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Healing Flora and Fauna

by Sandra Ramani

Though not a naturally occurring island (it was created in 1870 using manmade methods), Isola delle Rose in the Venetian lagoon has proven to be a natural haven—and a place with potent health benefits. Set about a 20-minute boat ride from bustling San Marco square, the nearly 40-acre island’s fresh marine breezes and idyllic position between the lagoon and sea have resulted in a unique microclimate that breeds plants not typically found in the region (including olive, palm, magnolia and cedar trees) and that helps ease respiratory issues. From 1914-1980, a pulmonary clinic operated on the island to treat
such concerns.

Today, the island’s latest incarnation is also geared toward making people feel good. Opened in late-2015, the JW Marriott Venice features contemporary rooms and suites, Michelin-starred dining, acres of parkland and revived olive groves, from which the resort produces its own small-batch olive oil. One of the original 20th-century, brick-faced structures now houses the airy GOCO Spa, featuring saunas, steam rooms and a heated, lounger-ringed indoor/outdoor pool.

In the eight treatment rooms, enjoy targeted massages, organic facials and personalized Amala rituals that include a mix of face and body therapies. The rituals use ingredients like Mediterranean myrtle, Argan seeds and Atlantic algae to brighten, detoxify or rejuvenate, depending on your needs. Afterward, enjoy tea or a light lunch in one of the garden cabanas, breathing in that marine air and enjoying views straight across the lagoon to the heart of Venice.


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