Need to know
50, including 18 suites.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $332.30 (€313), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates usually include American buffet breakfast and a return shuttle service to Florence or Siena.
Just remembering this hotel’s serene spa makes us relax and breathe deeply: an outdoor heated vitality pool surrounded by greenery, whisper-quiet treatment rooms, fragrant Espa products and expert masseuses who only need to look at a knot for it to unfurl (well, sort of). Try one of the signature treatments: the Castello del Nero Relaxation Ritual; an olive oil and pink-clay head massage; the sea salt and rosemary exfoliation.
From mid-January to mid-March.
At the hotel
Tennis courts, 740 acres of grounds, wine cellar, spa, fitness suite, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, slippers, bathrobes, Etro bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Start saving up for one of the frescoed Deluxe Suites, whose gorgeous murals were restored under the beady-eyed supervision of the Italian Fine Art Commission. You’ll sleep in opulence, thanks to the king-size beds topped with Egyptian linen, goose-down duvets and cashmere blankets, and you’ll bathe in splendour, thanks to the shiny marble-and-mosaic bathrooms. The Deluxe doubles are a more wallet-friendly choice; choose between a room in the main castle or, for extra romance, in one of the little farmhouses that flank it.
Head for the vivid slice of aqua amid the gardens’ greenery. Trees give shade in the heat of the day; alternatively, sun worshippers can stretch out on the sleek honey-coloured tiles.
Watercolours and a canvas for capturing Tuscan scenes; a bottle opener for boozy picnics.
Cookery classes (for up to six) can be arranged in advance.
Smith Junior won’t just be welcome, they’ll be smiled at and spoiled; under-6s can stay for free in a cot or bed. An extra bed can be added to all rooms but the Superior Double for €45 a night for under-11s (€90 for over-11s). Babysitting is €20 an hour.