Off the beaten track in the Tuscan countryside, about an hour and a half’s drive away from Florence, you will find a gated Borgo replete with cypress trees and gardens that stretch out for acres. One would not expect such grandeur on the way to Palazzetto but when one finally locates Borgo Santo Pietro’s discreet plaque, a whole other world of experiences awaits.
Being summertime – a time to rejuvenate and relax – The Sybarite focuses its attention on wellbeing and the senses, and nowhere could be more suitable for this than in a 13th century villa perched atop a hill in the picturesque Tuscan countryside. This entirely self sufficient paradise not only boasts an onsite spa but also its own vegetable and alpaca farm, spa laboratory, retail shop selling its own goods, a Michelin star restaurant following the farm to table concept and a vineyard that stretches as far as the eye can see. Currently the Borgo is working on a new facility – a much larger spa replete with hammam, treatment rooms and the like.
The proud Danish owners of Borgo Santo Pietro – Jeanette and Claus Thottrup – are the duo behind every detail that has gone into and will go into Borgo Santo Pietro. Their goal is to integrate all five senses from the Borgo and its surrounding acres to bring about a one-of-a-kind experience to guests that cannot be replicated elsewhere. This gem is the place to come to if one is in Italy and wants to be taken care of and pampered throughout their stay.
Housed within their healing herb garden, the chic and cottage-esque spa space is – for lack of a better word – heaven. Upon entering, the first thing one will notice is their senses aligning, simply owing to the beauty, sound of tranquility and the refreshing odor of the gardens. The body is instantly relaxed, the mind comes to an ease and a sense of liberation follows when you are greeted by the spa’s onsite Manager, Tracy Mallallieu, who does not waste a mere moment helping you get comfortable and relaxed.
The Sybarite had the pleasure of trying out the spa’s signature treatments, ‘Borgo’s Nature’s Bounty’ and ‘Bee Sting Facial’, which began with an introduction to their teas and essential oils from their gardens before being whisked away into one of their two treatment rooms. Though rooms were dimly lit, you could still make out the attention to detail carried out in the décor and interior design. A soft meditating music mixed with a spritz of fragrant herbs began the journey that one wished they didn’t have to wake up from.
‘Borgo’s Nature’s Bounty’ was made up of a rejuvenating body scrub composed of fresh basil, rosemary and sea salt, which had been hand-made and freshly picked from the spa’s gardens. As much as how cleansed one feels when being scrubbed down, it really is the smell and the fact that the ingredients come directly from its gardens that tells your senses that you’re experiencing a true state of calm.
Having tried many spas, this treatment in particular took its own sweet time with an Argan oil body massage to follow and a heavenly facial to finish. Needless to say, the entire 120-minute treatment is one we wouldn’t want to trade in for because it really gives oneself that deserved ‘me time’, and we all know that ‘me time’ is vital and something we do not give ourselves enough of.
The ‘Bee Sting Facial’ entailed a special bee venom treatment from the Deborah Mitchell line (also used by Kate Middleton), known for its use of organic ingredients to deliver anti-ageing results with the help of a special massage to drain the lymphatic system on the face. Speaking to Tracy, who introduced this facial to Borgo Santo Pietro’s spa, she mentioned how she was really searching for a product or treatment that could deliver results witnessed by its customers after their spa session ended. Tracy wanted something effective and results-driven yet also aligned with the ethos of Borgo Santo Pietro, and found that the ‘Bee Sting Facial’ ticked all the right boxes.
Said facial included light glycolic acid scrub mixed with aloe vera to remove dead skin cells and bring about a new fresh layer of skin, before a lymphatic facial massage using bee venom infused ingredients was given. The session lasted for about an hour and the results? A plump and glowing face, of course!
The Sybarite recommends a treatment at the spa’s outdoor gardens where one can lie on the Moroccan beds surrounded by the fresh smell of its garden. One can even order a picnic while they’re at it.
By Ruth Tertilt