If it’s every middle class Englanders dream to own a villa in Tuscany, fashion magnate Ferruccio Ferragamo went one better with Il Borro Hotel. In 1993, he bought a 700 hectare dilapidated estate, complete with manor house, vineyards and medieval village, and proceeded to convert it into a unique Relais and Chateau property.
It’s not like a normal hotel, though, as its rooms are spread throughout the estate. For families there are three villas (one is the manor house with its own pool and gardens) and five farmhouses, surrounded by vineyards. The other 25 suites are housed in the medieval village where the workers used to live.
But don’t think you’ll be slumming it as the houses have been restored stone by stone and the insides have been gutted to provide 21st century comfort.
All the suites are furnished with Italian antiques, equipped with air-con, and contain kitchens with coffee machines and fridges, and mosaic-walled bathrooms.
And if you fancy a bit of shopping, eight houses are home to artisans including a shoemaker and a jeweller. There’s even a church where you can get married.
I’m here at the end of September for the start of the grape harvest, along with the rest of the Ferragamo family.
They take their wine seriously here with the estate is 100% organic and they use bio-dynamic methods. Tours of the cellar are offered, as well as tutored tastings, and their wines are offered with all meals.
Once you’re here, it’s difficult to go anywhere else as the Arno Valley is in the heart of the countryside populated by the ancient forests, clear streams and rolling hills of Tuscany.
Fortunately there are three restaurants to choose from, all run by executive chef Andrea Campani, himself a local boy who takes his food very seriously.
His flagship is the Osteria Il Borro, the gourmet restaurant with a completely open kitchen which offers great views over the village and the surrounding countryside.
Beneath it is the Tuscan Bistro, for less formal occasions, also using fresh local and seasonal ingredients. I quite like the Vincafe, perfect for those Italian salads with perfect focaccia, and conveniently located next to their long infinity pool.
My suite is in the Casa Al Piano, a converted farmhouse, right on the edge of the estate. It’s in the middle of the vineyards and is a bit of hike from the main buildings, although they provide free transfers on request.
I have my own private pool, kitchen and lounge and, best of all, it’s completely silent. If you want somewhere where you can completely relax, enjoy a variety of spa treatments, and guzzle good food and wine, then Il Borro Hotel is definitely for you.
Tell me more about Il Borro Hotel
Il Borro Hotel, Località Borro, 1, 52024 Loro Ciuffenna AR, Italy
Rates start at €325 for Superior Bedroom and €487 for Prestige Suites in low season. In high season it’s €470 for Superior Bedroom and €675 for Prestige Suites.
The nearest airports are Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci, at 50 km or Rome Fiumicino at 250 km. The nearest train station is Arezzo at 20 km.
Tel: +39 055 977053