Nestled along the mesmerizing Sicilian coastline lies a hidden gem known as ADLER Spa Resort SICILIA. With its unique architecture and commitment to sustainability, this resort promises an unforgettable experience to soothe mind, body and soul
Step into a world where the soothing rhythm of waves serenades your senses, and the air carries whispers of salt and orange blossoms. As I stand on this hill, the landscape stretches before me like a masterpiece, from the verdant pine forest to the meeting point of dunes and sea, where ivory marl cliffs reach for the sky. A symphony of white and blue unfolds, far from the clamor of urban life. The essence of ADLER’s motto, ‘Let your soul fly,’ resonates deeply within me, and I am ready to be elevated, here in the heart of Agrigento’s breathtaking natural beauty.
A Family Tradition of Hospitality & Sustainability
ADLER Spa Resort SICILIA embraces not only its captivating architecture but also the legacy of the Sanoner family’s hospitality. The resort’s location was chosen with meticulous care, perched overlooking the sea of Siculiana. Andreas and Klaus Sanoner, guided by their passion, discovered this exquisite spot in 2008. Situated just a short drive away from the iconic Valley of the Temples, alongside the serene WWF Torre Salsa Nature Reserve, it is an undeniable gem, destined to become a cherished haven. Crystalline waters and striking white cliffs define the Torre Salsa Nature Reserve, a sanctuary of biodiversity and a vital haven for diverse species. A haven for flora and fauna, the reserve stretches along the unspoilt coastline of Agrigento covering over 760 hectares comprising wet lands, chalky outcrops and endless dunes of golden sand. A sanctuary of biodiversity, the Torre Salsa nature reserve is home to many rare species such as Caretta turtles, porcupines, many birds of prey, tortoises, lizards and butterflies.
The challenges of constructing a resort on this protected coast were met with uncompromising determination. Working hand in hand with architect Hugo Demetz, the family ensured the resort blended seamlessly into the landscape, featuring discreet architecture enhanced by treated wood and tuff. The resort’s creation was a harmonious partnership that respected both the surroundings and the commitment to preserving the natural landscape.
Sustainability is a hallmark of the ADLER philosophy, and it shines brilliantly at ADLER Spa Resort SICILIA. This legacy of dedication traces back seven generations, with Grandma Emma Sanoner laying the foundation. The torch was carried by Karl Sanoner, who expanded the resort’s offerings, and then his sons, Klaus and Andreas Sanoner, who have now handed the reins to the new generation. Klaus says,
In the last phase of the project it was clear that we couldn’t make it without the help of our children. They have supported us for the last three years.”
His brother, Andreas adds,
Our children have optimized the project together with us. It’s been a fantastic collaboration, and we’re thrilled with their ideas and their work.”
Their hands-on involvement is a testament to the family commitment to excellence and sustainability in every aspect, from excavation to interior design. Tuff was also used, a typical building material of volcanic-eruptive origin found above all on the slopes of Etna. Thanks to its excellent thermoregulating properties, tuff helps to keep the interiors pleasantly cool in summer and warm in winter. The internal walls are largely covered with ‘terracruda’, which has the natural property of absorbing excess humidity and returning it to the room when needed, ensuring a pleasant and healthy climate.
The architecture beautifully harmonizes with the landscape. Single-story buildings adorned with green roofs, made from natural materials like wood and cedar, create a sense of oneness with the surroundings, allowing guests to enjoy breathtaking sea views from the restaurant, spa, gym, and rooms with generous floor-to-ceiling windows. Thanks to its widespread architecture and a discreet design, the resort melds seamlessly with nature. The 90 rooms offer views of the Mediterranean Sea, enveloping guests in understated luxury. Warm Sicilian tones of burnt orange and subtle yellows complement the use of natural textiles, creating an ambiance of relaxation and comfort. Unbaked clay walls naturally regulate the air quality and humidity, while cedar wood panels further connect guests with the Sicilian landscape.
Ode to Wellbeing
Nature’s embrace extends to the impressively large spa complex, where the power of the Mediterranean takes center stage. Amidst this natural haven, three independent Swedish saunas and relaxation zones spread over 3,200 square meters, embracing the ethos of well-being. Here, ancient rituals merge with modern techniques, crafting holistic wellness experiences. Giulia Spitaleri Ciccarello, the Spa Manager, beautifully captures the essence of the spa—a tapestry of nature’s finest elements, from the heart of Sicily, woven with threads of ancient Arabic culture,
We have introduced some typical Sicilian ingredients within the spa therapies that celebrate the island and its culture. We use essential oils like lemon, orange, mandarin and prickly pear and pistachio, all typical products from Sicily, with many essences being made by local artisans.”
Signature therapies include a Sicilian candle massage scented with amber and tobacco or prickly pear and broom essences. The Etna Ritual uses volcanic dust to promote the purification of the skin while the Sicilian Memories massage for couples includes a pistachio surprise created by the chef.
Water plays a pivotal role in linking the spa’s interiors with its surrounding gardens and, further, to the Mediterranean Sea. All 15 treatment cabins offer unobstructed views of both the gardens and the distant sea, and a quaint river winds its way through the entire spa complex. The three pools, nestled within the landscape, overlook the crystal-clear sea, inviting guests to unwind and rejuvenate. The freshwater infinity pool effortlessly floats above the coastline enjoying serene views of the south-facing horizon. A saltwater hydromassage pool eases away the stresses of everyday life. While the Thalasso pool is a relaxing retreat set beneath a stunning Sicilian sky. The 25-meter sports pool is perfect for daily exercise and aqua yoga classes, with the therapeutic waves of the Mediterranean itself only a brief walk from the spa.
A secluded yoga platform sits amidst the beautiful gardens, one of the many locations where sessions are held during the resort’s regular yoga and wellbeing retreats. An oasis of calm, the gardens are perfect for meditation sessions or simply relaxing amidst the scent of orange blossom and wisteria.
Cuisine that Sings of Sicily
Here, each meal is an homage to the land, a celebration of community, and an invitation to embark on a sensory journey of flavors. Every bite was a journey into Sicily’s heart.
Guided by the rhythm of seasons, freshness takes center stage as ingredients are harvested from the resort’s gardens, a testament to farm-to-table excellence. The organic ‘orto’ hosts a kaleidoscope of heritage vegetables, aromatic herbs that tease the senses, delicate edible flowers that add a touch of whimsy, and daily picked salads are a testament to the gardener’s dedication. Traditional orchards proudly bear local varieties of oranges, lemons, peaches, and apricots, offering a taste of Sicily’s sun-kissed bounty.
The cuisine is a colorful symphony, enhanced by the excellent wines grown on the fertile slopes of Mount Etna. The resort’s commitment to sustainability continues with freshly caught fish, transformed into elegant dishes alongside sun-ripened vegetables and organic meats. The organic meats, raised in the neighboring countryside, bring a depth of flavor that speaks of our commitment to authentic, nourishing experiences. And the crescendo of the meal arrives with desserts that capture the essence of Sicily’s sun-ripened fruits, citrusy perfumes, and wild raspberries’ delicate sweetness.
I am drawn to the alfresco terrace of the Osteria, where the outstanding views are sheltered beneath the dappled shade of a grand pergola. The main sea view restaurant, with its elegant ambiance, sets the stage for an exquisite fine dining experience, framed by the breathtaking sunset vista of the Mediterranean. As I savor each dish, I realize that every bite tells a story of craftsmanship and connection to the land.
Heritage and Future: Agrigento Capital of Culture 2025
ADLER stands as a shining example of sustainable luxury. This oasis of relaxation embodies the Sanoner family’s passion for hospitality, their love for Sicilian heritage, and their dedication to offering an authentic and unforgettable experience.
With a focus on nature and food, visits to local farms, cheesemakers and olive oil producers are regularly available as are typical Sicilian cooking classes. The resort’s proximity to the Nature Reserve presents an opportunity for collaboration with WWF on maintenance works, and environmental presentations for interested guests. Guided hikes and nature tours are held throughout the year. The AKI Kids’ Club provides exciting activities and entertainment for children aged 4 years and above, and younger guests can also enjoy all the fun if accompanied by an adult. Family activities, excursions and experiences can be tailor-made and resort menus offer a variety of seasonal healthy choices for children.
The ADLER experience goes beyond just a stay. The adventurous trails, tempting culinary delights rooted deeply in Sicily’s bounteous seas and vibrant garden feel me with excitement. Guided excursions on foot and bicycle open pathways to explore the beauty of the region, immersing me in its secrets and tips told by the locals. Its architecture whispered stories of the land. I reveled in the breathtaking sea views, taking in the essence of understated luxury.
It wasn’t just the location that captivated me; it was the story behind it. With each step, I discovered the history and culture that make Agrigento a place of unparalleled significance. I was truly walking through history and passion. Without a doubt, I endorse and celebrate Agrigento as the Capital of Culture 2025, a place where past and present intertwine in a symphony of beauty and inspiration. Amidst the embrace of nature and culture, you are invited to create cherished memories that resonate for a lifetime.