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Lying on the treatment table at Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti, I hovered between sleep and wakefulness. This facial was supposed to replenish my skin, but the rejuvenating effect penetrated much deeper. As the esthetician’s skilled fingers massaged my temples and brow, I slipped into a profound state of relaxation.
Pampering is the main draw of the Lefay Resorts & Residences’ brand. Its original resort on Italy’s Lake Garda developed a broad menu of distinctive spa therapies that earned it a cult following among Europe’s cognoscenti. Now, Lefay has re-created its winning formula with a second location in the Brenta Dolomites southwest of Bolzano (the capital city of South Tyrol province). After a soft opening this fall, Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti has made its official debut for the winter 2019-2020 ski season.
Located on a hillside above the town of Pinzolo and reached via a steep, winding road that climbs from the village’s town center, Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti offers broad views of the valley leading down to Italy’s Lake District. The hotel is close to the Madonna di Campiglio ski area and provides shuttle service to the lifts, too.
But the property also appeals to guests who have no intention of venturing off during their stay. The hillside location makes it impractical to walk down to Pinzolo, but Lefay is a destination in its own right, comprising 53,820 square feet of spa and wellness facilities that cure guests’ restlessness.
Two swimming pools separate splashy kids from serene adult soakers. The family pool spans indoor and outdoor areas offering panoramic views of the forested mountainsides. The adults-only, indoor pool (made of tonalite, a local stone) is surrounded by a plethora of intriguing hot/cold therapies: There is a saltwater whirlpool that’s enriched with magnesium (reputed to be restorative for tired muscles) as well as an ice pool, a Finnish sauna and an aromatic “Green Dragon” sauna scented with orange and rosemary essences.
In addition, a separate treatment area combines a glass-walled relaxation lounge with nearly 20 private therapy rooms for individuals and couples. Many highlight mountain folk remedies: The anti-aging Massage of the Nardis Fairy option uses oils extracted from Alpine flowers, while the “Caress of the Forest” body scrub combines chestnut flour and mountain butter (a specialty produced in the Italian Alps).
The food program also attracts gourmands. Dolomia Restaurant, which is only open to guests of the resort and spa, uses primarily organic ingredients in healthful preparations. You’ll find no bathed-in-butter beefsteaks or other gut bombs on its menus (although the lounge’s lunch service does serve a proper hamburger). Instead, vegetables grace the wine-braised beef shank, and the turbot is topped with capers and amaranth gremolata. Expansive windows frame one side of the restaurant, and on the other is an impressive display of Dolomia’s wines.
Fortunately, the resort’s wellness emphasis doesn’t prohibit dessert: After dinner, guests can choose from an array of sweet treats offered buffet-style.
Like the original Lefay Resort on Lake Garda, the new Dolomites property appeals to a fashionable clientele. Even babies in strollers wore designer-label apparel, though adult groups and couples far outnumbered families with young children. Bathrobe-clad partners padded to and from the treatment area throughout the day; by evening, silk and cashmere filled the restaurant.
Accommodations range from standard doubles (some with mountain views) to a rooftop Royal Pool and Spa Suite with a private deck and hot tub. It, like the Executive Spa Suite, also includes a private treatment area with a whirlpool and a sauna. With such amenities, guests of the suites have little need to leave their rooms at all: Estheticians and even dinner service can be savored in total privacy.
Throughout the hotel, modern finishes reflect the Dolomites’ stone and wood, with larch paneling and sparkling granite. But unlike most hotels throughout Italy, where even upscale properties typically celebrate their own individuality and offer a more intimate experience, Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti looks and feels like a corporate hospitality chain — in a good way. Its vaguely modern decor has a global aesthetic that could blend into any city on any continent.
With my eyes closed on the spa’s treatment table, I didn’t care. Because at its core, Lefay’s mission is to create a space where travelers can look inward and spend time with themselves. In today’s world, that’s a rare luxury indeed.
The DetailsLefay Resort and Spa Dolomitidolomiti.lefayresorts.com/en