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Badia di Coltibuono, Gaiole in Chianti

Badia a Coltibuono

Arriving at Badia a Coltibuono is like stepping back in time. Housed in the ancient monastery buildings and attached to a small church, the property really is something special. It is situated on a beautiful stretch of countryside surrounded by wooded hillsides and olive groves, and the ancient flagstone courtyard is just as it would have looked to countless pilgrims seeking hospitality at the monastery. However, there's now a small swimming pool tucked away behind the main gardens, which is open in the summer months. Inside the former refectory is a beautifully frescoed drawing room, while descending underground, you’ll find the monastery’s ancient wine cellars.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

Leading off the main corridor where the monks’ cells were once situated, all the rooms at Badia a Coltibuono are simply, but comfortably, furnished. The majority of the Double rooms offer lovely views over the hotel’s extensive gardens, while the larger Superior rooms have views of the Tuscan countryside. Like the rest of the property, nothing here is overly modern. There is no air-conditioning in the rooms and the bathrooms are clean and functional, decorated with pretty tiles. Each room contains individual pieces of vintage furniture and, every day, staff place an antique decanter of fresh water from the spring in the rooms.

Location

Badia a Coltibuono is surrounded by private woodland, olive groves, and vineyards. The nearest village is 6 km (3.7 miles) away, Siena is only around 40 minutes away by car, and Florence is just over an hour away. The nearby town of Radda offers a number of delightful restaurants to explore, while the property itself offers wine tasting and cooking classes.

Food and drink

At Badia a Coltibuono, just about everything served on the property is either sourced directly from the estate or from the surrounding countryside. The wonderful homemade breakfasts are served in a vaulted dining room and there is an excellent restaurant set in what was originally the stable block with a lovely shaded terrace. The menu revolves around traditional and seasonal Tuscan dishes.

Facilities and activities

The large, rustic kitchen is a wonderful location in which to get to grips with the highlights of Tuscan cuisine on one of the excellent cooking classes. Guests can also enjoy tours of the ancient wine cellars or taste current vintages. Outside, the property boasts a small swimming pool – perfect for cooling off in the heat of the day.

Our opinion

Badia a Coltibuono is a historic retreat surrounded by idyllic Tuscan countryside. While very comfortable, it’s an ancient building and does lack some modern conveniences, but we feel this helps to maintain its exceptional charm.

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