No trip to Northern Italy would be complete without a day or two among the art, canals and unique atmosphere of beautiful Venice.
However, for UK travellers looking to explore other areas close-by Padova (Padua in Italian) is a fine city of cobbled streets, medieval markets, the largest square in Italy (below) and the famous 13th-century Basilica of St. Anthony. The local Prosecco made in the area is quite good too.
Many Italians visit this area for the world famous Termes, these are Spa Hotels in the area that utilise the local spring waters and mineral enhanced mud. Both are used in a wide range of health treatments and have been known for their active well-being properties for centuries.
I was lucky enough to be invited to stay at the Esplanade Tergesteo, a 5-Star Hotel situated just 10 miles away in Montegrotto Terme and as the UK buttoned up their duffle-coats on a November weekend, I donned by swimming costume, tucked my towel under my arm and ventured forth. The Terme area itself is über modern and the facilities are really state-of-the-art (see below). There is a divider that separates the inside and outside of the main pool (which you can swim through) and as night falls the steam coming off the hot natural spring water combined with the lighting and mountains in the distance is very beautiful.
There are enough different areas of the Hotel to keep you occupied probably indefinitely and it would take several weeks to go through all the different treatments (I can imagine some people try). The little details that make things great are here too, like the liquorice tea and fresh vegetables next to the hot water urn and the built-in fireplace and lighting in RoofTop54 on the roof. It’s not all for indulgence, a lot of people come here to rehabilitate from injuries and one of the things I really liked about the Hotel was the genuine enthusiasm prevailing through the hotel, from the reception, to the waiters in the restaurant and the staff in the Spa centre, everyone seems happy and happy to help. For someone like me who is always busy it really helped me to relax.
My room was modern (I think there are a few a still yet to be modernised), interestingly there was no bath, but if you’re going to spend all day in the Terme getting wet you don’t really need one. The main large restaurant at the front is perhaps a bit formal for me, I preferred to eat in the Bistro for dinner, the food is fresh and tasty and the daily specials like risotto or fresh pasta are good too. Be warned though, order an Ice Cream Sundae and you’ll need to spend the rest of the weekend swimming just to work it off (they are huge!).
The Hotel also hosts local events, dances and music evenings in the bistro and when I was there an Italian author was giving a talk about her latest book ‘Glam40‘. The Hotel can get pretty busy in the Summer so it’s a good tip to come off-peak and a weekend in October, November or early Spring is an ideal time to visit. Ryanair flights to Treviso are cheap and you feel like you almost have the Hotel to yourself.
I caught up with the Hotels owner, Patricia Gruber(right) to find out about the history of the Hotel and to learn more about some of the services available at Esplanade Tergesteo….
The Hotels Spa facilities are some of the best available, how long have you been updating the Hotel to get it to its current standard?
We’ve been making renovations to the Hotel for more than 10 years and every year we renovate or build something new, so our work never stops. I’m particularly proud of our last creation, “RoofTop54”, an exclusive panoramic spa area.
We also have a beautiful partially covered panoramic swimming pool with salt water (about 35°C in winter, 30°C in summer) and whirlpool; Solarium terrace with panoramic views; Relax rooms with chaise longues and waterbeds, including a relaxation room with wood-burning stoves for a cozy, intimate atmosphere.
There’s also a Sauna area (without clothing) with a Finnish panorama sauna and great views of the hills. There’s a Turkish bath, infrared cabin, relaxation terrace with plunge pool (about 17°C) for immersion after the sauna; emotional showers, relaxation rooms with dimmed lighting for between sauna sessions and Tea corner.
We’re well known for being the most up-to-date hotel in this area, but we’re always looking for ways to make our visitors experience even more amazing. Thermal mud and thermal water is what brings people to our region, both have been well-known for many decades for their beneficial health properties.
Our real focus at the Hotel is on the spas and the services around them, we want to offer our guests something exciting every time and I’m constantly thinking and working in order to make the hotel different from the others, but it’s top secret! We want to surprise our clients!
What is so special about the mud and thermal waters from this area?
The Euganean Spas are the largest thermal baths specialised in mud-balneotherapy in all of Europe. The meteoric waters, loaded with geothermal energy, spring forth at a constant temperature of 87°C and are unique in the world. This water enriches the mud. Both mud and waters have an extraordinary therapeutic value in order to prevent and cure bone diseases such as rheumatism, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis. Thanks to the pressure exerted by the water, thermal baths are ideal for the joints, for the treatment of pain and muscular atrophy. These treatments are extremely important in rehabilitation after traumas, fractures and surgery. Anyway, bathing in these thermal water gives a general feeling of well-being and relaxation!
If I can only have one treatment in the Spa which one should I have?
Our staff suggest the treatments according to the type of person and every guest receives tailor-made advice. Personally, I love Ayurveda massages, because they are very relaxing and give the body a feeling of “re-birth”, so you can try one of them”!
If I’m only here for a few days where should I go that is close to the Hotel?
Padova is a really nice town, it’s full of great monuments and places to visit, for example the Basilica of Saint Anthony is famous all over the world and Prato della Valle is the largest square in Europe.
Of course, Venice is within easily reach by train too (in Montegrotto we have the railway station) and in only 30 minutes you can be in the heart of the City. But if you get a chance it’s so nice to take a walk among our beautiful Euganean Hills, or visit one of the small Middle-Age towns and find a stop for a wine tasting!
Address: Via Roma, 54, 35036 Montegrotto Terme PD, Italy
Phone: +39 049 891 1777
Click here for more info on the Esplanade Tergesteo Hotel & Spa >
(Please note: The hotel will be closed from 15th January to 5th March. During this time the Pools and the Bistro remain open from 10am to 23:00)