When staying in Tuscany for the first time it can feel a little tricky to pick the right spot. Such is the romantic image the region conjures up that you perhaps want those long views that graduate at sunset, to stay in a proper villa and be close enough to some interesting places to visit. You want to get it right.
Your first step should be to book a room at Villa Armena. A labour of love for Edoardo and Elena, a four year renovation of an old ruin has resulted in a villa of sumptuous grandeur that would have made a perfect episode of Grand Designs. Each of the ten rooms has a breathtaking attention to detail, with bespoke furniture and beautiful carpets - a masterpiece of interior design skill that means it doesn't matter which room you stay in; simply book the best room you can afford because they are all wonderful. The bathrooms - so often a let-down - are a triumph. Modern, yet in harmony with their 700 year old surroundings thanks to stones handpicked from local quarries and fitments that are both functional and magical. We don't recall staying in a bedroom or bathroom we preferred.
The villa - a listed building of local importance - is augmented by a swimming pool constructed from natural materials that is a peaceful place to relax for the day. When you want to venture out the nearby City of Siena and wine region of Montalcino provide all you need to see during your Tuscan holiday. The team are only too happy to provide recommendations, maps and encouragement - though do note that no matter where you stay in Tuscany a hire car is almost essential.
When you do emerge from your room, breakfast is served until 11am which is seriously civilised and gives you an excuse to visit the restaurant restrooms which are filled with yet more covetable design flourishes.
But it wasn't just the furniture we wanted to sneak in to our suitcases when we left. Franco, the British Bulldog (Edoardo and Elena studied in London) would have made a lovely souvenir, and Laura, Edoardo's mother (and accomplished sommelier), was delightful in every way and therefore officially adopted as our Italian Godmother. Highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the romantic heart of Tuscany, only 20 minutes from Siena, only a stone’s throw from Montalcino and Val d’Orcia, in a fairytale world exuding magic and beauty, Villa Armena is a late Renaissance structure. Built of red brick, with original oak beams and roof, and having terracotta floors and a beautiful Italianate garden, Villa Armena today is an exclusive establishment with just 10 rooms, each one unique, where service, attention to detail and exclusivity are the cornerstones of our offering. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Armena Relais Buonconvento, Italy - Tuscany