VOLANTE A wellness resort with an Italian flair: Adler Resort & Spa Sicilia is a haven for relaxation and sustainability, reports Jody Miller
The lure of Sicilia has persisted for millennia. From the Greeks to Arab and Norman conquerors, its charms are well documented. Clothed in verdant hills that softly caress pastures of dazzling sunflowers and aromatic thyme, rosemary and oregano, the island continues to captivate to this day. The prolific citrus, olive, and grape orchards are palpable as you close your eyes to envisage the fruitful bounty on your dinner plate. With no fewer than 13 UNESCO heritage sites and more ancient Greek ruins anywhere in the world other than Greece itself, this Mediterranean paradise blooming with life has long attracted visitors and holiday seekers from Europe, but has eluded many Americans as a primary destination.
Thanks to an award-winning and ferociously popular television series that has tickled the fascination with Sicilia, millions of viewers are getting a glimpse into Europe’s largest island steeped in centuries of history. With curiosity and imaginations piqued by a voyeuristic TV series, holiday-seekers are now putting Sicilia on their bucket list of must-see destinations whether their interest is nature, culture, cuisine, urban exploration, and now, a wellness retreat.
Location location location
Resting on the expansive Terra Salsa Natural Reserve with magnificent views to the cerulean Mediterranean, Adler Spa Resort Siciliana welcomes guests to an extraordinary wellness and travel experience on Sicilia’s sun-drenched southern coast. Designed by the legendary Sononer family for maximum sustainability, comfort, and holistic experience, Adler Spa Resort incorporates a 360-degree approach to wellness that is flexible rather than forced. The uninitiated to wellness travel will appreciate its unceremonious and bespoke ethos that includes a luxurious and minimalist sophistication, chef-inspired farm-to-table cuisine, and a multi-building spa and wellness facility designed to be in harmony with nature. Set in a reservoir of natural beauty with easy and unlimited access to a private beach and sublime surroundings.
In partnership with architect Hugo Demetz, the Sanoner family has spared nothing to create a sustainable island oasis in flawless harmony with nature. The architectural design and materials chosen enhance the surroundings of rolling hills and bright blue waters, while minimizing its impact on the landscape. The low-level structures seamlessly blend into the hillside, promoting an at al fresco living experience. This is encouraged further by stone pathways and daybeds and lounges scattered throughout the resort for optimum enjoyment of Sicilian sunshine. The effect is simultaneously striking and blissful, maintaining a cohesive fusion of splendour and serenity.
‘Everything we do is informed by a non-negotiable principle: our resort has to blend into the landscape without altering its natural balance and beauty. Bio-architecture was the only way forward. We opted for a dispersive layout of single-story buildings alternating with botanical oases,’ says the Sanoner family.
Every aspect of the Adler Group’s hospitality is intrinsically connected to advocating sustainability. In each area of the resort the equilibrium of the natural environment has been respected using intelligent systems, healthy materials and a 360-degree ecological infrastructure. Electric cars are available for transfers as well as bikes, allowing guests to move around the area with minimal impact. The resort’s integrated environmentally friendly systems include cutting-edge heat pumps which recover and redistribute energy within the resort. Resort Manager Sami Aglietti explain, ‘At Adler Spa Resort Sicilia, you don’t have to compromise on comfort to achieve sustainability. You can enjoy Sicily’s natural paradise safe in the knowledge that it will still be here, unchanged, the next time you return.’
Al fresco living is at the heart of the Adler Spa Resort Sicilia experience where interior spaces lead directly out onto private terraces and communal gardens beyond. The 90 rooms enjoy views across to the Mediterranean Sea with interiors that effortlessly capture the essence of understated luxury and utmost comfort. Warm Sicilian tones of burnt orange and subtle yellows are interwoven through use of natural textiles, and sliding glazed doors open out on to individual lounge terraces. Unbaked clay walls naturally regulate the air quality and humidity while cedar wood panels bring a piece of Sicilian nature into the living space.
A Mediterranean spa
A combined 3,200 m spa and wellness facility is front and centre at Adler Spa Resort Sicilia. Taking full advantage of its Mediterranean surrounding, the ancient rituals of water for therapeutic well-being are on full display.
The spacious spa facility is anchored with 13 treatment rooms, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and a panoramic sea view. Three independent Swedish saunas, including a bio-sauna, are housed in a detached building to offer maximum space along with unobstructed ocean views while you detox and relax. Three stunning pools sit effortlessly within the landscape, including an elevated Thalasso pool and saltwater hydro-massage pool, both with infinity design so as to appear to merge with the crystal water of the Mediterranean. A 25 m sports pool sits outside the fitness facility for aqua yoga classes and lap swimming to maintain your workout régime. Inside the exercise facility are state-of-the-art cardio and resistance machines, plus an elevated outdoor platform with shades to host a daily schedule of yoga, Pilates, sound healing and special workshops. These amenities are available to all hotel guests at no additional charge.
The favoured go-to spot for guests, however, is the impressive solarium lounges housed in the pool and spa facilities. Slats of local cedar wood and 360-degree windows permit an unobstructed dose of sea and sky from all angles. Flanked by terraced levels of daybeds and ergonomic chaise lounges that provide ample opportunity to bask in beaming sunlight, witness an explosive purple sunset, or rise with the morning sun after a sunrise dip in the combination indoor–outdoor infinity pool. Fruit-infused waters and cozy bath towels are plentiful.
Seasonal and regional cuisine leads the way at Adler Spa Resort Sicilia where the restaurant and osteria menus highlight the vibrant flavours of the abundant regional harvest with simple yet delicious ingredients grown in the gardens of the resort or supplied by local farmers. Organic meats are reared in the countryside nearby and the abundant dessert selection feature the heady perfumes and flavours of citrus, wild raspberries and sun ripened fruits.
The vibrant cuisine of southern Sicilia is enhanced further with excellent wines made with grapes grown on the fertile slopes of Monte Etna. The restaurants’ extensive wine list also boasts biodynamic wines from the Sanoner family’s own biodynamic estate in rural Tuscany. The al fresco terrace at the Osteria offers outstanding views set beneath the dappled shade of a large pergola. The main sea view restaurant provides an elegant backdrop for a fine dining experience with a sensational sunset vista of the Mediterranean.
No rules, just robes
There are few rules at Adler Sicilia. Sleep until noon or sip prosecco ’til dawn. Putter through the countryside on an electric bike, savour the joys of life at a local winery, wake up at the crack of dawn for yoga, tour one of many sites of ancient ruins with an experienced guide, or meander village pathways and people watch at a sidewalk café. Float in one of two infinity pools or swim laps. Cocoon yourself in a pampering spa day or indulge in a cooking class using oils and herbs from the Adler garden. Or just relax in your veranda daybed. With one caveat: while on the resort grounds and not inside one of two gourmet restaurants, wearing the luxurious robe found in your spacious room is mandatory. Don’t be embarrassed, you will get used to it. Why get dressed when you don’t have to? It’s your time, that’s why you’re here. ‘Our mission is to create exceptional and unforgettable memories, by offering our guests unique experiences and authentic Italian hospitality in a charming and elegant environment,’ says Sami Aglietti.
For more information or to make a reservation at Adler Resort & Spa Sicilia, visit their website here. •
Jody Miller is a writer for Lucire and co-founder of Lucire Rouge.
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