“A 15th-century palazzo with contemporary design and gastronomic flair, set in the hills of Chianti”
All of the stylish, minimalist bedrooms and suites are stunning and spacious, with limed floorboards, sleek wooden beds painted in pale olive green, fabrics in muted shades of cream and brown, and lots of natural textures. But there are also some individual flourishes - a delicate ceiling fresco, huge ceiling beams, an exquisitely carved cabinet...
Try to get a room at the front: they have fabulous views overlooking the pool, valley and hills (the best are the Paris Suite and the In Montagana and Marrakech Deluxe rooms). We also liked the A Caccia Suite, which has a cute side-facing Juliet balcony. Rooms at the back of the hotel are just as lovely inside, but they do face other houses in the village, and the windows are rather small - making the interiors a bit dark.
Most of the Deluxe rooms have double beds, either a four-poster or low platform; In Montagna has wide twin four-poster beds instead ('French beds'). If you don’t want to shell out for a Suite, the Marrakech Deluxe comes in at a very close second. The fantastic view and striking round window in the bathroom, makes up for the lack of bathtub. There’s also a second-floor Family Suite made up of 2 interconnecting rooms: Morocco and Indonesia.
Finally, 50m from the villa, there are 2 Classic rooms hidden in an annexe building – we haven’t viewed them yet, but their quiet setting and chic interiors are promising.
The cuisine is a highlight of any stay. The hotel holds a coveted "Quality Restaurant" badge, and builds its menus around the availability of local, seasonal produce prepared in an 'avant-garde' way. The restaurant is renowned for experimental takes on traditional Italian fare. We had a smoked swordfish and tuna starter with orange and lemon sauce, followed by delicious pear ravioli, washed down by a very reasonable (and quaffable) local wine from the top-notch wine cellar. The menu changes weekly. Meals are served in the refined and intimate restaurant with its cream-coloured slip-cover chairs and crisp linen napiery, or in summer in the stylishly lit gardens. Out of season it's very quiet; in summer it's open to the public.
If you want to venture out for dinner, be prepared for a 10-minute drive to Montevarchi; staff at the hotel will happily recommend places to eat. The hotel restaurant also serves a limited lunch during the summer months (bruschetta, pizza or sandwiches) and on Sundays the rest of the year.
The setting for breakfast is stunning – next to the pool, gazing over the Chianti hills. When we first visited, we found the buffet rather samey - croissants, cereals, yoghurt, with some obligatory cheese and ham - but on our latest visit the spread had improved to include eggs cooked as you like, and a great range of coffees. The terraced garden next to the pool is immaculately kept and cleverly planted with lavender, rosemary and roses, the scent wafting over as you sip your coffee, and watch the swallows dip in and out of the pool.
Breakfast in bed, packed lunches and 24-hour room service can be organised.
Not ideal for young children, as there is nothing much to keep them amused locally and the quiet, calm atmosphere might not be conducive.
There is a top-floor 2-bedroom Family Suite and most rooms can hold an extra bed or baby cot.
Babysitting available by arrangement
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking