Hidden in the Tuscan countryside are some of the best wine resorts in the world, offering acres of vineyards, olives groves and forests, spectacular views and all housed in historic Italian Estates. This is my pick of the top 5 best wine resorts in Tuscany.
Conti di San Bonifacio Wine Resort
This idyllic estate (pictured above and below) lies across 125 hectares of the enchanting Tuscan countryside not far from Florence and Pisa. The buildings are in keeping with the traditional Tuscan style – all designed and built by local craftsmen and the décor is Italian-designed luxury. With a warm, subtle colour palate, chestnut beams, terracotta floors and white cow skin rugs it all adds up to a stylish, sophisticated interior. It’s hard not to keep coming back to those breath-taking views; your dining is outdoors on beautiful terraces, your swimming pool and the outside bar area all give you a fantastic view of the vast landscape that surrounds you. This is a family owned-business and their devotion to hospitality is evident.
There are just 7 rooms in this exclusive resort. Each offers something special, be it a four poster bed, marble bathroom, private terrace with sun loungers or a hilltop position. Their restaurant Maremmana serves delicious, locally sourced Tuscan food and it is perfectly accompanied by their award winning wines. There is a wine bar in the library as well as the Vineyard bar outside.
The beautiful swimming pool is surrounded by natural wooden planking and lots of comfortable sun loungers, but the main attraction to accompany your dip will always be the sensational views. A beauty suite is available for your wellness needs and the hillside makes the most amazing location for their yoga classes. Of course being a winery there is a fabulous range of wine-related activities available on the estate itself, including tasting, creating your own blend and a complete wine experience where you find out exactly what it’s like to be a winemaker.
Castello Di Casole
With more than 100 acres of vineyards, frequent wine tours and events, and an estate-grown red wine blend, Castello di Casole is made for Italian wine lovers. The wine experience is particularly evident whenever you dine at Ristorante Tosca, where a large wall displays hundreds of vintages from leading wineries in Tuscany and around the world.
At the heart of this vast, vibrant and vital estate is a storied castle that dates back to the year 998. Your arrival will be through a cypress-lined lane that leads to the elegant courtyard. Here you will be welcomed into this five-star boutique hotel. With 41 private suites in a range of sizes and styles to accommodate the unique needs and tastes of all who visit. Each suite effortlessly combines Old World Tuscan charm with modern boutique luxury, elegance and sophistication, including fabrics, fixtures and furnishings from the most acclaimed designers in Italy and throughout Europe. Steps away are a mesmerizing spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor dining, inspired activities and everything your family could hope for – all backed by attentive services provided by Timbers Resorts.
Il Borgo At Castello Banfi
Castello Banfi is one of the largest wine estates in Tuscany. More recently it opened it’s very own hotel, Il Borgo. The styling for the hotel was created by Federico Forquet who also gets credit for the Caruso, in Ravello; the Villa San Michele, in Fiesole; and now Il Borgo. The 14-room hilltop property was built in the 1700’s to lodge farmworkers and household staff serving the eighth-century castle just above it. The hotel’s hilltop location offers extravagant views and a sense of privileged isolation. Within the castle are a reading room, a museum with the largest private collection of ancient Roman glassware in the world, and a spectacular courtyard where jazz concerts are held in the summer. Also on offer are a beautiful swimming pool, cloisters curtained in wisteria and a historic ambiance so perfect that it could have been created by Disney.
Four Seasons Florence
The Four Seasons Florence is definitely one of the best resorts in Tuscany and although it isn’t set amongst vineyards, it offers a great selection of wines. It is ideally located a short drive from all the vineyards of Tuscany and a walk (be it longish) from the centre of Florence.
The hotel spreads out between the main building – 15th-century Palazzo della Gherardesca – and La Villa, a sixteenth-century former convent on the other side of the eleven-acre park, the largest private garden in Florence which houses a gorgeous pool. The 116 rooms are individually decorated with oodles of silk, velvet, marble and lots of antique furniture. The opulent main restaurant, Il Palagio, is real and Tuscan. The poolside trattoria/pizzeria Al Fresco, open when weather permits, offers simpler trattoria dishes, pizza and grilled meat or fish. The glass-roofed Atrium bar, ably presided over by bar manager Massimiliano Prili and barista Luca Angeli is a Florentine smart-set venue for tea, aperitivi, cocktails and of course, fine local Tuscan wines!
Pratello Country Resort
Although not specifically a wine resort, Pratello is none-the-less a perfect retreat set in an 18th-century hamlet and located in the centre of a 320-hectare wildlife park with woodlands, olive groves and unique views. The heart of Pratello Country Resort is the precious garden, a jewel of architecture and nature built in the classic Tuscan style. The green design creates natural charming geometries in which you are able to discover green corners and patches of wonderful landscape. Olive groves, fields, hills and forests are the natural frame of the most romantic corner of Pratello where you can admire enchanting sunsets. The infinity pool, with views on rolling Tuscan hills, is available for guests of the Resort every day until sunset. Next to the pool is the Pool Bar where you can have drinks and a light lunch.
Pratello Country Resort morning begins with a rich and elegant buffet in front of the superb view. Before dinner take an aperitif alfresco to enjoy the views, or enjoy it at the delightful lounge bar named Le Scuderie, or if you prefer, enjoy an after dinner cocktail. At night, the kitchen specialises in Tuscan cuisine. Fresh pasta, exclusive dishes based on game, truffles and seasonal fresh products can be enjoyed in the beautiful dining room or outdoors under the stars. The cellar offers a good selection of Chianti Classico, Chianti Riserva wines and Super Tuscans, such as Tignanello. Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano and a small selection of white wines to complete it.
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