Like so many people who have come before us, we fallen in love with the iconic hill towns of Tuscany. After spending a few nights in Siena and Montepulciano, we realized that Tuscany demanded more than a day trip from Florence. That same year, we had an unexpectedly delightful stay at Borgo dei Conti (in Umbria). We realized that there is beauty in being still and enjoying the countryside. From that point on, deciding the best places to stay in Tuscany became a bit of an ordeal.
Did we want to stay in a classic Italian hill town? Would we rent a car or take the train? Should we experience the Tuscan wine resorts? Were we looking to relax or stay busy? These are all things to think about as you plan a trip to Tuscany. It’s doesn’t just have to be all about the vineyards and views, though it can be if that’s what you are looking for on your trip.
The more we explore the Italian countryside, the more we find to love. I’m constantly deciding whether to explore new hotels in Tuscany or return to the places we love. These hotels range in price points – many prices, especially in shoulder and off-season are very reasonable, though I have also included some incredible splurges that we absolutely adore.
FYI: Florence is the capital of Tuscany. I love pairing a trip to Florence with a visit to other areas of Tuscany. I will do a separate post on where to stay in Florence. This post focuses on the smaller hill towns and the Tuscan countryside.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for tours and products I love at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Renting a car is going to be the best way to reach these hotels. While you could arrange for a private car transfer from Florence or Pisa, the most effective way to get to these hotels is by car. If you are traveling through Tuscany without a car, your best bet would be to look at some of the places that are located near towns that are more connected by train or bus. Don’t worry – I have recommendations for that, too!
Where to Stay in Tuscany for the Best Sunsets and Views
Borgo Pignano near Volterra
After experiencing the most beautiful winter sunset in Volterra, we knew we wanted return to Volterra for a longer stay. For me, Borgo Pignano felt like the best hotel near Volterra because we would be able to enjoy the Tuscan countryside and visit Volterra as well. It felt like the best of both worlds for me, though you could easily check into Borgo Pignano and never leave the property.
I booked our stay through our Tablet Plus membership, which included the following upgrades:
- 90€ hotel credit
- 30-minute organic scrub in the spa
- Arrival gift
- Daily breakfast
- Room upgrade.
One of the things that is great about Borgo Pignano is that it has so many accommodation options. Our room, La Poeta, was located in one of the main buildings. It was a corner room with sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside. Our room was romantic, comfortable, and the split-level bathroom was downright incredible. Our bathroom had an incredible clawfoot tub, a huge walk-in shower, and plenty of space for getting ready. The bath products are made on property. The lavender bath salts were a lovely touch in the evening. I also enjoyed being able to open the windows and enjoy the quiet sounds of nature. (Borgo Pignano also offer several villas on property if you are traveling with family or a larger group.)
Our welcome amenity included a bottle of red wine and the most delicious strawberries. We enjoyed this as an apertivo in our room on an evening where we had a zoom meeting during sunset. On the evenings when we didn’t have meetings, we enjoyed the sunset cocktail hour on the terrace. Like any authentic Italian apertivo, drinks are served with almonds and olives. It was an incredibly peaceful way to wrap up the evening. I don’t know if there is a more beautiful sunset than the ones we have experienced in Volterra and at Borgo Pignano.
We opted to use our Tablet Plus credit to book a wine tasting with the food and beverage manager at the property. Borgo Pignano produces its own wines, many of which are creative verietals not found elsewhere int Tuscany. We tried a white wine, a rose, and a red wine. All of the wines were very different, and they were paired with locally produced meat and cheese. Our host did an incredible job of helping us to understand that wine is a personal experience, rather than just a technical process.
If wine tasting isn’t your travel style, they also offer a myriad of other activities, including bike rentals, cooking classes, horseback riding, truffle hunting, painting classes, yoga, and even soap-making!
We took advantage of the Borgo Pignano spa while we were there. The lavender body scrub was the most incredible body scrub I’ve ever had. It was absolutely relaxing, and the masseuse was an absolute dream. I would go back to Borgo Pignano just for the body scrub. At the time of our visit, we were able to book a private time block for the sauna.
The grounds are VAST. We enjoyed walking through the property, particularly in the late afternoon. The heated pool is stunning with plenty of lounge space. The views from the hillside are just unreal. Overall, Borgo Pignano is just downright magical, especially at sunset. The photos can’t possibly do it justice. It is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places to stay in Tuscany.
The Most Beautiful Wine Resort in Tuscany
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco near Montalcino
For me, the Rosewood Montalcino is the most epic luxury hotel in Tuscany, and I am constantly planning how to return. We stayed there twice in two months (winter and spring), and I am in love with Castilgion del Bosco. Full stop. If I was choosing where to spend my honeymoon in Tuscany, this would be it. Maybe I’ll insist that we spend our 10th anniversary at Castiglion del Bosco. Time will tell.
I booked our first stay at the Rosewood through a luxury travel agent, and I booked our second stay through the Capital One travel portal, as we had a travel credit we needed to use. Overall, I highly recommend booking through a travel agent. The benefits of booking through an agent are as follows:
- Upgrade upon arrival
- 85€ spa credit
- Daily breakfast for two
- Welcome amenity
The Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is 20 minutes from Montalcino, and it is perfect for the traveler who wants to enjoy the Tuscan countryside and try the famous Brunello di Montalcino – either at the on-site winery or by arranging visits to nearby wineries. The Castiglion del Bosco winery offers a few different tasting options, including a Brunello vertical tasting. (If you can’t make it to Castiglion del Bosco, you can purchase the 2015 vintage and 2017 Brunello di Montalcino wines online. Sorry, we bought out the 2016 bottles in the US!)
You will need a car to get to the Rosewood, however, you drive here and easily not leave the grounds. Private transfers are available, of course. We just find it is easier to have a car. When you book your stay, the hotel will send you a detailed guide with on-site activities and excursions from the resort. There is everything from golf and tennis, to food and wine tours, to hiking and wellness activities, to guided tours and day trips of the surrounding hill towns. They even offer a kid’s club and other family-friendly activities. We did not use the heated outdoor pool during either stay. The views are downright stunning.
When we visited the resort in the winter, there was a small Christmas market on site, as well as a small ice skating rink. On our second trip to the Rosewood in the spring, we didn’t leave the property at all. We spent a lot of time on our private terrace, walked the grounds a few times a day, toured the vineyards and enjoyed the various wine tastings, took cooking classes, booked spa time, and enjoyed leisurely meals on property.
On both trips, I booked different wine tastings for us to try. In the spring, we were able to visit the vineyard. It is absolutely breathtaking. We also took a fresh pasta cooking class at one of the resort restaurants. e were able to go into the resort garden and pick fresh herbs to use in our cooking, even in the winter! When we return, I plan to book the Tuscan flavors cooking class, the cheese and wine pairing experience, and the Brunello vertical tasting. We are slowly amassing our own collection of Brunello to do our own vertical tasting at home. File this under something I never expected to enjoy as much as we did.
Like any luxury resort in Italy, the Rosewood offers a lovely spa on-site with body treatments specific to the red wine and olive oils of the region. I waited too long to get an appointment, so we only used the sauna on our trips. It was nice, however, as the sauna was private and en-suite. The spa was the epitome of relaxing and I will definitely be booking a treatment on our next trip. Make your spa reservations in advance – it is quite popular.
There are two restaurants on site that change menus with the season. As part of our cooking class, we accompanied the chef to the on-site vegetable garden to get our fresh herbs for the day. Throughout our stay, we regularly saw the kitchen staff in the garden picking vegetables and heading back to the restaurants. We opted to enjoy our dinners at the less formal Osteria la Canonica. Everything on the menu is delicious. The food was fresh and flavorful. Everything was delicious. The service is exceptional. The view from the terrace is stunning, especially if you can time your reservation for blue hour.
Between our two stays, we’ve enjoyed both a junior suite and a terrace suite. The Rosewood Montalcino accommodations are extremely spacious with small luxury touches like weighted blankets and candles that make them especially cozy in the evening. All of the lights are on dimmer switches, which make for romantic evenings, extra relaxing bubble baths, and romantic ambiance. I would bring the entire bed – bedding and all – home if I could. I slept really well here.
The bathrooms are huge with walk-in showers and large soaking tubs. The bath amenities are my favorite Ferragamo bath products in extra large sizes. Every amenity is included. When I say they’ve thought of everything, they really have thought of everything! Our terrace suite had a separate powder room in the living room.
Both of our suites offered a small private patio with lounge chairs, and a small table overlooking the Tuscan countryside. I LOVED spending time outside in the spring. We enjoyed many an apertivo on our terrace before walking over to dinner. On both trips, our arrival gifts included a large fruit box and a sweet treat when we checked into our room. Turndown service included a bottle of the Castiglion del Bosco Rosso di Montalcino!
The Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is definitely a splurge, but we really enjoyed it and will definitely return.
Book Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco!
Best Place to Enjoy the Tuscan Hills
Il Borro Tuscany Resort near Arezzo
Located about 30 minutes outside of Arezzo and truly nestled in the hills of Tuscany, Il Borro is a truly special place. This former village (restored to a resort) is a place to truly disconnect from everything, enjoy nature, and maybe – just maybe, venture into one of the nearby tiny villages for dinner. Like the Rosewood and Borgo Pignano, you could check in and never leave the property, too.
I booked our stay at Il Borro as part of a three week summer trip through central Italy. It fell between Cortona and Florence on our itinerary, and it was the perfect place to slow down for a couple of days. Il Borro, unlike most resorts in Tuscany, does stay open over the Christmas holidays, so you could visit in the winter, and if you do, please make sure to check out the Arezzo Christmas market! It’s one of my favorite Christmas markets in Tuscany!
This is another hotel that I booked through Tablet Hotels as a Plus member. The amenities that we received meant that we were able to experience a lot of what the resort had to offer in a short amount of time. Tablet Plus provides the following benefits:
- Space-available upgrade (They upgraded our room to a beautiful junior suite)
- 90€ spa credit (I enjoyed a nice massage in the spa)
- Daily breakfast
- Free wine tasting
Il Borro is an abandoned village-turned-resort restored by the Ferragamo family. The rooms and villas are comfortable cottages throughout the entire original village. They offer beautiful views of the mountains and the Valdarno. It is easy to feel like you’re the only person on this property…. except you have all the amenities of a luxury 5-star hotel at your fingertips.
Our cottage suite was quite comfortable with a living area separate from the bedroom. It was very comfortable and felt cozy. Il Borro would be a lovely honeymoon hotel, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. (The Rosewood is more my style, but I can appreciate the appeal of Il Borro.) The bedroom was very comfortable, and Tom loved the vintage maps of Florence that adorned the walls. The bathroom was a bit on the smaller side, and it only offered a walk-in shower. Like the Rosewood, Il Borro offers Ferragamo bath amenities though the scent is different than all other Ferragamo hotels I’ve stayed at!
Il Borro produces its own wine on-site (the cellar is truly incredible), two outdoor pools, two restaurants, and multiple artisan shops that showcase traditional craftsmen and women. The resort offers on-site excursions, including horseback riding, cooking classes, and even truffle hunting. When it comes to wellness, Il Borro offers hiking trails, a lovely spa, and a relatively spacious gym.
We were able to book a tour of the wine cellar and a wine tasting on our first afternoon at Il Borro. The amount of wine produced at this estate is truly astounding and the cellar operation is absolutely gorgeous. The wine tasting took place in the cellar, and we enjoyed local meats and cheeses with the wine.
Additionally, we did enjoy breakfast at the hotel each morning. Breakfast is served a la carte, and we enjoyed trying the local salumi and cheese, but I also really enjoyed the fruit. Everything was extremely fresh and very tasty. For dinner, we opted to visit some of the smaller restaurants in the villages around the resort. Every meal we had near the resort was both inexpensive and tasty.
Il Borro is a member of the Relais & Chateaux hotel collection. All experiences are designed with local authenticity and quality in mind.
Book a stay at Il Borro Tuscany
Best Towns to Stay in Tuscany
The best towns in Tuscany are dependent on your personal interest and preferences. If you want to see religious art, I love Siena. However, if you want delicious restaurants, I love Cortona. And, you’re in Tuscany for the wine, there are enotecas on every corner of Montalcino. If you want pecorino cheese, head to Pienza. And, if you want a vibrant Christmas market (and a famous steak), Montepulciano can be incredible. Each town has its own benefits and challenges. Some, like Cortona and Siena, are easily accessible by train and are where to stay in Tuscany without a car. Pienza and Montepulciano are more accessible by car. It’s worth doing the research on transportation well before you book your hotel in Tuscany though.
Where to Stay in Cortona
If I had to choose the perfect Tuscan hill town for a first (or fourth) trip to Tuscany, I would choose Cortona over and over. I love a lot of towns in Tuscany, but the food in Cortona makes it one of my favorites. While I expected Cortona to be overrated, it is not. I love Cortona. We’ve made long weekend trips to Cortona by flying into Rome, renting a car, and immediately heading north. Four trips to Cortona, we always stay in the heart of the city and it never gets old.
And, if staying in the city center doesn’t appeal to you, there are several resorts that are “easily” accessible on foot from the Cortona city center. Some of the hotels outside the Cortona old town that I would consider booking are Il Falconiere and Le Corte dei Papi.
Cortona is easily accessible by train from Florence. You don’t need a car to get to Cortona.
PLAY: E-Bike Tour of Cortona
PLAY: Food Tour of Cortona
Monastero di Cortona Hotel & Spa
On every trip to Cortona, we’ve stayed at the Monastero di Cortona. We will definitely continue to return because of the incredible staff, the comfort of the rooms, and the gorgeous spa. Cortona deserves (at least) a few nights on your Italy itinerary, and the Monastero is my vote for sure. I always book the Monastero directly, as I am part of their members club. In addition to a room rate discount, the member club includes the following benefits:
- Travel insurance when booking non-refundable rates
- Room upgrade at check-in (as available)
- Spa package (worth 25-35€ per person)
- Early check-in & late check-out (as available)
- Breakfast à la carte
The staff is incredibly proactive as soon as you book. They are ready to help with any and everything, including directions on how to navigate the small roads of Cortona (rent a small car!) and they will help you make a reservation for the on-site garage. (Google maps will steer you wrong through the city, and the garage does fill up when the hotel is at peak occupancy.) The spa staff will reach out to reserve your time in the spa and schedule treatments, if desired. You can make reservations for the spa in two hour blocks from morning until early evening, and the treatments are delightfully relaxing.
Upon arrival, everyone – from the front desk, to the spa, to the bar and restaurant staff – went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and to help us get settled. No matter how many times we visit, they are always willing to help. Whether they recommend restaurants or schedule our COVID tests, they make it easy for us to enjoy Cortona instead of figuring out the logistics. No matter what they help with, they always follow up with us to ensure everything is good!
The Monastero exudes old world charm and peaceful, approachable luxury. The details of the hotel are stunning. From the gorgeous chandelier in the reception area to the frescos in the dining room, everything is maintained beautifully. The hotel is adults only, so it’s perfect for a romantic weekend in Tuscany.
The soft white hues of the hotel decor makes it especially relaxing. It doesn’t feel sterile, it feels cozy and comfortable. The linens are so very soft and the mattress is downright luxurious, especially for Italy. Every detail is designed with relaxation in mind. For example, there are TVs in the room but they are hidden away. (I never miss TVs when I travel, and I love that I don’t even have to think about it at the Monastero.) The views from the rooms are more than enough entertainment for me. The windows open, and the location is extraordinarily peaceful. We’ve enjoyed a bottle of wine with a sunset view more than once.
All of the bathrooms offer large walk-in showers and wonderful spa amenities including chromotherapy. The soft robes are perfect on chilly evenings! Further, the rooms include everything you need to enjoy the spa and the plunge pool, including flip-flops and robes specifically for the spa. The spa offers an indoor swimming pool, a sauna and steam room, and the outdoor plunge pool (which is not heated).
Consistent with luxury hotels, the Monastero offers turndown service with sweet treats every evening. I love the delicious dark chocolate truffles and the white chocolate truffle with mandarin filling. There is something deliciously romantic about coming back to the Monastero and having the room ready to settle in for a good night’s sleep.
All of our room rates have included breakfast. When they are busy, they schedule guests to reserve a time so that they can give you the service that you deserve. I LOVE this system as it keeps things from feeling too busy and frantic. Breakfast is a la carte with a delicious selection of meat, cheese, fruit, and pastries. We don’t usually take advantage of it most of the time because we enjoy long, leisurely, delicious dinners every evening. It’s hard to be hungry in the morning.
On our most recent trip to the Monastero, we were introduced to the new mixologist in the bar. We ended up heading up to the bar for a nightcap in lieu of dessert one evening. I opted for an Aviation (perfection) and Tom opted for hot chocolate, which was served with fresh cantucci. It was the perfect way to end the evening, and we will definitely be doing that again.
The Monastero executes everything with such great attention to detail that it is hard to want to stay anywhere else. If you’re looking for an amazing hotel within walking distance of everything a Tuscan hill town has to offer, this is 100% my top recommendation.
PLAY: E-Bike Tour of Cortona
PLAY: Food Tour of Cortona
Popular Day Trips from Siena: Volterra (for Etruscan and Roman ruins and alabaster and San Gimignano (for olive groves and vineyard views, art galleries and olive oil and wine tastings)!
Book the Monastero di Cortona Hotel and Spa in Cortona!
Where to Stay in Siena
Siena is one of the most popular cities in Tuscany for travelers coming from Florence. It’s very easy to get here by train and a car is not required. (It’s also a very popular day trip from Florence. Skip the day trip and stay overnight.) Siena is where to stay in Tuscany if you enjoy the evening passeggiata, incredible cathedrals (don’t miss the Piccolomini library in the Duomo – there’s nothing more beautiful), or need to balance your sightseeing with shopping. It has a similar feel to Florence, but with far less expensive hotels and experiences.
In the evenings, the medieval architecture of Siena is absolutely bewitching. Tom and I both love it. Grab gelato from Kopakabana and wander the streets. Enjoy the campo and its fabulous people watching.
We stay in an extraordinary B&B overlooking the campo (more details below). If you are looking for a more traditional Tuscan luxury hotel experience in the city center, I would book the Grand Hotel Continental Siena via TabletPlus.
PLAY: Siena walking tour
PLAY: Siena Duomo Skip the Line Ticket
La Terrazza sul Campo in Siena
In all of our trips to Siena, we have stayed one place: La Terrazza sul Campo. This B&B is in the heart of Siena and most rooms feature sweeping views of the campo. There is no better view of Siena, full stop. Our goal is to stay here for the Palio one day.
Despite the 16th century building exterior, the rooms are large, modern and well-lit. My favorite moment was enjoying breakfast in our room while the sun rose of the campo. Breakfast is made to order and completely customizable – from what you order to the time its delivered.
La Terrazza sul Campo is run by Viola and her brother. They are the most accommodating hosts. I don’t know that I could be persuaded to stay anywhere else in Siena because they are so kind and the location is just unreal.
We have stayed in the La Citte di Siena room, as well as the La Maesta junior suite. Both rooms are lovely and offer incredible views. I can’t even tell you which room I prefer. Frankly, I’m in awe of both. You really can’t go wrong, but you do need to book early as this hotel only offers 5 rooms.
Book La Terazza sul Campo in Siena!
Where to Stay in Montepulciano
Montepulciano is where to stay in Tuscany if you enjoy a good steak, want to try Tuscan wines without driving, enjoy a festive Christmas market, or if you want to experience a classic Italian hill town in all its hilly splendor. The Montepulciano hills are no joke. If you can’t do hills, head to Pienza or Volterra – they are slightly more flat hill towns. All that being said, the Tuscan countryside views from Montepulciano, especially at sunset, are worth the climb.
If you’re willing to try bistecca Fiorentina (and allow the Italians to cook it the way they know best), we love Acquacheta. We also really love his pastas, but everyone comes here for the steak. (Take Guilo’s recommendations if he offers them – we had the most delicious Pecorino cheese and truffle fondue after Christmas one year!) Make sure to plan your visit accordingly – most restaurants in Tuscany close for 1-2 days per week and these days can vary depending on the season.
While you can take a train or a bus to Montepulciano, I think it’s better to have a car. If you have a car, you can easily visit Pienza and Montalcino and make a loop around the Val d’Orcia. Out of all three of those towns, we like Montepulciano the most because it alive – locals are out, markets are bustling, and it seems “lived in,” especially compared to Pienza. I think Montepulciano makes a great base for day tripping around Tuscany.
Popular Day Trips from Montepulciano: Pienza (for pecorino cheese, Buon Gusto gelato and beautiful views), Montalcino (for Brunello di Montalcino and other popular wines)
Palazzo Carletti in Montepulciano
Like La Terrazza sul Campo in Siena, Palazzo Carletti is a small hotel with 5 rooms housed in a 18th century palace. It books up fast because of its superb location and comfortable rooms. I recommend booking in advance, even during what would be considered the slower seasons. You’ll book the exact room that you wish to receive.
Like the Monastero di Cortona, the staff at Palazzo Carletti will reach out to you with a map, driving directions, and parking instructions. We’ve never had an issue finding parking for the hotel, but the public lots around Montepulciano do fill up, so it’s best to let the hotel know if you are planning to drive.
If you are feeling strong, you can drag your luggage up a gravel hill and back down Via dell’Opio nel Corso to reach the parking lot. If you aren’t feeling up to that walk, the hotel also provides instructions for dropping off your luggage before parking your car. (I finally convinced Tom to try that on our last trip to Montepulciano – so much easier!)
We’ve stayed in three of the five suites at Palazzo Carletti, as well as one of the rooms. (My mom stayed in the single room as well.) They are very large and include a complimentary minibar, tea and coffee supplies, and there are ice makers in the room. The beds at Palazzo Carletti are very soft, and I really love the linens. They are warm, cozy, and incredibly soft as well. At times it feels like you are sleeping on a cloud!
My favorite room at Palazzo Carletti is the Albany Suite. I don’t know that Tom will ever stay in another room here. (I loved it, too.) The bedroom has a huge window and balcony with sweeping views over the Val d’Orcia. (The sitting room is lovely but truthfully, I didn’t want to be anywhere else but in the bedroom. The view is incredible.) This room offers the most spectacular view of the sunrise.
The Albany suite is one of the view that offers a bathtub, and it is a jacuzzi tub large enough for two. It takes awhile to fill, so most of the time, I would fill it as little as possible so that I could relieve my hip pain. It was very difficult to use the jets. Just as you have to plan ahead to book Palazzo Carletti, you will want to plan ahead to use the jacuzzi tub. It is a nice amenity and they even put in glass panel so you can enjoy the views from the bathtub.
We don’t typically watch TV, especially when we are traveling, but we happened to be in Italy when Notre Dame caught fire. We wanted to see more about what was going on in Paris. The hotel had a number of channels available in a variety of languages.
All room rates include free wifi, breakfast, and parking. Breakfast, made to order, is served in the reception area, and in the evenings, there is an honor bar available. One of the perks of Palazzo Carletti is that the rooms are air-conditioned, though the windows open and work just as well.
What I like most about this hotel is that they’ve maintained the traditional design elements, including ceiling frescos, but the bathrooms have every modern convenience. It’s also incredibly quiet. Whether we stayed facing the street or overlooking the Val d’Orcia, we had no issues with noise at night.
Book Palazzo Carletti in Montepulciano
Where to Stay in Tuscany using Marriott Points
Until recently, there were limited options for people who wanted to use hotel points to visit Tuscany. Currently, Marriott has the biggest footprint for chain hotels in Tuscany. We stayed at the Renaissance Il Ciocco after Christmas one year, and I absolutely chose it because it was a Marriott property and I have Titanium status. I’ve generally had good experiences at Marriotts in Italy, so I figured it was worth a try. At the time, there were limited options in Tuscany, but now there are quite a few Marriott hotels that I am excited about trying, including La Bandita Townhouse in Pienza, Grand Universe in Lucca, and possibly the Grotto Guisti spa resort. All of these properties are probably most easily accessed by car, as is the Renaissance Tuscany.
Popular Day Trips from Barga: Pisa (for the Leaning Tower, obviously), Lucca (for music, biking and scenic walks)
Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco near Barga
If I’m being completely honest, we stayed at the Renaissance Tuscany after staying at Borgo dei Conti in Umbria, which was a truly 5-star experience in every possible way. It was going to be hard for any hotel to compete with the Conti, especially because its staff went above and beyond to make our winter stay magical and memorable. (It’s also why we’ve been back 5 times.)
Let’s talk about the Renaissance though.
As I mentioned, I booked this because I wanted to explore the northern part of Tuscany and because I’m Titanium / Lifetime Platinum with Marriott. When we checked in to the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco, they gave us a double room. When I asked about the bed choice, they told me they “upgraded” me to a room with a view instead of honoring my bed choice. Now, the hotel was not busy and all categories of rooms were available to book, so it was a bit disappointing to not have my preferences honored. When I looked more closely at the reservation, I got the exact room I booked (minus the king bed) – no upgrade required. No room for snuggling on a cold winter evening either. Thankfully, the beds were comfortable. Tom and I made many jokes about sleeping in the bed next to each other.
Personally, I felt like the room had way too much furniture and the design felt too modern. The modern design elements coupled with the traditional Tuscan building design is a stark and curious contrast. I loved the details in the ceiling and the long drapes because it helped keep the room from feeling TOO small. It provided a bit more of an upscale feel to the room. I did appreciate the use of accent walls, color, and mixed textures to give the room more of a designer touch than yet another Marriott hotel. The marble bathroom included a large stand-up shower with a rain head shower, as well as a hand-shower.
Perhaps my favorite part of the room is the balcony. Even though it was winter, I enjoyed the early morning views over Tuscany. Some my disappointment about the room melted away when I woke up to the view at the Renaissance Tuscany. The sunrise views being above the cloud line is glorious and the stillness is mesmerizing.
All of that said, I wouldn’t use points for this hotel. I don’t consider it to be an aspirational property, and I found the service to be pretty lackluster. I have no idea what the amenities are for Titanium/Platinum members are (they didn’t share), and the spa closed very early, so we didn’t have a chance to check it out. If you can get a great cash rate (which can be very low), it can be a good buy and a great way to see a different part of Tuscany.
Book the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco
Other Tuscany Luxury Hotels on My List
- Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa (Saturina) – One of the people I follow on instagram says this is his favorite hotel in Tuscany. This Tuscan spa hotel looks blissful and absolutely relaxing. The pool alone looks incredible. When I want to get away from everything and appreciate the natural springs in Tuscany, this will be where I head.
- Lupaia (Torrita di Siena / near Montepulciano) – I would book this hotel through TabletPlus for the benefits. This resort is located in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, so if you don’t want to stay in the city of Montepulciano, this is a great option. It is the perfect location for day trips around the Val d’Orcia and offers respite from the day tripping crowds. The countryside setting is idyllic, the rooms are upscale Tuscan, and the restaurant looks beyond tasty.
- La Bandita Townhouse (Val d’Orcia / Pienza) – Pienza offers some delicious meals through the numerous agriturismos in the area, and it is also home to Buon Gusto gelato. I could be their taste tester if I stayed in Pienza. La Bandita offers modern rooms contrasted with the classic backdrop of Tuscany. I’m also really excited to try their restaurant.
- Hotel Borgo San Felice (San Felice / near Siena) – This is a Relais & Chateaux property that I am so excited to try. It reminds me of a cross between Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco. The well-appointed rooms look amazing, the views of Tuscany are stunning, and I bet there are plenty of delicious restaurants in the area. This would be my next stop when I want to get away from it all.
- Palazzo Cini (Pisa) – This is where to stay in Pisa. I think Pisa is underrated. I have some very positive memories of the Duomo from when I studied abroad, it’s less frantic than Florence, and I would stay overnight to see the Field of Miracles illuminated at night. I bet its magical when the daytrippers go home.
- Il Bottaccio (Forte dei Marmi / Tuscan Coast) – What could be better than yet another Relais & Chateaux hotel? How about a hotel in a converted 16th century olive oil mill near the coast of Tuscany?? This hotel is between Pisa and Cinque Terre and it’s an area that we haven’t explored at all. Any time we’ve driven through this area, I’ve been taken aback by the dramatic countryside and the beauty of the region. I would definitely stay here.
- Hotel Il Pellicano (Porto Ercole / Tuscan Coast) – This iconic Tuscan beach hotel is located on the souther Tuscan coast. We haven’t explored any part of this region, so it could be a part of a longer trip. The purpose of Il Pellicano, however, is to unwind. I would plan to spend a few nights here and not leave the area.
- Villa Svetoni Wine Hotel and Resort (near Montepulciano) – Ever since the visiting Meneghetti Wine Resort, we love a great wine hotel. This was recommended by Valentino, one of our favorite winemakers in Umbria. It would be the perfect place to learn more about Montepulciano wines, too.
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