A No-nonsense Guide to the Best Wellness Resort + Spa in Europe:
Preidlhof Wellness Resort
When people think about Italy, they think of Rome, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, or Lake Como, but the secret undiscovered gem by most Americans is in the north of Italy surrounded by sweeping mountains, South Tyrol.
When I arrived, I had the full intention of hiking, and exploring this beautiful unknown area. I was also hoping to fit in a few hours of work each day, but they had so many heated swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, and wellness areas that it took a full weekend just to try everything. We only took off our robes for dinner. They actually passed the wellness resort checklist, that you'll want to measure all your holiday destinations by, below.
What I love about Preidlhof, you can really drop in, go deep, and sink into the experience, and you have a full tower, yes I said a full tower, like six FLOORS of saunas, steam rooms, panoramic pools, wellness and relaxation areas, fireplaces, around 50,000sq feet of warmth, that feels intimate with so many
well-designed smaller spaces. It really became about softening, transformational healing and reflection. As someone with a demanding job and anxiety issues, I felt like I could finally relax.
For us we ended up actually not leaving the property for two days because we wanted to take advantage of something that it's so rare for us to come across. We felt like children trying to hide our excitement, discovering so many self-care rooms and areas to try in just 2.5 days.
After visiting hundreds of spas and wellness resorts over my last 12 years here at ORIGIN, I feel like this is my number one choice if you really want to drop in, surround yourself with quiet, saunas, steam rooms, therapy rooms, and expert treatments (this is not an ad, btw).
It's laid-back, and not pretentious, and it feels deeply healing.
WHEN CONSIDERING A WELLNESS GETAWAY:
Not to be negative, but so many wellness resorts only have one or two saunas and maybe one steam room, not enough space for the entire hotel, which results in you having to reserve it for a particular time, changing your schedule and stressing about making that particular time slot, or being packed in with people because the wellness areas aren't large enough to accommodate the guests. This does not make for a tremendously relaxing experience. That’s what set Preidlhof apart. I’ve never had more options for wellness.
The Spa is Open All Day
One of the things I love the most here, the spa areas don't close at 8 p.m. or earlier. In the last 5 years I can't tell you how many weekends I have taken to visit wellness hotels and they actually close the spa so early that you can't relax at night after dinner, and they open so late that you can't enjoy them in the morning before noon.
If you're thinking about a wellness destination, check the spa hours, so you're not disappointed.
This is one reason I really loved Priedlhof, they get it. You're coming here to experience these things and they make them available as long as possible so you can enjoy them in the morning, throughout the day, and even after dinner and before bedtime.
2. It was Quiet
One of the things that I love the most, was the quiet. After this resort, we visited a different wellness hotel in the Dolomites that had fast music in all of the saunas, steam baths and rooms. There's nothing like trying to relax and having drums blasting. It made me really appreciate Preidlhof, they understand the art of silence when you're winding down.
3. Well-Trained Staff
As someone who visits wellness centers pretty regularly as part of her job, I almost never book massages or treatments. How many massages have you had that you would say were exceptional? Not more than 30%, right? For me, to lie through a terrible massage is excruciating, especially when it’s a bit of a splurge.
This place, however, gave me the absolute best massage of my life, and I hear that I’m pretty tough. Unlike so many wellness centers, particularly the high-end ones, you will still find that their staff might not have top-level training. I know this sounds awful, but if you're paying spa prices, you would like a nice treatment, someone who's fully qualified and trained.
They have a full book, yes a book, of all of the cutting edge treatments they offer, with some of the most expertly trained staff that I have come across. When I mentioned how great my sessions were, they told me that their training is rigorous, and lengthy, almost guaranteeing your treatment is going to be pretty delicious and they know what they're doing. This isn’t as common as you think it would be.
I love that it's not pretentious.
It felt wholesome, and I felt at peace, with a sense of calm and deep nourishment that is almost impossible to find anywhere you go. I visit so many, but I only review about five a year, because I don't feel comfortable endorsing places that won't really give you that nurturing soulfulness that rejuvenates you.
My Glowing Skin Ritual
In less than 3 days, I transformed my skin with their hot and cold treatments.
In the sauna tower, there are rain showers next to the olive sauna. I would go back and forth between an ice cold shower and the saunas, for sometimes up to an hour at a time and then I would move to a steam room and I did this for two days and my skin has never been softer or more radiant. Also make sure you try the cold pool also overlooking the mountains.
It was just one of those places where you go and keep finding other areas and you're like, seriously, there's more, and it still felt intimate, as opposed to an entire hotel sharing one or two saunas.
For us I think it's going to become an annual pilgrimage, just because I haven't found anything else that would be its equivalent.
Stay In The Penthouse If You Can
We stayed in the largest penthouse, larger than most homes, and I’ve never experienced anything like it. Our balcony faced the mountains, had a large swimming pool AND a Jacuzzi hot tub, lounge area and state of the art sauna. We also had a private gym inside our room, 2 bedrooms, a magic toilet (seriously), and a sound system that woke us up to the sound of birds in the morning.
They have 10 swimming pools, and a 6-floor sauna Tower, 50,000 square feet of wellness space surrounded by gardens, rivers, lakes, mountains and hiking. They have a full panoramic gym, outdoor areas, and yoga spaces, and loads of classes we never found the time to visit. South Tyrol, for the most part, is unheard of for Americans, and even many Europeans. It’s a blend of German and Italian, where beauty and efficiency meet.They have one pool that is just local thermal water, and one room that I loved to do right before bed containing Himalayan salt blocks and lounge chairs that were fully heated.