Whether you’re seeking a gourmet getaway or a country retreat with room to roam, a villa in Tuscany makes the ultimate family escape. We checked in with travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith for the lowdown on three dreamy villa-style Italian boutique hotels, all offering kid-friendly activities and adult indulgences.
Borgo Santo Pietro
Style Classic-luxe Tuscan villa
Setting Enchanting gardens
A warm welcome is guaranteed at family-run Borgo Santo Pietro, a 13th-century retreat set in lavish gardens. Juniors will jump at the chance to explore the countryside; you’ll swoon over the sensual spa diversions and fabulous food and wine.
Sleeping Antique-filled rooms feature hand-carved beds, fireplaces and blissful views. The Garden Suites are popular with families – each sleeps a family of four, has a private garden and two can be interconnected. Extra beds (€90) and cots (free) can also be added to suites.
Activities There’s a playground and trampoline tucked away in the grounds, and you can all hop on Borgo’s mountain bikes to explore the river and forested land surrounding the hotel. The free-form freshwater infinity pool is better for tranquil floating than dive-bombing, but little ones are allowed to paddle, dip and swim under your supervision.
Feasting Children are welcome in the restaurant, and families with small children are thoughtfully placed where they won’t feel uncomfortable about messy table manners – high chairs are provided. There’s a kids’ menu, and chefs are happy to whip up your tiny gastronomes’ favourites (providing they have the ingredients), including baby food made with fresh vegetables and fruit from Borgo’s gardens. Fresh organic cow’s milk is provided for baby’s bottles, too.
On the house Receive a free massage each in the sumptuous day spa.
Conti di San Bonifacio Wine Resort
Style Restyled rustic farmhouse
Setting Tumbling Tuscan Hills
What are we doing recommending a wine resort to families, we hear you say? Well, at Conti di San Bonifacio Wine Resort while the adults are guzzling the good stuff, kids are kept occupied with biking and beach trips… Smiles all round! If you’re travelling with a troop, book out all five rooms of this sun-kissed Tuscan farmhouse.
Sleeping We love Room 1 for one simple reason – it’s huge. Three of the walls have windows, there’s a gigantic four-poster bed delicately draped in muslin and a huge bath in the vast bathroom. For families, Rooms 4 and 5 interconnect – and they open straight out onto the garden, perfect for tear-away toddlers. Extra beds are €50 a night and cots are €30.
Activities Budding MasterChefs can learn how to make authentic Tuscan fare in a cookery class. Active types might prefer to burn off some energy with a countryside ride on a bike (you can hire them from the hotel) or horseback. Castiglione della Pescaia beach is around half an hour from the villa, and staff can arrange fishing trips, sailing lessons and diving.
Feasting The candlelit restaurant dishes up Italian classics such as osso buco and ricotta and spinach tortellini, which will please all but the fussiest palates. For picky eaters, there’s a crowd-pleasing children’s menu.
On the house Enjoy a bottle of estate-grown wine and a platter of cured meats on arrival.
Style Rustic deluxe
Setting Green groves of Chianti
Answer Chianti’s sirens’ call and you’ll be rewarded with renowned red wines, rustic cuisine and bucolic vineyard scenes. At Villa Bordoni, you’ll also get a lovingly restored boutique abode with a cool country vibe, alfresco dining and rooms filled with hi-tech extras.
Sleeping The pitch-perfect Family Suite has two bedrooms upstairs and a large ground-floor living area. Extra beds and cots can be added to suites and junior suites (€45 a night for an extra bed, including breakfast).
Activities There are hill-walking trails, mountain bikes and horseriding for action-craving kids; cookery lessons and wine-tasting for their pleasure-seeking parents. Set in terraced olive groves, the saltwater pool is a hit in summer.
Feasting Batar restaurant is the jewel in Bordoni’s crown, with excellent trad Italian fare – little ones don’t miss out on the gastronomic gold, thanks to a dedicated kids’ menu.
On the house Pop the cork on your complimentary bottle of Prosecco.
For more boutique hotels in Italy or to book a child-friendly Smith stay, visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so book through Smith to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at more than 900 hotels and holiday houses around the world.