Continuing on with our travels around the beautiful Italian island of Ischea, our next port of call was the Relais Chateaux 5* hotel and spa, Terme Manzi.
The hotel is located just a short drive from Ischea`s main port and perfectly positioned to access and enjoy all of the island`s fantastic amenities and sights. The hotel`s own luxury shuttle bus is on hand for collections and drop offs. The hotel itself is located in a quaint yet vibrant, typically Ischean village with shops and a decent beach around 5 minutes` walk away.
On arrival, you`ll not fail to notice the incredibly stylish bright yellow glass entry doors with unique handlebar moustache door handles, a very quirky piece of design and a great first impression. Whilst in the main reception you immediately get a sense of chic Italian grandeur – a perfect combination of contemporary meets classic with some beautiful artworks, paintings, chandeliers and a rather unique model! Somebody here clearly appreciates good design.
After a quick tour of the facilities we were shown to our room, which was comfortable, well equipped, had its own private balcony and felt traditionally Ischean with a combination of marble, vibrancy and beautifully designed floor tiles. We would say that if you are planning a stay for more than 2 days you may like to consider upgrading to a suite rather than a double, just to give you a little more space to relax in, and trust us – you`ll be doing much of that here!
On first discovering the hotel online, one of the biggest draws had to be the spa facilities. There is nothing this hotel lacks in terms of facilities here. Interestingly, the hotel location was chosen based on its positioning and access to the natural Gurgitiello Spring 38 degrees thermae water, which is forced through infinite volcanic fissures by pressure. The water passes through areas of extreme heat which contain a great variety of minerals and salts. During this process the water is purified and can absorb the healing minerals and salts. The hotel`s natural thermae pool, which is totally unique and possibly the best on the island, is fantastic and you`ll struggle to pull yourself away from it once in! The grand Roman architecture of this pool is impressive and provides a fantastic environment to totally relax.
The rest of the spa is equally impressive with a sauna, steam room, plunge pool, ample beds to relax on, a wall of water and a healthy amount if treatment rooms and attendants that can provide you a wide range of massages and treatments. There really has not been any expense spared in pursuing the finest spa environment and equal to only 2 others we have previously experienced here on Lussorian.
Hop in the lift and take yourself up to the top floor and you will find an equally impressive outdoor rooftop pool, which has the most magnificent views, particularly of the volcanic mountain that is central to the island and that towers above the hotel. The roof terrace also provides a bar and snack area and ample sun loungers – a great place to lose yourself in a book!
There are two restaurants on offer, Gli Ulivi, the a la carte style diner which offers delicious cuisine from classic Campania to the most famous Ischian dishes, then there`s the 2 Michelin star restaurant named Il Mosaco and run by head chef NINO DI COSTANZO . We were fortunate to dine at both, the experience of Il Mosaco can be read about in a separate review.
Gli Ulivi is a very welcoming space, with an air of a small ballroom, equally as grand anyway. Before you dine we recommend you head out onto the terrace to enjoy a delicious aperitif cocktail or two. A fantastic collection of cocktails and very attentive staff will ensure your evening gets off on the right foot.
Dining is equally enjoyable with attentive staff and a talented Italian club singer belting out some classics whilst you relax and dine. Whilst the food was fantastic, the level of service simply cannot be ignored, you will be pampered the moment you sit down. We enjoyed the typically Italian 4 course meal, but had to throw in the towel after course 3 as we were simply too full!
Our starter was the classic Italian Bruschetta, followed by an incredible lobster spaghetti (absolutely stunning), and followed by seafood, courgette and carrot tempura. All was beautifully prepared and thoroughly enjoyed, there was simply too much of it meaning we had to skip desert. Make sure you go hungry, take your time and control your urges to eat too much of the delicious breads all baked in-house.
To sum up, Terme Manzi was a dream destination where you can truly escape and unwind. We certainly didn’t expect to find such a fantastically luxurious gem of a hotel (and we’ve seen a few) on this tiny island. Ischea is actually not particularly well known amongst British travellers and is in fact favoured mostly by Italians, meaning a fantastic cultural escape for those who seek it. The only conclusion can be that the Italians are keeping this one a secret for themselves, and who can blame them!
Find out more here – www.termemanzihotel.com
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