Wellness, Mindfulness, Balance and Inspirational Posts on The GOODista website, illustrated by meditating woman.

Health and Wellness

Feeling tired, stressed, run-down or adrenaline hyped? A wellness fitness and spa vacation is the way to break the cycle. A few days away can make the whole difference, and you’re worth it! A break away from routine, work pressures and every day stress. The GOODista starts its new wellness retreat section with a review of a hidden gem in Southern Italy. The Santavenere Hotel and Spa in the Basilicata region is the perfect place to totally recharge and restart. I feel renovated, full of energy and ready to take on the world. Are you looking to break the cycle of stress and routine? Find out how a wellness mini-break away can boost every part of you. 

Breaking The Cycle: Wellness Vacation

Wellness needs to be triggered at times. Stress can bring you to the brink of near exhaustion. Stress can take you in a direction that brings you far away from your ‘real you’. Many adrenaline junkie jobs will suck every part of you dry. You need to stop, and think. To enable yourself to continue a wellness, fitness and spa vacation can be just the trick to break the cycle of evil.Mindfulness benefits lifestyle changes and completes them, illustrated by stones balancing on top of each other. Read more on thegoodista.com

Taking time out for ‘me, myself and I‘ is essential when work and life hits hard. When you know you can do something you will, whereas if you doubt if you can make it – the outcome will probably be just as faded. There are hidden gems all over the world that specialise in making your wellness their reason to exist. The GOODista starts here with a new section to the site: Reviews of places to go to relax, de-stress and recharge. We start in Southern Italy: The Santavenere Hotel and Spa. Dear Reader, We welcome all recommendations – please share your favourite R and R locations, and tell us why they are so special. 

Wellness Fitness and Spa Vacation Review: The Santavenere Hotel and Spa

The Santavenere Hotel and Spa is immersed in a large private park rich in centuries-old Mediterranean vegetation, on the Punta Santavenere beach overlooking the sea. A historical Maratea hotel, this small hidden treasure is yours to be discovered. The hotel has  since the 1950s played host to many internationally renowned celebrities. It has been rated with top marks by travel sites (booking.com) and magazines (glamour.com). The new Spa is an experience you must give yourself. Glamour magazine persuaded me to go with this review: Italy Spa Review – Santavenere Hotel and Spa.

Wellness fitness and spa vacation in Italy will recharge you. In picture the view from the Santavenere Hotel and Spa overlooking the Basilicata coastline.

The Santavenere Hotel and Spa. Photo: The GOODista, all rights reserved.

This hotel is an oasis of charm, wellness treatments, fabulous clean Mediterranean food and a service that is discreet, elegant yet relaxed. The owners inspire their staff to think of their own wellness. This results in an atmosphere of friendly, relaxed yet super professional service that the guest can but enjoy. Your wish is the hotels command. An elegant detail is that all staff seem to know which room you stay in, so no need to sign vouchers since it all comes neatly accounted for at the end of your stay.

Santavenere Hotel and Spa: Understated Luxury and Wellbeing

The word for wellness, and sense of wellbeing in Italian is ‘benessere’. A latin reminder that existing starts from the art of feeling good and well in one self. 

‘We have to be relaxed to allow our guests to begin the journey of wellness” (Claudio, Santavenere staff)

Everything in the Santavenere Hotel is about your wellbeing. The understated luxury is present in all details – the fittings and furniture, the fitness areas, the pebble beach, the well maintained park, the sparse yet comfortable rooms, the fabulous spa and of course the mediterranean food. The overall atmosphere will take you to a better place – fast!


The staffs’ willingness to politely but discreetly make everything possible adds to the overall five-star experience. The difference here is that you feel the efforts that have gone into hiring. There is no flirting for tips, nor fake smiles. The professional pride and real belief in the hotel makes the guests feel really at home, yet pampered at a very high level.

Wellness Fitness and Spa Vacation Review. Quirky design details at the Santavenere hotel, Maratea, Basilicata, Italy.

The hotel is an upscale villa with quirky design details that reads of well-travelled elegance and utter comfort with classy sense of 50s deja-vu. You can sit and look at the views, and read for hours, or play a game of cards in the evening. In the background soft music keeps the atmosphere utterly chilled. The sea breeze that streams through the open doors envelop you with pine fragrance and sense of wellbeing.

Hotel Rooms, Beach, Pool and Food

The rooms are sparsely, yet elegantly decorated. The bathroom is of the highest standard – with nice touches like a Bulgari amenity kit and Rossini taps. Each room has a private terrace with breathtaking views. Wellness fitness and spa vacation at the Santavenere Hotel and Spa. In picture the view from the hotel room terrace.

The pebble beach with sun lounges give you all you need in terms sun, swim and super service. You can eat your lunches under the elegant pergola or snack on fruits and mini dishes by your sun bed. 

You can of course sit by the pool side, and swim in the immaculately clean water – and partake in a drink or two. A cup of green tea with home-made treats was very welcome after a morning of exercise, walks and swimming. 

The food is Italian foodie elegance, and the restaurant an experience in slow food with the best of what the region, and season, has to offer. If you are in the mood for a simpler dinner, the road in front of the hotel boasts no less than three trattorias. We liked the Litrico’s Restaurant and Pizzeria just across from the hotel – and will be writing a review with recipes inspired by the excellent food we enjoyed – at very decent prices. Just take a look at these dishes….

The breakfast at the Santavenere hotel shines of Mediterranean health with welcome touches such as homemade probiotic yoghurt, granola and dark bread (gluten-free choices as well). If you want eggs, croissants or pastry — no problem. The chef makes delectable pastry every morning, and you can have your eggs cooked to order.


The 10 acre grounds allow for vigorous walks up steep cliff paths (for the moderately comfortable a golf cart ride is provided). The sea-side is dramatic, with views towards the rugged Basilicata coast line. Christ The Redeemer, Basilicata, Italy in this picture. Up on the hill a 22 meter statue of Christ the Redeemer ensures protection against all evil – and the peace that reigns here seems to emanate from the magnificent presence of a benevolent soul that strokes you towards distressing and relaxation. 

You can make excursions on foot or by car into the mountainous region. For instance, a walk up to the Christ monument – which I highly recommend. The dramatic landscape that opens up when you come over the tree line makes the 7 kms hike more than worth it! 

Wellness Fitness and Spa Vacation. Outside gym at the Santavenere hotel as seen in this picture.

Outside Gym – Ah!

The hotel has three dedicated fitness areas. Outside you find two of them. One for Yoga and Pilates – and a fully equipped outside gym that is fantastic. Inside there is a smaller, but equally high-tech set-up with top of  the range Tecnogym machines. A personal trainer in on hand to show you the ropes, or set up a fitness schedule for you. 


The Spa is something to behold! You are taken into a world of caves – where each ‘grotto’ represents a treatment or emotion. You can have aesthetic treatments like facial, rejuvenation and cellulite massage, or why not bath in donkey milk? You can also experience the grand menu of massages and holistic relaxation techniques expertly performed by certified specialists. You must try the so-called emotional shower walk through 7 different water treatments (Finnish sauna, Turkish steam, Himalayan salt massage, rain shower, herbal tea détente, ice bath, and jacuzzi). You will be on your way to the land of zen guaranteed!  

Wellness Fitness and Spa Vacation: An investment in Me, Myself and I

When stress, everyday routine, and grey days take a hold you can find a way out. In fact, you should. The break will change you views, your rhythm and recharge you on every level. Get yourself geared up to travel to Southern Italy, and book that trip – Now!

The wellness fitness and spa vacation at the Santavenere hotel has made me feel good, be good – and totally able to do good again. My days floated away by the pool, the elegant sea-side, the spa or in the outside well-equipped gym. You too can come away totally renovated. You will find that body and mind truly function again. I recommend this for anyone who needs to relax, recharge and find a way back to earth after high-level stress.  

Yes, this comes at a price (from 160 €/room) — but if you go off-season, and tell yourself that this is an investment in ‘me, myself and I’- you will realise that a few days at the Santavenere hotel will give you a calm that stays with you for months. You can book online directly with the Santavenere Hotel and Spa or find offers on booking.com

Would I recommend this location, place and hotel? I am already booking my next stay. This is a hidden gem, a secret to be kept amongst a few well-chosen friends, a fountain of peace and wellness which is so rare these days.

Subscribe to The GOODista banner.Do you have any hidden places to recommend? Please share, send photos and consider guest blogging for our new review section of wellness retreat places around the world. Sign up for The GOODista newsletter to get special offers, updates and more. 
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