Portofino Paradise


Perched high amid woodlands overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the bay of Portofino sits the expansive four-story Hotel Splendido. Once the site of a monastery in the 16th century and then a family summer home in the 19th century, it became a hotel in 1901 and quickly attracted the rich and famous, including the Duke of Windsor, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, and many more illustrious guests. When Orient-Express Hotels bought Hotel Splendido in 1985, the hotel received a complete renovation that included redecorated and refurbished guest rooms, and a new lounge and restaurant. Though the property was continually updated throughout the years, the hotel greeted 2011 with one of its most exciting updates—a renovated Wellness Centre.

The spa and wellness center, which is located on the second floor of the hotel, features three treatment rooms, a garden massage area, and a beauty salon for hair and nail services. “Our clients want to relax,” says Veronica Spedini, wellness and spa director for Orient-Express Italia. “They visit Portofino and the Splendido to unwind and take a break from their busy lives. They are definitely curious to learn about new treatments and products, and they travel extensively and visit the best spas in the world. Therefore, we always have to provide something new and exciting on our spa menu.”

The current menu includes a range of face and body services to suit the needs of the highly discerning clientele. Among the more popular services is The Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience for Couples ($305, 50 minutes; $430, 80 minutes), which includes an aromatherapy massage using a customized essential oil blend. Guests looking to ease sore and tired muscles after hiking the five towns of the nearby Cinque Terre will appreciate the Intensive Muscle Release ($179, 50 minutes; $252, 80 minutes), which eases pain and tension in stiff, aching muscles. The Age Repair Facial ($185, 80 minutes) is also a popular option. This anti-aging treatment includes a dual-layering of intensive masks to lift, plump, and firm the skin.

Female clients are not the only focus at the spa. Men are attracted to the menu of male-oriented services, including the Reviving Break ($331, 2 hours) package, which includes a full-body massage, a cleansing facial with an eye contour treatment, and a haircut and style. Mother-daughter bonding is also encouraged with a host of treatments targeting kids and teens. The Lavender & Camomile Massage ($278, 50 minutes) is a relaxing massage for two, and the Mother and Daughter Wellness Package ($530, 2 hours 20 minutes) includes facials, manicures and hand treatments, and pedicures and foot treatments.

For the ultimate in relaxation, guests can opt for the appropriately named Splendido’s Dream ($311, 2 hours), which takes place in the outdoor garden area and includes an exfoliating treatment and deep massage while guests enjoy the scents and essences of the surrounding area. Pilates and yoga classes are also offered in this outdoor area. “The location of Hotel Splendido within the protected regional park of Portofino and the view over the bay of Portofino make this outdoor area absolutely unique,” says Spedini.

The spa’s five full-time employees strive to ensure the 25 to 30 guests who visit the spa daily receive the personalized treatment they deserve and leave the spa relaxed and happy. In addition to an updated menu of services, the new spa has introduced guests to several amenities, including a new steam room and sauna, which is located next to the hotel’s fitness room and is open to all hotel guests, and the Stressless Room, which is located in the spa and can be used by guests pre-treatment as a place to stretch and practice personal breathing techniques. Says Spedini, “We always strive to anticipate our guests’ needs and desires as well as keep up with trends to provide services that will fascinate our guests and keep them coming back.” 


Owner: Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

Spa Manager: Katia Delfino

Opened: 2003

Renovated: April 2011

Most Represented Countries

U.S., U.K., Italy



1,022 square feet;

3 treatment rooms



aromatherapy, Ayurveda, body treatments, couples’ treatments, eyelash and brow tinting, eyelash extensions, facials, fitness, guided meditation, hair and scalp treatments, hammam, hand and foot treatments, makeup application, massage, nailcare, naturopathic medicine, outdoor treatments, Pilates, prenatal services, reflexology, salon services, waxing, yoga



Splendido’s Dream ($311, 2 hours)



Aromatherapy Associates, Goldwell, Jane Iredale—The Skin Care Makeup, La Sultane de Saba, Les Sens de Marrakech, Sebastian, Sothys Paris



LifeFitness, Medi Vital Welt, Nilo, Spa Uniforms, Technogym



Michel Jouannet (Paris)



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