Il Borro, Tuscany
There are some hotels that must be seen in person as no amount of website description or photos can really do the place justice. Il Borro is certainly one of these properties.
The Ferragamo family has transformed an old medieval village into a beautiful hotel whilst retaining all the charm and feel of the original village. There are still several working shops and life goes on gently in the background as you relax in the stunning surroundings.
What I found most surprising is the sense of space there and this doesn’t really come across on the website. They have a huge amount of land and although the rooms in the village are on a small hillside (many with lovely gardens and verandas) the rest is flat and fantastic for the horse riding, mountain biking, tennis, walking and running you can do there.
There is a small bridge that separates the old village from the spa, winery and two restaurants and this works brilliantly as you have all the services you may want without compromising the charm.
The food is wonderful and service is exactly what you would expect with the Relais and Chateau brand but this is not a stuffy, pretentious property. It is fine to be a little muddy at breakfast from an early morning horse ride. You can tell that the family who designed this is hugely at home in the countryside and want their guests to feel the same. There is nothing to distract you but birdsong and Tiger (the village cat) prowling around being generally harassed by the birds.
There are no discos or evening entertainment here but a way to reconnect with your surroundings and yourself. If you cannot read a good book here I cannot imagine where you could.
This would combine perfectly with a city break or even a triple centre of Florence, Rome and a restful stay at Il Borro with a day trip to Arezzo.
So often, new hotels pop up that have all the modern touches but little sense of place or the opposite where you need to compromise the luxuries we enjoy for a stunning setting. Il Borro seamlessly blends the old cobbled streets and historic buildings with Nespresso Machines in every room and you never question it.
They also have several villas for families to hire with their own pools and fully working kitchens. This would be the perfect place to enjoy exploring, great food, the spa, tennis, horse riding, swimming and wine tasting…. The list goes on. Children will adore the freedom to explore in a safe environment with plenty to do for the more active and adults will appreciate the quiet gardens and pools for some serious down time.
The rooms are all so different it is important to choose the right one. I will make sure all my clients get the most private one in the village (the one I enjoyed during my stay).
Il Borro is a true gem, delicately restored and generous to its’ guests. I heard more bird song there than anywhere I can remember and slept incredibly well, which for me is a sign of a truly relaxing place.