In the land of lakes and vineyards in northern Italy’s Lombardy region, the rural retreat of L’Albereta is only an hour’s drive from Milan, and half an hour from Brescia and Bergamo, yet feels a world away from any urban life.
The 19th century villa sits in the vine-clad hills outside Franciacorta, which is the gateway to Lake Iseo, far lesser-known than neighbouring Maggiore, Como or Garda, but considered to be Italy’s ‘hidden treasure’.
Spot the helipad at this supremely indulgent hideaway, and you’ll have a clue to the type of guest it attracts.
Just 38 rooms are all individually designed, some featuring fireplaces or four-poster beds, almost all with beautiful views across the park and vineyards, reaching even as far as Lake Iseo.
The focus at L’Albereta is firmly on nature, wellness and relaxation, with one of only two spas in Italy bearing the Henri Chenot name, calorie-controlled menu options, and a huge park in which to roam.
Fear not if you’re there simply to indulge, however, as Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi, so-called father of modern Italian cuisine, has run the restaurant since 1993.
The award-winning Espace Vitalité Henri Chenot has a team of 30 therapists, dieticians, doctors and beauticians, and is itself the reason for many guests being at L’Albereta. So much more than a spa, it offers medical analysis before preparation of a tailored programme of exercise, diet and pampering.
Combined with a stay in Milan, L’Albereta would complete an ideal exploration of northern Italy’s city and countryside and would be a delightful way to unwind and rejuvenate at the start or the end of a holiday.
- Location:Lombardy, 1h45mins drive to Malpensa Airport
- Accommodation:38 Rooms and 19 Suites
- Facilities:Restaurants, Espace Vitalité Henri Chenot SPA, swimming-pool with 4 types of hydro-massage, counter-current swimming, hydro bikes, sauna and Turkish bath, Kneipp bath, gym, tennis court, wifi, exhibition rooms, kids’ club (Maty’s)
- Activities:Guided tours of wineries, tasting courses, cookery courses, horse riding, sailing, windsurfing, paragliding, mountain biking
- Weather:Mild winters and warm and humid summers. July and August are the hottest months while October and November see the most rain.
- Children:Welcome. Children aged 3 and over can attend the Kids’ Club alone. Children below the age of 3 must be accompanied by a parent.