Pre Saint Didier – a day at the thermal bath

Written by on October 6, 2020 in Blog, Our Good Life in Italy

Pre Saint Didier - a day in thermal bath

Everyone deserves a little luxury and pampering in life, a little break from all the rushing around. The thermal spa at Pré Saint Didier, in its beautiful Alpine surroundings close to Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley, is just the perfect place for it.

I have to admit that before I discovered Pre Saint Didier I never particularly liked the idea of thermal baths. With their sulphur smell and the idea of soaking in extremely hot water for hours. But my Italian girlfriend Ornella had been nagging me for ages to go there with her, so I finally agreed. So here we come, our day at the thermal bath!

tisana herbal tea is available to get hydrated during your stay

First Impressions 

When I walked through the entrance I could immediately see that it would be quite different from my previous thermal spa experiences. Warm tisana, herbal tea variations, were received as a welcome drink. Along with various healthy biscuits to be snacked on while we waited for registration.

After receiving a nice robe, a pair of flip-flops and a towel we headed to the changing room. It was immaculately clean and fragrant, not a whiff of sulphur.  There are pretty little wooden lockers for leaving your clothes and valuables. The showers are supplied with products from a local natural cosmetics company. Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, face wash, body lotion, the works. Hairdryers are also available so really you don’t need to bring anything other than your swimsuit. We were ready to spend our day in the thermal bath in luxury.

Steam bath and sea salt

After a quick shower, we made our way to a steam room. In front of it, a charming stone bowl was filled with sea salt that you put in your palm and take in with you. You use it to scrape all your body while the steam helps to soften your skin. It really works wonders! We showered off the remaining salt in refreshingly cool water and continued our tour.

You can find other steam baths with different temperatures. There is even a Salt Room upstairs for a breath of sea air for your skin and lungs.

There were several free events during the day like hair treatments and putting chilli or delicious chocolate cream on your skin in the steam bath. But my favourite was the “ventilated” sauna.

Saunas at the thermal bath

There are both indoor and outdoor saunas. Including panoramic, dry, mountain, rose-scented and bio saunas. The ventilated sauna session was held in one of the outdoor small wooden cottages. It provided an astonishing view of the magnificent Monte Bianco.

While we were patiently waiting if front of the sauna a young man appeared with quite an impressive body. He had a towel around his waist and two buckets of ice in his hands.

First he informs us about the variety of essential oils and their beneficial effects on our body. Next, he puts the first ball of ice, with drops of rosemary oil, onto the glowing stones. The air gets immediately warmer. But temperature shoots up when he then starts spinning a towel fiercely above the stones to get the steam circulating around the room.

Just when you think you can’t stand it any longer and need to run outside to cool off, the young man starts throwing crushed ice and iced water at you. Very refreshing! Then he repeats this séance two more times with different oils. You finish it off with a cold shower outside. Or for the braver ones a dip in a wonderful stone bath filled with cold water. Of course, I had to try the tub. Hugely uplifting feeling, although while you are under the cold water……mamma mia!

sauna at QC Terme SPA in the Aosta Valley

The hydro massage experience

My other favourite was the hydro massage in the big outdoor pool. This one really works hard on your muscles! You can rotate in it so every part of your body reaches the strong hydro-jet that stimulates your micro-circulation. In the same pool, a waterfall relaxes your shoulders and back muscles beautifully.

In the garden, there are plenty of other pools. Small, intimate ones for the romantic couples. Warmer ones to facilitate blood circulation and muscle movement. And one with a torch in the middle that lights up in the evening to provide you with an abundance of peace and beauty.

If music brings you Zen, I recommend one of the indoor shallow water pools. The room is completely darkened and on the ceiling glowing stars are painted. You float on the surface with your ears under the water listing to soft, soothing music. That will completely switch your mind off and relax your body, I can tell you.

The Kneipp experience

I strongly recommend this to any visitors to try it out. The interaction of warm and cold water apparently strengthens your immune system and blood circulation to create a better state of health.

kneipp experience in the SPA

All-day Buffet

What made this wonderful experience even more complete is the option of an all-day healthy food buffet. Full of delicious, local fresh vegetables and fruits it includes organic yoghurts, different types of artisan grissini and divine brown bread with raisins and nuts.

After each sauna session it is advised to drink lots of water and herbal teas and then relax at least for 15 minutes.

They even organise a special ‘aperitivo’ here on Friday evenings.

Relaxation rooms

The truth is, we didn’t spend a lot of time here because, with so many fantastic things to try, I didn’t feel like “wasting” time with just relaxing. Each room has a different style of furnishings that suits every taste. One of them was lined with jungle-reminiscent wallpaper, with hammocks to lie on while you listen to birds chirping as if you were in an oasis. In another room, fine soft blankets lie on wooden resting beds and in the middle of the room, a ‘stuffa’ (wood burner) enhances the ambiance, especially if it happens to be snowing outside.

Pre Saint Didier a day in the thermal bath in luxury

A little luxury in everyday life

I owe a debt of gratitude to my friend, Ornella for taking me to this wonderful place. On leaving at the end of an amazing day I took advantage of the option to purchase a discounted season ticket for local residents to make sure I return, often!

‘A haven of peace where you can regenerate and take care of yourself, finding the authentic values of the mountains and the joy of relaxing immersed in a natural setting’, is what the brochure says. Well, I could not put it better.

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