The pursuit of wellness at Italian golf clubs

By: September 2, 2019

The notion to combine wellness and spa experience with golf is not a totally new one. I must admit this.

Just think of the Spanish La Cala Resort, the Italian Palazzo Arzaga Hotel Spa & Golf Resort or the German Öschberghof.

If you are reading the American Golf Inc. Magazine in the last 2-3 years you can see that they are discussing this issue quite often (or check out my related articles about wellness tourism).

I go even further, IAGTO in its Golf & Spa study, discuss the above-mentioned idea in 2013. What is sure that in 2017, wellness tourism was worth $639.4 billion.

The annual growth rate of wellness tourism was 6.5% between 2015-2017 (more than twice the growth rate for general tourism).

verdura-resort wellness

People think of wellness, in many cases, they are confused about the differences between health, wellbeing, and happiness.

I would define wellness as an active process of being aware and making choices that lead to holistic health and wellbeing.

Yes, we can say that wellness is a lifestyle that changes consumers’ behavior.

The 5th benchmark study (2018) of the Tourism Observatory for Health, Wellness & Spa found

  • Traveling for wellness or spa is a very dynamic market.
  • The hospitality industry is moving away from treating wellness centers and spas as separate units. Now it tends to apply a wellbeing-oriented approach to the whole operation.
  • Wellness and spa services are more affordable in those countries where there is a significant supply of wellness and hot spring baths and facilities.
  • Generation ‘Y’ (born between 1976-1995) continues to gain market share.
  • Typical segments for wellness and spa services: couples + ‘groups of friends’ + hotel guests looking for healthy options. In Italy, the segments are slightly different: couples + hotel guests looking for healthy options.
  • In Italy, local & international tourists are looking for natural elements-based therapies.

These findings inspired me to check how could we combine wellness and spa experience with golf without sacrificing any of these experiences.

argentario-golf-villas wellness
Is it possible? I have got a feeling that yes, it is viable.

In the following, I will list my TOP8 Italian golf resorts and hotels that really impressed me.

In four instances, you will find such hotels that have not got a golf course but near to them, you can find outstanding golf courses.

  1. Palazzo Arzaga Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort: The Clarins Institute provides professional treatments.
  2. Argentario Golf Resort: 2700 sqm spa, fitness center with Technogym equipment, MediSPA (medicine center at Espace Wellness Center) + it is the home of the PGA National Golf Course of Italy. Other world-class PGA National properties which include The Belfry in England, Gleneagles in Scotland, Oaks Prague in the Czech Republic, Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus and at Antalya Golf Club in Turkey.
  3. Cocca Hotel Royal Thai Spa: it offers royal Thai spas and massages. It is also very close to Franciacorta Golf Club, Arzaga Golf Club (27 holes), and Gardagolf Country Club.
  4. Hotel Villa Luisa Resort: it offers wellness programs and has got a Spa Day program as well. I recommend visiting the nearby Gardagolf Country Club for a superb golf experience.
  5. Verdura Resort (a Rocco Forte Hotel; Sicily): it offers 36-holes golf course, hammam, thalasso circuit, treatment room, yoga sessions, personal fitness training and many more.
  6. Hotel Terme Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort: it offers a thermal park and hot springs + wellness and massage programs + thermal treatments. Their 18-hole golf course was designed by Ronald Fream.
  7. Hotel Helvetia Thermal Spa: it offers thermal spa & pool, body and facial treatments, thermal water treatments, massage, fitness center, and 3 different wellness programs. The nearest golf clubs are Molino Del Pero Golf Club (18-hole), Fonti Golf Club (18-hole), Monte Cimone Golf Club (9-hole), and Golf Club Monte Veglio.
  8. Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda: Their spa is 3,800 square meters big. Check out their spa and wellness offers. If it is still not enough for you then you can visit the region’s golf clubs among them the Arzaga Golf Club for instance.
Palazzo Arzaga Hotel spa golf resort wellness massage

I know it is hard to list the best or near the best ones. I am also struggling where shall I go next to Argentario Golf Resort or to Palazzo Arzaga Hotel Spa & Golf Resort.

Write your recommendations in the comment box!