Imagine experiencing a pampering massage in the Italian sunshine as you drift off, gazing dreamily over the olive groves on the hillside below you.
This is how it happens at Casale San Pietro, a luxury boutique hotel nestled in the Italian countryside less than an hour from Rome. Owned and run by Alana and Joe Mazza, it opened in 2016 when the couple decided to sell their Huddersfield home to fulfil their long-held dream. They had also left their careers – Joe had his own hairdressing business in West Yorkshire, while Alana was retail director of Hobbs, looking after 135 stores in the UK, Ireland and the US.
Developing the Casale San Pietro has been a major project but, with their combined years of experience in the service industry, one that they have approached with relish and flair. Alana says they could not have achieved so much without the help of local people and the dedicated staff who help with catering and running the bed and breakfast side.
Attention to detail, luxury and comfort underpin the renovation of Casale San Pietro, which has four double rooms and two suites, all with a private terrace, Italian marble bathrooms, air conditioning and a mixture of antique and contemporary furniture. A 12-metre swimming pool was designed by Joe and Alana. They host cookery schools and yoga retreats, as well as olive harvest parties.Last year they launched a small spa after finding beauty therapist Serena Fanella, who is from nearby spa town Fiuggi and has worked in luxury spas and hotels worldwide. Alana says: “We have a small indoor spa for the slightly chillier months, but in the height of summer we have an outdoor space above the Casale, so all you can see are uninterrupted views of the olive groves and mountains beyond with the sounds of crickets and the water trickling from the fountain below.”
The spa uses products from Harrogate based Neom Organics. Alana said: “We wanted our guests to feel truly nourished and pampered. Neom is all natural and a perfect fit with the ethos of The Casale.”
The Casale Luxury Body Scrub with a full body massage is proving a favourite. Serena says: “A good body scrub can make your tan last months. The Neom scrub takes away all your dead skin using organic sugar mixed with the luxurious oil Scent to De-Stress. Your skin feels so soft and it also revitalises your skin so it truly glows. You shower off the organic sugar and you are left with a film all over your body, ready for your full body massage, which totally takes you to a different level of relaxation.”
“I find guests are usually leaving behind busy lifestyles and many arrive with stress. A massage gives you the opportunity to lose the knots that you build up throughout your normal everyday life. It promotes muscle relaxation, helps improve circulation, helps you to sleep much more deeply and relaxes body and mind. You will feel revived, relaxed and inspired to face the world again.”