Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany | Michelle – Beach Front Taste

Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany | Michelle – Beach Front Taste

If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in a 10th century castle, perched on a hilltop in Tuscany with incredible views of the countryside that seem to go on forever, Castello di Casole will fulfill all of those dreams.  And as the place we chose to celebrate our recent anniversary, it was everything we hoped for.

Even before your arrival, staying at Castello di Casole is just a completely cool experience.  As you drive along the curving road through the Tuscan countryside surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, you catch your first glimpse of the property, high up on a hill, before the next turn hides the view again. At the turn off you head up and up a steep cypress tree lined lane before reaching the front of the hotel. As you arrive a valet swiftly opens your door, takes your keys and directs you to check in.

Check in was quick and included the added bonus of an upgrade from the Junior Suite we booked to one of the hotel’s Exclusive Suites.  Awesome!  Having stayed at several other Belmond properties before, the service is always impeccable and they go out of their way to make sure your stay is perfect. So whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, or just getting a first chance to stay at one of their incredible properties around the world, it is always such an amazing welcome!

We were offered glasses of Prosecco to welcome us, and then taken on a tour of the property before going to our room.  One of the first stops was the heated infinity pool, set on the edge of the property with never ending views of hills and vineyards and distant hilltop towns. We stayed in early October and the weather was starting to turn a bit cooler but we still had a perfectly clear sunny day where we were able to spend an afternoon at the pool, swimming and sipping glasses of wine until the sun went down.

Castello di Casole is spread across 4,200 acres, including a vineyard and an olive grove.  The hotel itself has 39 rooms and suites, each restored using original materials found on the ancient estate, such as wood-beamed ceilings and terracotta floors, two things that instantly make me think of Tuscan style.  Our particular room, one of the Exclusive Suites, was spacious and luxurious, and included a living area that was divided from the bedroom area, both with views out to the countryside, and a large bathroom with a view to the central courtyard.  But the coolest part of our suite was that it included the castle’s tower from 998, accessed by a stone stairway heading up from the bedroom.  The tower included another bed plus a huge window with a stunning view of the countryside.

The hotel’s main restaurant is Tosca, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served.  Dining takes place either inside the restaurant or outside on the beautiful terrace during the summer and when the weather is nice.  We had dinner in the restaurant the first night. The dinner was delicious and featured Tuscan specialties such as tagliolini with truffles and tagliatelle with wild boar ragu.  Room service is also an option, which we took advantage of the next evening.  And the hotel’s bar, Bar Visconti, can’t be missed for drinks at sunset.  Aperitivo is a ritual in Italy, and Bar Visconti is the perfect spot to experience it.  There’s nothing quite like sipping a cold glass of Prosecco and snacking on small dishes of olives, nuts and potato chips while piano music plays in the background with views of the Tuscan countryside to really make you feel like you are in Italy.

Although you could spend hours just relaxing in your room, at the pool, or on the terrace, the hotel also offers countless activities from wine tasting to biking to cooking classes.  One of the most unique and cool activities you won’t find at just any hotel is truffle hunting.  The package we booked included a truffle hunt followed by a lunch with your findings, which we arranged for the morning after our arrival.  We met the hunter and his dog in front of the hotel at 10 am and headed off into the woods of the estate.  Within seconds the dog started digging and finding truffles.  She was so cute and so eager to keep hunting!  Over the next hour she found a large handful of truffles, and we also learned way more about truffles than I had ever known before.  The four course lunch following was absolutely incredible, featuring the truffles we found in 3 of the 4 courses and paired with a delicious Italian red wine.  For anyone staying at this hotel, I would highly recommend this activity and the lunch following. 

While Castello di Casole is the type of place you can check in to and never want to leave during your entire stay, if you are up for a little exploring, it’s perfectly situated for day trips to some of the surrounding smaller and larger towns including Castellina in Chianti and Siena.  We headed off to Castellina in Chianti to walk around and shop one day.  Also, after checking out, we went to Siena to explore and have lunch at Taverna di San Giuseppe.  This amazing Italian restaurant is set in a very cool stone and brick building with an Etruscan wine cellar you can go down in after your meal.  The concierge at Castello di Casole recommended the taverna for our last lunch and it was by far one of the highlights of our entire trip to Tuscany in terms of the ambiance and the food.

Having had the chance to visit Tuscany several times, I can say, without a doubt, Castello di Casole is my favorite place I’ve ever stayed, and I hope to stay there again in the future.  If you are looking for the quintessential Tuscan experience, this is the perfect place for you.

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