Castello di VelonaFirst Look - Castello di Velona, Montalcino
We have a secret. And it’s a big one in the form of a castle in Tuscany. The Castello di Velona in Montalcino is fit for a king – literally. The medieval castle recently reopened after a lavish, three-year ruins-to-riches renovation. Real-estate success is all about location, location, location – and Castello di Velona has cornered the market. The views are hands-down the most stunning in Montalcino, which you can enjoy from your sumptuous room, while sipping killer Brunello di Montalco wine. Who’s king of the castle now?
They did this renovation up right. The 46 rooms range from classic to contemporary. You’ll be stylin’ and profilin’ in a plush castle room with exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, and period furniture. If you splash out on the Presidential Suite, you’ll get your own private terrace with hot-spring pool, no less.
If modern is your style, go for one of the spa rooms in the brand-new wing of the castle. Most face west, to capitalize on the spectacular “am-I-in-heaven?” Montalcino sunsets. While the castle rooms skew historical, the contemporary spa rooms feel like your very own oasis, with hot-spring bathtubs and a sleek contemporary décor. The plush bathrooms are spacious with double sinks, a luxury in a region where accommodation tends towards vintage.
And while this is a boutique hotel, they’re full service all the way, with a 16,000-square-foot thermal spa with two pools, a Turkish bath, and five treatment rooms where you’ll be slathered with local olive oil and those famous Brunello grapes. How better to decompress after a strenuous day of wine-tasting?
Actually, there is a better way: Feast across Montalcino, starting at Castello di Velona, which impressively features four dining and drinking options. Whet your appetite with delectable little bites and wine at the casual Il Chiostro. The Pool Bar is exactly that, where they’ll bring you food and drink as you blissfully lounge poolside. For contemporary Tuscan, pull up a chair at Il Vignone or the fine-dining L’Abbazia. Both will become destinations unto themselves, if not for their gorgeous renditions of Tuscan cuisine, then for the spectacular views.
Thankfully, a few nights at Castello di Velona won’t require selling the crown jewels, but the awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding Val d’Orcia Park would make it worth every penny anyway.
You heard it here first. Kings of the Castle can book here – Reopening in April 2012