“Contemporary laid-back luxury in Pienza's old convent, and a charming slice of authentic Tuscan life”
All rooms are individual and come in a variety of 12 shapes and sizes. Original features have been immaculately restored and juxtaposed with contemporary furnishings, and the overall effect is light and bright - it's amazing to think these were once nun's cells. Beds are kingsize, some four-postered, all dressed in Busatti linen, and there are leather club armchairs, bright pops of colour, perhaps a desk or giant mirror.
There are Standards, Superiors and Suites. The Suites are located high in the building to maximise the beautiful Tuscan light. We were lucky enough to stay in Suite 12 on the top floor, which had a huge wall of windows overlooking Pienza's bell tower and the rolling countryside beyond. We loved the free-standing egg-shaped bath, funky sofa, high-timbered ceiling and the Illy espresso machine.
Another standout is Suite 11: a wonderful, huge space with exposed brickwork and the original wood-beamed ceiling. Traditional windows span 2 sides, with views over terracotta rooftops. The bed is a skinny four poster, and there's a freestanding tub and a vast oversized mirror; you'd really feel like the king of the convent up here.
The Standard and Superior rooms are slightly smaller in comparison, but are by no means tiny (Superiors have space for an additional bed). Whichever you choose, you'll be very happy. All have minibars with complimentary soft drinks, huge-flat screen TVs, an Illy espresso machine and free WiFi. Bathrooms are lovely throughout, with rain showers and Ortigia toiletries; some also have a tub.
The buzzing Townhouse Caffe overlooks the hotel's medieval walled garden, and is causing a real stir in the local area. It wouldn’t look out of place in London or New York, with an open kitchen displaying the chef's creative touches and retro furniture throughout (reclaimed orange steel factory chairs at the bar, French school chairs at the tables, and blackboards displaying the menus). The chef was kidnapped from La Bandita for this new enterprise, and it was genuinely heart-warming to hear people praising his creations to him throughout the evening.
We opted for the set menu, which changes daily depending on what local produce is available at the market; friendly staff can recommend accompanying wines. The starter of rich cauliflower and parmesan soup with truffle shavings set the standard from the word go, and it remained sky-high through a perfectly cooked asparagus and ricotta tortellini, then a grilled-to-order steak on a bed of white beans with balsamic reduction and tarragon. Pudding was a mini selection of Tiramisu-foam-topped brownies. Simple Italian food with the freshest of ingredients, cooked immaculately - and good value to boot.
Breakfast was also exceptional, served either in the restaurant or alfresco in the walled garden on sunny mornings. Freshly squeezed juice, pastries, fruit salads, coffee and a menu packed full of mouthwatering options; after much deliberation we opted for the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Other choices included various combinations of bacon, sausage and eggs.
If you can drag yourself away, there are numerous cosy and atmospheric trattorias dotted around town. Sette di Vino comes highly rated for lunch, as does Latte di Luna for their amazing 'Maialino' roast pork. Or try Pummaro for pizza.
Children are welcome and stay for free. Kids under 5 eat for free in the restaurant. The village is very kid-friendly and has no traffic for most of the day, La Bandita Townhouse opens onto pedestrian-only cobblestoned streets.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)
The two Family Suites are ideal for families, these have a bedroom with a queen sized bed and separate sitting room with sofas that convert to two twin beds. Superior rooms and Suites can also accommodate 1 rollaway bed or a baby cot (both are free of charge). Ask if you want a room with a bath. One Junior Suite sleeps 4. It is split-level with the bedroom upstairs, and a living area downstairs with 2 single sofa beds.
Available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Simple pasta dishes and half-portions can be provided on request; children under 5 eat for free