The experience at Castello di Casole begins with the arrival – as guests approach along a beautifully manicured tree-lined avenue, archetypal Tuscan houses appear in the horizon and a glimpse of the private estate’s 4,200 acres come into view.
Once inside the grounds, the impressive terrace serves as the heart of the hotel – a place to savour the sweeping panoramic views and take a moment to appreciate the quiet of nature. Now boasting elegant seating for all day dining and relaxation, it is also the best spot to enjoy a long lazy lunch or to toast the holiday with the estate’s home-grown red wine.
The adjoining pool terrace serves refreshing cocktails and freshly squeezed juices from a new pool bar that also houses a small library of classic novels to while away the hours. The cleverly elevated infinity pool, seamlessly blends with the lush rolling hillsides and offers a cinematic view at dusk.
The Great Oak Forest
The centuries-old great oak forest that borders the estate, is home to a variety of wild animals, native flora and fauna and is the inspiration for a number of new experiences. First Light in the Tuscan Wonderland in partnership with Leica Sport Optics, takes guests by jeep into the forest to spot bird and wildlife through Leica binoculars from observation towers dotted around the grounds. A champagne tour is offered at sunset and there is the option to journey back on foot to fully appreciate the scale and beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side encourages guests to explore the impressive number of trekking routes that weave around the woods. Or further afield, self-guided, guided hikes and cycling tours can be arranged to nearby historic castles, landmarks and pretty hamlets. Truffle Hunting with small groups of foodies is an estate signature experience, led by expert hunter Mauro Nesi and his stunning Lagotto Romagnolo dogs. Once the truffles are unearthed from the forest grounds, the hotel kitchen uses the delicacy to infuse a tasting menu of Taglierini, Tosca fillet and Black truffle tarts.
A Taste Of Tuscany
Food from the land and savouring tradition is at the heart of Castello di Casole’s revitalised wine and dining experiences. Restaurants at Castello di Casole offer something for everyone. The focus at each of the dining venues is on simple, rustic food that blend Italian tradition with modern innovation. Whether one chooses to dine in the cosy Visconti Bar or in the elegant setting of Cip’s by Cipriani, each moment is to cherish.
At Restaurant Cip’s served on the recently launched terrace with breathtaking views over the surrounding hills, Executive Chef Daniele Sera offers an array of masterful Tuscan dishes complemented by specialities from the legendary Cip’s by Cipriani. For a laidback meal or drink guests can enjoy the Visconti Bar, with marble details and frescoed walls, named after the illustrious Visconti family, who owned the property in the past.
For a taste of Tuscan hospitality, groups can privately reserve the Enchanted Table; suspended from a towering oak tree, beautifully dressed with flowers and atmospherically lit by candelabra and twinkling lights. Guests can choose from a gourmet evening menu of traditional Tuscan classics or the more relaxed daytime merenda of sharing platters, consisting of local farmhouse cheeses, hams, wines and even homemade gelato.
A Tuscan Village
Rooms and suites are spread throughout the storied buildings of what was once a bustling Tuscan village dating back to the year 998 – an old school, limonaia, wine cellar and priest’s house have been transformed into 39 sumptuous bedrooms, each bursting with rustic charm. Warm woods, Carrara marble floors and antique mirrors define the overall aesthetic and many rooms have spacious bathrooms with roll top baths from which to admire the picture frame views of the surrounding landscapes.
The Essere Spa, located in the atmospherically lit ancient stone alcoves of a vaulted wine cellar, displays Etruscan artefacts and offers treatments inspired by the land. Locally harvested olive oil, orange-infused oil, honey, rosemary and grapes are used in signature facials and massages and a new outdoor relaxation lawn is a space to reconnect with nature over a fresh herbal tea.
The property is part of Belmond”s family of “Italian Icons”, which includes Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice and Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino.
For more information, visit belmond.com