The Garden of Heaven Spa

By Sandra Ramani / September 5, 2011

Thailand and Italy are known for very different types of spa experiences. In the former, you’ll find therapeutic, yoga-influenced massages and oils infused with all manner of tropical flowers and potent Asian herbs, while the latter boasts a tradition of thermal bathing and water “cures” that date back to ancient Rome. But at the recently opened Il Salviatino hotel overlooking Florence, Italy, the two disparate spa cultures come together—and somehow, it works.

Opened in 2010, Il Salviatino occupies a beautiful 15th-century villa that once housed an outpost of Stanford University. In addition to the main villa, with 45 rooms and suites, the 11-and-a-half acre grounds include a gourmet restaurant, panoramic terraces, and Tuscan-style gardens alive with the scent of lavender and rosemary. Tucked into one corner of the gardens is the Devarana Spa, the first outpost of the noted Thai brand to open outside of Asia.

Named for the mythical “garden of heaven,” and staffed primarily by therapists from Thailand, the Devarana Spa features a diverse menu that highlights ingredients and techniques from both cultures. Signature two-hour services include The Harmony of Tad Si, which incorporates aromatic Thai herbal compresses, pressure point work and principles of Traditional Thai medicine, and Florentine Romance, a perfect-for-couples session with milk-and-rose-petal bath, rose body scrub, and Swedish massage. For guests who’ve been sampling Tuscany’s famous “liquid gold,” the After Wine Tasting Retreat detoxes with a Thermo Caramel mud wrap and circulation-boosting massage.
The hydrating Crushed Grape Body Scrub pays homage to the region with some anti-oxidant-rich vinotherapy.

For maximum relaxation, we combined two services that reflect each of the spa’s influences. The 60-minute Lavender Body Scrub uses real lavender flowers to exfoliate and leave skin smooth; by the end, the table is strewn with remnants of the purple herb. The soothing scent leaves you relaxed and ready for the Devarana Signature Massage, a cleansing combination of Ayurvedic, Swedish, Shiatsu and, of course, Thai styles.

Sandra Ramani

Sandra Ramani

Senior Contributing Editor at Organic Spa Magazine
In addition to serving as OSM’s Senior Contributing Editor, writer/editor Sandra Ramani covers travel, wellness, and lifestyle topics for such publications as Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Premier Traveler, AFAR, Bridal Guide, Elite Traveler, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. She is also the author of “Day Trips from Dallas / Fort Worth,” now in its second edition. Recent assignments have found her sleeping in the Sahara, hopping helicopters in New Zealand, and making this new friend in Bali.
Sandra Ramani

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