Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Italy

Set on a private estate that captures the beauty and unique splendour of Tuscany

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Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco
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Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Location

A 5,000 acre estate outside Siena, on the Via Francigena

Travel Information

Florence Airport - 1 hour and 30 mins (119 km)
Pisa Airport - 2 hours and 30 mins (180 km)
The hotel also has a private helipad

Top Tips

Visitors in late September can experience the magic of the grape harvest

5-Star X-Factors

One of the oldest and best preserved estates in Tuscany - the food, service and setting are all exceptional

Tuscan treasure

In your lifetime you will be hard pushed to stay in a place with such magnificent views. So, for that reason alone, Castiglion del Bosco is a must, and especially so for those who love the meandering magic of Tuscany. If you have never been, then start here. 

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, or CdB as we call it, is one of the largest private estates in Tuscany, restored toi 5-star perfection by the Ferragamo family. Nestled in the nature lover's paradise of the Val d'Orcia, within the coveted Brunello di Montalcino region, this area around the village of Montalcino produces some of the finest wines in Italy, and some say the world. Following huge investment, Castiglion del Bosco now produces some of the best Brunellos, with its 2010 Zodiac Reserva scoring a near perfect 99/100.

The estate is centred around 'il borgo', a hamlet with foundations dating back 800 years, imbuing the property with a fascinating history, in a uniquely splendid landscape.

The grounds of the estate have been designed with flair allowing the flowing roll of the seemingly endless beauty of the Val d'Orcian canvas to blend in. Within the estate you enjoy all that is traditionally Tuscan, in an elegant style, savouring authentic flavours in two restaurants, fine wine and a divine spa, all occupying ancient buildings and farmhouses that have been meticulously restored, while the essence of rural Tuscany remains ubiquitous.

Farmhouses are dotted throughout the estate, which have now been fully restored with all creature comforts added to create beautiful private villas for families or longer stays. A Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole golf course blends in between the rolling vineyards.

Local delights

What's more, the Castiglion del Bosco estate is surrounded by a plethora of fortified hill-top villages, many with fabulous restaurants. Montalcino, in view from the estate, has a famous family-run restaurant, Boccon Divino where, depending on the season, you can enjoy old-style cooking with the finest of local ingredients from the truffle of the Senese Crete to the porcini mushrooms from the Amiata. There are also a handful of much loved osterias where the classic Montalcinese meals are served up in courtyards buzzing with high-spirited verve.

Siena, and its wonderful duomo, is around a half hour drive from here. We enjoyed a delectable meal in a well known (to local foodies) back street restaurant off the Piazzo del Campo, Tre Cristi: an explosion of flavours with some of the most amazing seafood in the region.

Further afield are the picture-perfect medieval towns of San Gimignano and Monteriggioni, with much of their original architectural layouts in tact. The settlements offer breathtaking views while the drive to all these places is just gorgeous.

Needless to say, the sensational dining experiences can be walked or cycled off, or you could even do it on horseback. The activities list at CdB has something on offer for everyone, while there is even a small 'school' with a teacher, along with an outdoor play area that looks smarter and more inviting than most at home.

Staying in

The borgo, or small hamlet, is perched on one of the estate's tallest hills and feels very much like an authentic little village. The suites in the main house are definitely some of the most exceptional I have ever seen, with awe-inspiring vistas, and all are decorated and furnished in exquisitely refined detail. It is in these 5-star suites that you feel the richness of the region's history, that you savour the delights of the surrounding countryside from the classic shuttered windows, and feel blessed to be here.

The terrace suites on the other side of the borgo have a charming rural aspect and come with private terraces complete with sun loungers and al fresco dining furniture. They benefit from separate sitting rooms with large luxurious bathrooms; however, they don't have the same allure for me as the suites in the main house. Having said this, some people prefer the terrace suites as they feel more private and enjoy the large outside spaces. There is a choice here, including some wonderfully atmospheric suites in the old stable block.

At the spa, I bought my favourite perfume of all time, KO Version 090, not to mention a pastel pink and beige Frette gown. It is a dreamy, cream and honey-toned spa, with the heady scent of lavender and essential oils filling the rooms and chill-out areas. If you do little else, have one treatment here and if, like me, you have a young one in tow, then leave her with your husband or take advantage of the fabulous 'school'.

Pitch perfect

Our favourite meal was a spontaneous lunch on the terrace off the main kitchen in the borgo's Osteria La Canonica, looking out across the mesmerising view. In dappled shade, we literally devoured the most outstandingly prepared sea bass, all but smothered in freshly picked and succulent porcini.

This dish came to me as a surprise following a brief chat with the chef who instinctively understood the desires of my palate. It was washed down with the estate's second best Brunello di Montalcino, Campo del Drago 2004. Wow. The local herbs and vegetables are grown in the splendid orto organic garden, which was designed by the Vatican's landscapers. It doesn't get a lot better than that.

There is also a cookery school above the restaurant, complete with wood-fired brick oven, gorgeous chef, copper pans, hanging herbs, a terracotta floor and wooden tables for tastings. Oh, and while you are cooking, you are surrounded by the views.

Glorious grape

CdB is one of the largest producers of Brunello di Montalcino. This private winery houses the 'barricaia', an oenological sanctuary where the barrels of fine wine are aged in French oak. It is a truly magnificent vaulted haven, with an atmosphere of genuine serenity, created in part by the inspired effect of the up-lighting from the brick pillars. The wines are impressive, especially the silky top cuvées, Campo del Drago and Zodiac and can be tasted on-site or selected from the menus in the more formal Ristoranto Il Drago or the Osteria La Canonica.

There is almost an overwhelming amount to experience here and perhaps it is worthwhile planning your objectives ahead of arrival. On the other hand, this is a fantastic place to simply unwind and enjoy the heated stone infinity pool looking across woods, lakes and Montalcino village. Dine your heart out, sleep in superb king-size beds followed by in-room breakfast, indulge your body in the spa and simply just be.

We would highly recommend a stay here, with or without children, for at least three nights, or longer in one of the beautiful villas. Alternatively, you could combine a stay here with one of our Tuscan villas or hotels near Florence. Wherever you stay before or after CdB, this Tuscan treasure will get your mojo back.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant


Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer