IriSpa at Villa San Paolo- San Gimignano, Italy
This month I highlight our Spa Chicks Review of IriSpa. As if a 14 day visit to Italy wasn’t enough, my sisters, mother and I treated ourselves to an afternoon at one of Tuscany’s most well known spas, Irispa at the Villa San Paolo Resort. The spa decor was modern and the treatments and Wellness Circuit were timeless and fabulous. Most spas in Italy are fabulous, I have learned, after following spa architect Alberto Apostoli on social media. I am constantly drooling over his posts of the spas he is working on! The design was unlike any spa resort I have been to in the United States.
Treatment Options at Irispa
The spa menu has many options and a variety of treatments. There is an option to pay a fee to use the facilities (pool, jacuzzi, and Wellness Circuit) and if you would like a service you have the option to add one to your package. Unlike most spas where the entrance fee is waived with a service, Irispa charges a separate fee of 22 Euros to use the facilities and Wellness Circuit. If you add on a 25 minute massage, the cost is a total of 59 Euros which isn’t bad considering you are essentially getting a short massage for 37 Euros! My sisters got the Wellness Circuit package with a massage and dinner, and I opted for a body treatment in the Hammam (which was absolutely amazing).
The pool was both indoor and outdoor with a jacuzzi area set in center of the pool that had jets coming from every side. You could swim to the outdoor pool from inside, and the outdoor pool had tiled underwater lounges with jets which was nice. The Wellness Circuit incorporated the Kneipp Method, which is a self service series of hot and cold water treatments used in a specific order for healing. The order of the Wellness Circuit was first the steam room, then sauna, then a series of hot and cold showers, then an ice foot soak, then a warm foot bath. I had never seen this before in a spa in the United States, and I could have stayed there all day! After the Wellness Circuit, I was called in for my treatment in the Hammam.
My treatment provider did not speak much english, but she spoke massage which is communication enough for me! She led me into the Hammam, which is essentially a heated, tiled, room with a fountain and a shower.
My experience in the IriSpa Hammam
I laid down on the treatment area next to a fountain with warm running water, and my therapist started with a body scrub. I usually do not opt for body scrubs in spas because its usually very cold, and I don’t like being cold 😉 But in a Hammam, they are able to use warm water in a consistent stream to keep you warm because it is considered a “wet room”. The fountain next to where I laid had running warm water, and the therapist scrubbed one area of my body at a time while keeping a warm wet towel over the rest of my body. Be forewarned- this treatment is not for those who are shy ;). They will give you disposable underwear but you will be topless. After rinsing the body scrub, my therapist applied a detoxifying algae mask to the front and then the back of my body. She left the room for 15 minutes to allow the mask to set. After 15 minutes, I rinsed off in a warm celestial shower and dried off.
My therapist came back and led me to a dry room for a one hour full body massage. I have been spoiled after working in the spa industry for over 20 years, and this was one of the best treatments I have ever received. Sorry to the spas I will visit in the future- your going to have to up your game.
A long dinner at the end of the day
Our spa day ended with a 3 course dinner in the hotel restaurant as part of our package. We had so much to eat that day so I wasn’t very hungry, but the food was good and we couldn’t resist a free meal. There were cats in the restaurant- this is not a typo. You read correctly, there were cats and they were trying to eat my food. My mom was horrified. I was amused. I am not sure I would opt for the dinner package next time. But I will definitely go back to IriSpa and stay as long as I can to enjoy the spa amenities.
Stay tuned for my next review of a spa in Cabo San Lucas!