Name: Villa Poggio di Gaville
Well known for beautiful countryside, tranquillity and outstanding food and wine, Tuscany is the perfect travel destination for a relaxing luxury break. And, if you really want a true taste of Tuscan culture, look no further than Villa Poggio di Gaville. Run by charismatic chef Jamal Amin, this beautiful 18th century villa was restored to its former glory in 2004 and is packed with character, from the individually decorated rooms to the picturesque grounds complete with lake. The hotel is just under an hour’s drive from Florence airport, making this an easily accessible idyll.
A farmhouse built in the 1700s, Villa Poggio di Gaville has been lovingly restored to allow guests an authentic experience of country living in this beautiful region. As well as the traditional Tuscan furnishings, artefacts collected by the owner from all over the world have found a home here, making this place a real treasure trove to explore. The hotel boasts a reading room with a large fireplace and wood-beamed ceiling as well as a swimming pool, extensive grounds (home to several horses) and a lake with two resident herons.
Villa Poggio di Gaville is an intimate hotel with 10 rooms (4 superior double rooms and 6 double rooms). Each one is named after a sign of the zodiac, and each is decorated in its own unique style with a perfectionist’s attention to detail. All rooms have private bathrooms and TVs, and all overlook the hotel grounds. If you’re after something a little bit special, a good tip is to request Pisces, which has a private terrace, or Leo, which has a fireplace. If you’re travelling with a young child, Gemini has an extra bed which could come in very handy!
Restaurant and Bar
Owner Jamal Amin’s passion is cooking, and the restaurant at Villa Poggio di Gaville is a spectacular highlight of this hotel. The menu offers traditional Tuscan fare with a creative twist, with everything including the bread and breakfast croissants made from scratch with regionally-sourced, organic ingredients. Olive oil and honey are produced on the premises and there is a well-stocked wine cellar filled with superb local Chianti. Guests can enjoy all these delights in the beautiful dining room with large arched windows overlooking the grounds of the villa, or outside on the terrace during the warmer months.
Pool and Activities
The large swimming pool provides the perfect place to unwind, but if you feel inspired by Jamal and his food you could always take one of his Tuscan and Mediterranean cookery courses, in which all five senses are employed in a truly hands-on culinary experience. Further afield, a daytrip to the magical city of Florence is not to be missed, while if you like shopping, nearby shopping centre “The Mall” is a label-lover’s paradise, stocking well-known high-end brands such as Gucci, Armani and Louis Vuitton.
This is a small, intimate hotel with a definite “family” feel about it. Guests are made to feel very much at home and it’s almost impossible to stay here without making firm friends with the owner and his wife! A stay at Villa Poggio di Gaville will give you a truly authentic taste of Tuscany and is the perfect base from which to explore this beautiful region.
Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.