Cascina Galarej - Villaggio Narrante

Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £339 per night

Cascina Galarej - Villaggio Narrante

Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy

Gorgeous new 10-room spa hotel in a historic village with gourmet restaurants and vineyards overlooking the rolling hills of Piedmont

Gorgeous new 10-room spa hotel in a historic village with gourmet restaurants and vineyards overlooking the rolling hills of Piedmont

The newly opened Cascina Galarej is a delightful symphony of historical architecture, natural beauty and contemporary design set against a backdrop of undulating countryside that’s almost movie-set Italy. Located in the middle of the Fontanafredda vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba, the property was once a barn and farmhouse, part of the sprawling community of Villaggio Narrante. This 19th-century village was founded by the son of King Vittorio Emanuele, and is still home to 15 local families; all residents are employed by the winery to this day.

The hotel's historical roots are evident in the exposed brickwork and vaulted roofs, but this old derelict has been hauled straight to the 21st Century with the addition of 10 modern rooms (5 of which boast 360-degree views over the hills), a luxury spa and verdant landscaped gardens. The emphasis here is firmly on rest and relaxation with a dash of romance and fine dining thrown in. You can gym and swim, get pummelled and pampered, but also explore the rustic environs, indulge in five-star fare (you're in Slow Food country after all) and, this being a vineyard, sample the delights of the local grapes as the sun sets on yet another postcard vista.

Highs

  • The views! Every aspect of the design, from the communal areas to the rooms, has been conceived to make the most of the landscape
  • An onsite eatery plus a pair of acclaimed restaurants in the village focusing on tradition and seasonality in simple flavourful dishes, including Michelin-starred Guidorestaurant
  • The heated swimming pool in the old barn is earning rave reviews. Half-indoor, half-outdoor it’s a pleasure whatever the season
  • The top-notch spa has a sauna and Turkish bath; we can't wait to try the body treatments which use local grapes
  • Everyone is welcome – kids of all ages, pets, those with mobility issues, vegetarians and vegans, EV drivers, families, couples. Every traveller is accommodated for

Lows

  • For some Piedmont has less to offer when it comes to longer stays
  • A car is required if you want to explore further afield or need to go to shops
  • The onsite restaurant isn't normally open for dinner, but it's only a stroll to the other restaurants in the village

Best time to go

June to August are the hottest and driest months, but the weather in Piedmont is fairly temperate all year round. It rarely breaks 30C, even in summer, and in winter the days are still fairly pleasant if a little colder at night. Cascina Galarej usually closes around the second and third weeks of January for two weeks.

Our top tips

The more active may want to grab an e-bike and take to the roads, either on your own or as part of a guided tour. The trek is mainly off-road and runs through La Morra Barolo, Monforte and Serralunga d’Alba – but each tour is tailored to the level of the participants so don't worry if it's been a while since you hit the wheels.

Great for...

Foodie
Spa
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10 rooms
  • Restaurants and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Electric car charger
Room: Room 4

Rooms

It's an impressive makeover of a historic and very unique property. Airy and spacious, the rooms (all with kingsize beds) are simply but elegantly designed in grey and white with the odd splash of muted colour – check out the mustard basins and shelving in the bathrooms. But most importantly, all have full-length windows to capture that stunning scenery.

There are five Classic rooms, which are the smallest available but can also feature extra cots on request. The four Exclusive rooms are slightly larger, and two of them can accommodate an extra adult bed. Pride of place goes to the Suite, which is twice the size of the others with an ample living area, and has an extra double bed and a freestanding oval bathtub on a mezzanine floor above. The shower bathroom is tucked under the mezzanine floor.

Five of the rooms are on the ground floor (two Classic, three Exclusive), each with their own private terrace, while the other five rooms are on the first floor above - no terraces but all have panoramic views into the distance.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • In room treatments available
  • Iron
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is served in the main reception hall at Cascina Galarej; the spread includes eggs to order, local salami and cheese, fresh bread and biscuits, waffles and pancakes, brioche and home-made jam, chocolate and hazelnut cream, yogurt and cakes. Light lunches and aperitifs are on offer during the day. Dinner can be requested for a minimum of 6-8 people.

For other meals you'll likely head into the village. Expect the food in both restaurants in Villaggio Narrante to be taken seriously and cooked lovingly, the dishes lean heavily on fresh local produce and regional specialities with a modern twist. Osteria Disguido is the more informal eatery, this is the spot for lunch. The menu features fresh handmade pasta, cheese and cold meat platters, or you can opt for the Flavours of Tradition experience which pairs three dishes and a dessert with Langhe wines made in the historic cellars.

You'll be missing out if you don't bag a table at Guidoristorante for dinner. Founded in 1960 by Guido and Lidia to champion tradition and seasonality in a modern way, this pioneering establishment was awarded its first Michelin star in 1973, and is now run by the second generation of the Alciati family with a focus on simple dishes and a pared-back yet high quality wine list; the tasting menu includes Lidia’s agnolotti and veal with tuna sauce, with fiordilatte ice cream for dessert.

Piedmont is renowned for its rich agricultural and viticultural value, and is the home of Slow Food in Italy. Serralunga d’Alba is only a 10-minute drive away and boasts some of the region’s best eateries, owned and run by several graduates of Michelin-starred restaurants. But you don’t have to splash out. Even the most modest ristoranti can offer something to please the palate. There are traditional dishes such as tajarin (pasta with butter and sage), carne crude, agnolotti del plin (pasta pillows stuffed with vegetables or meat), and braised beef in Barolo sauce. Another must is the local Tartufo bianco d’Alba, a rare white truffle that only grows around here – you’ll find it in a lot of dishes.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Piedmont was recently named the best wine region in Italy by Forbes magazine. It’s a bold claim but one you can easily put to the test given you’re staying in an actual vineyard. Guided tours and tastings are readily available not only on the Fontanafredda estate (including its historic cellars) but also at the plethora of local wine producers
  • If it’s R&R you’re after, you don’t even have to leave Cascina Galarej. Not only is there a gym, pool, sauna and hot tub, but the hotel also offers a wide range of spa treatments, from massages to facials, plus lymphatic drainage and treatments with the local Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes
  • Alternatively, take a stroll through unique Villagio Narrante itself, known as Italy’s first storytelling village, there's a trail you can follow which brings it all to life: including the wonderful gardens, the quaint historic houses, the Wood of Thoughts (Bosco dei Pensieri), Palazzo Madama, the Custodian’s house and the Clock Building
  • Explore the local countryside, there are castles and restaurants to discover

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Shopping / markets
  • Truffle hunting
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, family rooms are available and extra cots and beds are supplied on request. While there's no kids menu, the restaurants are happy to cook to order for small ones.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Exclusive Rooms 4 and 9 can take an extra bed and sleep a family of four. Both Exclusive Rooms on each floor can connect to make a two-bed family room. We suggest rooms 4 and 5 are best as they are on the ground floor so you get private outside space as well. The Suite has a sofabed and can sleep a family of four.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Exploring the estate, including the Bosco dei Pensieri (Wood of Thoughts) and the extensive gardens
  • Access to the spa
  • E-bikes for those over 10

Distances:

  • Airport: 1hr 30m
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Cascina Galerej is situated in the heart of Piedmont, about 5km from Serralunga d'Alba and about 75km south of Turin.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Cuneo International Airport, Piedmont's second airport and used by low cost carriers, which is about 45 minutes from the hotel and transfers can be arranged on request. Turin International Airport is over 100km (about 1hr15min) away; you can also fly into Genoa (146km) or Milan's Malpensa airport (180km) if you're touring the region.

From the Airport:
It's also very accessible by road, you will likely want a car to explore the area – see our car rental recommendations – and car charging is available on site (a 2-minute drive from the hotel).

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Cuneo International Airport 43.0 km CUF
  • Cuneo International Airport 105.0 km TRN

Other:

  • Beach 100.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 7.0 km

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