When ceramic meets the spa world

When ceramic meets the spa world

by Sara Costi

Let me take you on a journey that starts in Slovenia, continues in Austria, Germany, and Italy, and ends in France. We’ll discover some magical places where our porcelain stoneware tiles are the star of the show!

When you talk about spas in Europe, you have to start from Slovenia. My first stop is in Moravske Toplice, in the Slovenian plain. The success of this spa lies in its black thermal and mineral water, also known as “Black Gold” for its beneficial effects.

I stay at the Ajda Hotel, which means “buckwheat” in Slovenian. This grain has been grown for centuries in the Prekmurje fields and is the star of this hotel. It’s not just a staple ingredient of their cuisine. You can even find it inside the pillows because it helps improve the quality of sleep. Inside the swimming pool, you can admire hanging buckwheat grain-shaped elements that reflect the light of the spotlight in different directions. Lamps in the same shape can be found in the sauna, aromatherapy, and relaxation areas.

After a nice swim in the pool, you can relax in the aromatherapy room or warm yourself up in the Finnish, Turkish or infrared sauna with Prekmurje herbs. You can also enjoy a hot herbal tea on the poolside while admiring the wonderful surrounding nature.

The pools are covered with tiles from the Landscape collection in Tundra and Bay and tiles from the Elementi collection in Talco. The wellness area is fully covered with stone-effect porcelain stoneware tiles from the Amazzonia collection in Dragon Chocolate and Dragon White.

 

Pools - Elementi tiles in Talco, Landscape tiles in Tundra and Bay

 

Wellness area - Flooring and coverings: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon Chocolate

 

Wellness area - Flooring and coverings: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon Chocolate

 

Wellness area - Flooring and coverings: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon Chocolate

 

On the first floor, there is a relaxation area equipped with loungers filled with buckwheat hulls, which provide a micro-massage while regulating body temperature.

Relaxation area - Flooring: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon White

 

Relaxation area - Flooring: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon White

 

For the younger guests, there is a children’s pool with toys.

Photo: Simon Xolezniz

 

It’s time to set off again on a 200 Km journey to reach Hotel Tauern Spa, Austria’s most modern spa resort in Kaprun at the Hohe Tauern National Park.

This 4-star hotel has 160 rooms, an exclusive spa, saunas and 2000 sq.m of water surfaces covered with Mineral Chromeporcelain stoneware tiles. Its spiral-shaped architecture allows you to admire the wonderful view of the Kaprun Valley and the surrounding mountains from the communal areas and every room of the hotel.

 

 

The close bond with nature is reflected in the alpine character of the architecture and bright, modern and comfortable interior design.

The spa and its large panoramic saunas are the core of the hotel. The 9-metre high, slightly rounded glazed façades of the relaxation room allow you to enjoy the stunning view of the surrounding snow-capped mountains.

 

Time to move on to Innsbruck for a visit to the StuBay Water Park, which covers an area of 5000 sq.m in the Stubaital Valley.

The indoor area includes a sports pool, a children’s pool, whirlpool baths, and hot and cold plunge pools. In the outdoor area, you can relax in the magnificent infinity saltwater pool (32 °C). There are also a fitness area, a body treatment area, a bistro, and a restaurant near the entrance.

Thanks to the big windows, you can be lulled by the lovely play of light that recreates the waves of the sea while you swim or relax in the whirlpool. For a complete relaxation experience, you can also treat yourself to a Finnish sauna, immerse yourself in the spicy fragrance of a herbal sauna, enjoy a Turkish bath or try an emotional shower.

Both the indoor and outdoor areas, including the pools, are covered with porcelain stoneware tiles from the Landscape (in Ocean and Tundra), Natural Slate, Marte, Pietre Etrusche and Terre Toscane collections.

 

Once in Germany, I stop in Oberhof, a town in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district of Thuringia known for its winter sports complexes where biathlon, skeleton, bob, cross country skiing, and Nordic combined competitions take place. I decide to stay a few days at the Berghotel wellness centre. The facility has 54 between rooms and suites and 15 rooms in the refurbished Villa Silva. However, the real highlight of the hotel is its 1.000 sq.m wellness area fully covered with porcelain stoneware tiles from the Marte collection in Grigio Maggia, Grigio Marostica and Raggio di Luna.

After a hearty breakfast, I find myself in a true wellness oasis, where I can choose between a Finnish sauna, bio sauna, infrared sauna, scented Turkish bath, steam bath, emotional shower, salt cave, saltwater pool countercurrent swimming pool, whirlpool and 6 wellness treatment rooms. At sunset, you can enjoy the wonderful few of the garden and surrounding countryside from the relaxation rooms. During the evening, I get to taste delicious Thuringia dishes at the restaurant with romantic music in the background.

Flooring and coverings: Marte tiles in Grigio Marostica, Grigio Maggia and Grigio Egeo

 

Flooring: Marte tiles in Grigio Maggia

 

Flooring: Marte tiles in Grigio Egeo

 

Flooring: Marte tiles in Grigio Egeo

 

Flooring and coverings: Marte tiles in Grigio Marostica, Grigio Maggia and Grigio Egeo

Photo: Berghotel Oberhof

On my way to France, I decided to stop in Trentino Alto Adige, a region in North-Eastern Italy.

The properties of Trentino thermal water are known since the Ancient Romans. I’m staying at Hotel Hubertus, which is located 1.350 m a.s.l., at the foot of the famous Plan de Corones ski resort in Val Pusteria. The hotel has recently expanded with 16 new suites, a new kitchen with restaurants and stubes, an entrance hall with lobby and reception, a wine cellar, a gym and a relaxation room with panoramicterraces.

Hotel Hubertus

 

 

The new swimming pool is the highlight of the entire project. A true engineering and architecture gem measuring 25 m in length, 5 m in width and 1.63 in depth, suspended 17 m above the ground and held in place by super long wooden beams.

 

Coverings: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon Black

The pool is fully covered with porcelain stoneware tiles from the Amazzonia collection and seems suspended between heaven and earth over the breathtaking Dolomite landscape. The stone effect of the porcelain stoneware tiles in Dragon Black perfectly integrates into the wonderful mountain scenery. This cantilevered pool is like an erratic rock in the Val Pusteria landscape held by four wood-clad metal struts. The walls of the pool are fully covered with porcelain stoneware tiles while the larch beams allow it to merge into the surrounding Dolomite landscape, making it appear as a lake at the foot of the mountain.

Coverings: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon Black

 

Coverings: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon Black

 

Coverings: Amazzonia tiles in Dragon Black

Photos: Alex Filz

With its 12-metre height at its extreme edge, the pool gives you the feeling of floating in mid-air. A feeling further enhanced by the transparent glass bottom. In fact, in the outermost part of the body of water, there is a window to look over the scenery, which makes this pool truly one of a kind.

 

And here we are in the final leg of this journey. We are finally in Bagneres de Bigorre (High Pyrenees), in France, where the Aquensis balneotherapy centre is located. An almost surreal architectural gem. The pool – whose thermal water was already known in ancient times for its trace elements with analgesic and relaxing properties – measures 300 sq.m and is equipped with whirlpool, water jets, countercurrent swimming system, and relaxing underwater music. Rounded porcelain stoneware barriers in Tundra recreate the water’s movement while separating the relaxation area from the whirlpool area. While I swim, I get the feeling of being in a natural forest, in a surreal atmosphere created by the music and the scent of mint tea.

Next to the pool, there are two traditional Finnish saunas, a large central shower, and a relaxation area with loungers from where you can admire the scenery of the Bédat forest on the Pyrenees.

Flooring in Tundra

 

Flooring in Slate

Why choose porcelain stoneware tiles?

Modern wellness centres, thermal centres, and spas are designed to evoke emotions and ensure a sensory experience. Porcelain stoneware coverings become the means to create comfortable and cosy spaces where water takes centre stage either energetically or softly.

Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles are a fantastic tool for architects and interior designers for creations in any setting and any latitude. All this is possible because porcelain stoneware tiles are impact- and abrasion-resistant, do not absorb liquids, and are hygienic, thanks to the Bios Antibacterial technology, which reduces the main bacterial strains and combats the formation of mould, yeast, and fungi. They are environmentally friendly and safe. They help protect both the environment and humanhealth as they do not contain plastic and are completely recyclable. Moreover, they are fire-resistant and, in the event of a fire, they don’t release harmful substances. Porcelain stoneware tiles are unalterable, easy to clean and do not require maintenance. They do not warp and do not fear frost or chemicals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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