Relais San Maurizio Spa Vinother *****
Relais San Maurizio is the result of careful restoration work on a monastery that was founded by a group of Cistercian Monks from Provence in 1619. During the years that they lived here (almost two centuries), the monks introduced the cultivation of grapes and the production of wine to the area; back then the wine cellars where huge excavations in the ground underneath the building but today they are the halls of the hotel’s restaurant & Guido da Costigliole. Then, in 1862, it was bought by a nobleman and transformed into a private residence, and in 2002, after 5 years of work, it became Relais San Maurizio. Located on the highest point of a hill (the swimming pool offers a great 360° panorama of the landscape) and in the heart of the Muscat region, in Langhe, the hotel is immersed in a centuries-old park that is filled with olive, fir, larch, beech, elm and oak trees.
The hotel has 20 rooms and 10 Suites which are located in the old cells and stables, and all of them have views of either the internal cloister, the renowned Michelin star restaurant, the bistrot, a wine & cocktail bar, an exclusive medical and beauty spa named ‘La Via del Sale’ or the multifunctional conference hall, which is located in the old church, can hold up to 130 people and boasts great technology and equipment for exhibitions, fairs and conventions.
The Spa at Relais San Maurizio is known as ‘La Via del Sale Medical & Beauty SPA’ and salt is one of the main ingredients used in the numerous treatments that are carried out at the spa, which include therapeutic and aesthetic treatments and hydrotherapy. The spa also boasts a salt grotto which is carved into a natural cleft in the rock, and the San Maurizio baths contain a lot of saline as salt from Cagliari is used in them. There is also a heated pool with hydromassage points, a hammam, gym, panoramic sun terrace and 11 booths for aesthetic treatments, massages and therapy sessions, and there is even a Spa suite for couples massages and a jacuzzi for two, all of which is located in an area that expands over 1000m². Furthermore, a complete check-up can be done at the medical centre to evaluate and prevent visible signs of aging, and there is also a large terrace outside which looks out over the monastery’s vineyards.
The 30 rooms at Relais San Maurizio all have different styles and atmospheres and they are located in 3 different areas: 20 rooms, including Executive, Superior and Junior Suites, are located on the first floor, along the corridor where the monks’ cells once where; 10 Suites are split between the old stables and the old mill by the church. Many rooms are decorated with frescoes, woods, stones and original period furniture, and some have a private garden with furniture, and they all have the latest mod-cons and computers.
The restaurant ‘Guido da Costiglione’ is located in the monastery’s old cellar and the area underneath this is filled with 2,500 types of wine. Adorned with a Michelin star , and well known in the Langhe area, this restaurant offers dishes with traditional flavours that are reworked in a contemporary way, and they contain local ingredients. The restaurant is open to the public every evening, apart from the one day when it is only open exclusively to hotel guests, and it can seat up to 80 people. Diners can also eat outside during the warmer months and enjoy the splendid panorama.
The gastronomic offer at Relais San Maurizio also includes that that is served at the bistrot ‘La Vie en Rose’, which is located in the Salon of the Frescoes and which faces the monastery’s internal cloister. Local specialties and light dishes can be consumed here, and it too is outdoors during the summer, providing a wonderful view of Langhe.
Last but not least is the bar: it is called ‘Wine & Cocktail Bar Hemingway’, in homage of course to the great writer who loved Langhe, and its production of vermouth, and over 40 types of white, red and sparkling wines and champagnes can be tasted at the bar or in the Cigar Room.
Some of the hotel’s facilities and services:
Santo Stefano Balbo, the town where Relais San Maurizio is located, is the hometown of Cesare Pavese, who drew important inspiration for his works from this area, which, today, is visited by many of this writer’s fans. He was not the only person to write about this area however: Beppe Fenoglio also did so when he stayed as a partisan in the zone that goes from Alba to Barberesco. Alba is the historical and economic capital of Langhe and it has a lot to offer to lovers of art and archaeology.
Furthermore, not far from Relais San Maurizio is Bra, one of the biggest centres of Piedmontese Baroque, and the fractions of this town are home to the monumental complex of Pollenzo , which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Asti , which is one of the most important heritage sites for late-Medieval architecture in Piedmont, and Cherasco, which is also rich in history, art and culture.
Nature tourism lovers will find that there are numerous itineraries to do by bike, horseback or on foot in this area, starting directly from Relais San Maurizio, whilst golf lovers are spoilt for choice with 4 nearby golf courses.