There’s nothing like being a guest at a spa, but it gets even better when the spa is the Cavalieri Grand Spa, in the Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria hotel on the Montemario hill overlooking the entire Eternal City. If anything, Grand Spa is old news. For the last decade, its more than 20,000 square meters of pools, work out rooms, tennis courts, treatment rooms and green space have been a luxury retreat for locals as well as hotel guests.
Ages ago, my cousin, a former Serie A footballer and all-around It guy, had an annual membership just so he could work out on the occasion he was back in Rome. Of course I joined him and some of his extremely fit football colleagues for a bit of sun, fun and the best poolside club sandwich in the city.
In the early 2010s, the Grand Spa underwent an extensive upgrade to catapult it to the No. 1 wellness oasis in the city, a title it holds to this day. This oasis of luxury, relaxation and pampering is all thanks to Gabriel Halmagyi, the spa’s manager who was created a wellness retreat for the community.
Halmagyi was the first in Rome to create a 360 wellness experience that includes the Grand Spa Cafe, with a focus on incredible flavorful, creative and healthy dishes that Grand Slammer Novak Djokovic cann’t get enough of. And then he brought in yoga class and retreats to complement the 26,000 square meter wellness complex whose facilities also include indoor and outdoor pools, Turkish baths, whirlpools, saunas, and a state-of-the-art fitness center, along with various treatments and massages.
Though the Spa does come with a pretty price tag, Gabriel has his finger on the pulse of quality and consistency– state of the art Technogym equipment, on-the-ball and very friendly personal trainers, innovative treatment rooms (he has some tranquility surprises coming soon that will literally change the spa’s landscape) and fidelity to top-shelf treatments and products such as La Prairie and St. Barth’s.
At the end of the day, there is a great equalizer among all luxury spas as they all strive forward with top gear, service and staff. What I am hoping will set the Grand Spa apart from the rest of Rome is Gabriel and his desire to create a community in the spa and out -right now, he’s starting with al aperto yoga sessions under beautiful Roman pines (yours truly totally adored it even in the throws of allergy season), and early Wednesday morning urban running sessions that skims a pleasurable 5k around the centro storico. Let’s see what happens . . .