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Aficionados of Italian wine, particularly Brunello, will be well aware of Castello Banfi near Montalcino, Tuscany. The 7,100 acre estate has been producing quality wines since 1978, offers a full compliment of eno-tourism activities and a range of elegant, 5 star boutique accommodation. The centre piece of the estate are the enchanting 12th century era castle and 17th century era hamlet which sit high on a hill overlooking the vineyards and the surrounding, typically picturesque Tuscan countryside. There you have a choice of beautiful, and very spacious, rooms and suites, two excellent gourmet restaurants, a traditional Tuscan enoteca, beautifully manicured gardens, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a small gym, a massage pavilion and a cookery school. THE ACCOMMODATION: The choices are between ‘deluxe’ double rooms which, at 40 m², are large enough to be considered suites in most hotels and then there are the actual suites; classic, junior, superior and deluxe, they range in size between 66 m² and 110 m² and can sleep up to four. They are all beautifully designed, classically furnished and full of regal charm. They also come with large bathrooms with walk in rainfall showers (some also with baths) and all modern hotel mod cons; READ MORE
Castello di Velona is a stunning 5 star, 11th century era, castle hotel set high on a hilltop outside Montalcino, Tuscany and comes with panoramic views over the iconic Brunello vineyards of the Val d’Orcia. It is very much an exclusive, luxury retreat, and one which also comes with a hefty price tag. The only negative reviews it seems to receive are, at least in part, in regard to the cost but once you come to terms with that it is a very special place indeed. The quality of the accommodation and service, the uniqueness, and beauty of the setting, the tremendous spa and wellness facilities – including natural thermal spring baths, and not one but TWO restaurants with Michelin Stars – an outstanding achievement – means it absolutely has to be on our list of the best castle hotels in Italy. They have a great range of accommodation, from basic (relatively speaking of course) double rooms to some enormously opulent suites (one even has a private pool) and some equally opulent and spacious self catering apartments. REVIEWS: “Amazing views of a gorgeous, historical valley as far as the eye can see. We had a huge “Junior” suite with a beautiful READ MORE