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The Portrait Milano Hotel Opens Spa With The Longevity Suite: First Look

by Staff

MILAN — Valeriano Antonioli saw it first. The chief executive officer of the Ferragamos’ hospitality business Lungarno Collections envisioned the spa of the Portrait Milano hotel during his first visit to the location, way before the idea of building a hotel in the historic site was even tabled.

“Eleven years ago I stepped into this magnificent venue and I’ve been told: ‘We’re not selling nor renting this place, and there will never be a hotel here.’ Well, things can change,” he said with a smile on Thursday, when the spa was unveiled to press. “I ended my first visit with a look at the basement, and I knew that was perfect for this,” he added.

Now that the last piece of the puzzle has been added to the 30,140-square-foot complex featuring the three-story luxury hotel, Antonia store and food destinations Beefbar, 10_11 and Rumore, Antonioli has seen his vision realized.

Even if it doesn’t overlook the charming colonnaded courtyard that sets this location nestled in the heart of the city’s Golden Triangle apart, the spa still offers a view onto its foundations, which date back to 1564.

The heart of the 7,534-square-foot wellness facility is the indoor heated pool installed under cross-vaults resting on 10 granite columns and recovered from what used to be the warehouse of the former archbishop seminary’s canteen. It was revamped by the hospitality group’s go-to architect Michele Bonan and surrounded by a relaxing area, a sauna in tulipwood and a Turkish bath clad in gray onyx. 

These spaces in mainly natural materials contrast with the futuristic feeling of the black-and-white reception, fitness spaces and modern cabins dedicated to cutting-edge body and facial treatments, which were curated by Studio B+ Architects. Their interiors mirror those of the biohacking and antiage clinic The Longevity Suite, with which Portrait Milano partnered to develop the project. The company is known for technologically advanced protocols and signature rejuvenation treatments that combine detox, meditation and cryotherapy. 

“We’ve interviewed many operators but our goal wasn’t to have just a good spa with good products but position it in a different way and offer an added value to the whole city,” said Antonioli, underscoring access to the spa won’t be reserved only for hotel guests but also membership holders and open to public by appointment.

“Ours is an ecosystem: an integrated structure that works on all aspects regarding longevity, encompassing diagnosis, treatments, nutrition and mindfulness,” said Luigi Caterino, cofounder and CEO of The Longevity SpA. “Our approach shies away from having people focusing on their well-being once a year, isolated in remote locations, but to follow them constantly right in the city they live in.…In the same vein, this spa is not only for wellness travelers but a gift to the Milanese people.”

A cabin at The Longevity Spa inside the Portrait Milano hotel.

Courtesy of The Longevity Spa

This is the first Longevity Spa the company has opened and mirrors the firm’s holistic and multidisciplinary vision, mixing a high-tech and manual approach and offering tailored programs. One of the signature concepts hinges on Blue Zones, locations with the highest life expectancy compared to the global average. Five multisensory journeys have been developed to immerse clients in the rituals, music and smells inspired by the lifestyles of these five destinations.

For example, the Jet-Lag Blessing ritual is inspired by the slow life in Loma Linda, Calif., where residents live 10 years longer than the U.S. average. The de-stressing journey is designed to reset biological and circadian rhythms via cold therapy, reducing inflammation and stimulating melatonin production; sensory deprivation on a floating bed, and multisensory treatments involving LED therapy, sounds and aromatherapy, among others. 

“Our city clinics target people who don’t have much time, but here in the spa we can stretch it and extend our treatment,” said Caterino about the almost two-hour-long session, which is priced at 350 euros. 

Priced at 310 euros each, the other Blue Zone rituals are inspired by Nicoya, in Costa Rica, and feature volcanic mud and reflexology food stimulation; Ikaria in Greece, incorporating wine-based treatments and red vine extract bandaging; Sardinia, recovering ancient thalassotherapy practices and using Mediterranean scents and seawater, and Okinawa in Japan, deploying algae leaves, fermented rice water and silk powder.

The Biohacking Suite at The Longevity Spa inside the Portrait Milano hotel.

The Biohacking Suite at The Longevity Spa inside the Portrait Milano hotel.

Tim Labenda/Courtesy of The Longevity Spa

Among other innovations, a new treatment based on biohacking techniques includes Dry Float Therapy, leveraging the benefits of floating above over 400 liters of warm water for reduced gravity. It claims to reduce stress and muscle and joint pain and improve sleep and concentration. It is combined with the Near Infra-Red Total Body technology that stimulates the body’s natural regenerative processes, using red light and non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation to improve circulation.

Flanking The Longevity Spa’s offering, three exclusive anti-aging facials designed by Dr. Barbara Sturm are offered at the facility, while five healthy meals have been introduced in the menu of the hotel’s 10_11 restaurant and conceived with caloric and nutritional balance in mind.

A dedicated fitness area is part of the spa equipped with cutting-edged machineries, some of which are AI-empowered to further tailor workout plans to each guest. The area was developed with Technogym, whose president and founder Nerio Alessandri is among the shareholders of The Longevity SpA, along with Gucci’s former president and CEO Marco Bizzarri and Style Capital SGR founding partner and CEO Roberta Benaglia, among others.

The Ultimate Biohacking treatment at The Longevity Spa, inside the Portrait Milano hotel.

The Ultimate Biohacking treatment at The Longevity Spa, inside the Portrait Milano hotel.

Tim Labenda/Courtesy of The Longevity Spa

Founded in 2019 by Caterino with Massimo Gualerzi, Elisa Mondelli and Roberta Bianchi, Longevity SpA’s sales grew 30 percent to 13 million euros last year. Caterino predicted revenues will reach 18 million euros in 2024, boosted by a series of new openings.

For one, next week the first Longevity Kitchen bistrot will open in Milan’s via Melzi d’Eril, a stone’s throw from the city’s landmark Arco della Pace arch. “We already have a 10,763-square-foot ghost kitchen to prepare customized meals we deliver to our clients on weekly basis, but this will be the first physical location open to public,” said Caterino. He teased the menu will mirror the Blue Zone concept through its ingredients, recipes and wine list with the goal “of proving that healthy food can be tasteful and look good, too.”

The network of 32 city clinics — 30 of which scattered across Italy — will be further expanded with 10 new locations, five of which will debut in international destinations such as Cairo, Lisbon, Istanbul, Dubai and Singapore. The group’s overall strategy is to have 100 city clinics in the next five years.

The spa format will be additionally boosted, as Caterino teased he has received requests from different hospitality players. At the moment, the firm is already in talks to set up a spa at the Portrait hotel in Florence — which Caterino said will be underwater under the Arno River — and the Edition hotel on Lake Como. 

A relaxing area inside The Longevity Spa at the Portrait Milano hotel.

Inside The Longevity Spa at the Portrait Milano hotel.

Tim Labenda/Courtesy of The Longevity Spa

The group also owns a namesake beauty line and controls The Longevity Lab, its research and development leg established after it took over the Bologna-based Lipinutragen company last year. The research center specializes in an elaborate blood analysis, based on which a longevity score is calculated. This serves as “an entry test” for clients and enables the clinic to numerically track their progress. 

This year, a series of masterclasses will also be staged in April, June and September to enhance the educational side of the business. 

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