Umbria, Italy

Borgo della Marmotta

Rates from (inc tax)$102.08

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21EUR), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Rooted in rusticity

Setting

Picturesque Poreta hillside

Hotel Borgo della Marmotta is a 17th-century heartthrob of a hamlet with spectacular views of the Spoleto valley in Umbria and 12,000 olives trees providing a shady retreat from the surrounding sundrenched countryside. Ravishingly romantic rooms seal the deal with white interiors that highlight the exposed beams and ancient stone walls.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A tin of the hotel's olive oil

Facilities

Photos Borgo della Marmotta – Umbria – Italy

Need to know

Rooms

20, including six suites.

Check–Out

9am. Earliest check-in, 10.30am. Reception is open between 9am–1pm and 2pm–8pm. Any guests arriving outside these times should notify the hotel in advance.

Rates

Double rooms from $102.08 (€91), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €0.80 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR100.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include breakfast (a generous Continental spread), served in what was once an animal pen (don't worry, it was a while ago).

Also

The hotel runs an olive tree adoption scheme – take a tree under your wing (from €100 a year) and you’ll be signing up to a regular supply of Umbria’s ‘green gold’.

Hotel closed

Over Christmas.

At the hotel

Gardens, library, free WiFi in communal areas. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar and Erbario Toscano products.

Our favourite rooms

Opt for a Superior Garden Room, for obvious reasons. All the rooms (each one set in its own building) are sensitively designed, with an emphasis on natural materials: ceilings striped with dark wooden beams, exposed stone walls, terracotta floors, wicker chests, local linen and cotton. Beds are either chunky doubles splashed with colour or delicate four-posters, and all rooms come with a private patio. Filippo’s mother is responsible for the interior design – she even painted the watercolours on the walls.

Poolside

A vine-clad pergola leads to the Bondi-blue T-shaped pool, surrounded by lush greenery and overlooking Poreta and Castello di Spoleto. Dark wood recliners punctuate the pool edge, blending in with the trees and shrubbery. Guests should note that the outdoor, unheated pool is open seasonally, from 10 May–6 October.

Packing tips

Leave plenty of room in your suitcase – and fill it with bottles of the hotel’s own olive oil (Moraiolo, Frantoio or Leccino are all luscious blends), squeezed from the plump olives dangling in the garden.

Also

Treat your dog to the holiday of a lifetime, by bringing him/her along too.

Children

This hotel is better suited to couples.

Food and Drink

Photos Borgo della Marmotta – Umbria – Italy

At the hotel

The owners provide a delicious – mainly home-made – breakfast spread of sweet croissants, conserves, cold cuts and cheeses. The breakfast room has plenty of original details: intricate stone work, a beamed ceiling, and an imposing fireplace. A simple but oh-so-good lunch and three-course set dinner menu (updated daily) is served every day except Tuesday and Wednesday; dishes include radicchio pie with pecorino cheese and pork loin with plums. When the restaurant's closed, ask Filippo for local recommendations.

 

At the bar

There’s no set bar, but there’s a respectable line-up of spirits on a tray in the cosy lounge. Just help yourself, and log your liquors.

Room service

None – this is a very relaxed affair.

Location

Photos Borgo della Marmotta – Umbria – Italy
Address
Borgo della Marmotta
Loc. Poreta 1
06049
Spoleto
Italy

Planes

Sant’Egidio Perugia (PEG) is 40km away. Catch an internal flight or fly from London Stanstead with Ryanair (www.ryanair.com).

Trains

Spoleto is 10km away, and connects to Rome, Florence, Ancano and Milan (www.trenitalia.com).

Automobiles

Spoleto is a 10-minute drive away. The hotel has plenty of free parking (watch out for the hens, though).

Worth getting out of bed for

Take a tour of the family’s olive oil factory with Filippo, and choose an olive tree to ‘adopt’. Filippo will distribute advice on how to produce your own olive oil. The hotel can organise cookery classes for groups of up to 20, along with hunting, horse riding, bike rides and treks. Stock up on antipasti from the local delis to use as toppings for a home-made pizza, and test the hotel’s outdoor pizza oven. Go truffle hunting in autumn – Spoleto is famous for its black truffle. Unwind (literally) with a yoga class. Having exhausted the hotel’s extras, go exploring: seek out the ancient towns and villages nearby, such as Assisi (39km away) and Perugia (56km). In June and July, Spoleto holds its music and opera festival (Festival dei Due Monde); soak up the sounds with a concert or two. Go on a day trip to Porto Ercole, a beautiful fishing village two hours away by car.

Local restaurants

Osteria del Matto (+39 0743 225506) at 3 Via del Mercato in Spoleto has an eccentric owner, Filippo, formerly butler to the famous composer and librettist, Gian Carlo Menotti. Expect lively service, and hearty, traditional fare – select your dish from the list on the blackboard. Il Tumpio del Gusto (+39 0743 47121; www.iltempiodelgusto.com) at 11 Via Arco di Druso, also in Spoleto, delivers a more romantic experience. Food is cooked with a deftness of touch, and the wine is worth the resultant hangover. If you’re keen to sample the regional cuisine of Umbria and Spoleto, stop off at La Torretta (+39 0743 44954) at 43 Via Filitteria in Spoleto. Try the antipasti della casa (house starters), strangozzi alla Spoletina (long, hand-cut pasta in a fiery tomato sauce), and crescionda, a typical, boozy dessert.

Reviews

Photos Borgo della Marmotta – Umbria – Italy

Anonymous review

I love Umbria. It’s such a beautiful part of Italy – though I will immediately concede that’s a bit like saying Leonardo da Vinci painted some lovely paintings. It’s true, but it’s also trite. The thing is, this part of Italy is burdened by such a surfeit of God’s bounty, it’s difficult to express just how stunning it all is. And even if you’re not particularly religious, it’s impossible not to be moved by that vast sweep of grassy fields punctuated by ancient farmhouses and glowing 15th-century city forts sparkling from one distant hill to another.

It suffers a tad from little sister syndrome, often yielding the spotlight to its brassy, brasher sibling Tuscany – which, to me, always feels a little too obvious, its landscape heaving with vineyards, looming forests and mediaeval towns humming with tourists. Too much in-your-face beauty. All the more reason to nurture a tender spot for Umbria’s softer land-locked wildnerness, wider plains and longer horizons.

In Umbria, under a domed sky the varieted shade of a Giotto watercolour, something loosens up inside you. And though we’d eased the rented car out of Perugia airport barely 40 minutes ago, the air was already working its magic. By this time, we’d left the spaghetti junctions of the autostrada and were winding our way through the narrow lanes of Poreta.

The hamlet’s sense of quiet is perfectly matched by the rustic quality of the Borgo della Marmotta. Here, cloistered by high stone walls, a cluster of 17th-century farmhouse and stables have been transformed into a bijou hotel of barely 20 rooms. Rooms are set in what were once the hamlet’s stables, granaries, pens, mills and sheepfolds, and come styled with natural grace: wood, stone, linen and cotton. Even the paint is made from lime and natural pigments. The palette, like the philosophy, is low-key (though pops of tangerine and aqua brighten up some bedrooms). It’s all the product of Filippo’s mother, who led the hotel’s sensitive interior design.

There’s neither flash nor chintz here. It’s not that kind of place. Just a sequence of cobblestoned passages leading to rooms and out into pockets of greenery. Great vibrant bunches of wisteria drip from pergolas. Pots of lemon trees cast shadows on the sun-warmed flagstoned terrace. Olive groves open into a picture-perfect swimming pool framed by a vine-cloaked arbour.

‘Look at these roof beams,’ said Mr Smith, amateur builder as he padded through our Arancino suite, admiring the peasant chic decor of deep sofas, white-linened bed, antique armoir and cool stone floors. I went up to the tiny sauna to relax while plotting the evening’s dinner at nearby Spoleto (tip: the superb and absurdly cheap 14-course degustation dinner cooked by a 71-year-old mamma at Osteria del Matto is a must, especially since the Borgo doesn’t serve dinners. Ask the receptionist for directions). The hotel has only been open a few seasons. A gym and movie room are still in the works, though the rooms, in part due the provenance of the buildings and the striped back quality of the decor, already have a charming, lived-in patina.

Clearly, it’s been a labour of love, its tale made all the more engrossing when we discovered during evening cocktails in the hotel’s large living room that the owner Filippo Montani Fargna and his patrician family counted among their ancestors, one Pope Leo XII. ‘On my grandmother’s side,’ said Filippo. Tall and urbane, with doleful eyes and a fine trimmed beard, he looks like he just stepped straight out of a Botticelli; while his mother, silvery hair cropped just so, wrapped in a lush pashmina and a dazzling smile is simply majestic.

With a trinity of family dogs underfoot, sunk deep into sofas with a glass of spumante, jazz on the stereo, and a sidetable burnished with flame-toasted farm bread rubbed with garlic and drenched with olive oil from the estate’s 12,000 trees, it was easy to put out of mind, for a while at least, the outside world and just concentrate on this feeling of bonhomie. And a strange sense of having come home. That night, as we slept, a soft rain fell.

Happily, we’d arrived just in time for Easter and the next day, carried by the tolling of tenored bells from the village church, we came back from a walk up a gently wooded mountain pass to find everyone prepping for the Easter Sunday lunch. Loaded with platters and bottles of wine, staff hurried back and forth through the lawn between the main house and the kitchen/dining room. Filippo’s mother, wrapped in a new shawl, calmly navigated the activity, supervising the kitchen while stopping here and there for a chat with guests, her three dogs never straying too far on the rain-wet lawn.

It was a gastroholic feast – vast plates of food, simply cooked and barely seasoned so that the natural flavours sang through. Delicate gnocchi, their golden globes draped with sweet pea puree. Sunflower-bright polenta. A wheel of ricotta cake. A fragrantly charred cut of spring lamb slow-roasted for so many hours it surrendered without protest to the scrape of a fork. Custard tart with burnt sugar. If I were the sensitive type, I might have wept with happiness. Instead, I helped myself to seconds.

‘I love cooking,’ Filippo’s mother confided as she cut more lamb onto my plate. These were her family recipes. That night, we slept gently, without dreams.

 

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 Borgo della Marmotta’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Exceeded expectations! Beautiful grounds, common areas to relax, and pool. Loved the honesty bar and yoga studio. Very remote location. No need to go to Spoleto for a great meal, Ristorante le Casaline (right down the street) was a delight.

Don’t expect

Lavish rooms - instead they are simple farm-house chic.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Aug 2016

We loved

The setting, the lounge, the staff.

Don’t expect

A mosquito and wasp free holiday.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Aug 2016

We loved

The beautiful countryside, with so much to see and explore. Do go up to the village of Campello Alto at dusk - amazing views

Don’t expect

Ultimate luxury

Rating

Stayed on 18 Aug 2016

We loved

The tranquil gardens, the pool, the honesty bar, the casual lunches, the scenery and the friendly staff. We had two fabulous dinners, one just down the road at Ristorante Le Casaline (www.lecasaline.it/) where one of the owners came and picked us up from Borgo della Marmotta, and the other at Tempio Del Gusto in Spoleto (www.iltempiodelgusto.com/) which is a 20minute drive.

Don’t expect

Lively nightife

Rating

Stayed on 12 Jul 2016

We loved

The property is great, as is the food. Max in the restaurant was an amazing guy. Spoleto, Spello, Norcia some beutuful towns to visit. Great for hill walking.

Don’t expect

It to be super quiet, it's a bigger property with kids about so potential to be not so quiet. We felt it was a bit more impersonal – things were going on but nobody advised us. Apart from Max, nobody made much effort to connect to us after check in which was not the case in the other two properties where we stayed.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Jul 2016

We loved

The setting and relaxed atmosphere. Do visit Trevi and Monrefalco. 10/10

Don’t expect

Cocktails and hype.

Rating

Stayed on 29 May 2016

We loved

The beautiful setting as well as the peace and quiet. The friendly and helpful staff.

Don’t expect

When we were leaving we were surprised to see there were families arriving with babies (and a dog!) Certainly that would have disturbed our peace and quiet if we were to stay longer!

Rating

Stayed on 18 Sep 2015

We loved

Everything Stunning location, stylish conversion - rustic yet chic, lovely staff, home from home atmosphere, welcome, food, honesty bar, pool, lounge open all night, kettle and breakfast tea in rooms and lounge. Did I mention staff!

Don’t expect

Nightlife.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Sep 2015

We loved

The room and the facilities.

Don’t expect

All of the mosquitos.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2015

We loved

The hotel, the setting, the restaurant. Maria in reception is lovely as are all the staff. At dinner, follow the waiter's advice to get some good locally produced wine.

Don’t expect

Pulsating nightlife. Also the hotel restaurant does not serve dinner on Tuesday evenings. However, there are many good options a short drive away.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Aug 2015

We loved

Picking figs off the trees in the garden as we drifted down to the beautiful pool from which there are views to the wooded hills and nearby castle.

Don’t expect

The small, but delicious, menu didn't change at all in the week we were there, consequently we had some of the dishes several times.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Jul 2015

We loved

The beautiful building, tastefully decorated, gorgeous pool, incredible views over the valley, even from the bedroom. The honesty bar was a lovely touch.

Don’t expect

Room service.

Rating

Stayed on 17 May 2015