Helvetia & Bristol welcomes spa inspired by ancient Roman baths

By Lauren Heath-Jones

Helvetia & Bristol Firenze, a Starhotels Collection hotel in the heart of Florence, Italy, has launches a new spa following an extensive multi-year renovation project. Located on the site of the ancient Capitoline Baths of the Roman city of Florentia, La Spa was inspired both by ancient Roman bathing traditions and the baths that once occupied the space. Billed as an ‘oasis of luxury and wellness,’ the 540sqm spa aims to create the experience of a Roman bath in a contemporary setting and is based on the principle of ‘Mens sano in corpore sano’, which translates as ‘A sound mind in a sound body’.

La Spa features an extensive wet area complete with a caldarium and Finnish sauna

It features a comprehensive wet area with a hammam, Vichy shower, emotional showers, a Finnish sauna, a frigidarium and a salt room, set on a glass floor so guests can see the building’s medieval foundations beneath. 

The spa also features several treatment rooms, a gym, a wellness suite equipped with a Turkish bath and two pools. 

Built in what was once the vault of the Banco di Roma, the pools offer various depths and water features. A video installation, created by artist Felice Limosani, combing digital landscapes with animation, reflects off the walls and mirrors providing a multi-sensory experience.

The pool area features an immersive video installation created by artist Felice Limosani

The treatment menu features rituals and experiences from luxury French skincare brand Cinq Mondes and draws inspiration from centuries-old wellness traditions from India, China, Japan, Indonesia and Morocco. 

Its signature treatments include the Rebirth massage, the Aquamotus La Grande Bellezza ritual and the Relax & Bubbles ritual. 

The spa is managed by Snow Group Italy, part of the French multinational that operates more than 60 spas around the world, and is available for private hire.

The spa was inspired by the ancient Roman baths that once occupied the site

La Spa represents the final phase of a major modernisation project that saw the hotel undergo a sensitive restoration, preserving the building’s original structure and architectural details. Other new additions include the new Cibréo Ristorante, an innovative dining concept offering a menu of Italian specialties, and the new  Bristol Wing, which houses 25 guest rooms created by interior designer Anouska Hempel. 

“The Helvetia & Bristol is a true icon, said Elisabetta Fabri, president and CEO of Starhotels.

“With La Spa the Helvetia becomes a destination offering a rich, diversified and exclusive experience."

Elisabetta Fabri

President & CEO, Starhotels

“With La Spa the Helvetia becomes a destination offering a rich, diversified and exclusive experience. When we discovered during the excavations that the ancient Capitoline Baths of the Roman city of Florentia once stood on this very spot, we were even more inspired to build the finest spa in the city, not only breathtakingly beautiful but also richly imbued with history.

“We found the perfect partner in Snow Group Italy to create a premium experience, thanks to a team of first-rate professionals with an unrivalled knowledge of the world of wellness,” she added.

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