Christmas is such a family time of the year! The time when everyone visits parents and spends lots of time at home with the closest ones. We thought it was a right time to tell you a story about one important family business, that was launched by the Grandfather of the CERINI family after the World War II and eventually grew in what you can see today – a great Wellness empire.
The second reason to tell you this story is to invite you to try, before all the holidays are gone, incredible spa and wellness in the heart of the Italian storical site!
We enter the uncontaminated garden, framed by centenarian picturesque olive trees. The CERINI brothers welcome you in a refined ambience of the Hotel lobby
SpY: Please, tell us a story behind your hotel.
Francesco Cerini: The hotel basically had birth after the World War II when our Grandfather has bought a small wooden house and converted it into a trattoria for random travellers. In the 60-70th, when the Italian economy was boosting, he has built the first hotel and named it “Temporary Home for Drivers”. In fact it was a perfect place for travellers to stop and relax after their long journey.
Our family kept growing and expanding, the business grew together with our parents, till the moment when they eventually bought the 4 major hotels in Garda lake with 4 different “moods” to make a traveller relax, have fun and enjoy thermal wellbeing.
Spy: How does it feel to be the Third generation of the big Family business? Is there a certain responsibility not only to maintain but make the family affair grow as well?
Matteo Cerini: It is quite difficult nowadays to create new successful enterprises, but we have been raised by our family in a certain tradition to maintain the quality and high level of whatever we do. Therefore our main goal is to keep the spirit of the Family tradition and high quality level!
Spy: you said previously the Hotel originally was a small lodge for Drivers. I love the idea! Do you have any other story behind the hotel? Is there any legend? Any concept that unites all of your 5 hotels?
Francesco Cerini: We have 5 different hotels, some of them are more dedicated to relax and wellbeing, others are more city hotels. But all of them are about leisure and relax. Here, in Hotel Olivi the jewel in the crown is the new Thermae and Spa, a special treatment with thermal waters of Sirmione. In fact, if you take a walk all the way up to the old church above our hotel, you will see an ancient site where the Romans had their first Thermae relax on the their way to Gallia!
SPY: Speaking about the Hotel Olivi. What is so particular about the Spa? Why’d you say, even the Romans had their Thermae relax here? Must be really precious!
Francesco Cerini: We actually wanted to make a very intimate, cute spa with natural sulphur hot springs, сoming directly from Monte Baldo. This water contains lots of precious properties like sodium chloride, bromide, zinc, manganese and selenium. This water comes from the 800 mt height and then penetrates 2500 mts below sea level, where it gets enriched with minerals and increases its temperature till almost 70 degrees on the lake surface. Therefore it may treat respiratory, rheumatic , and vascular disorders, skin and even gynaecological ailments. Therefore our main Hotel swimming pool is naturally hot and rich of precious elements!
Spy: How about the gastronomic delights? I suppose, you, Matteo, is responsible for High Quality Kitchen here in Hotel Olivi?
Matteo Cerini: There might be a slight difference between Italy and France, where the real Queen is Nouvelle Cuisine. Here in Italy wherever you go, you will try absolutely different type of local food and wine. Here we have a big variety of lake fish, local black truffles, called Puegnago and our precious zafferan called Puzzolengo!
As for wine, we have incredible grapes that gave birth to LUGANA, VALPOLICELLA di zona Veneto, BARDOLINO and FRANCIACORTA! There is really an incredible choice of whatever you wish to try during your stay!
Spy: How many of you are in a family business now?
Frnacesco Cerini: We are 9 grandsons of our Grandgrandfother! In fact, we are 5 cousins and we all have nine kids. Some of them will keep doing family business, some will probably not. We also have a big chain of other people collaborating with us – in total we are 120!
Spy: Who is taking care of the Hotel architecture? I see it blends local particular details with a modern design!
Francesco Cerini: All our architects are strictly working under our Mom’ surveillance! As a matter of fact , Mother has always worked at the design of the local villas and lodges, therefore she took a very good care of the interior design of the Olivi Hotel too. In fact, all our rooms are special and different! Every Premier Suite room has a different name, a different design and a a special song, devoted to it . Laura, by David Raskin ,Viola, by Adriano Celentano, Giorgia, by Ray Charles! A Cd is worth listening!!!
Spy: Please give us a precious advice of how we should spend a perfect weekend in your Hotel?
Matteo Cerini: You should first of all give yourself a break! Treat yourself with a total relax in our Thermea Spa, a massage for a couple and a local wine to ensure a wellbeing of body and soul!
Francesco Cerini: I should add another new thing we invented. We will celebrate the Orthodox Christmas this year blending our local specialities with the classic Eastern Europe Cuisine! You are welcome!!
SPY: Kate Lavrovskaya