Dolce Vita Done right
By Lorna Oakley
At the beginning of June, Belmond introduced their partnership with Dior for a new well-being experience in the legendary gardens of the Splendido Hotel Portofino and at Bagni Fiore, one of the most exclusive beaches on the Italian Riviera and we had the wonderful opportunity to visit.
A restored 16th-century former monastery, Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino, is the epitome of Italian glamour having attracted stars of stage and screen over the years, including the La Dolce Vita set.
The hotel’s serene tiered gardens overlooking the shimmering Portofino bay is the setting for two Dior spa gazebos, offering skincare treatments and especially-designed techniques. Dior has also transformed two decks of the exclusive Bagni Fiore beach club with the House’s distinct toile de Jouy pattern, as well as opening a one-of-a-kind concept store, and has launched a limited edition of the Escale à Portofino perfume, entitled 'Splendido Edition'.
This in my opinion is the perfect match. As you make your way up the winding driveway of the hotel, bougainvillea and palms creating a dappled light introducing you to a retreat from the outside world where you are surrounded by verdant flower gardens and outstanding natural beauty. Perched on the rugged hillside of the Ligurian Coast, the turquoise bay below sparkles as it invites you to dip into the cooling waters after a sun-drenched day.
We visited on such a day; it was a Friday evening with a difference. the pop-up spa is named ‘Jardin des Rêves Dior’ (Garden of Dreams). Taking inspiration from the foliage which envelopes the pop-up spa, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior women’s collections, has reimagined the House’s iconic fabric decorating the gazebos, toile de Jouy, in a vibrant leaf-green, to blend seamlessly with the lush surroundings.
Said surroundings did not disappoint. Guests are invited on a journey of wellbeing, with a treatment menu of signature face and body treatments which draw on the skills and expertise of Dior skincare. To honour the collaboration, Dior has launched a new Dior Bronze Signature Massage, inspired by the eponymous skincare line, which is centred around boosting radiance and glow while relaxing in the Italian sunshine. Guests are invited to pause and reflect after their treatment in a relaxation area of rattan chairs, before being tempted back to Splendido’s swimming pool for a refreshing dip or a lazy lunch at the wisteria-laden terrace restaurant, La Terrazza.
La Terrazza does not disappoint either, having visited before I am a little biased; but in my opinion it still has that beautiful ambience that never changes, including the most incredible views. Drinks here and a cooling breeze are the perfect combination.
We had the pleasure of meeting Davide, who introduced us to the collaboration of the iconic brands and we also had a taste of la Dolce Vita the Belmond way.
For the summer season, Splendido residents are invited to relax at Bagni Fiore, one of the bay of Paraggi’s most beautiful and exclusive beaches, just a stone’s throw from Portofino. Part of the Natural Park of Portofino and the Protected Marine Area, with boats banned from the bay, Bagni Fiore is a peaceful paradise cherished for its crystal-clear, tranquil waters.
Created in 1935, the Mount Portofino Natural Regional Park extends along both sides of the Promontory of Portofino, facing Tigullio and Paradiso Gulfs, under the Municipalities of Camogli, Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure. This protected coastal area is the most northern in the western Mediterranean Sea, and it offers an extraordinary combination of rural and maritime cultures (I’m going to return to this subject in a later post, especially the Eco Farm).
There’s a Dior pop-up spa cabin that graces the beach, offering innovations in mind and body relaxation, as the cabins and furniture of the waterfront beach club including a lounge bar that has been transformed by Dior with the vibrant nature-green toile de Jouy print.
A step away from Bagni Fiore, Langosteria Paraggi, with its pied-dans-l'eau restaurant, welcomes guests every day from lunch to dinner. A Dior concept store showcasing women’s summer creations designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, including the Dioriviera capsule, as well as pieces from the men'swardrobe by Kim Jones, Artistic Director of Dior men’s collections, is open in Paraggi. Ready-to-wear, bags, shoes and seasonal accessories, such as sunglasses, is presented in light-filled surroundings, with walls covered in textured monochrome toile de Jouy wallpaper and interior accents of wood, cane, sisal and brass – that celebrate Dior design fundamentals. Seating specially-designed by a local craftsman, celebrates Italy’s heritage and precious savoir-faire by evoking the design of the iconic traditional chiavarina chair created in 1807 (named after the town of Chiavari, ironically this has been the base for my Italian travels staying with my cousins).
As you can see by the beautiful images, it is truly a match made in heaven.
I can’t wait to return at the end of September, however in the meantime I’ll be sure to follow on social media via
https://www.belmond.com/hotels/europe/italy/portofino/belmond-hotel-splendido/ and I suggest you do too.
Based in Wales, Lorna swapped Chelsea and high end couture for the countryside several years ago to focus on her outerwear fashion label and her blog. A former stylist and personal shopper, Lorna now lives with her French Bulldog and is a big of all things fitness whilst also having a serious love of food.