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La Dolce Vita in Sicilia


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By Pete Thompson on 19th January 2023

Did season 2 of HBO's The White Lotus fail to quench your thirst for an Italian summer of great food, sunshine and spoiler alert, a bunch of murders taking place on a yacht? Whilst we can't ensure that the latter won't happen, contributor Pete Thompson is here to warrant that you most definitely will experience la dolce vita at the ADLER Spa Resort in Sicily.

On a Saturday evening in serene Sicily, my pulse is racing at a rate of knots as sweat trickles down my face and the temperature continues to rise. I feel like I'm sweltering away in a furnace; an exuberant man wafts a towel in front of me as chill-out tunes play in the background. Taking deep breaths as the towel is swung around frenetically to whip my heart rate even higher in searing heat, I know that I am indeed fast approaching boiling point.But just like that, I suddenly feel reinvigorated as I'm presented with a handful of ice cubes that I press against my neck to cool off.

I'd been experiencing 'Aufguss', a multi-sensory wellness ritual in which an ‘Aufgussmeister’ douses infused water onto hot stones, circulating fragrant air in a panoramic sauna at the idyllic new Adler Spa Resort Sicilia.

Stepping out of the heat into the fresh Sicilian air, I shower under the bright stars - feeling totally revitalised during a dreamy November escape. The ADLER philosophy is ‘let your soul fly’, and it was not only my pulse that soared to new heights at this haven that opened last July. I could feel myself drifting off to cloud nine from the moment I arrived on the beautiful Italian island, where the warmth of the people matched the unseasonably high temperatures of over 20 degrees.

Conscious of the natural environment, the ADLER owners (the Sanoner family) had very specific requirements for where their latest luxurious retreat would be built - and they found the perfect location. Overlooking the glistening waters of the Mediterranean Sea and high on a panoramic plateau alongside the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve, the resort was designed with sustainability at its core to ensure the blending in with the picturesque landscape. All 90 of the stylish rooms come with enchanting views of the Med, some also offering the sight of a neighbouring nature reserve where species such as caretta turtles and porcupines reside. My room was just a short wander from an enticing Thalasso whirlpool, where I gazed up at a majestic eagle circling before marvelling at incredible orange and purple skies during jaw-dropping sunsets. Another short stretch of the legs took me to a private beach with golden sands, for a dip in the sea. Pilates and HIIT classes, electric bike rides and guided hikes in the nature reserve are also among the options to get your feet moving rather than putting them up all day. It seemed impossible that I could be any more relaxed, but the treat of an 'Essences of Sicily' massage in the sanctuary of the resort's heavenly spa – which has 13 treatment rooms with sea views – took me to a sheer state of bliss.

Spoilt for choice, the sea view restaurant has a chef prepare a huge swordfish as guests help themselves to an array of buffet delights – including oysters and red prawns. Fine Sicilian wine then washes down sumptuous lobster spaghetti and veal risotto dishes on a fine dining menu featuring fresh vegetables and herbs grown in the pristine gardens of the resort.

Those with an appetite for history and the archaeological world are also in for a treat at the spectacular Valle dei Templi, a UNESCO world heritage site with extraordinary Greek architecture. Following a 40-minute drive from the resort to Agrigento; I was in awe - taking in the wonder of the towering pillars that stood before me, residents to Sicily for thousands of years prior.

I was also privileged to tour the nearby Baglio Caruana vineyard, where owner Roberto shows a passion for wine, giving us the opportunity to sample the fruits of his arduous labour.

Basking in sun that sparkled on the water during one final Thalasso pool session, my spirits could not have been any higher. I'd savoured totally tranquility and was longing for the heat of the 'Aufguss' upon my return home to cooler climes.

Adler Spa Resort Sicilia

Contrada Salsa,

92010 Siculiana AG,


T: +39 0922 145 7000 


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