When I was asked in July this year if I might have time to go and visit the newly-opened, highly anticipated Castello di Reschio in Umbria, I didn’t have to think twice. With just a few weeks’ notice, we eagerly made plans to get to Italy (making it signicantly easier considering that we were coming from the Netherlands where we were welcome as tourists unlike the current enforced 5-day quarantine in Italy for all arrivals from the UK.
Built in 1050, the conversion of the 11th century castle into a family-run hotel was a lifelong dream of the Bolza family (although there have been people living on this site for nearly 3,000 years). Once home to the Etruscans, the construction of the current Castello began in 1999 by Conte Benedikt, who took over the property from his father who had bought it in a dilapidated state in 1984. Having trained as an architect, he begun his 3-year project of restoring the castle attracting the skills of some of the finest craftsmen in the world. Expect heavenly interiors, seamless design and a courtyard to beat all courtyards.
Scattered far and wide amongst the olive groves, vineyards and extensive Mediterranean oak and chestnut woods are 50 farmhouses, of which half have been restored, creating exquisite private homes. Within the castle walls there are just 36 rooms and suites, with rooms looking out over the estate’s 3,750 acres. All the rooms provide a piccolo pantry filled to the brim with complimentary soft drinks (replenished daily), a bottle of homemade gin and chocolate and almond cake. An unbelievable amount of thought and effort has been put into converting the original 1,000-year old castle and somehow, living in the lap of luxury, you very much feel at home. They’ve done a remarkable job and there’s nothing they haven’t thought of. From the perfectly lit make-up station with accompanying GHD hair straighteners to the gorgeous Ortigia products (that are refills to avoid plastic consumption), we could have stayed here for months.
The 900-year-old Tower Suite is not quite how it used to be. Now fully renovated with two bedrooms and two living areas spread over 5 floors, it’s perfect for two couples sharing or a family (not advisable for young kids). There’s an elevator with hatches on each floor for speedy room service and a decadent rooftop made complete by a bathtub with a view.
The estate also boasts an equestrian centre, home to some of Europe’s finest pure-bred Andalusians. Watch dressage performances, go out on a hack or have lessons with expert instructors. The reschio stables breed and train some of the finest purebred Spanish horses in the world. Whether you’re after a lesson in their indoor or outdoor menage or would prefer to hack out to explore the glorious estate, this is THE place for horse lovers, home to nearly forty of these beautiful animals.
Go truffle hunting, porcupine spotting, clay pigeon shooting or pasta making to name a few. There’s even an on-site Tabaccaia where they make furniture and host art exhibitions from the likes of Nic Fiddian Green. There are tennis courts, bicycles and bee keeping and an insane outdoor pool to bathe and sun yourself at leisure.
Ristorante Al Castello has jaw-dropping views from its terrace. This is where breakfast is served and incredible delicate dishes are presented in the evenings. Ristorante Alle Scuderie and the poolside Il Torrino are the more relaxed options. The Palm Court Bar is the place to be for evening cocktail hour. Expect impromptu jazz or an opportunity to meet the family who drop in to meet their guests.
And the spa is just incredible. The former ice cellar is now a heat cave with Finnish sauna with ice cold aloe to whip up that circulation and steam with cold mists to cool you down. But nowhere else in the world can you swim in a three storey medieval tower reimagined as a plunge pool.
Nearby there’s Assisi, Cortona and Perugia to explore or head west to Siena to see where the annual Palio takes place.
Contact us today to make your travel plans to this most special hotel!