Where to Stay in Tuscany: 9 Relaxing & Peaceful Hotels

We’ve been traveling to different parts of Tuscany for the past 7 years, and like many others, we’ve fallen in love with the iconic small towns of Italy.  Deciding where to stay in Tuscany got a lot more difficult after we took our first trip to Tuscany.  The more we explore the Italian countryside, the more places we find to love.  You can read more about the different places we’ve been on our Tuscany travel guide!  

For now, however, I will be sharing some of the best hotels in Tuscany, as well as a resort in Umbria we love as well!  There are so many places to stay in Tuscany, depending on your interests, your budget, and how you plan to travel. Some places close for the season, but I encourage you to also take advantage of the off season and shoulder season when visiting Tuscany. Both bring their own magic, and the prices are a bit more reasonable during those times.

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.

Where to Stay in Tuscany for a Classic Hill Town Experience

Palazzo Carletti in Montepulciano

There we were – staring up a gravel hill in a small parking lot of the side of Montepulciano.  The wind blew my hair around my face.  Was there any possible way that we could love Montepulciano as much as we loved staying in Siena?  Yes.  After three trips to Montepulciano in two years, the answer is a resounding yes. Palazzo Carletti is one of the best hotels in Montepulciano, and they took care of all the heavy lifting by ensuring that we were prepared for the parking situation.  (Parking is included in your room rate.)  Without their detailed instructions, it would have been a LONG trek up to the hotel from the bottom of town.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to stay in a Tuscan palazzo, I have a full review of Palazzo Carletti about all the different rooms we’ve stayed in at Palazzo Carletti.  There are not a lot of hotels in Montepulciano, but this place is incredible. From the high ceilings, to the frescos, to the spa-like bathrooms, to the lush bedding, I definitely didn’t expect hotel life in Montepulciano to be so glamorous.  All of the 5 rooms are perfect.  We stayed in the Suite Nerazzini on our first trip to Montepulciano, the Albany Deluxe Suite with a view on our second trip, and the Leopoldo Suite on our third trip for the Montepulciano Christmas Market.  (My mom stayed in the Alfieri room. It’s perfect for a single traveler.) 

With antique furniture and luxe fabrics, all of the Palazzo Carletti rooms are fit for princesses.  (The Suite Nerazzini is also fit for family. It has a second bed in a loft area, accessible by a wrought-iron staircase!) 

The Albany Suite at is our favorite room at the Palazzo Carletti, as it overlooks the Val di Chiana and offers a beautiful view of the sunrise.    

My only disappointment is that this hotel sells out quickly.  If you are planning to travel during peak season or the holidays, make your reservations early!  (If you’re willing to visit Tuscany in the “off-season”, I love the Christmas markets of Tuscany, and especially the Montepulciano market.)

Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Carletti Review

Who Loves Montepulciano:

Montepulciano is where to stay in Tuscany if you enjoy good food, want to try Montepulciano de Nobile wines, enjoy a festive Christmas market, or if you want a Cinque Terre-style work out while you walk.  The Montepulciano hills are no joke. If you can’t handle hills, you will probably be happier in Pienza or Volterra. The Tuscan countryside views from Montepulciano are worth the climb though. It’s also where to stay in Tuscany without a car because you can get here by train or bus, and there’s enough to do for a few days.  

As far as restaurants in Montepulciano go, we love Osteria Acquacheta. (Take Guilo’s recommendations – we had the most delicious Pecorino cheese with truffle after Christmas one year!)  You’ll want to plan your visit accordingly if you are hoping to visit specific restaurants – most restaurants in Tuscany close for 1-2 days per week. We also like the Enoliteca wine bar at the fortress because you can try wines from different producers. The views are great, too.

If you have a car, it’s easy to get to Pienza and Montalcino from Montepulciano.  We like Montepulciano because it feels alive – locals are out in the early evening, the markets are bustling in the morning, and it generally feels a bit more “lived in,” especially compared to Pienza. 

Popular Day Trips from Montepulciano:  Pienza (for cheese, Buon Gusto Gelateria and beautiful views), Montalcino (for the famous Brunello wine)

Journey of Doing - Montepulciano Christmas Market

Where to Stay in Tuscany for Wine Tasting

I’ll be honest, this has multiple answers, but I’m going to give you my favorite and most famous, as well as another great option in the Montalcino countryside. To try the most famous wines in Tuscany, you need to head to Montalcino and the area around Montalcino. Montalcino hotels, much like Brunello wines, exist for every budget and at every price point. I’ve looked at a lot of hotels in Montalcino, but I always come back to the wine resorts around the old city. We’ve stayed in in this area four times, and I think it is an absolutely beautiful area. It’s very peaceful, and Montalcino is a great place for a Tuscan sunset.

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Hands down, this is one of the best resorts in Tuscany. Located about 20 minutes (by car) from Montalcino, the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is perfect for the traveler who wants to try the famous Brunello di Montalcino – either on property or by arranging visits to nearby wineries.  The Rosewood is pure luxury, and it’s one of my favorite splurges we make.    

While you will need a car to get to the Rosewood, you can get away with driving here and not leaving the resort for a few days.  On our second trip to the Rosewood, we didn’t leave at all.  We enjoyed our private terrace, walked the grounds, toured the vineyards, took cooking classes, enjoyed wine tastings, and had long, leisurely meals at the resort restaurants.  When you book your room at the Rosewood Tuscany, they will send you a detailed guide with the activities you can participate in – from golf and tennis, to food and wine experiences, to hiking and wellness activities, to guided tours throughout the area.  They even have a kid’s club and family-friendly activities.  In the winter, there is a small Christmas market and a small rink for ice skating.  The outdoor pool is heated, though we didn’t venture into it on either of our stays (January and April).    

On both of our stays at the Rosewood, I booked wine tastings (because when near Montalcino?).  On our second wine tasting, we were able to visit the Campo del Drago vineyard.  It is absolutely breathtaking. We are members of the their 1100 Wine Club, so we try to take advantage of scheduling tastings at the Castiglion del Bosco winery whenever we are in the area. We’ve done the cheese and wine pairing experience, the Brunello vertical tasting, and the standard wine tastings with red and white wine. We learn new things and try new wines every time we go, so don’t be afraid to be a repeat guest at your favorite wineries.  

There is a lovely spa on-site with treatments specific to the red wine and olive oil of the region.  We have only used the sauna on our trips, but I would LOVE to experience a treatment there.  The spa was the epitome of relaxing. Make your spa reservations in advance – it is quite popular.

The Rosewood Montalcino rooms are extremely luxurious with small touches like weighted blankets and candles that make them especially cozy in the evening.  (I would bring the entire bed – bedding and all – home if I could.  I slept really well here.)  All of the lights are on dimmer switches, which make for extra relaxing bubble baths in their incredible soaker tubs.  Leisurely bubble baths are my favorite luxury and the Rosewood includes bath salts!  (They also include every other amenity you could want or need.  When I say they’ve thought of everything, they really have thought of everything!)   

Our ground level room had a private patio with lounge chairs, as well as a small table, overlooking the countryside.  I LOVED spending time outside in the spring.  We enjoyed many an apertivo out there before walking to dinner.  On both trips, we were greeted with a huge fruit box when we checked into our room.  Turndown service included a bottle of their Rosso di Montalcino wine!  (I highly recommend purchasing their wines as souvenirs.  We have a wine suitcase and it has saved us a lot of shipping fees.  We always regret not bringing it.)            

There are two restaurants on site that change menus fairly regularly.  We have taken the fresh pasta cooking class, which takes place at Osteria La Canonica. When we go back, I would love to book the Tuscan flavors cooking class.As part of our cooking class, we actually went out to the on-site vegetable garden to get our herbs for the day.  (Everything we made was delicious!)  We’ve had several meals here and there isn’t a single thing we ordered that we didn’t enjoy.  Everything was delicious.  The service is exceptional.  The whole experience is incredible. In November 2023, we took my mom to lunch there and she loved it so much that we went back two days in a row.  

NOTE:  If you are thinking about making the splurge for the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, I suggest booking through a travel advisor like me!  Booking through a luxury travel agent generally includes a room upgrade, free breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a welcome amenity, and extended check-in/out times. 

The Rosewood is definitely a splurge, but we really, really enjoyed it and will definitely return.            

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montalcino; 5 star hotels in tuscany countryside
Journey of Doing - best hotels in Tuscany Italy
Journey of Doing - where to stay near Montalcino; luxury hotels Tuscany
Journey of Doing - Tuscany wine resort; best hotels in tuscany countryside
Journey of Doing - wine resort in Tuscany; hotels in Tuscany wine country;
Journey of Doing - best Tuscany hotels
Journey of Doing - Ferragamo resorts in Italy; hotels in Tuscany countryside
Journey of Doing - luxury hotels in Tuscany
Journey of Doing - luxury wine resort in Tuscany
Journey of Doing - Rosewood Castilgion del Bosco; luxury hotels in Tuscany Italy
Journey of Doing - Rosewood Castilgion del Bosco; best Tuscany resorts

Tenuta CastelGiocondo

The Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco won’t be in everyone’s budget, and it’s definitely not in ours all the time! For our central Italy trip in November 2023, Tom found Tenuta CastelGiocondo, which coincidentally produces one of his favorite Brunello di Montalcino wines. This ended up being one of the most pleasant surprises of our trip. It’s about 15 minutes away from Castiglion del Bosco and about 25 minutes from the city center of Montalcino. You need a car to access this resort, and be aware that many of the roads are unpaved.

The hotel doesn’t have a strong web presence, so we had no idea what to expect. The rooms are housed in several stone buildings, which reminded me a lot of Borgo dei Conti in Umbria. And, when I say rooms, I’m using that term loosely. Both of the rooms we booked ended up being suites. We had a large, comfortable bed, a huge walk-in shower, a small bathtub, and a separate bathroom with dual sinks. I would describe is as rustic luxury. It was REALLY nice and very comfortable. This would be a great hotel near Montalcino for a honeymoon or anniversary trip. It is a lovely place to recharge and enjoy the quiet. The sunsets were spectacular.

The hotel has a beautiful spa with a jacuzzi and sauna that overlooks the vineyard. It opens early and stays open late, though you do have to reserve it in one-hour slots. We really enjoyed the spa and would have enjoyed more spending more time in it. It was very nice.

Breakfast is included with rooms, and it was lovely. They had a small buffet and would also make hot items upon request. The only drawback is that there is not a restaurant on site, so you would need to bring your own food or plan to leave the property for meals. That was hard for me and Tom because the views were beautiful, and we like to stay where our feet are when we visit resorts. We ended up going to the Rosewood Montalcino restaurants for lunch twice and a wine bar in Montalcino once.

You can schedule a wine tasting of the Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo wines, and the Frescobaldi Luce estate is nearby as well.

Book Tenuta CastelGiocondo in Montalcino

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montalcino; best places to stay in Tuscany wine country
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montalcino Tuscany; places to stay in Tuscany wine country
Journey of Doing - Tenuta Castelgiocondo review; luxury hotel Tuscany
Journey of Doing - Tenuta Castelgiocondo Montalcino review; luxury hotels Tuscany Italy
Journey of Doing - Tenuta Castelgiocondo review; wine resorts in Tuscany
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Tuscan countryside; luxury hotels in Tuscany Italy
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montalcino countryside; most romantic hotels in Tuscany
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montalcino; best luxury hotels Tuscany
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montalcino; best places to stay in Tuscany countryside

Who Loves Montalcino:

People who are into wine are going to love Montalcino.  It’s famous for its wine.  We’ve only visited the town in the off season, so our full verdict is still out on Montalcino.  Outside of the Rosewood, there are plenty of enotecas (wine bars) and vineyards to visit.  I loved how many of the enotecas in Montalcino offered outdoor seating (with blankets!), even in December.  It’s great for people watching.  Similar to Montepulciano, there is a fortress (and a wine bar in the fortress) to appease your husband (or my husband).  As far as the hill towns go, Montalcino is more like Montepulciano and Cortona with steep hills!    

The drive through the Val d’Orcia can be absolutely breathtaking, especially at sunset.  While I usually recommend trying to find somewhere to enjoy a glass of wine with the sunset, it’s not bad to experience from the road either.  Pull off and enjoy it!  

journey of doing - Click here for inspiration to plan your own Tuscany road trip. Post includes restaurant & hotel ideas, tips, and tours to craft the perfect Tuscany itinerary!
Montalcino in winter

Where to Stay in Tuscany for a Medieval Experience

La Terrazza sul Campo in Siena

Two trips to Siena, one place to stay:  La Terrazza Sul Campo.  The rooms feature sweeping views of the campo, and there is no better view of Siena.  (Imagine staying here for the Palio!)  Despite the 16th century building exterior, the rooms are large, modern and bright.  Breakfast is made to order and completely customizable – from what you order to the time its delivered.  Yes, you can watch the sun rise over the Campo from your room.  

Viola and her brother are the most accommodating hosts.  I don’t know that I could be persuaded to stay anywhere else in Siena.  We stayed in the La Citte di Siena on our first trip to Siena and the La Maesta junior suite on our second trip.  Both rooms are lovely.  I can’t even tell you which room I prefer.  Frankly, I’m in awe of both.  You really can’t go wrong, but again, you need to book early. 

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.  Our favorite meals in Siena have been the ones where we grabbed food from the Sapori and had a picnic on the Campo or on the balcony of our hotel room.

Who Loves Siena:

Siena is where to stay in Tuscany if you enjoy passeggiata, cathedrals (don’t miss the Piccolomini library in the Duomo – there’s nothing more beautiful), or want to do a little shopping.  Siena is certainly smaller than Florence but it has a more established retail presence than some of the other hill towns.  This walking tour of Siena is a great introduction to the city and allows you to see more of the Palio history.

Popular Day Trips from Siena:  Volterra (for Etruscan and Roman ruins, alabaster and my favorite sunset views) and San Gimignano (for art galleries and olive oil and wine tastings)!

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Siena

Where to Stay in Tuscany for a Hill Town with a Spa Hotel

Monastero di Cortona Hotel & Spa in Cortona

On every trip to Cortona, we’ve stayed at the Monastero di Cortona. We will definitely continue to return.  Cortona deserves a few nights on your Italy itinerary, and the Monastero is my vote for sure.  (Read more about all of our experiences at the Monastero di Cortona; I think we’ve stayed here 5 times now!)

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 roads of Cortona and help you make a reservation for the on-site garage.  (Google maps will steer you wrong.)  

All of the staff, from the front desk, to the spa, to the restaurant, went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and to help us get settled. They were willing to help with everything from restaurant reservations to scheduling our COVID test at the pharmacy so we could go sightseeing instead. After our test, Carolina even followed up with us to ensure everything was fine!

This hotel exudes old world charm and peaceful, approachable luxury. The details are stunning.  From the chandelier in the reception area to the frescos in the dining room, everything is beautifully maintained.

One of the things that makes this hotel so relaxing is that the rooms are decorated in soft hues of white.  It doesn’t feel sterile, it feels cozy and comfortable.  The linens are so very soft and the mattress is downright luxurious.  Every detail in the rooms is designed for relaxation and comfort.  There are TVs in the room, but they are stowed away.  I didn’t miss them.  The view from the room is more than enough entertainment for me.  

The bathrooms offer large walk-in showers and wonderful spa amenities including chromotherapy.  The soft robes are perfect on chilly evenings!  The rooms include everything you need to enjoy the spa and the plunge pool, including flip-flops and robes specifically for the spa.  You can make reservations for the spa in two hour blocks, and the treatments are delightfully relaxing.  

Consistent with luxury hotels, the Monastero offers turndown service with sweet treats every evening. I love the delicious dark chocolate truffles and white chocolate truffle with mandarin filling.

Our room rates have included breakfast.  They offer a delicious selection of meat, cheese, fruit, and pastries.  We didn’t take advantage of it most days because we enjoyed long, leisurely, delicious dinners every evening.  It’s hard to be hungry in the morning.

The hotel executes everything with such great attention to detail. Another thing that I love about the hotel is that it is adults only. It’s perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary trip to Tuscany.

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Cortona
journey of doing - Where to Stay in Cortona
journey of doing - Where to stay in Cortona Tuscany Italy
journey of doing - Monastero di Cortona Hotel and Spa in Cortona Italy
Journey of Doing - Monastero di Cortona Hotel and Spa bathroom
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2021: Click here for non-sponsored reviews and photos about where to stay in Tuscany, including hotels in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Journey of Doing - Best Hotel in Cortona Tuscany
Monastero di Cortona plunge pool

Who Loves Cortona

We visited Cortona in 2021, and I’m going to tell you – we don’t know why we waited so long to visit!  Actually, I do.  The popularity of Cortona because of Under the Tuscan Sun made us dubious about its authenticity. We thought it would be full of touristy souvenir shops and day trippers. This assumption could not been further from our experiences.  We love it so much that we’ve been back to Cortona three times in less than a year. We felt like Cortona was a living city with restaurants filled with locals (you need restaurant reservations in Cortona), lively markets, and plenty of great people watching.  Apertivo hour in Cortona was my favorite time of day because it felt like we were surrounded by locals enjoying their evenings.  

Whatever you do, don’t miss the Basilica of Santa Margherita. It is one of the most breathtaking churches I’ve seen in Tuscany. I would put it equal with the Piccolomini Library in Siena.  I also think that Snoopy Gelateria in the Town Center rivals Buon Gusto in Pienza!  

Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2021: Read more about the 11 best hill towns of Italy - where to stay, where to eat, and what not to miss in the most popular towns in Tuscany & Umbria.
Journey of Doing - Santa Margherita, Cortona, Italy
Journey of Doing - Beautiful Hill Towns in Italy - Cortona, Italy

Cortona is the best place to stay in Tuscany if you want to enjoy the great outdoors, enjoy good food, and want the comfort of a spa hotel. Let’s unpack that.

First and foremost, Cortona is filled with hills. You can build a sightseeing tour of the churches of Cortona around climbing the hills, culminating with a visit to the absolutely breathtaking Basilica di Santa Margherita. You could walk to St. Francis’s holding cell. In either case, the scenery is breathtaking.  The walk is not for the faint of heart.  Bring the right shoes and be ready for the steep hills.  

I was taken aback by the number of Michelin starred restaurants in and around Cortona, so if you’re into food, this might be the destination for you. What I appreciated most about the Michelin restaurants we tried was that they were relatively inexpensive. You can have a truly incredible meal for less than you would pay for a mediocre meal in the United States. Similarly, our “cheap” meals in Cortona were incredibly delicious. I would argue they were outstanding even. There is no shortage of restaurants to try in Cortona. Make your list, make reservations, and know that you’ll be back for the food.

Typically when we stay in Tuscany, we must choose between a delightful spa hotel in the countryside or an efficient hotel in the town center.  Cortona offers the best of both worlds at the lovely Monastero di Cortona. This comfortable hotel is at the midway point of town – in between the town square and the beautiful churches that overlook the countryside. 

The plush rooms offer comfortable beds, soft linens, beautiful views, and large walk-in showers. I find the rooms to be incredibly romantic. In addition to that, the hotel offers an incredible spa with a hydrotherapy pool, as well as an outdoor pool. I loved the Mediterrano massage.

Where to Stay for a Tuscan Estate Experience

Borgo Pignano near Volterra

After seeing the most beautiful sunset in Volterra, Tom and I both wanted to return to Volterra.  When I saw Julia’s post, I knew Borgo Pignano would be the best place to stay near Volterra and still enjoy the Tuscan countryside.  This is another place where you are will benefit by booking through a luxury travel advisor: our stay included a 90 euro hotel credit, a 30-minute organic scrub in the spa, an arrival gift, daily breakfast, and a room upgrade.

Similar to the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, you could check into Borgo Pignano and just enjoy the property.  I used our F&B credit to book a wine tasting, but they also offer bike rentals, cooking classes, horseback riding, truffle hunting, painting classes, yoga, and even soap-making!  What I enjoyed about Borgo Pignano is that they offer creative wines; they aren’t the traditional wines.  We tried a white wine, a rose, and a red wine.  All of them were different, and they paired them with meat and cheese.  Our host was disarming and did an incredible job of helping us to understand that wine is a personal experience, rather than just a technical process. 

Our room was in one of the main buildings (though they offer villas as well) with sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside.  Our room, though small, was romantic, comfortable, and the bathroom was incredible.  Though it was two levels, it had an incredible clawfoot tub, a huge walk-in shower, and plenty of space for getting ready.  All the bath amenities are made on property.  The lavender bath salts were a lovely touch in the evening.

Our welcome amenity included a bottle of wines and the most delicious strawberries.  Perfect for an apertivo.  If you don’t want to spend that time in your room, they have a sunset cocktail hour on the terrace.  We enjoyed that one of evening.  Our drinks were served with almonds and olives.  It was incredibly peaceful. 

The grounds are VAST.  We enjoyed walking through them, particularly in the late afternoon.  The heated pool is stunning with plenty of lounge space.  The views from the hillside are just unreal.  Borgo Pignano is just downright magical, especially at sunset.                  

Journey of Doing - Borgo Pignano review
Journey of Doing - Borgo Pignano Tuscany Resort review
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2022: Click here for 9 non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany & Umbria, including luxury hotels in Cortona, Volterra, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Journey of Doing - Borgo Pignano Charme bathroom
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for 10 non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany & Umbria, including luxury hotels in Cortona, Volterra, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Journey of Doing - Borgo Pignano amenities

Who Loves Borgo Pignano

Borgo Pignano is the perfect place to slow down, particularly if you are coming from Florence or Rome.  It’s a great place to be outside and do outdoor activities.  They have plenty of trails through the countryside, but they also offer guided tours (on horseback and hiking) and planned activities.  You can play sports, work out, swim, or just enjoy the spa.  The body scrub I had at the Borgo Pignano spa is probably the best spa treatment I’ve ever had in Italy.  We also booked time to enjoy the sauna.  It is the perfect place to focus on wellness and be outside.

We did drive to Volterra (15 minutes) for dinner a couple of times while we were at Borgo Pignano.  It was really lovely to be in Volterra in the evening.  We felt as if we had the city to ourselves and enjoyed some memorable meals.  It felt very local because we were traveling in shoulder season. 

If you aren’t someone who enjoys slowing down or being still, Borgo Pignano may not be for you.  Though there are some Etruscan ruins and museums in Volterra, this is not an area that is going to provide non-stop stimulation, which is why it felt absolutely perfect for me.  If you’re looking for great food and wine, beautiful Tuscan sunsets and views, and enjoy being close to nature, this is an absolutely lovely place. 

There are a lot of families that visit Borgo Pignano, but it would be a lovely place for a honeymoon or anniversary trip, too.           

Borgo Pignano sunset
Tuscan sunset from Borgo Pignano
Journey of Doing - Borgo Pignano review

Where to Stay in Tuscany to Get Away from Everything

Il Borro Tuscany near Arezzo

Located about 30 minutes outside of Arezzo, Il Borro is a special place.  This is a place to truly disconnect from everything, enjoy nature, and maybe – just maybe, venture into one of the nearby tiny villages for dinner.  I booked it as part of a three-week trip through Italy, and it fell between Cortona and Florence on our itinerary.  (If you decide to stay at Il Borro over the Christmas holidays, make sure to check out the Arezzo Christmas market!)  

Il Borro is an abandoned village-turned-resort by the Ferragamo family.  The rooms and villas are comfortable cottages spread throughout the village offering beautiful views of the mountains and allowing you to feel like you’re the only person out there…. except you have all the amenities of a luxury 5-star hotel at your fingertips.  It offers an on-site winery, two pools, two restaurants, and multiple artisan shops within the old town.  When it comes to wellness, Il Borro offers hiking trails, a lovely spa, and a gym.  The resort offers everything from horseback riding to cooking classes to truffle hunting on-site as well.  Il Borro is a member of the Relais & Chateaux hotel collection, so all of the experiences are designed with authenticity and quality in mind. 

This is a hotel that offeres benefits from Tablet Hotels as a Plus member.  Plus members receive a space-available upgrade (we were upgraded to an incredible junior suite), a 90 euro spa credit, breakfast, and a free wine tasting.  This proved to be a great way to experience a lot of what the resort had to offer in a short time. If you don’t want to join Tablet Plus, I can book Il Borro for you with many of the same benefits.         

Journey of Doing - Il Borro review
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2021: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
One of two pools at Il Borro Tuscany for guests to enjoy.

Who Loves Il Borro:

Il Borro is for the couple (or family) who enjoys being outside and wants to slow down on their Italy itinerary. There are small villages 10-15 minutes away by car that have a few (delicious) restaurants, but Il Borro is not meant to be a place to entertain people who want to see Big Sights and check things off a list. You could make day trips in the area, but I think Il Borro really shines for people who want to stay at the resort and take advantage of everything it offers.

If you’re interested in wine, make sure to take advantage of the wine tasting and tour. The tasting takes place in the cellar, which offers incredible ambiance. We found the tour to be very informative and enjoyed trying the various wines. They also offer an art and wine tour.

If you’re into local and creative culinary traditions, Il Borro might be the perfect place for you. There are two restaurants on-site, both of which generally need reservations because they are so popular. The executive chef teaches the cooking classes on-site, so you can take advantage of a master class while staying at the resort.

We took advantage of both pools, as well as the spa.  I thoroughly enjoyed my massage (and my post-massage swim).  It can get hot and humid in the summer, so the pools are a nice reprieve. (I imagine they are even more refreshing after a round of golf, horseback riding or hiking.) Both pools overlook the incredible countryside, so you can’t go wrong with either one.

Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Il Borro is the most remote and romantic hotel we’ve stayed at in Tuscany thus far. It’s perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary in Italy.
Journey of Doing - Il Borro Tuscany
Il Borro Suite 503
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Journey of Doing - Il Borro Tuscany Cottage bathroom details
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2021: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
I love the Salvatore Feragammo bath products. This is the second scent I’ve tried and loved. I would buy full-size bottles of these if they were available – that’s how much I love them!
Journey of Doing - Il Borro Suite Living Room
Journey of Doing - Il Borro Suite Living Room
Il Borro Suite 503 Living Room
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Il Borro is where to stay in Tuscany if you want to get away from everything and still have the amenities of a luxury resort at your fingertips.
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!
Journey of Doing - UPDATED 2023: Click here for non-sponsored reviews & photos about where to stay in Tuscany and Umbria, including luxury hotels and resorts in Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Barga & more!

Where to Stay in Northwest Tuscany

Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco near Barga

Oh Barga.  It was so hard to love you after staying at the incredible Borgo dei Conti with its warm and welcoming staff.  When we checked in to the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco, they gave us a double room.  I’m a Marriott Titanium / Lifetime Platinum member, and when I asked about the bed choice, they told me they “upgraded” me to a room with a view instead.  The hotel *wasn’t* busy and they were selling all categories of rooms, so it was a bit disappointing to not have my preferences honored.  I got the exact room I booked (minus the king bed) – no upgrade required.  No room for snuggling on a cold winter evening.   

The modern design elements of the rooms coupled with the traditional Tuscan buildings of the resort is a stark and curious contrast.  I love the detail in the ceilings and the long drapes.  It kept the room from feeling TOO small (there is a lot of furniture in these rooms) and provided a bit more of an upscale feel.  The use of accent walls, color, and mixed textures also gives the room a more designer touch.  The bed was comfortable and Tom and I made many jokes about sleeping in the bed next to one another.  The marble bathroom included a large stand-up shower with a railhead and a hand-shower.  

Perhaps my favorite part of the room is the balcony.  Even though it was winter, I enjoyed the early morning views.  Some my disappointment melted away when I woke up to the view at the Renaissance Tuscany.  The sunrise views over the cloud line is glorious and the stillness is mesmerizing.

I wouldn’t use points for this hotel; I don’t consider it to be an aspirational property.  If you can get a great cash rate (and they can very low), it can be a good buy.  

Who Loves Barga:

The sunrise watchers and the hikers.  Seriously.  There is nowhere more beautiful (nor comfortable) to watch the sunrise.  Also, the people content with doing nothing.  (Sometimes you need that in your life, truly.)  We made a day trip to Pisa and another one to Lucca from Barga.  Pisa was showing off the day we were there – it was gorgeous.  We tried to get tickets to the cathedral or to the Leaning Tower, but the only available entry times were in the evening.  (Third time is *not* the charm, lol.)  There is a HUGE Conad supermarket nearby, and Tom and I enjoyed putting things together for creative meals at the end of the day because the hotel is pretty removed from everything.

Popular Day Trips from Barga:  Pisa (for Leaning Towers, obvi), Lucca (for music, biking and scenic walks)

Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review
Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review
Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review
Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review
Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review
Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review
Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review
Journey of Doing - Renaissance Tuscany resort review

Where to Stay on the Border of Tuscany & Umbria

Borgo dei Conti near Perugia

Did I save the best for last?  Probably so.  This grand hotel gets its own post; it’s that beautiful and that perfect.  I don’t even know what stroke of luck led us to stay at Borgo dei Conti, but I’m legitimately obsessed with this hotel.  This is a true 5 star hotel and resort.  Palazzo Carletti is staying in a palazzo and Borgo dei Conti is staying in a castle!  (You can also stay in your own private villa, but I prefer the main building.)  

This hotel is officially in Umbria and just past the southern border of Tuscany.  It’s in the countryside, not too far from Perugia.  We’ve stayed here four times since 2019.  On the first three trips, we took day trips to Tuscany, Montefalco wineries, and Assisi.  On our fourth trip, we stayed at the resort entirely.  Our days consisted of enjoying the spa, hiking around the area, enjoying an apertivo in the hotel bar, and walking down to dinner at a local pizzeria.  This hotel does an amazing job of being whatever you need it to be.    

So what makes Borgo dei Conti so great?  Let’s start by saying that any hotel with spa robes on the bed is a friend of mine.  Beyond that, I obsess over hotels that provide bath salts (I literally asked my husband to research the manufacturer on the bottle). Thus, between the cozy comforts of this hotel room, the huge bathtub, and every other detail – I am in love.  Our rooms have included beautiful beamed ceilings, small sitting areas, and every amenity you could need.  In the evenings, there is turndown service and they close the shutters, which adds an even more cozy and romantic feel to the hotel.  

There’s a bar (with fabulous wines from Montefalco), two on-site restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool, and a spa, so you don’t actually have to leave the hotel at all.  There are terraces to enjoy the sunset, drink wine, and enjoy munchies from the bar.  The spa was also a nice respite in the evenings.  We were almost the sole guests at the property after Christmas and they bent over backwards to make us feel welcome.

The Borgo dei Conti resort is perhaps the most unexpected and my favorite hotel find of our December 2018 trip.  It opened us up to so many more relaxing experiences when we travel.  I had no idea how nice we would find it to just be in the countryside. It’s also lead us to some great Umbrian wineries, like Bocale and Cantina Cimate.

Popular Day Trips from Borgo dei Conti:  Montefalco for truffles and wine tastings. Assisi for cathedrals, wine and olive tasting, but you should really stay overnight in Assisi, too)

Alternative Wine Hotel in Umbria: Head to Roccafiore for more rustic wine resort in Umbria for a completely different Umbrian hotel experience than Borgo dei Conti.

Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review; best hotels Umbria
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review; best hotels in Umbria
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review; best places to stay in Umbria
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review; luxury hotels Umbria
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review

What’s Next on My Tuscany Luxury Hotel Wish List

As much as I love all of these hotels in Tuscany, I know there are more hotels to love.  I’m steadily working through them and update this post as often as I can. Here is a list of a few more hotels in Tuscany that are currently on my hotel bucket list:

  • Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa (Saturina) – This spa hotel looks absolutely blissful. One of the people I follow on instagram swears its his favorite hotel in Tuscany. The photos he shared look uber relaxing and the pool looks incredible. When I want to get away from everything enjoy the natural springs, this will be my destination.
  • Lupaia (Torrita di Siena) – I love that this resort is located in the heart of the Val d’Orcia. I think it would be the perfect location for day trips to Montepulciano while offering respite from the day tripping crowds. The setting seems idyllic and magical and the restaurant looks beyond tasty.
  • La Bandita Townhouse (Pienza) – In addition to some delicious agriturismos in the area, Pienza is home to Buon Gusto gelato.  If that’s not a good reason to stay in Pienza, I don’t want to be wrong.  I could be their taste tester.  (Would you try spinach-pear-kiwi gelato?  I did.  And, I liked it!)
  • Hotel Borgo San Felice (San Felice) – Every photo I’ve ever seen of this hotel makes me relax.  The rooms look amazing, the views are to die for, and I bet you can find some delicious restaurants in the area.  This would be my next stop when I want to get away from it all.
  • Palazzo Cini (Pisa) – Believe it or not, Tom and I think Pisa is underrated.  It’s a less frantic Florence and the Field of Miracles is very beautiful.  I would love to see the complex illuminated at night.
  • Il Bottaccio (Forte dei Marmi) – This hotel is between Pisa and Cinque Terre and it’s an area that we haven’t explored at all.  On our last trip through there, I was amazed by the dramatic countryside and the beauty of the region.
  • Il Pellicano Hotel – This hotel is on the Tuscan coast.  It’s not an area of Tuscany we’ve ever explored, so I would love to check it out.
  • Villa Svetoni Wine Resort (near Montepulciano) – Ever since the Meneghetti, we love a great wine resort. This was recommended by one of our favorite winemakers in Umbria. I’d love to learn more about Montepulciano wines, as they are quite a bit more affordable than the Brunello di Montalcino.
  • BONUS:  Relais Santa Croce – If the St. Regis is sold out, I’ll be checking the Relais Santa Croce.  It’s approximately a 20 minute walk from Santa Maria Novella, but it’s still in the heart of Florence.  I’ve never stayed in this area, so it would be nice to check it out.  The rooms with terraces and views of my favorite Florentine church are just a bonus.
  • BONUS:  After such great stays at the Lungarno Collection hotels, including the Gallery Hotel Art, the Hotel Lungarno, and the Continentale. I’d love to check out the Portrait hotel in Florence though.  While the St. Regis Florence is still my go-to hotel for a room with a view, I bet I could find a room with a view at those hotels, too.

Follow along with Sara!

You’ll Also Love

8 Comments

  1. You’ve had so many trips to Tuscany? We are planning to head to the Amalfi coast for a little beach getaway during our Europe travels in July and have about 3 nights left open to plan something before we return home so I’ve been looking at Tuscany, Rome, and Florence as options taking into consideration the cost of flight home from each destination. Any suggestions?

  2. I have always wanted to go to Tuscany and now I want to go just so I can stay in one of these hotels because let’s face it who doesn’t want to stay in a palace? They all look totally extra but I think I prefer the old style hotels best –  I just imagine they’d be part of the whole Tuscan experience! 

  3. This is perfect because we are looking at going to Tuscany / Florence in 2020. Your photos and descriptions of places to stay are super helpful. And I can tell you love the area, which is inspiring. The Medieval hotel in Sienna calls to me!

  4. All of these properties look like winners! I’m a sucker for a balcony and big windows with shutters you can through open in that oh-so-European way. Pinning this & coming back when that trip to Tuscany materializes 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *