Hotel Highlights

  • Delicious Tuscan cuisine
  • Glorious pool overlooking rolling vineyards
  • Run by a warm, Scottish husband-and-wife couple

Overview

Scottish restaurateurs Catherine and David Gardner took three years to furbish and restore Villa Bordoni, a 10-roomed villa in the rolling countryside. They have successfully filled a glaring boutique-hotel gap in a beloved holiday region. They have been careful not to create a self-conscious design hotel, offering instead a tasteful country-house hotel with hi-tech trim that's child-friendly, too.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Villa Bordoni with us:

A bottle of prosecco in your room

Facilities

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Villa Bordoni Hotel - Florence - Italy

Need To Know

Rooms

10, including five suites.

Check–out

11am, but may be flexible.

Rates

Double rooms from $295.14 (€214), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.50 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include breakfast. Half-board is available for an extra €45 a day.

Also

There are hill-walking trails and mountain bikes for the active. Horse riding can be arranged, as can cookery lessons and wine-tasting; there's a golf course nearby, too.

At the hotel

LCD TVs, DVD and CD players, wireless internet; WiFi in public areas; library of books and magazines; open-air fitness pavilion.

Our favourite rooms

Montefili has pale grey and crimson decor and fabulous views over the olive groves and the valley.

Poolside

The saltwater pool is set in terraced olive groves, with views over the Chianti hills from the gazebos.

Packing tips

An appetite, and your swimsuit and gym kit to make amends.

Also

The villa and its grounds are non-smoking. It's situated at the end of a lengthy unmade road, so watch your tires if you're driving.

Children

Welcome. There is no charge for under-sevens sharing with their parents. Extra beds and cots are available for €30–€50.

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Food & Drink

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Villa Bordoni Hotel - Florence - Italy

Hotel Restaurant

The restaurant is the jewel in Bordoni's crown, so prepare to eat around the clock. We can't recommend Batar more (except perhaps for vegetarians); the Montrachet-alike 2001 vintage from Querciabella is liquid heaven.

Hotel Bar

There is an aperitivo hour with complimentary antipastini, 6.30–7.30pm. There is an excellent selection of Chianti Classico from regional winemakers.

Last orders

Lunch 12.30–2.30pm; dinner 7.30pm–10pm; closed Mondays.

Room service

Restaurant and snack menus available until 11.30pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Chiantishire chic.

Top table

Outside on the patio or among the umbrella pines in the summer; next to the log fire in winter.

Local Guide

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Villa Bordoni Hotel - Florence - Italy
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

La Cantinetta di Rignana in Greve-in-Chianti (+39 055 852 601) is an informal trattoria serving Tuscan and Chiantigiana dishes, including cold cuts, cheeses and hearty game dishes and there are exquisite views. Taste the best prosciutto and salami in Tuscany at L’Antica Macelleria Cecchini in Panzano (+39 055 852 020). We can wholeheartedly recommend a long lazy lunch fuelled by Batar. The Montrachet-alike 2001 vintage from Querciabella is liquid heaven.

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Green groves of Greve in Chianti

Villa Bordoni

Via San Cresci 31-32, Loc. Mezzuola, Greve in Chianti, Tuscany, 50022

Planes

Villa Bordoni’s closest airport is Florence Peretola, an hour from the villa and served by Meridiana and BA from the UK. For more choice, Pisa, Bologna (both one hour 40 minutes) and Perugia (two hours away) are other options.

Trains

The hotel is 35 minutes from both Figline Valdarno and Poggibonsi stations, giving quick access to Florence in just half an hour. For information on train times and ticket prices in Italy, see Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.com).

Automobiles

A car may well be useful due to this hotel’s countryside location, but thankfully it’s not a necessity, since the front desk is happy to organise private car transfers to and from all the main airports, train stations and city centres, as well as guided wine tours, day tours and shopping at the designer outlets of Montevarchi. If you do choose to bring a car, Villa Bordoni can be reached easily from the A1. It's perfectly located halfway between Siena and Florence (it's an hour to either).

Reviews

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Villa Bordoni Hotel - Florence - Italy

Anonymous review

by Helen Veale , Top telly exec

A lazy escape to the hills of Tuscany is not supposed to induce anxiety, but as we crunch along the tiny gravel drive that leads up to the luxury Villa Bordoni, Mr Smith and I are a little nervy. Partly because we’re dyed-in-the-wool urbanites, and Greve in Chianti is just so very rural, and partly because I have just been executive-producing the TV series based on the travels o...

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Villa Bordoni

Anonymous review by Helen Veale, Top telly exec

A lazy escape to the hills of Tuscany is not supposed to induce anxiety, but as we crunch along the tiny gravel drive that leads up to the luxury Villa Bordoni, Mr Smith and I are a little nervy. Partly because we’re dyed-in-the-wool urbanites, and Greve in Chianti is just so very rural, and partly because I have just been executive-producing the TV series based on the travels of Mr & Mrs Smith’s editor and publisher. Weirdly, I’ve seen the Villa Bordoni on TV already and, weirder still, l feel I’ve ‘met’ the owners David and Catherine, having watched them being interviewed. Surely they’ll see through me the minute I arrive, and our undercover role will instantly be blown sky-high?

I manage to keep a lid on my déjà vu and fear of exposure as a fraud. And the moment we step into the Villa Bordoni for the first time, my anxieties melt into the kind of sigh of blissed-out relaxation for which you usually have to pay top dollar to a masseur. Just three years ago, the Villa Bordoni was a roofless ruin. Built in the 16th century by nobility, it has been lovingly modernised. The real skill has been in combining the original features of the house, from terracotta floor tiles to a spooky wine cellar, with present-day luxury.

The decor is a cunning blend of rich and poor, to emulate the grandeur-on-a-budget that the impoverished aristos might have favoured: a twig tassel on a curtain is very sumptuous-on-a-shoestring. Our room, too, combines the rustic with the elegant, housing a vast bed with a draped canopy. But for Mr Smith, the high point is the shower. A massive green-tiled wet room contains a hi-tech system capable of pumping gallons of water at you from every angle; a hydrotherapy spa would probably class it as a treatment in itself. Mr Smith is so entranced he begins to calculate whether he could knock down any walls back home to incorporate this kind of indulgence into his daily bathing habits. I can’t say I’d complain.

If indoors at the Villa Bordoni is wonderful, outdoors is sublime. We’re seated under a pine tree at the edge of the property’s walled garden, tucking into the freshest mozzarella and tomato salad ever, and we find that, after some chilled wine, we become hypnotised by the huge butterflies that glide over the lavender bushes. Beyond the garden wall, via paths where lizards skitter past us, we find the saltwater swimming pool, with its view of olive groves and rolling hills.

Under private pergolas, we occupy double sunloungers – all the better to talk rubbish without offending some of the more sophisticated guests. Lounging by the pool with the sun on my belly and a view of a lightning storm in the valley opposite is my idea of heaven, but Mr Smith has managed to find something to fret about. How, he worries, will he fit in a four-course dinner on top of the huge boozy lunch we’ve just eaten? Here again, David and Catherine have thought of everything, installing a thatch-roofed outdoor gym with a view.

The great cultural magnets of Florence, Siena and Pisa are within reach, and many of the hotel’s other guests are Americans keen to do the Grand Tour. But Mr Smith and I are rather more in the mood to explore the other great draw of Tuscany: its food and world-class wine. Guided by the concierge, we head out for a walk through the vineyards, hoping to get a feel for the rural heritage of the region that produces our favourite Chianti Classico. We got slightly more than we’d bargained for, and ended up having a rather too close encounter with a local dog that seemed spellbound by Mr Smith’s knees.

A bit further on through the fields, we stumble across a very elderly man in an eye-wateringly tiny pair of shorts and a skintight vest tending his vines, only to turn a corner and bump into his identical twin, identically dressed. David Lynch couldn’t concoct anything more out-there. Suitably spooked out by the countryside, we head towards the nearby village of Montefioralle – a cluster of stone houses clinging to a steep hill – where a few glasses of the local vintage help to restore our equilibrium.

The villa’s restaurant doesn’t open on Mondays, so the endlessly charming and helpful David sorted us out with a table at his favourite local, the Cantinetta di Rignana. The view of the valley, and the ravioli with ricotta and fresh truffles, had Mr Smith and me beaming with joy. And we earn our Wildlife Spotters badge by practically colliding with one of the famous local wild boars as we head back to the hotel. (I’m now convinced the You Are What You Eat adage is true; I swear the Sus scrofa looked us two porkers in the eye and saw kindred spirits.)

Breakfast on the terrace at the Bordoni is simple and elegant – fresh fruit, just-squeezed orange or pink-grapefruit juice, local breads and home-made jams, and traditional cheeses and cold meats. The owners’ restaurateur credentials are a huge part of Bordoni’s allure. For lunch, chef Francesco’s four-course tasting menu is, in Mr Smith’s view (and personal experience), worth bursting a button off your new shirt for. The squid-ink risotto is rich and perfect, and a dessert modestly called cheese mousse has us chasing the last smears round the glass like greedy kids in an ice-cream parlour, and regretting like mad that a car is already revving up on the drive to take us back to the airport.

As featured on our television programme The Smiths' Hotels for 2 for Discovery Travel and Living.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Villa Bordoni's Guestbook below.

 

SilverSmith

Stayed on 2 Jul 2013

We loved

We did something we had not done before: we went back! Having had a wonderful time in Villa Bordoni a couple of years ago we thought we would try it again. We were not disappointed. Our room was beautifully appointed and the food and wine were excellent. It was good to see so many of the staff were still there and great when Hugo, walking past the terrace, said "I think you have been here before?" We spent our time sitting by the pool enjoying the sunshine and then forced ourselves to go back to the house for lunch and then then diid the same for dinner. Sitting on the terrace enjoying great food and fine and watching the sun set was the most relaxing you could get. We definitely did the right thing going back!

Don’t expect

Nothing!

Rating: 10/10 stars