L’Albergo Della Regina Isabella By Antonia Pearce

Antonia Pearce booked a stay at the famous hotel and spa in an attempt to find her inner-goddess.

The Regina Isabella, on the island of Ischia, is a beautiful, old world hotel. Wooden antique furniture, marble floors and seaside views make for a glamorous impact.

Ischia is famous for its mineral rich springs and therapeutic thermal waters. In its 1960’s heyday, Elizabeth Taylor and Clark Gable (the former on the island to film Cleopatra) set the tone by sunbathing in white swimsuits and evoking the spirit of la dolce vita. So it came to pass that generations of goddesses, from Greco-Roman to the silver-screen made Ischia their retreat, their passion, their medicine.

Days began with carrot juice and fruit for breakfast, or champagne for those so inclined. Followed by a variety of spa treatments (try the Tui na facial massage) and a splash in the thermal, mineral rich pool (with the only down side being the embarrassing yet compulsory shower caps). Whilst, afternoons were spent by the sea, drinking coconut smoothies and being charmed by waiters who espoused the intricacies of Dante and the Italian language. A little swimming and site seeing in the afternoon made for pleasant sun drenched days.

The Regina Isabella, on the island of Ischia, is a beautiful, old world hotel. Wooden antique furniture, marble floors and seaside views make for a glamorous impact.

Ischia is famous for its mineral rich springs and therapeutic thermal waters. In its 1960’s heyday, Elizabeth Taylor and Clark Gable (the former on the island to film Cleopatra) set the tone by sunbathing in white swimsuits and evoking the spirit of la dolce vita. So it came to pass that generations of goddesses, from Greco-Roman to the silver-screen made Ischia their retreat, their passion, their medicine.

Days began with carrot juice and fruit for breakfast, or champagne for those so inclined. Followed by a variety of spa treatments (try the Tui na facial massage) and a splash in the thermal, mineral rich pool (with the only down side being the embarrassing yet compulsory shower caps). Whilst, afternoons were spent by the sea, drinking coconut smoothies and being charmed by waiters who espoused the intricacies of Dante and the Italian language. A little swimming and site seeing in the afternoon made for pleasant sun drenched days.

The Regina Isabella’s spa is one of the main draws for the hotel. All hotel guests are invited for a medical consultation with Medical Director: Dr. Paolo Magrassi. This charismatic and erudite doctor, who spent his early career as a cardiac surgeon in New York, takes a pragmatic approach to any ills.

He gave prudent medical advice that complimented my rather indulgent approach to my holiday i.e. that if I was here to relax then I best book myself appointments with the spa’s ‘Wellness heroes’ who specialise in massage therapies. And for those with real aliments, it is the thermal waters and muds that are prescribed: mud that has been used to treat infertility, respiratory illnesses and skin complaints for thousands of years. As evidence of this, the doctor took me on an adventurous tour of the Greco-Roman ruins that lie dormant below the hotel’s spa. Here, with torch in hand we saw first hand what the Romans had known all along – that the thermal water and mud of Ischia have long had the power to restore health and vitality. Stone outlines of hot water pools and the presence of Roman columns serve to verify the facts.

The Thermal Spa is open from late March to mid November and for two weeks in December.

Room Rates from 310 Euros.

Tel: +39 081 99 43 22

www.reginaisabella.it