Castelfalfi Tuscany Hotel Review

Hotel Review: Castelfalfi

Written by Kimberley Lovato
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BeSeeingYou At: Castelfalfi

Location: Tuscany, Italy

Number of rooms and suites: 146 rooms and suites, plus 5 villas

Date of Stay: October 2023

Hotel Website

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Castelfalfi Tuscany

Castelfalfi sits amidst the gold and green hills of Tuscany

Why book Castelfalfi?

Located between Florence, Pisa, and Siena in one of Italy’s most visited regions, the borgo (village) of Castelfalfi has deep Etruscan roots that sink into centuries. Today, the village-turned-resort rises from a hilltop overlooking 2,700 incredible acres of rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves, cypress trees, lakes, and farmhouses.

With its ancient castle and perched location, the borgo s now part of the resort, though you will still find a few independent shops and privately-owned apartments, a church, and plenty of scenic overlooks, and public pools for locals to enjoy. Castelfalfi also has a beefy brochure of spring, summer, fall and winter activities, from wine tasting, truffle hunting and olive picking to archery, fishing an adventure park for kids, cooking classes. In fact, Castelfalfi brags that you could stay a week and never do the same thing twice. The challenge and invitation will be happily accepted!

Wellness lovers will adore the new spa, opened in October 2023, a one-of-a-kind European wellness outpost with indoor/outdoor infinity pool, as well as traditional Thai rituals and contemporary treatments performed by highly-trained therapists. Fancy a round of golf? The 27-hole Castelfalfi course is the largest in the region and one of the most challenging in Italy.

Under new ownership since 2021, Castelfalfi has undergone a multi-million pound, head-to-toe refresh. Guests who’ve been here before will return to find it ready for the future with a more sophisticated and contemporary look yet one that’s still in touch with its Etruscan roots and rustic warmth.

Castelfalfi recently become a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts prestigious Legend Collection and is a member of the Virtuoso luxury travel network.

But even though no sophisticated details was spared in the recent renovation, the atmosphere is still welcoming and relaxed, as if arriving at a fabulous friend’s Tuscan country home.

Who’s staying?

I met couples traveling off season and families with newborns and teens in tow. The kids’s club is housed inside the borgo’s old school adjacent to the main hotel building, and I can see parents looking for a break taking advantage of this amenity. I also sat in the steam room with a group of girlfriends who’d come to eat, drink and pamper themselves.

Given Castelfalfi’s central location, it makes a great launch pad for travellers who want to explore local villages and bigger cities by day then return to the peace and quiet of the borgo each night. If you love golf, or you’ve been promising yourself you’ll learn, you won’t find a better course in Tuscany.

Castelfalfi Golf Coures

The 27-hole Castelfalfi Golf Club is the largest in the region and one of the most challenging courses in Italy

Does Castelfalfi have a past?

Where do we begin?! Castelfalfi is an ancient Etruscan settlement that was built in the early Middle Ages by the Lombard Faolfi,  which gave birth to the name Castrum Faolfi and eventually Castelfalfi. The borgo has changed hands several times since, and was once owned by the Medicis in the 15th century, who renovated the castle and its adjacent villa, which was used as a hunting lodge.

With almost a thousand years of history behind it, Castelfalfi slowly declined. After WWII it was all but abandoned as people left for jobs in the cities. Tui Group bought the vacant village in 2007, transforming it into a vacation destination. Acquired in the summer of 2021 by the Lohia family, Castelfalfi has been revived and is on the path to a magnificent future, worthy of its long and noble history.

Rooms & Suites

During last year’s renovation, all of Castelfalfi’s rooms were upgraded and refreshed, and four new Castelfalfi Signature Suites were added in two categories: Castelfalfi Grand Suites and Castelfalfi Suites. These spacious and well-appointed accommodations offer guests an unforgettable experience with an unparalleled level of elegance and design. Featuring king size beds, pull out sofas, dining areas and panoramic views from private patios and gardens, these suites can also be combined into a private floor for a family or group.

There is also a bar to enjoy a further moment of dolce vita with custom ready-to-drink Castelfalfi cocktails. As an additional suite-guest amenity, a private mixologist is available to whip up and serve classic aperitivos.

Castelfalfi has a selection of villas and traditional farmhouses scattered around the property that have been completely restored and can be configured for friends and families wanting a little more privacy away from the main hotel building. The villas (2 to 8 bedrooms) are surrounded by cypresses and rolling hill scenery. Each custom designed villa also has a private pool and enjoys access to all the 5-star services of Castelfalfi.

Tip: Across the road from the hotel is La Tabaccaia, one of the estate’s magnificent historical buildings that now houses 31 smaller though no-less comfortable and stylish guest rooms. They don’t have views but they are a little less expensive and still give guests access to Castelfalfi’s superb restaurants, spa, and experiences.

Castelfalfi Hotel Review

All of Castelfalfi’s rooms blend contemporary good looks with Tuscan warmth

Spill the tea: how’s the food and drink?

The magical sun-kissed Tuscan landscape provides ample agricultural inspiration for fresh ingredients to grow and transform into the palate pleasing dishes that come out of Castelfalfi’s kitchen. The main restaurant, Olivina, has a selection of meat, fish, hand-made pasta, and specials, such as the divine ossobucco served the night I arrived.

A two-minute walk from the main building is the casual and family-friendly  Il Rosmario, where you should definitely try one of their melt-in-your-mouth steaks or a wood-fired pizza. Arrange a short five-minute drive down to the Country Clubhouse at the golf course for a casual lunch on the terrace overlooking the links, or stick closer to the main lobby and the casually elegant Bar Ecrù where you can have lunch or dinner indoors or on the terrace, also a perfect place for a pre-dinner gathering or a night cap too. Poolside, Giglio Blu serves snacks and light lunches while you tan.

If you’re looking for a place for a wedding, birthday party or special occasion celebration, the dramatic backdrop of the village castle, La Rocca is reserved for private dining and events only.

Castelfalfi produces its own wine, honey and olive oil. In celebration of the estate reopening, Fonterinaldo is the property’s latest white wine.

Neighbourhood news

A car is advisable if you’d like to explore surrounding cities, villages and wineries. Castelfalfi itself is a village but the majority of it has been folded into the hotel. Still, a stroll down the picturesque main street reveals a couple independently owned shops and even a wine bar. There are also walking and biking paths leading straight from the borgo, and the golf course is just a five minute drive (the hotel will happily take you there). You can also play a game of tennis or paddle tennis.

For day trips, you can’t be better situated. Pisa airport: (40 minutes) Florence airport  (60 minutes) San Gimignano  (30 minutes)  Tuscan coast (60 minutes) Siena (70 minutes) Lucca (75 minutes).

Will I get bored if I don’t have a car at Castelfalfi?

Not a chance! There are so many activities and experiences at Castelfalfi you could stay for seven days and never do the same thing twice. From truffle hunting, wine tasting and cooking classes to an adventure park for (kids and adults), e-bike rentals, and the region’s largest golf course, your daily agenda can be as full as you wish. Of course, lounging by the pool and reading all day is perfectly fine, too.

Did the service meet your expectations? 

Ciao! Buongiorno! Buona sera! The friendly daily greetings were the soundtrack of our two-night stay at Castelfalfi. Staff couldn’t be any nicer or more attentive to our face-to-face needs. Our bags were instantly plucked from the car and whisked to our room where a chilled bottle of Prosecco waited alongside some fresh biscuits.

There were a few small hiccups, though nothing that would keep me from returning again. Our room wasn’t cleaned during our two night visit, which would have been nice if only to remove the empty Prosecco bottle, glasses and plates that remained on the table. And the closet light stayed on day and night. We reported the issue to a staff member but no one came by during to have a look so, we just closed the door at night.

I must tip my hat to Alessandro at the winery. His tour and enthusiasm for Castelfalfi wine was contagious. We loved every sip as well as his witty charm and passion for his work. We brought home a few bottles to remember the moment.

Castelfalfi Tuscany Hotel Review

Castelfalfi’s brand new spa has an indoor/outdoor pool with views for days

Is there a spa?

Is there ever! Castelfalfi’s brand new spa is one-of-a-kind, and we’re not just saying that. Thanks to an exclusive collaboration with RAKxa Wellness Spa, La Spa is the first European outpost for the renowned world-class integrative wellness retreat and the spa menu includes three RAKxa Wellness Spa treatments: RAKxa Good Night Sleep, RAKxa Tension Release and Seven Chakra Hot Stone massage. You’ll also find two saunas, a steam room, a relaxation area, and an exceptional indoor/outdoor heated infinity pool with far-reaching Tuscan views.

Sustainability scene?

Castelfalfi did a decent job of trying to eliminate plastic by placing glass bottles in rooms and using refillable bottles for shampoo, soap, and hair conditioner. By the indoor pool, plastic bottles are set out for guests to grab, which is understandable yet too bad. All of the olive groves and vineyards on the estate are tended to using organic farming principles, and Castelfalfi’s Golf Academy has been GEO certified as a result of its sustainable systems.

Extra! Extra!

Castelfalfi has the only working olive oil mill in the region and locals are encouraged to come press their olives during harvest (October) and as needed. I highly recommend a visit (and taste).

Castelfalfi Hotel Review

The ancient borgo of Castelfalfi is now a walkable part of the resort

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Reviewed by Kimberley Lovato

Want to arrange a hotel review? Contact editor@beseeingyou.world

 

Editor’s note: Kimberley stayed as a guest of Castelfalfi in order to review it for BeSeeingYou. All opinions are her own.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Castelfalfi

Kimberley Lovato
Kimberley Lovato writes about food, lifestyle, hotels, and adventure from California, but loves to hit the road in search of a good story. Her bylines have appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, AARP, Virtuoso: The Magazine, Robb Report, HemispheresShondaland, Ciao BambinoCN Traveler and many other print and online publications. A lifelong Francophile, Kimberley spent several months a year sipping champagne and exploring  "l’Hexagone from her pied-a-terre on the Cote d'Azur. She’s also the author of a culinary travel book about the Dordogne region of France, which received a Gold Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers.  When she’s not booking plane tickets or practicing French verb conjugation, she’s writing children’s books, sailing, hiking, cooking, and forever contemplating why it’s so hard to keep her basil plant alive. www.kimberleylovato.com Instagram: @KimberleyLovato

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