Upscale spa retreat in the Tuscan countryside

Castello di Velona, Italy

Castle suite

A five-star suite stay at a luxurious boutique castle hotel on a Tuscan hillside, including breakfast, spa access and perks

Castello di Velona is a luxury hotel set in a restored 10th-century castle in the hills of Tuscany. Here in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia region, history has been given a high-end makeover, with the resulting accommodation as gorgeous inside as it is charming outside.

While the former military fortress stylishly celebrates its extensive past, a full renovation means its now houses modern facilities including a Tuscan restaurant and an all-pampering 1,500 square-metre spa centre. The project also saw the discovery of volcanic mineral hot springs, which you can enjoy in person with a dip in one of the two outdoor or two indoor pools. Small wonder it picked up a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 award.

The boutique hotel also boasts a 32-hectare winery, meaning a glass of something local over a dinner of delicious Tuscan cuisine is all but obligatory. Be sure to also drink in the delicious views – the region’s surrounding vineyards and olive groves are breathtaking.

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