes convulsive laughter in its victims.
• The tiny island of Asinara off the coast of Sardinia is uninhabited by humans but is home to a colony of 250 miniature albino donkeys. The island of Tavolara
is officially a kingdom... The current monarch actually owns a
restaurant on the island but proudly bears the regal title given to his
ancestors in 1848
• Sardinia is the Mediterranean's second largest island after Sicily
with a population of around 1.6 million
|THE HISTORY OF WINE THERAPY
Mathilde Cathiard-Thomas and her husband, Bertrand Thomas are credited with creating both the world's first "wine spa" -- Les Sources de Caudalie -- which opened in 1999 in the Bordeaux region of France, as well as the official term Vinothérapie®.
Previously, in 1993, the Thomas' met an eminent professor from the Faculty of Pharmaceutics at Bordeaux University on the estate of the Château Smith Haut Lafitte.
The revelation he made would open the way to a new approach to skincare. He had discovered that the grape seeds discarded at the end of the grape harvest contained powerful anti-aging properties.
These grape seeds contain polyphenols which, once stabilised, have priceless benefits for the skin.
The anti-oxidants contained in the grape seed polyphenols have an incredible capacity to fight free radicals, and therefore fight aging. The free-radical protection from grape seed polyphenols is unequalled in the plant world. With the experience of wine making behind them and a patented, stabilised grape-seed polyphenol, Caudalie was born.
It is easy to see why Sardinia earned the moniker of insula vini, wine island, in the 16th century. A mild climate, plenty of good limestone and fragmented granite soils, and a dozen indigenous grape varieties all conspired to make it one of the Middle Ages’ vinous landmarks.
Today, they have regained their place in the world market and spas like The Sardegna Grand Hotel Terme and SPA are using the grapes for their unique brand of wine therapy.