My husband and I have just returned from a one week journey in Tuscany. While planning our adventure, I wanted to include properties that would feel like a true “Tuscan experience”. Boy oh boy, did Castiglion Del Bosco fit the bill.
The hotel is an ancient Borgo (small town) with some of its buildings dating back to the 12th century. Every square inch of this hotel, which also includes a number of private villas, has been meticulously restored. The hotel was developed by Massimo Ferragamo, son of the famous designer Salvatore Ferragamo. The design and décor was overseen by his wife, Chiara. It is obvious that every detail within the confines of the 4500 acre estate has been taken into consideration.
The estate is located about 2 hours from Florence and 45 minutes from Siena. If you are arriving for the first time by car, I suggest arriving from the town of Buonconvento rather than Montalcino. The road from Montalcino is about a 25 minute drive on a gravel road.
The property consists of 23 suites which are within the main buildings in the borgo: the original castle, the winery and the stables. In addition, located throughout the 4500 acres are 9 original stone farmhouses ranging in size from 3 to 5 bedrooms. The Borgo is situated on a very high ridge with panoramic views of the beautiful Tuscan Hills.
There are a multitude of activities and interests from which to keep you busy including: hunting, horseback riding, bocce ball, swimming, spa, mountain biking, hiking, hot air ballooning and painting classes not to mention just relaxing by the spectacular infinity pool perched on a ledge overlooking the valley. I would like to point out what I believe to be three of the properties most unique and admirable aspects, which are: The 18 hole Tom Weiskopf designed golf course; the on-site Tuscan Cooking Academy and The Castiglion del Bosco Winery which produces one of the regions finest Brunellos. Castilion del Bosco is a great place to enjoy downtime yet keep yourself busy with activities and interests in tune with the region. For example one morning my husband and I enjoyed a tour of the 11,000 square foot vegetable garden with the hotel’s chef. We learned how this garden supplies all of the fresh food items for the hotel’s restaurants and only utilizes seasonal foods in its daily menu which is the true “Tuscan Way” of cooking. We also received a few great tips for our own vegetable garden back home. On another day, after a late afternoon round of golf, we grabbed a glass of wine and enjoyed the sunset while playing a spontaneous game of bocce ball on the hotel bocce court. We are avid golfers and were pleasantly surprised by the superior quality of the new golf course. The golf pro and his staff were incredibly professional accommodating. And I shouldn’t forget to mention we thoroughly enjoyed spending a few hours each day lounging by the infinity pool which is surrounded by the gorgeous landscaping of lavender and dill.
During my visit I took the opportunity to tour many of the rooms and a couple of villas. If you would like my personal feedback or help on specific rooms or villas, please feel free to send me a message. Each and every room is exquisitely decorated in simple and elegant earth tones reflecting the feeling of the surrounding countryside. The lighting, carpets, bath fixtures, linens, bathrooms, are all top of the line. Even the wall mounted plasma screen TV was covered in a hand stitched leather to complement the décor of the room! I make a living traveling to and recommending hotels around the globe and just want to reiterate, no detail seems to have been overlooked to ensure each guests comfort and satisfaction.
I strongly recommend the villa experience for families looking to spend quality time together or a group of couples. The villas, like the hotel, are top of the line! State of the art kitchens, covered outdoor patios, pool, tennis court, pizza ovens, the list goes on. If you are entertaining renting a villa in Italy and seeking guaranteed quality and service, you should strongly consider this property.
There are two restaurants on site from which to choose. The more casual Osteria serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. This upstairs of this restaurant is set up with an open grill in the upstairs area combined with the seating area. The Ristorante Del Drago is more formal and serves dinner. The views from both are beautiful overlooking the mountains and valley with the town of Montalcino in the distance. Both offer outdoor seating and patios. During our tour of the vegetable garden the chef described to us how in low season, when the resort is not busy, the guests congregate in the Osteria to enjoy sipping on wine while mingling over the open grill while the chef creates their meal. As he described this, all I could think of was returning to this beautiful setting in the fall or winter to enjoy this experience.
All in all, I have nothing but wonderful “Tuscan” memories of Castiglion Del Bosco. We stayed at this property for three nights and I could have easily spent another two or three nights here. Once we got into our Tuscan groove, we did not want to leave!