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Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti, Italy

22/02/2023 by .
Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti

Isabel Conway heads to the Dolomites where wellness takes the stress out of winter sports at Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti

A wellness oasis in the mountains, christened a ‘temple of well-being in which body, mind and soul can regenerate ’beckons. My wired-up self will soon retreat into a whole new world of winter sport.

No challenging slopes, farewell that knee-knocking fear of accidentally finding myself on the super scary steep black run I’ve mistaken for a blue sign on the foggy summits.

Instead I take refuge in  5 star Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti, one of the largest most luxurious hotel resort spas in the entire Alpine region. It’s listed among the top 30 spa destinations in the world, and recipient of a bevy of wellness accolades since it opened a few years ago.

Covering an area of over 5,000 sqm (53,820 sq ft) and surrounded by the spectacular Brenta Dolomites which are a UNESCO World Heritage site, the hotel spa blends into the surroundings.

13 SALA RELAX TRATTAMENTI

Spread out unobtrusively in chalet style, its buildings are set high above the pretty small town of Pinzolo, gateway into the famous Madonna di Campiglio’s extensive ski terrain. The Lefay Resorts brand was born from the idea of creating an ecological leader in the international wellness industry that combined elegant luxury and Italian style. Their first property award-winning, Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda is on the western banks of Lake Garda. Another resort is planned for Tuscany with expansion of the brand into central Europe being planned.

A dizzying array of energy-therapeutic paths, encompassing wellness for body and mind, blending Eastern and Western methods of natural healing and energy together, are on offer at Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti that is exclusive yet with a nice informal cossetted vibe and superb service from staff.

17 DELUXE JUNIOR SUITE

Apart from typical Italian kaleidoscopes of muted and contrasting bright colour – think bedrooms that are the last word in comfort with virtual wall fires and deep bathtubs – environmental wellness is also key to Lefay’s philosophy. Larch wood, chestnut and stone are widely used, and the hotel resort is a leader in using renewable green energy and technologies to reduce energy and water consumption.

I enter my bedroom, spacious enough to be junior suite size but apparently a lot smaller, transfixed by a fire blazing from the wall beneath the huge flat screen tv above that nearly, but not quite, overwhelms the awesome views from outside the full-length sliding windows rolling down to the valley framed by distant mountain peaks.

Panic calms on realising that this cosy blaze is in fact a clever electronic virtual fireplace, real enough looking to beckon a couple of logs to be felled from nearby forests.

OK so the fireplace is video charged but nevertheless, it still represents a lovely focal point in the room which is a vision of comfort. and low-key luxury. The colour scheme is of restful oatmeal and beige with a hint of bronze around the edges.  A sumptuous sofa and a workspace complement the sleeping area featuring a range of cushions and pillows. Cosy slippers and flip flops with a gown and basket for exploring the spa areas, plus generous toiletries complete the luxury add-ons.

The sheer scale of the award-winning spa is jaw-dropping. With little sense of natural direction, I get lost amid the labyrinth of four seasonal zones that surrounds a large light-flooded whirlpool, enriched with magnesium salts. Guests noiselessly drift back and forth, some wrapped in bath robes, others draped in lightweight sheets, like extras from a Roman empire movie set.

24 ROY PRIVATE SPA

7 PISCINA INTERNA ESTERNA WINTER OUTDOOR

I feel like Alice in Wonderland, entering a dark cave-like salt grotto that leads to a private flotation lake filled with tepid hypersaline stress-busting waters. After wallowing for a while I sip selected herbs and plants to energise my kidneys and other organs.  Few, if any guests on the relaxation beds have resorted to the distraction of smartphones.

6 PISCINA INTERNA ESTERNA WINTER INDOOR

From this central point, you choose some or all of the zones, each linked to different body organs, designed to help restore individual Yin/Yang balance and energy levels. The bio-sauna ‘Green Dragon’ zone represents spring with a focus on the liver and on relieving restlessness and anger while the Finnish sauna’ Red Phoenix’ embodies summer with the heart as the target organ to help release the flow of energy from the chest to the surface. The steam bath ‘White Tiger’ represents autumn and puts the focus on the lungs and reducing inflammation whilst Black Tortoise’, represents winter aimed at shifting kidney blockages and back pain.

Later I lie in a low-lit treatment room whilst sports massage supremo Julio pours warm oil over me and pummels, stretches and kneads my back strenuously, whilst releasing the tightness in my muscles. The idea is to follow a bespoke programme that takes you from your chosen sauna to the 22-room treatment floor for either a signature massage tailored specifically to your energy requirements, a vigorous body scrub, wrap, or nourishing facial using the Lefay alpine skincare range.

31 SHOWCOOKING

30 RISTORANTE DOLOMIA WINTER

Mountain food in Italy is a way of life and the Dolomites rates exceptionally high.  ‘Grual’  is Lefay’s fine dining restaurant (whose interior is designed as an enchanted forest) offering menus of a culinary journey that takes diners on a gastronomic “walk in the mountains”. Every ingredient is linked to a specific altitude, from the valley floor.

Arctic char and saddle of roe deer with red cabbage and crunchy polenta, ended in the “undergrowth” with a dessert of chestnuts, juniper, cranberry compote and vanilla ice cream, mirroring streams, woodland and pastures. Prices are pretty mouth-watering here too but there’s a more affordable option, Dolomia, a chic large space with fabulous views where breakfast and other meals are served. The cosy resort bar serves casual lunches, including the best Caesar salad I’ve ever eaten and enormously delicious club sandwiches.

3 LOBBY

There’s an in-house ski hire shop and Lefay has teamed up with the local tourist board to offer specially designed itineraries, such as guided meditation, tree-hugging and yoga on walking routes once the snows melt. Come winter, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and other alpine activities are arranged through the concierge. A stroll into Pinzolo (shuttles run from the hotel) takes us past two historic churches with beautiful outdoor frescos. Drop into family-run Alimentari Caola delicatessen for local specialities from wines and jams to mountain cheeses and dried meats.

Tell me more about Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti

Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti, Via Alpe di Grual 16, 38086 Pinzolo TN

Italy  T: +39 0465 768800  E: res.dolomiti@lefayresorts.com

Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomiti Ski & Wellness package from € 1,120 Euros per person. The price includes three nights in a Prestige Junior Suite, breakfast in Dolomia, a 2-day ski pass for Madonna di Campiglio, one tension-relieving neck and back massage,one sports massage , one session in the salt-water lake and entrance to the Lefay SPA World of pools, sauna, fitness centre and relaxation area. A similar one night Alpine spa break from €330 per person. The nearest airports to the Dolomites include Innsbruck, Milan, Venice and Verona.

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