L’Andana – Tuscany, Italy
Hotel Type: A refined five star boutique hotel split over two main buildings ‘La Villa’ and ‘La Casa’. Perfect for both family adventures and romantic escapes.
Located: Set in 500 hectares of rolling Tuscan countryside dotted with olive groves and vineyards, yet just a short cycle to Mediterranean sea and the clear water and clean beaches of the ancient town of Castiglione della Pescaia. Based in Southern Tuscany, it is located about 1.45 hours from Rome and Pisa airports.
Style: Italian glamour – chic and discrete
Rooms: 47 elegant rooms & suites with far reaching views. There are 33 rooms & suites in the main house, ‘La Villa’ whereas ‘La Casa’ is more family focused with 14 rooms & suites that come with their own small kitchen.
Ideal for: Fresh air and indulging yourself in everything Italian
Swimming: There are two outdoor swimming pools and one indoor swimming pool at the spa.
Dining: Dine at La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini for a Michelin star fine dining experience. Here the cuisine is based on the principles of authenticity, simplicity and seasonality, according to the great taste and mastery of the Chef Enrico Bartolini. For a less formal affair head to restaurant La Villa where the food is still taken seriously but in a cosy intimate setting.
Activities: Here is a place for relaxation as well as experiences. Go biking, have a picnic, try horse riding, head to the beach, go wine tasting (the estate has its own vineyard), take a cookery class, relax with some yoga, play golf, head on an excursion, join one of the sporting academies, or just head to the spa for some pampering.
Children – There’s everything here for a perfect holiday for tutta la famiglia
Spa: The spa here is large. There are 4 treatment rooms, a fitness room, steam room, sauna, Turkish bath, indoor pool, outdoor pool and vitality pool. The Spa uses ESPA products that are 100% natural and are not tested on animals.
Price From: €357 per room per night B&B
In the exotically named Maremma, on the southern Tuscan coast, amongst olive groves, vineyards and fields full of sunflowers turning their heads, L’Andana sits temptingly, surveying it all. The Tyrrhenian Sea sparkles close by, and the surrounding hills are scattered with ancient villages. Reached by a mile long drive, flanked by cypress trees and pines, this magnificent Tuscan villa was once home to the Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany. Now, family owned, the house and estate have been transformed into an exclusive boutique resort, with a Medici style flair. Welcoming staff make you feel at home with that inimitable Italian way, as you quickly slip into holiday mode. All around you everything is immaculately landscaped – lawns and gardens, shady terraces, olive groves and even the 360 degree views of the 500 hectare estate and surrounding hills and coast. Exceptional modern Mediterranean food and wine produced from the vineyards facing you, are just a couple of reasons why the cognoscenti come to L’Andana. This is sophisticated Italian living that you can very easily get used to.
The ochres, tans and dusty pink hues of the surrounding countryside are all reflected in the décor of the rooms and suites. Each one has a large stone fireplace and is furnished in a gloriously grand baroque style. In the main villa, the Superior Rooms are the size of a small suite, with marble bathrooms and views out over the Maremma. The even more spacious Deluxe Rooms are filled with antique furniture and the bathrooms are romantic. For families, or couples who’d like more space, the Deluxe Rooms with Mezzanine work brilliantly. The Junior Suites are the size of a small apartment, with a large dressing room and bathroom and offer all the glamour of Italian villa living. We love the calm elegance of the Superior Suite, with its spacious dressing room and marble bathroom. And we could easily book into the Prestige Suite for months on end. Its fabulous views over the Maremma, in-room marble bath and sophisticated décor, create a romantic vibe. Separate to the Villa, is La Casa – a low Tuscan farmhouse style building where all the accommodation comes with a small kitchen and terrace or balcony. The Terrace Deluxe rooms can interconnect with each other for families and each has its own balcony. Just think of sunny breakfasts looking towards the sea. The Family Mezzanine suites are very spacious, with a good-sized kitchen area and private garden. The two bedroom and bathroom Family Suite is the most luxurious retreat. With a large terrace, plenty of space and a whirlpool bath – we can think of nowhere better as a retreat for parents and children.
When you think of Italy, the cuisine is most definitely one of the very first things that comes to mind. And it’s definitely one of the reasons to come to L’Andana. The Michelin starred Trattoria Enrico Bartolini (one of Italy’s top chefs who set it up and now oversees it) is magic to the palate, taking fresh local produce and creating exceptional dishes. Much of the food is cooked over embers, giving it a deep smoky quality – the tasting menu is a must, as is the signature risotto. This is all accompanied by an extensive wine list, much of which is produced from their own vineyard that runs alongside the restaurant. You’ll find more delicious and traditional dishes at La Villa, with its informal and relaxed and looking out over the pool. And this is where you breakfast, starting the day with a mouthwatering choice of freshly baked pastries, local meats and cheeses. Much of the produce is grown on the estate itself, whilst everything else is locally sourced.
Your bambini will be in heaven at L’Andana. Large gardens, a kids’ club (complimentary from the age of three with a range of activities) and play area, large swimming pools and long sandy beaches only a bike ride away, it’s a perfect place for playing in the Tuscan sun. Babysitting can also be arranged.
There’s so much to enjoy and discover in this quieter part of Tuscany. The coastline is full of long, yellow sandy beaches and little coves, with warm and gentle water, and the Maremma nature reserve, with its unspoilt beauty and terrain is host to an abundance of wildlife. Cycling and horse riding are some of the more fun ways to explore, and day trips across to Elba can be organised. Spend a morning in the fortress town of Castiglione della Pescaia or one of the little hill towns dotted around. Or stay firmly at L’Andana, where there is more than enough to keep you occupied. The thermal Spa will easily take up a morning (or two), and there’s yoga and pilates too. There are tennis courts, a small golf course, fitness centre and three pools for the more energetic, and you can cycle to the beach (or take the free shuttle if you’d rather). Not to be missed is a wine tasting and master class, and most definitely a cookery lesson for the whole family or just to hone your own skills. Foraging and truffle hunting will only help work up an appetite.
Location – La Maremma
This lesser known part of Tuscany extends down the coast from the Metallifere Hills in the north to Lazio in the south. Once populated by the Etruscans, then by the Romans after they’d discovered the thermal waters, it’s now where the Italian cognoscenti visit. Vines and sunflowers fill the pastures and the lower slopes of the hills, and maritime pines line the coast, protecting the long sandy beaches. Spend a day at the seaside town of Castiglione della Pescaia, watched over by a medieval fortress, or explore the WWF wildlife reserve at Ortobello or the nature reserve just up the coast at Monte Argentario. At Saturnia you’ll find terraced thermal waters for bathing, and for hilltop magnificence, head for Pitigliano.