Cookery school, spa, gym, tennis courts, football and bowls pitches, winery with an enoteca (tasting room), a little church, extensive grounds, an organic orto (Italian kitchen garden), book and DVD library, free WiFi throughout and a boutique selling clothes, shoes and local delicacies. Guests can also access the private golf course up to four times a year each. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, Nespresso machine, and free minibar and bottled water.
The San Michele Suite has an elegant sitting room with a library and garret, and a bathroom with a generous tub. Ask for a front-facing room – they come with little wooden shutters that open out onto the village and the piazzetta (diminutive square). Special Rooms, Junior and Borgo Suites, all in the main house, are decorated in traditional Tuscan shades such as ochre, burgundy and cypress green; furniture is traditional, sturdy and glossy, and beds are often four-poster. Super-chic and dotted around the Borgo are the CdB Suites – one has its own kitchenette, a private garden and wood-burning oven; best of the lot is the glamorous Suite del Vescovo, housed in the Borgo's former ballroom, with period details including a vast fireplace and hand-painted vaulted ceiling. With ground-floor access and pergola-shaded terraces, Terrace Suites in the former Winery and Stables buildings are nice for young families.
The heated infinity pool is set on the crest of a lavender- and bluebell-graced hill, with breathtaking views of the rolling fields and the village of Montalcino in the distance.
The spa is an earthy-hued escape in the estate's former wine cellars. There's a sauna and steam bath, and a lavender-scented garden where you can sip herbal teas and smoothies made from garden-plucked ingredients. The menu of holistic La Prairie treatments is delightfully indulgent, and there's a small gym where yoga and pilates classes are held.
A sketchpad and watercolours to capture the scenery (or, failing that, a camera); a notebook for scribbling down recipes; sportswear for the sleek, glass-walled gym, which surveys the Tuscan countryside.
A free cot or extra bed can be added to larger rooms for under-13s (€200 a night for older children; in villas only the first two are free for under-13s). Babysitting with a local nanny is available from €30 an hour for up to three children; book ahead.
Cots and extra beds for under-18s can be added free to parents’ rooms in most cases. Children are welcomed with a small toy (for under-12s) or cookies on arrival. Babysitting costs €30/hour, and there's a kids' club for 3–12-year-olds.
Kids of all ages, although the landscape and cuisine might be wasted on fussy toddlers or easily bored teens.
Special Rooms will take a baby cot but an extra bed is a squeeze. All suites are one-bedroomed, with a separate living room. CdB Suites are super-chic, but with ground-floor access and pergola-shaded terraces, Terrace Suites are best for toddlers.
There's no crèche, but you can book a babysitter to look after your teeniest Smiths anywhere on site from €25 an hour (book ahead). The CdB Kids Club provides childcare for kids aged 3–12 daily from 3pm–9pm (there is a supplement if you'd like them to have dinner there) – you’ll need to book places when you reserve your room. Most of the weekly-changing kids club activities (daily from 3pm–6pm) are free, including treasure hunts, crafting or cookery fun such as painting classes or biscuit baking, but some are charged.
With more than 4,000 acres, the estate is one huge outdoor playground, criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails that wend through olive groves, orchards and forests, and lead you past streams, waterfalls and hidden ruins. Enjoy a game of table tennis or entertain little ones at the playground, which features a swing, slide, climbing frame and sand pit. For older children, there's an extensive choice of extra activities, with private classes offered alongside pony rides and tours of the farm. Over-6s can have tennis or archery tuition; there are oil-painting courses for art-mad over-10s and astronomy sessions for over-12s; and the cookery school has classes that older children can join with parental supervision. The hotel’s playroom is a weatherproof treasure, stocked with toys, board games, DVDs and computer games.
The heated infinity pool is family-friendly and has breathtaking views. Entrance to the pool is gated, there is a shallow end and a lifeguard in attendance. Your kids can borrow inflatables and floats, plus you can book private in-villa swimming lessons.
Rates generally exclude breakfast (an American or Tuscan spread for €15).
Highchairs and booster seats are available at all-day eatery Osteria La Canonica, where the menu of light Italian stapes, salads, pasta and pizza lends itself to easygoing family meals, and items can be adapted to suit their tastes on request (staff will also happily heat up milk or baby food). Toddler-friendly snacks and baby purées are available to buy. Children are also welcome at all three bars, but best catered for at the pool bar, where there's also a simple menu of bar snacks and pizzas.
The hotel can organise a babysitter or nanny from €30 an hour (minimum three hours; maximum three children per sitter): allow at least 24 hours' notice.
No need to pack
You can buy nappies and baby wipes at the hotel, and they have plenty of basic kids' kit to borrow, including changing mats, baby monitors, stair gates, simple toys and books.
The hotel’s playroom is a weatherproof treasure, stocked with toys, board games, DVDs and computer games.