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SPA getaway in the mountains

SPA getaway in the mountains

DianneKristaPhotography_LaThuile_MontanaLodgeandSpa-3.jpg

Montana Lodge and Spa

La Thuile, Aosta Valley, Italy

Perks

  • Indoor pool

  • Full spa facilities

  • Kid friendly

    • Kids club/play area steps below the dining area and bar

    • children allowed in the spa until 5 pm

  • Complimentary breakfast buffet

  • Within the mountains and close to slopes

  • Complimentary shuttle to ski lifts

  • Non-smoking

  • Small dog friendly

Spa Facilities

Spa

Along with a heated indoor pool with breathtaking views, the spa facility includes a sauna, steam room, reading and lounge areas. During our stay, the majority of the guests were on the slopes so the spa was empty - only one other family was there a the same time we were. Liam and the hubby had a blast in the pool while I got some peace and quiet in the different saunas. Can we live here?! (<- actually possible: you can purchase a home on the property!)

Complimentary Breakfast Buffet

Cuisine

When its cold and snowing out, the last thing you want to have to do is go out there to get something to eat, especially with kids in tow. This is why the food available wherever we are staying is so important to us. At Montana Lodge and Spa, breakfast, lunch, dinner AND happy hour were all phenomenal!

  • The complimentary breakfast buffet was more than just the typical italian breakfast of caffe and cornetti, decked out with all the seeds, nuts, jams, and toppings you can imagine. Cereal, yogurt, fruits, cheese, pastries and freshly made omelets were available.

  • Try the carbonara for lunch. One of the best we’ve ever had and it was on the kids menu!

  • Dinner was a full room so make reservations when you check-in.

  • Children can play in the kids club after eating or while you are enjoying wine and a cheese platter during the happy hour social.

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Decor + Service

Montana Lodge and Spa had by far the most contemporary decor in all of the places we stayed in in Italy. A perfect balance of traditional warmth with its wooden backdrop and brown tones along with modern luxury with its iron accents and sleek furnishings.

The service too had the perfect balance of tradition and progression. The staff was sophisticated and fluent in english but without any pretentiousness. They were as welcoming and warm, and of course loving to children, as hosts of any tiny bed and breakfast in Italy.

The cherry on top - it was my birthday week when we stayed here so they made me a cake <3. I would gladly celebrate my birthday here every year if I could. Hint, hint hubby.

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Location

Closest Cities/Airports

  • 2.5 hour drive from Milan, Italy

  • 1.45 hours drive from Torino, Italy

  • 1.45 hours drive from Geneva, Switzerland (crossing international borders)

Closest Train Station - Aosta Valley Train Station

**During the winter months, get tire chains for your car and drive during the day when heading over there for the first time. The roads are single lane and VERY windy, up and down the mountains. Plus you’ll be able to see and enjoy the view of the Aosta Valley.

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COMING UP ON THE BLOG

  • More on La Thuile

  • Another Favorite Resort Spa in the Mountains

  • Favorite Hotels in Italy

  • Switzerland

  • Ireland

  • Scotland

  • Disneyland Paris

A Day in Gaeta, Italy

A Day in Gaeta, Italy

The perfect place to welcome us and prove that the journey to get here was worth it

When we first heard my husband got orders to Naples, we were beyond excited at the opportunity to travel around Italy and Europe. The culture, the food, the wine (definitely the wine)... we were so ready for it! Then we had to pack our stuff (or take pictures of and label every single item then watch someone else pack it, hoping none of it will get broken or lost) which is never fun especially when we would have rather spent that time with the dear friends and family we had to leave behind. Saying bye to them was even harder. Pair that with visiting our families in Florida and having to say bye to them too along with a handful of road trips, 5 flights with a toddler and living out of a suitcase for 2 months. After ALL that, we were more than ready to experience Italy and all its beauty, food and wine (definitely the wine! haha). BUT after arriving, we had to wait to get our drivers license and when we did, there were no rental cars available and our car was still en route from California. I know that this sounds like the most depressing and whiny blog post ever but I promise it gets better (as all of our moves have)! When we finally got a rental, drove off the base to a town an hour and a half away, we realized that flying halfway across the world and the 2 long months of moving were worth it. Gaeta, its stunning blue waters, breathtaking cliffs and historical churches was exactly how we envisioned Italy. It was the perfect place to welcome us and prove that all the traveling to get here was worth it.

Where is Gaeta

  • Located in the province of Latina, in central Italy
  • About 1.5 hours (~95 km) north of Naples
  • About 2.5 hours (~145 km) south of Rome

 

What to bring (in the summer months)

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Plenty of Water & Snacks
  • Swimwear & towels
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Bug repellant
  • Cool, breathable clothing
  • Baby carrier if you have a little one

Suggested Itinerary

  • If you are military, park your car inside Naval Base Gaeta (Yes, there is a base here! Lucky sailors!) and take the mile long, uphill walk to the Sanctuary of Montagna Spaccata. In the summer months, the heat will make this hike up feel extra long and torturous but the road is paved and the views at the top are worth it.
  • If you are not military, limited parking is available at the top where the church is.
  • Grab a refreshment and snacks, take a bathroom break and enjoy the view from the cafe in front of the church. The owner is very friendly and speaks English (he also drives a Jeep!).
  • Walk in and around the Sanctuary of Montagna Spaccata.
    • The most popular and probably the most uniquely stunning part of this place is the Grotto del Turko. Unfortunately the lower part of the stairs was closed when we went and will probably be closed for a while. The guy at the entrance (where you donate 1 euro to get in) said it was due to the danger of falling rocks. He won't take bribes, we already tried!
    • Walk around the right side of the church and down/up the steps in between the split mountains. The view of the sea at the end is spectacular. It is said that the mountain split from an earthquake that occurred when Jesus Christ died on the cross. Purely amazing!
    • Go around the left side of the church to get even higher up the mountain. I promise, this view is worth it too! ;)
  • After all that walking, grab a late lunch at the restaurant in front of the church. The staff there is friendly as well. My husband and I got the calamari (not good, it was very chewy), prosciutto and mozzarella plate (yumm), cotoletta alla milanese (breaded beef steak, soo good!) and Carbonara (eh. Still in search for a good one). 
  • Walk down and left to Serapo Beach. The water is blue, clear and the perfect temperature. Now you can cool off and relax until the sun goes down.

Travel Tips

  • The SS7qtr from Naples to Gaeta passes through a town with heavy traffic. Avoid it by leaving before 7 am.
  • Forget lugging along an umbrella and beach blanket. You can rent an umbrella and chairs on the beach (the prices are fair).
  • Bathing suits, dresses and hats are also available for sale ON the beach. First time I've ever seen this! So convenient. Our group of friends couldn't resist doing a little shopping while lounging on our beach chairs.
  • Change and use the restroom before walking down to the beach or you can ask the people who rent the umbrellas/chairs if you can change in their closet. They were nice and allowed us to do it.
  • Swim around the left side of the beach. There you will find another tiny beach thats hidden along with a small cave.
  • Use a waterproof case for your phones and cameras so you can take it with you in the water.