High on a vine-lined hilltop in Lombardy, L’Albereta is an ivy-masked villa with more classic Italian glamour than a Fellini film. With a superb spa, two wineries to its name and impeccable service, it’s a haven for gastronomes and massage fans alike. Let the award-winning Espace Chenot Spa cure your ills, the local Brut please your palate and the welcoming staff take care of everything else.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of Vigna Leone and fresh fruit on arrival. For stays of more than two nights, breakfast for two is included (ordinarily €28 a person a day)
Double rooms from £210.25 (€249), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (€28 a day).
Curl up in the tiny Sala Scacchi, just off the lobby: it’s got a grand fireplace stacked with heraldic finery, high ceilings, the building’s original frescoes and an intimate, cosy atmosphere.
At the hotel
Spa with 14 treatment rooms, tennis courts, fitness classes, DVD library, free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, CD player, minibar, blackout curtains, Etro toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
Hit a switch in the Cabriolet Suite and the roof opens up to let the Brescian sun warm your king-size bed below. The suite also has a balcony facing Lake Iseo.
Lounge by the heated indoor pool in the spa area, which has counter-current swimming and hydromassage jets to soothe from top to toe.
The huge Espace Chenot spa has a dream team of masseurs, beauticians, dieticians and even osteopaths and doctors if you want something more full on than a body scrub. Soothe in the sauna, steam bath, Turkish bath or hydrotherapy pools with five different types of massage jet, then take herbal tea in the lounge or laze in the sculpture garden. The gym connects with nature too, with green views from the treadmills; there's also a water-gym with a counter-current pool and an outdoor training area.
A notepad, to keep track of your favourites from the wine list.
Dogs are welcome for €30 a night; water bowls and pet rugs are available.
L’Albereta’s comfortably glamorous: after a day being pampered in the spa, wear whatever you like while you eat.
LeoneFelice's chef Fabio Abbattista finds most of his ingredients on the green hillside where L'Albereta sits; chickens and rabbits are bred close by, and herbs, fruits and vegetables grow in the kitchen garden. Dishes are traditional rustic Italian with a few modern touches: dine on tortelli is stuffed with burrata cheese and caviar, cod drizzled with almond mayonnaise and violet Sanremo prawns served with sweet grape, under the restaurant's moon-shaped lights. Lighter, regional dishes are served at VistaLago Bistrò, and guests enjoying treatments at the spa can dine on tempting – and dietician-approved fare – at the Wellness Restaurant. Pizza kiosk La Filiale (helmed by Franco Pepe) serves up crisp, tasty masterpieces alongside a list of wines from Franciacorta and beyond.
Sip expertly mixed cocktails in your cosy armchair in the Greeneige Lounge, or take your glass of local wine out to one of the library’s three terraces. If it gets chilly, flip through the books and cosy up by the fireplace.
Start your day with breakfast in the VistaLago Bistrò, open from 7.30am–1am. The Greeneige Lounge serves drinks from 11am–11pm. LeoneFelice serves dinner from 7.30pm to 10.30pm and La Filiale is open from 7pm to 9.30pm (both Tuesday–Saturday).
Room service is available 7.30am–10.30am for breakfast, 12.30pm–2pm for lunch and 7.30pm–10pm for dinner. Snack on cold cuts, cheeses and fruit, or tuck in to more substantial pasta, risotto, fish or meat dishes.
L’Albereta – near Erbusco, an hour from Milan – is surrounded by green as far as the eye can see. The Franciacorta region, which stretches from Lake Iseo to Mount Orfano, is a wonderland of temperate weather, vine-blanketed hills and historic castles and
The most convenient route is to touch down at budget-airline hub Caravaggio Airport Bergamo Orio al Serio – often called Milan-Bergamo – which is a 30-minute drive from L’Albereta (www.sacbo.it). Direct flights to other European destinations are plentiful.
The hotel’s nearest station is Rovato, a 15-minute drive away; trains run to Brescia, Bergamo, Verona and the much larger Milano Centrale railway station, which is an hour away from L’Albereta. Milano Centrale has daily services throughout Italy and beyond, including Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Zurich and Geneva (www.trenitalia.com).
Brescia’s rolling hills are ripe for exploring by car, and there’s free on-site parking at L’Albereta (you can rent a car at Milan-Bergamo airport). To get to the hotel from Milan, take the A4 towards Venice and, after about 80km, exit at Rovato. At the first roundabout, take the last exit; at the second roundabout, follow signs to Sarnico-Erbusco. At Erbusco, take the first right (Viale Vittoria) and go up the hill: L’Albereta is at the top of the hill on the left.
There’s a helipad onsite.
Worth getting out of bed for
L’Albereta’s award-winning spa, Espace Vitalité Henri Chenot, offers more than the standard scrubs and serene soaks: get your diet assessed and your energy tested as you sip the detox tea of the day, or delve deeper into the dizzyingly long menu of medical and aesthetic treatments. Brescia’s a golfer’s paradise: there are nine top-class courses within a 100km. The nearest is the Pete Dye and Marco Croze–designed Franciacorta Golf Club, 6km from the hotel, which has an 18-hole championship course and a nine-hole executive course. Franciacorta’s renowned for its sparkling wines: discover the metodoclassico way of winemaking at the nearby Bellavista or Contadi Castaldi wineries, both owned by the Moretti family behind L’Albereta. Take to the water at nearby Lake Iseo and hop on a ferry over to Monte Isola, a fairytale-fabulous island entirely without cars and almost entirely free of tourists – or stay on dry land explore the mediaeval monasteries and verdant vineyards that line the lakes shores.
The Michelin-starred La Dispensa Pani e Vini in Adro, 2km from L’Albereta, is a hotbed of inventive Italian cuisine: chef Vittorio Fusari uses local produce in his dishes and the adjoining winery ensures discerning diners don’t go thirsty. It’s also great for cocktails. Le Due Colombe in Borgonato di Corte Franca, 6km from L’Albereta, is a Michelin-starred fine-dining haven, housed in a 14th-century watermill. Chef Stefano Cerveni (aided by his parents, Giuseppe and Clara) was taught to cook by his grandmother, Elvira, who ran a restaurant of the same name round the corner in the 1950s.
Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team prior to review and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from this Brescia boutique hotel and unpacked their bottles of Franciacorta sparkling wine, a full account of their luxury city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside L’Albereta hotel in Brescia…
L’Albereta hotel in Franciacorta is the sort of place where you can easily forget you’re hotel guests and instead imagine you’re visiting a reclusive Italian movie star or visconte. Once you’ve been welcomed in the tucked-away lobby, you’ll find that the villa – actually the property of the wine-making Moretti family – is packed full unique objets d’art, fresh flowers and antique furniture, and rooms are decorated with authentically chintzy charm. It’s a classic environment with a spectacularly up-to-the-minute medi spa tucked away on the grounds: the menu boasts enough peels and pampering you’re almost guaranteed to look like an A-lister by the time you leave.
The smartly uniformed staff never miss a chance to make guests feel welcome, from the parmesan and olives that accompany your evening cocktail to particularly smiley housekeepers you might pass in the hall. Everyone goes out of their way to preserves L’Albereta’s air of serenity – the hotel’s only an hour from Milan, but the hill-country setting and relaxed-but-exclusive ambiance make it feel like another, much more magical, world.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in L'Albereta’s Guestbook below.
The very scenic location, it was absolutely stunning! The hotel is set on very large winery grounds and the views are breathtaking. The property and service are amazing, giving a sense of true Italian hospitality. Also there is a kids club with a dedicated nanny, we even had a private nanny as our child was the only one there, for only 25EUR per half-day. Last but not least, we spent 8 days here in August and it felt like the only place on earth that was not crawling with vacationers. If you really need a break - go to Albereta.
Don't expect a brand new property. The rooms and indoor pool are quite tired, although I heard they will do some serious renovations this winter. Also, the food is exquisite but very limited to the gastronomic restaurant. If you plan to spend a lot of time at the hotel it can get boring for lunch and dinner every day. We had to speak to the chef for special kids options because there is no childrens menu and they were charging us full adult price for every meal our 2 year old ate. Staff are very helpful though and it got resolved.
Stayed on 6 Aug 2019
The room was lovely, with a door leading out to a semi-private garden area where we could relax. The new outdoor pool is a great addition to the indoor pool and fitness area, with plenty of loungers and a relaxing atmosphere. The breakfasts were excellent. We ate in the restaurant on two evenings during our stay and it was also extremely good. The staff are all very professional but also very friendly and provide a first class service.
The bathroom, whilst fine, was in need of updating.