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The renovated hotel and spa on Lake Garda
Photograph: Alex Filz

This Italian monastery has been transformed into a super-stylish spa hotel

Stay on the shores of Lake Garda – in a ‘sanctuary for all that is blissful and beautiful’

Written by
Sophie Dickinson
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Feeling stressed out by the last 18 months? You’re definitely not alone. If you’re looking for a tranquil trip away to help forget the ups and downs of the past year, it doesn’t really get more alluring than this seventeenth-century Italian monastery. Design firm Network of Architecture has updated the religious site in Arco, near Lake Garda – although nuns still remain in half of the building. 

The Monastero Arx Vivendi was created by the agency alongside Trento Office of Cultural Heritage. It describes the place as ‘a sanctuary for all that is blissful and beautiful’. Which we’re definitely, definitely up for.

The Monastero Arx Vivendi
Photograph: Andrea Dal Negro
And if you’re imagining crumbling ruins? Think again. The renovation is a thoroughly modern affair: we’re talking a minimalist swimming pool, lofted beams and corridors lit by huge sky lights. A separate cloister and church are occupied by those in the religious order.

Each of the 40 hotel rooms occupy two former monastery cells, meaning you’ve got an extra roomy space for contemplation (or just a lie-in). There’s also a wellness area, where you can book treatments or indulge in one of the relaxation rooms.

With bed and breakfast rooms starting from £198, it sounds like an all-round rather splashy experience – and just the kind of treat you might crave after this nightmare of a year. Tempted? Visit the website for more information.

More cool places to stay:

This Willy Wonka-themed hotel has lickable wallpaper

A 1960s UFO house just landed in a country park in the UK

Stay in this gorgeous tiny house on a french volcano field for just €1

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