Where to Stay in Umbria

This post has been a long time coming for me. In 2018, I did a lot of research on where to stay in Umbria, and we ended up in Assisi. (We also stopped in Orvieto after arriving in Rome on our first day!) Assisi was great, but then we found Borgo dei Conti on the Christmas trip when I refused to come home. During our stay at the Conti, we made several trips to Montefalco for dinner and fell in love with Umbria. When we started traveling again in 2021, we discovered several incredible wineries in Umbria… and the rest is history.

What I love most about staying in Umbria is that there are so many different ways to enjoy the beauty of the area. You can stay in hill towns that truly feel like Italy. There are beautiful wine resorts in the countryside. You can indulge in wellness resorts and enjoy the serenity of nature. And, you can visit very touristy places that hold a lot of magic after the day trippers go home. This is true throughout Italy though. It’s why I will always tell you to skip the day trip!

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.

Journey of Doing - Click here for 5 non-sponsored hotel & resort reviews of where to stay in Umbria to ensure you choose the right place for your trip to Italy!

Umbria’s Most Famous Hill Town

If you are looking for the most famous town in Umbria, look no further than Assisi. Assisi is famous for its frescos and for St. Francis, and it is certainly the most frequented destination in Umbria for tourists. While you could take a day trip to Assisi to see the frescos at Basilica di San Francesco, I recommend spending a few nights in Assisi and enjoying all it has to offer. We enjoyed truly lovely meals, incredible tours, and enjoyed seeing the town at the start and end of each day. Assisi is probably where to stay in Umbria without a car, as it has direct train connections to Rome.

Nun Assisi Hotel

We stayed at the Nun Assisi Relais, and it was the perfect place to escape the tourist crowds in Assisi. We chose the Nun because it met Tom’s criteria of staying in the middle of a new town rather than the countryside. It was one of the first hotels we stayed at in Umbria, and it set the bar really high for spa hotels! The Nun embraces a minimalist design with comfortable, luxury touches that add to the experience.

Our room was bright with windows that opened and overlooked the countryside. The rooms exude calm, just was you would expect from a former monastery. We loved letting the fresh air in every morning and every evening. (The view of the castle at blue hour was incredible. The bedding is linen, which might take a bit of getting used to, and the beds are super comfortable.

The bathroom is large by European standards. We had a reasonably-sized walk-in shower with great water pressure. The bath amenities are hotel branded and smell delightful.  The bathroom also had a window that opened, which was nice to prevent the bathroom from getting too humid after a hot shower.

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Assisi
The Nun Assisi Relais and Spa is located at one end of Assisi, making it the perfect destination for sightseeing and relaxation!
Journey of Doing - Nun Assisi Relais and Spa review
Journey of Doing - Nun Assisi Relais and Spa deluxe room review
Journey of Doing - Nun Assisi Relais and Spa deluxe room review
Journey of Doing - view from Nun Assisi hotel
The view from our room was breathtaking, especially at blue hour in Assisi!

Nun Assisi Relais Spa

The Nun Assisi Relais also houses a spa and museum.  The spa is housed in Roman ruins which is so amazing. There are placards throughout the spa that explain what you are seeing.

Unlike some hotels in Umbria, access to the spa is included with your rate. This meant that we could access the sauna, steam room, ice baths, and the jacuzzi pool throughout our stay.  It’s actually the hotel that got Tom into taking advantage of spas when we travel!

The spa staff was happy to show us the best way to take advantage of the spa for the ultimate relaxation. While you can definitely create your own adventure, I recommend taking advantage of the total Nun Spa Path as recommended.  The various spa rooms are designed intentionally with various temperatures and humidity levels. While I love being out and about, and we definitely tried to enjoy visiting Assisi as much as possible, it was also really nice to just relax and be for awhile.

Journey of Doing - Nun Assisi spa review
Spa entrance on the left, hotel entrance on the right
Journey of Doing - best hotel in Assisi

Where to Stay in Umbria for Couples

I think the Nun Assisi is a great hotel in Umbria for couples, but I recognize sometimes you just want to get away from everything. (Or at least… I do!) Every time I’m in Umbria, I’m always struck by the beauty of the landscape and the sounds of nature. It’s seriously one of the most lovely places to take a step back. It’s one of the first places we went back after 2020 because we just wanted to enjoy the fresh air and the serenity.

We are *anxiously* awaiting the re-opening of Borgo dei Conti after its renovation. (It closed in 2022 and will re-open in summer 2024!) Borgo dei Conti was our introduction to Relais and Chateaux hotels in 2018. We’ve stayed at Borgo dei Conti 4 or 5 times, and it’s a true luxury hotel experience in every way. The best way to book the Conti is with through a luxury travel expert (like me!), as they participate in Virtuoso benefits. (See below for more!)

Journey of Doing - best luxury resort in Umbria
Imagine pulling up to this and finding out it was the hotel you booked at the last minute!

Borgo dei Conti

The first time we stayed at the Conti, we were impressed by how comfortable the hotel made us. While they prepared our room, they invited us to the bar for a welcome drink. The was our first taste of Umbrian wine. We decided to order a bottle to watch the sunset, and they brought it as a true apertivo. We didn’t know to order it that way, but they just did it for us. On another trip, we tried a trebbiano spolentino from Cantina Le Cimate, and now we visit the winery regularly to bring their wines home!

They upgraded us to a beautiful room overlooking the resort. It was understated luxury with a comfortable bed, soft linens, and every amenity you could think of. We had an incredible soaking bathtub, and I LOVED the lavender lemon bath salts. The rooms have beautiful, frescoed ceilings with the original beams.  In the evenings, they offer turndown service, close the shutters, and the room turns into a romantic, peaceful retreat.  

In addition to the bar, there are two on-site restaurants, so you don’t actually have to leave the hotel at all. When we visited with my mom, we really enjoyed the pizza restaurant overlooking the pool. There are plenty of terraces to appreciate the sunset over Lake Trasimeno or spend the day with a book.

Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
So cozy and perfect for a romantic trip to Umbria!
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Relais and Chateaux hotels think of everything – and it’s all at your finger tips!
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti review

Borgo dei Conti Spa & Wellness

What I love most about Borgo dei Conti is the focus on wellness. The spa area is incredible with a variety of jacuzzis, a sauna, and a Turkish bath. They created wellness paths through the estate. And, there is a swimming pool with views over the surrounding countryside. You can enjoy the beauty of nature and just enjoy the resort. We spent two Easter holidays here, and it was truly the perfect place to disconnect and take it easy.

Borgo dei Conti is just southern border of Tuscany. It’s not too far from Perugia, but I think it’s better to just stay put. We have walked up to the village of Montepetriolo when we wanted to get out and about.  (We also love walking down to the local pizzeria for dinner.)

This hotel does an amazing job of being whatever you need it to be. However, the biggest lesson I’ve learned from staying at Borgo dei Conti is that it is possible to slow down when you travel.    

Borgo dei Conti Virtuoso Benefits
  • Upgrade on arrival
  • Daily breakfast
  • $100 Food & Beverage credit
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, as available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti Relais and Chateaux Italy
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti Relais and Chateaux Italy
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti Relais and Chateaux Italy
The Borgo dei Conti pizzeria overlooks the pool in the summer months.
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti Relais and Chateaux Italy
Journey of Doing - Borgo dei Conti Relais and Chateaux Italy

Where to Experience the Green Heart of Italy

Umbria is known as the green heart of Italy because it’s where much of the food comes from. Norcia is one of the most flat towns in Umbria, and it’s definitely overlooked and underrated. Located near the Sibillini Mountains, it’s perfect for the traveler who wants to enjoy the great outdoors. In late spring / early summer, it’s famous for the red flowers that cover the countryside.

If you’re not an outdoorsy person, it’s also famous for its butchers, the norcini, who make the most delicious meats. The food in Norcia remains some of my favorite mreals. (It’s also an area of Umbria known for truffles, and we brought home truffle cheese from Norcia!) An earthquake struck the town in 2016, and they are still rebuilding. It was sobering to see that, especially when you consider how few people will get this far off the beaten path of Italy.  

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Norcia

Palazzo Seneca in Norcia

Another Relais and Chateaux property, Palazzo Seneca offers a completely different experience than Borgo dei Conti. Seneca was known for stoicism, and this hotel is certainly stoic. Located in 16th century building, it offers minimalist rooms, a terrace with beautiful views of the countryside, and a peaceful spa.

We were upgraded to a junior suite that had a nice sitting area, a separate desk, and a king bed. Our bathroom had a nicely-sized walk in shower and a single sink. The bath amenities were local to Umbria from Biancospino. The room was complex, as it was masculine with leather accents, and yet it offered the soft, warm hospitality of Italy. At times, the room felt complicated and serene, yet so does Norcia itself.

The on-site restaurant, Vespasia, has earned a Green Michelin star. It generally only has availability for dinner. With a focus on sustainability, you have to plan your menu in advance and make reservations. (Many restaurants in Norcia are small and need reservations.)

We used our time in Norcia to slow down and wind down a three week trip through central Italy. I enjoyed lounging outside and enjoying the quiet around me. (It’s also where I chose to take my work calls.) We enjoyed slow meals with delicious food. We took long walks through the town. Sadly, we spent our last day making a side trip to Spoleto to get an extra suitcase to bring home souvenirs. We actually ended up driving straight to Rome for our flight from Norcia because we wanted to enjoy the quiet a little longer before heading home. While we checked out the night before, they met us at 4:00am and offered to make us coffee to go because they were worried about us. How kind is that?!

Journey of Doing - Palazzo Seneca review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Seneca junior suite review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Seneca junior suite review
Journey of Doing - best hotel in Norcia
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Seneca Relais and Chateaux
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Seneca Relais and Chateaux
The view from our room and a local Umbrian sweet treat!
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Seneca Relais and Chateaux
Virtuoso Benefits at Palazzo Seneca

Palazzo Seneca is a Virtuoso property and offers the following benefits when booked through a luxury travel agent:

  • Upgrade on arrival, as available
  • Daily breakfast
  • $100 hotel credit
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, as available

Where to Stay for a Traditional Umbrian Hill Town Experience

I have the fondest memories of Montefalco. The first time we stayed at Borgo dei Conti, we drove to Montefalco for dinner. We had dinner at Olevm, a traditional Umbrian restaurant, with the kindest family who showered us with fresh truffle dishes. We were fascinated. Here was this perfectly walled town that wasn’t mentioned in any guidebooks. It felt like Italy and exuded warmth, even in the middle of winter.

When we returned to Italy after 2020, we had a very memorable meal at Enoteca L’Alchimista. It was a cool summer evening, we had a table on the main square of Montefalco, and it was blue hour magic. I vowed we would return and stay longer, especially since we love so many wineries in the area.

Montefalco feels like Italy. It’s slow. There’s a museum that features frescos from the masters that pre-date the Renaissance. They recently opened a wine museum to better explain what makes Sagrantino remarkable. There are lots of great restaurants and wine bars. It’s a lovely place to spend a few days and feel like you’ve gotten off the beaten path in Italy. If I had to choose where to spend a weekend in Umbria, it would be Montefalco.

Journey of Doing - Montefalco at Christmas
Our first trip to Montefalco was between Christmas and New Year’s and it captured our hearts.
Journey of Doing - Where to stay in Montefalco
Balmy evenings in Montefalco are my favorite!

Palazzo Bontadosi Hotel

After a lot of disappointment, we finally got our dates to line up for a stay at Palazzo Bontadosi! We spent 4 nights here, and it didn’t disappoint. This boutique hotel is located on Piazza del Comune in Montefalco. Our room (24) overlooked the main square, and I loved opening the window and listening to music and life. When they were closed, we couldn’t hear anything. (I love sleeping with the windows open in Italy. It’s one of the small things I love most about travel.)

Our superior room had so much natural light from windows on both sides. It had a desk that was large enough for both Tom and I to work. We were very impressed with the walk-in shower and the water pressure. It might be the strongest shower we’ve ever had in Italy, especially the hand shower. The bed was firm but comfortable (it felt like the tempur-pedic mattress). My only complaint is that the pillows were very flat, but that’s a minimal problem.

Our room rate included breakfast, but we didn’t take advantage of it. The hotel also has a nice bar where you can enjoy a drink at lunch or for apertivo. There is a solarium that has lounge chairs overlooking the countryside. It was lovely to relax out there on warm afternoons.

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montefalco
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Montefalco
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Bontadosi review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Bontadosi Montefalco review
Journey of Doing - Palazzo Bontadosi Montefalco review
Journey of Doing - best hotel in Montefalco
The view from our room was the perfect view of Montefalco!

Palazzo Bontadosi Spa

When we told Valentino from Bocale that we were staying at Palazzo Bontadosi, he encouraged us to take advantage of the spa. While it was 40€/person for an hour, it was definitely worth visiting. We really enjoyed the sauna, and it was VERY hot. There is also a small thalassotherapy pool located in the former cistern, and it’s magical. While we usually spend the bulk of our spa time in the sauna, we opted for the pool. It reminded me a lot of the spa at the Monastero di Cortona, though it’s quite a bit smaller.

Journey of Doing - Palazzo Bontadosi spa review
The spa at Palazzo Bontadosi is straight up magical!

Where to Stay for an Umbria Wine Resort Experience

You won’t find a lot of Umbrian wine exported to the United States. (One of our favorite wineries in Umbria is Bocale. Sometimes you can find it in the United States.) The most famous wine from Umbria is the Montefalco Sagrantino, a red wine that is aged similar to Brunello di Montalcino. Tom loves Sagrantino. We both love a white wine from Umbria, Trebbiano Spoletino, which we were introduced to at Borgo dei Conti. When I met up with my friend Elizabeth in Olympia, Washington, we went to her favorite wine bar. The wine of the day was from Roccafiore, and I enjoyed it so much. A few months later, we did a wine tasting at Roccafiore on a trip to Cortona. Shortly after that, I booked a stay at Roccafiore on one of our winter trips to Italy.

Journey of Doing - Umbria wine resort hotel review
Roccafiore is magical at sunset.

Roccafiore Wine Hotel

The Roccafiore wine resort is best accessed by car. The closest Umbrian hilltop town is Todi, which is lovely and offers a lively Italian experience. Roccafiore is an easy 10-15 minute drive from Todi and would not be walkable. Todi is a medieval town that isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to hills. (We loved it, but if you want to eat there, make dinner reservations in advance!)

I booked a deluxe room at Roccafiore because I wanted a bathtub. As always, the best way to get the room you want in Italy is to book the exact room you want.  (They have a full off-site apartment that we considered booking, but ultimately the bathtub won the debate for me.) The room was incredibly traditional with soft yellows, blues, and terracotta. While not quite as luxurious as other wine resorts we’ve stayed at, the rooms at Roccafiore are comfortable and the location is stunning. (I found the bed to be a little too firm for me, but Tom slept very well.) We had spectacular views of the sunsets.     

The bathroom was large, and the shower had great water pressure. (I had no issue with having enough hot water for baths as well!) I loved warming up with a good soak in the evenings. The bathroom amenities are hotel branded, and the room includes a hair dryer. Spa robes and slippers are provided in your room.  

Overall, the room had everything we needed for a good stay, and the hotel was happy to help with everything else we needed.

Journey of Doing - Roccafiore wine resort review
Journey of Doing - Roccafiore wine resort and hotel
Journey of Doing - Roccafiore wine resort and hotel
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Umbria for wine
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Umbria for wine

Roccafiore Spa

Like many Italian hotels, you will need to make reservations for the spa at Roccafiore.  Reservations are not exclusive to a single guest, but you still should make them in advance. It is located below the ground floor and offers an indoor pool, as well as a jacuzzi and sauna. The outdoor pool is surrounded by vineyards and would be so lovely in the summer!    

One of the things that is unique about the Roccafiore spa is that you have to use a swimcap! If you don’t have a swim cap (and we don’t), they will provide a plastic shower cap that you must use. They try really hard to keep the spa quiet, if not silent, for everyone’s enjoyment. It’s a great place to end your day, but maybe not recap it.

Journey of Doing - Roccafiore spa

Other Hotels in Umbria on My List

Just like my post on where to stay in Tuscany, I’m happy to share other hotels that I have researched and want to stay at in Umbria. Some of these are preferred partners with my travel agency and offer additional benefits upon booking with an agent. If you’re interested in getting a quote, please let me know!

  • Vocabolo Moscatelli Hotel – I know several people who have stayed here and rave about it. This is at the top of my list based on the food and beverage experiences.
  • I Borghi dell’Eremo – This reminds me of a cross between Castiglion del Bosco and Castel Giocondo, two hotels near Montalcino that we’ve loved. I’m obsessed with the upscale and luxurious finishes in the rooms in contrast to the beauty of the countryside. Love, love, love.
  • Castello Di Reschio – Located right on the border of Tuscany and Umbria, this seems closer to a stay at Villa Cordevigo or Borgo dei Conti. As a member of the Mr. and Mrs. Smith hotel collection, perhaps it will soon be bookable with Hyatt points??
  • Aethos Saragano – Another Mr. and Mrs. Smith hotel and one that got Tom’s attention because of its location among Sagrantino vineyards and because all suites offer a kitchen!
  • Rastrello – We almost stayed here on our most recent winter trip to Italy. It is a boutique hotel located in one the small hill towns of Umbria. It offers rustic luxury vibes and reminds me a bit of the vibe of Il Borro in Tuscany. It’s a member of Design Hotels, so it could be a great redemption for points or for earning additional Marriott points!
  • Borgobrufa Spa Resort – Located a short drive from Perugia, Borgobrufa is where I would stay if I wanted the benefits of a larger town while being able to retreat to a spa at the end of the day.
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Todi

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