Style Baroque ’n’ roll
Setting Surveying Siena
Villa Armena hotel in Buonconvento has baroque swagger by the bedroom-load, a plum Tuscan location, a basement wine cellar, a madcap eco-friendly pool that looks like a little beach and two excellent young chefs, but it’s the charming family owners (and their 40-kilo canine, Franco) who really make it worth the trip…
Need to know
- Rooms 10, including five suites.
Double rooms from $358.33 (€268), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
The price shown represents the lowest nightly rate for a double room available at this hotel over the next 21 days. Any price conversions from the hotel's local currency (€268) have been conducted using today's exchange rates from xe.com.
- More details Rates usually include breakfast: Continental, buffet, American or à la carte.
- Facilities Library, free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, Etro toiletries.
- Poolside There’s a pool in the gardens, surrounded by squashy grey outdoor armchairs plump with lime-coloured cushions. In typically eccentric fashion, the pool is modelled on a sandy beach: fashioned from quartz sand and sea sand, and moulded with irregular dips and sweeps.
- Check-out 12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
- Children Over-sixes are welcome. Extra beds (€30 a night for 6–12-year olds; €50 a night for over-12s) can be added to rooms. The chefs will happily adapt menu items for younger palates.
- Also Request an in-room beauty treatment from one of the hotel’s two masseuses, who dabble in masks, scrubs, massages, manicures, peels and slimming treatments.
Food and drink at Villa Armena
Armena’s terracotta-coloured restaurant, Sorbo Allegro, is named after the 100-year-old rowan tree in the garden, and tables are decorated with tiny flower-filled vases and little clusters of twigs tied with ribbon, all designed by the very gorgeous Elena. There are two talented young chefs in the kitchen; their food is elegant, fun and full of flavour. Dishes make the most of the area’s natural larder: wild boar tartare, prawns with anise and purple cabbage, and risotto with saffron and liquorice powder. Everything is made on-site, including the bread, pasta, cakes, chocolate and ice-cream.
- Dress code Your baroque best: silks, acid-brights, a flash of gold or a froth of lace.
- Top table As close to the French doors as possible, so you can drink in the garden views. If you’d rather just drink a glass of wine or two, sit in a little corner nook in the living room, beside the cabinets stuffed with glittering glassware.
- Last orders Lunch is served between 12 and 2pm; dinner is 7pm until 10pm. Breakfast is served from 7.30am.
- Room service You can order food to your room between 8am and 10pm. Items from the restaurant menu are available between 12 and 2pm, and 7pm until 10pm – outside those timings, there’s a smaller selection.
There’s no formal bar as such, but there’s something even better: an atmospheric basement wine cellar, stocked with enough barrels and bottles to keep you tipsy ’til check-out. Owner Edoardo’s glamorous mum, Laura, is a seasoned wine buff: have a tasting with her in the cellar, accompanied by a plate of delicious cold cuts and cheeses. The living room has a stash of vini da meditazione (wines designed to be sipped without any accompaniment), as well as a selection of grappas and other heady spirits.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More...
Villa Armena Località Armena, Buonconvento, Siena, Tuscany, 53022
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Welcome drinks in the wine cellar
In the know
Our favourite rooms
We’ve seen some sexy bathrooms in our time but the one attached to Orlando di Dinusdeo (a junior suite) made our eyes widen: glass walls, big bath tub (which can be spied from the bedroom) and a stash of antique curios atop the little cabinet. We also love the spacious stone bathroom attached to Orlando di Venusto: a sleek taupe expanse pepped up with gem-coloured Etro toiletries, and blessed with a massive bath.
Dog biscuits for Franco.
Have a cooking lesson with the chef, who’ll instruct you in the art of making pici, Tuscany’s trademark fat sibling to spaghetti.