Grotta Giusti reopens spa and ancient thermal caves following extensive renovation
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Grotta Giusti reopens spa and ancient thermal caves following extensive renovation

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Italian destination spa and resort Grotta Giusti Thermal Spa Resort in Tuscany has begun a new chapter following the completion of a two-year-long resort-wide refurbishment.

Located in the spa town of Montecatini Terme, the historic 19th-century property is the former residence of Italian poet Giuseppe Giusti. Grotta Giusti has been a popular wellness hotspot for more than 150 years thanks to its natural underground thermal cave – thought to be 130 million years old and the largest of its kind in Europe.

The cave was first discovered in 1849 and was quickly expanded into a spa retreat once the water’s healing powers were realised.

After being acquired by Marriott International and inaugurated into its Autograph Collection, Grotta Giusti underwent a refurb by London-based architecture firm Richmond International.

The extensive project has recently been completed and involved the renovation of the spa, guestrooms, restaurants and hotel bar.

Growing the offering

Grotta Giusti's two-floor spa has been refreshed using a palette of neutral colours and natural materials to create a soothing atmosphere and reflect the rugged organic rock formations in the thermal cave.

Guests begin their journey at the spa’s new reception and relaxation area, before descending underground to find the famed thermal cave and the spa’s new indoor thermal and wet area named the Meditarium.

Embellished with limestone, the Meditarium encompasses a series of bathhouse style experiences for contrast bathing journeys.

These include a Roman bath (40°C), a steam bath (45°C), a sauna path featuring both a 60°C and 90°C sauna – each infused with powerful essential oils – as well as experience showers and an ice waterfall.

Industry consultancy Wellness & Spa Solutions was brought on board as the spa and pool technical consultant, meanwhile Italian spa and wellness equipment supplier Starpool was appointed to equip the spa.

Overall, the spa features two Finnish saunas, one Bio sauna, two steamrooms, one Roman bath, two experience showers and an ice shower. Guests can also make use of an indoor hydromassage pool and two outdoor hydrotherapy thermal pools complete with a waterfall.

The star of the showAs part of the refresh, the thermal cave received a new lighting system to both emphasise the unique natural rock formations and illuminate the thermal pools.

The cave experience is split into three areas referencing Dante’s Divine Comedy, each maintained at a different temperature: Paradiso (heaven) the coolest of the three; Purgatorio (purgatory) includes a Limbo pool at medium temperature, and Inferno (hell) reaches 98 per cent humidity.

Guests travel through the three realms in an underground wellness circuit that lasts around 50 minutes. The cave also has a lake deep enough to swim and scuba dive.

For an extra fee, guests can experience a floating watsu-style therapy that incorporates stretches and flexes in the thermal water, and the hotel’s spa provides mud baths, inhalations, sprays and aerosol treatments, which all incorporate thermal water and mud from the caves.

In addition to these traditional rituals, Grotta Giusti has debuted new treatments enriched with Mediterranean products and aromas. Highlights include body scrubs using mud, oil and olive kernels and purifying face masks incorporating thermal mud.

The overhaul has also seen the spa grow to house new changing rooms, a spa garden and 13 treatment rooms – including two for couples.

Guests can round out their wellness journey at Grotta Giusti with a visit to the facility’s existing medical spa and gym.

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Italian destination spa and resort Grotta Giusti Thermal Spa Resort in Tuscany has begun a new chapter after the completion of a two-year-long resort-wide refurbishment.

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