Castello di Vicarello
- Style Mediaeval castello in the clouds
- Setting Hidden hilltop olive groves
Castello di Vicarello has had 900 years to cultivate its air of mystery, so it’s no wonder that it can seem like a building stolen from a dream or a fairy tale on your first approach. Despite the ethereal air, however, aspects of this rustic-luxe boutique hotel couldn’t be more down-to-earth: authentic home-cooked, Tuscan cuisine straight from a traditional farmhouse kitchen, a working vineyard and olive grove, and one of the warmest welcomes in central Italy.
Need to know
- Rooms Six suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $642.43 (€473), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
- More details Rates include home-made breakfast of jams, cakes and breads.
- Facilities Spa, gardens, pools, library. In rooms: minibar. Some suites have open fireplaces and all but La Grotta have kitchenettes.
- Poolside With unforgettable panoramic views of the valleys of Tuscany rolling out before you, swimming in either of Vicarello’s two infinity pools is a delight. The pool beside Suite Chiesina is lined with travertine and overlooks the hills, forests and coast.
- Check–out Midday, but flexible, subject to availability.
Children Warmly welcomed; cots for under-threes (free) and extra beds can be provided (€100 a night for ages two to 12; €120 for over-12s) for children staying in parents' rooms, excluding breakfast (€15). Babysitting can be arranged for around €25 an hour.
- Eco‐friendly All fruit and vegetables used in the kitchen are grown organically in the hotel gardens. Vicarello produces its own wine and olive oil, and a large amount of meat is hunted on the hotel’s grounds.
- Also There’s no shortage of activities should you tire of relaxing: cooking classes and wine-tasting can be arranged in the hotel’s kitchen, and horse riding, hunting and fishing can all be enjoyed in the nearby area.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Farthest from the main castello building, secluded Suite Chiesina is a beautifully decorated outbuilding with two floors and two bedrooms. Louis XIV-style beds and colourful antique Persian rugs complement the original artworks lining the walls, but the most impressive visual aspect is the views from every window – on a clear day you can see the sea over the hills and a seemingly unending swath of forest. There’s also a full barbecue and pergola-shaded dining area outside by the pool – ideal for supping cocktails and swooning at the sunset. Smaller, but more romantic, Suite Sassi has a private terrace with a full frontal countryside outlook – one of the best views in Tuscany – and an air of lightness, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Packing tips Ditch the stilettos – bumpy stone paths and root-riven forest floors are no friend to wayward heels. Trainers or Timberlands will stand you in sturdier stead.
- Also Castello di Vicarello’s spa uses ingredients sourced from the hotel’s gardens, including sage, rosemary and lavender; there’s a sauna and steam room too. Yoga sessions are held throughout the day (for a suggested contribution of €30 a person).
Food and drink at Castello di Vicarello
- Hotel restaurant Aurora, the owner, cooks up a daily-changing menu of authentic home-grown, home-made Tuscan cuisine, served in the candlelit flower-filled courtyard in summer and by the fireside in winter. Aurora’s pigeon pâté is a firm favourite, as is the steak.
- Dress code Rustic and relaxed: skirts for sprawling in and shirts all a-billow.
- Top table The round table in the corner by reception overlooks the whole dining area and the gardens – perfect for a romantic tête-à-tête. The owners will also arrange a secret spot in the gardens to dine in if you request.
- Last orders Aurora’s Aga starts to cool at around 22h.
- Room service Fruit and snacks are always available in the kitchen, and you can have food brought to your room from 08h to 21h.
- Hotel bar Although there’s no bar as such, Castello di Vicarello’s courtyard and gardens are replete with nooks in which to secrete yourself with an aperitif or a glass of the hotel’s own vintage red.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details