HomeHotel ReviewsReview: Castello del Nero, Tuscany If you’re looking to leave behind the hectic stress of daily life, hop on the nearest plane to Tuscany for a weekend visit to the idyllic Castello del Nero, says Sophie Ritchie. A fairytale castle immersed in rolling Tuscan hills, it’s the perfect location for a luxurious break from reality. Upon arrival, wander past its artistically landscaped gardens and enter its lavish reception hall – where you’ll step straight into a land of luxurious relaxation, exploration and endless authentic feasting. Archaic History No ordinary hotel, Castello del Nero was first built back in the 13th century – although the castle has only opened its doors to the public as a hotel for the last ten years. 2016 marks its very first decade of lavishing guests with indulgent rooms, attentive service and sheer dining decadence – the very first 5 star luxury hotel to open in Tuscany, it’s now a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World. However, don’t be fooled by its archaic past – the castle mingles historical elegance and Tuscan charm with the very finest 21st century amenities and exquisite decor. Local Hotspots Nestled in the heart of Chianti and only 30 minutes from the nearby hotspots of Florence, Siena and San Gimignano, it’s ideally located for guests who wish to experience both the lavishness of the hotel whilst still enjoying the castle’s prime location to the surrounding treats of Tuscany. Guests can explore local historic towns, venture to nearby cities or even take advantage of Castello’s beautifully landscaped grounds and embark upon a morning or afternoon hike. Beautiful Boudoirs Castello del Nero boasts individually decorated rooms and suites that supreme views across the Tuscany terrain – think endless stretches of vineyard and sloping hilled terrain – yet it’s still small enough to feel both roomy and exclusive. And while the rooms are gorgeously sublime, with gigantic beds and bespoke decor, the food is nothing short of exquisite. Delicious Dining Not only elegant, Castello del Nero is a foodie’s paradise. Guests can enjoy divine meals at not only one, but two luxurious restaurants. Firstly, the Michelin star restaurant La Torre is ideal for a hedonistic dining experience. Executive Chef Giovanni Luca di Pirro conjures extraordinary meals that combine excellent ingredients with creativity and flavoursome decadence. Each dish incorporates fresh vegetables and herbs grown in the hotel’s very own vegetable garden – creating meals that incorporate local produce with Pirro’s culinary talent. The hotel uses traditional Tuscan approaches to make full use of the region’s sumptuous bounty – attracting gastronomes and wine buffs from around the world. As 2016 marks the hotel’s 10th anniversary, guests can enjoy special dishes in celebration of the exciting decade in business. As well as its gourmet restaurant, guests also have the option to dine at La Taverna, which serves Tuscan specialities inside the hotel during the winter or in a a spectacular outdoor setting during the warmer months. Gape at the glorious view around you whilst feasting on pasta, salads, meat dishes and more. Those looking to partake in simply more than just the consuming of Castello del Nero’s gorgeous dishes also have the chance to take part in the Executive Chef’s “All About Pasta” cooking class – where they can discover the secrets of Tuscan pasta making during a private masterclass (and then tuck into their finished masterpieces for lunch afterwards). Relax & Rejuvenate The hotel’s spa facilities provide guests with an afternoon of relaxing heaven. Soak in surroundings with a dip in the spa’s outdoor jacuzzi or take in the heat of the saunas. The largest ESPA facility in Italy, Castello’s spa incorporates the property’s very own extra virgin oil and lavender for its signature treatments – from soothing back massages to pampering facials. Wander in a dreamy haze back to the main property – and with the sloping Tuscan hills surrounding you for miles, it’s difficult not to feel like you’ve spent the day within your own fairytale. With its fusion of food, lavish rooms and authentic Tuscan traditions, Castello del Nero is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys the finer things in life. Prepare for a stay of excellence and indulgence – the only thing you’ll truly need throughout the visit is your appetite.