When you make the turn in to Badia from the mainroad, there's a cute little gift shop selling wine and ceramics, a great stop for some gift items. When you curve up and around the hill, all of a sudden Badia a Coltibuono comes into view and I must say it's really breathtaking. We parked by the chapel and headed in to check in at the courtyard, passing by their many sheep and their sheep dogs. When you enter the courtyard, it feels like you are entering a different century!
We stayed in the Magnolia apartment for 4 nights. It was HUGE!!! Must have been at least 1500 sq ft. We were two couples sharing the space. The Magnolia apartment is on the 2nd floor of the building and has views to both the courtyard and the back formal gardens. You enter via stairs and then have foyer at the top with loads of books, plus wine awaiting you (for purchase, of course). At the end of the foyer is one bedroom with a queen sized bed. This room overlooks the courtyard and is a bit small. It has a full bathroom plus washing machine here (no dryer). From the foyer you go up a few stairs and enter the main part of the apartment which includes a small gallery style kitchen, a huge living/dining room, and then another bedroom "wing". On the wing was a large bathroom with shower plus tub, a HUGE walkin closet, a small bedroom with one twin bed, and then a HUGE master bedroom.
The kitchen had some basics in it for cooking. Salt, pepper, great olive oil, plus pots, pans, dishes and of course, wine glasses. We cooked breakfast here almost every morning after picking up some items from the local town. Our first morning we had breakfast for 10 euro/pp with the folks staying at the B&B but I did not think it was worth the money. Cereal, yogurt, homemade cakes, cheese and cold meats. Nothing too special.
The large living room was equipped with a decent stereo system and lots of CDs. We also brought our ipod and could hook that into the system. They had a small TV but not many channels, but honestly, who needs it when you are in such a gorgeous place?
The master bedroom was huge and pretty comfortable with beautiful views of the formal gardens.
All throughout the apartment were personal touches, it's clear that this apartment is used for the family that owns the place for whenever they are in town. There are family pictures everywhere, costume jewelry in the bathrooms, nightgowns in the drawers, etc. You feel as though you are staying in someone's house, which may or may not be something that everyone would like.
A tip: this place can easily sleep 5 because of the twin bedroom. It's billed as sleeping 4, though. If you are splitting with another couple, as we did, it's a little unfair if you split the bill equally. The master bedroom is really huge, you basically have your own wing. The 2nd bedroom is quite small and feels like "maids quarters".
We had fun wandering the grounds and gardens, and swimming in their VERY cold pool! The place was quite quiet and apart from the occasional wine tour going through, it felt like our own villa. No one else was at the pool the entire day we spent there.
We did the wine tasting the first day we stayed here and it was very nice and informative. We are not wine affectionados, so cannot comment on the quality of the wine, but it tasted great to us! The tourguide was very sweet and spoke English well.
We also ate at the restaurant on site one night, which I will write up in a separate review, but all I can say is WOW.
One con: it's rather difficult to get here, lots of winding roads, no close stores/attractions. BUT if you're looking for a getaway, this very well may be the perfect place!
- Also Known As:
- Badia a Coltibuono Hotel Gaiole In Chianti
- Badia a Coltibuono Hotel
- Badia a Coltibuono Italy/Gaiole In Chianti, Tuscany
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Badia a Coltibuono, ancient abbey founded by Benedectine monks at the end of 11th century, is today a charming farmhouse, in the hearth of chianti classico, surrounded by 800 hectares of forest. The ancient monastic cells were converted into 8 comfortable double rooms, each one with its own character, furnished with style furniture. A piece of heaven in chianti classico area. ... more less
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