The collection of buildings which now house the Castel Monastero Retreat & Spa was home to a monastery in the 11th century and its current incarnation as a hotel only dates from 2009.
The estate – a walled medieval hamlet atop a hill – previously belonged to a local winemaker, and before him, over a period of 900 years, to the aristocratic Chigi family.
Sitting in Chianti countryside half an hour from Siena, and 90km from Florence, Castel Monastero is surrounded by vineyards and rolling Tuscan hills.
74 rooms are set around an impressive central piazza, or in the separate three-bedroom Villa Lavanda. Most have sweeping countryside views or overlook the central square, with its tables for al fresco dining.
Castel Monastero’s gourmet restaurant Contrada serves modern Tuscan cuisine and is overseen by British chef Gordon Ramsay. La Cantina is located in the impressive vaulted wine cellar and is an informal and atmospheric place for lunch or supper, with huge refectory tables lit by candles.
Castel Monastero is renowned as a wellness retreat, thanks to its peaceful rural location and its seriously good spa, featuring a sauna, hammam and two indoor pools, in addition to the three outdoor pools at the hotel.
Despite being known for its food, the Castel Monastero is also ironically a mecca for guests looking to lose weight, thanks to its exclusive collaboration with ayurvedic medicine man and naturopath to the stars; Dr Mosaraf Ali.
To immerse yourself in all things Tuscan while at Castel Monastero, book up a cookery class, wine tour or truffle hunting trip. Tennis, cycling and horse riding are also on offer.
Castel Monastero Retreat & Spa Information
- Location: Tuscany, about 80 min from Florence Airport.
- Accommodation: 74 Rooms and Suites.
- Facilities: Wellness & Spa, 2 Restaurants with a menu by Gordon Ramsay himself, Gym, Swimming Pool.
- Activities: Cooking Courses, Guided Tours, Truffle Hunting (Autumn only).
- Weather: The climate in Tuscany is generally very mild. The warmest months are July and August, while June and September offer both nice warm weather. The coolest months are December and January.
- Children: Welcome.