Hotel Highlights

  • Beautifully kept gardens
  • Very personal service from its charismatic owners
  • Italian home from home

Overview

Starck and Jacobson accents have found a home in the soft rolling hills and serene olive groves near Siena and Florence at the Fontelunga Hotel and Villas In rooms, vintage Italiana blends flawlessly with modern details for the ideal mix of style and comfort. In the restaurant, rich and traditional cuisine pairs perfectly with beautiful gardens in full summer splendour.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Fontelunga Hotel and Villas with us:

Drinks for two and a bottle of Fontelunga's olive oil

Facilities

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Fontelunga Hotel & Villa - Tuscany - Italy

Need To Know

Rooms

Eight rooms, and a junior suite in a separate cottage. Three self-catering villas in the area can be booked through the hotel.

Check–out

11am, but may be flexible, depending upon availability; earliest check-in, 3pm. Reception closes at 8pm, so let the hotel know if you’re arriving later.

Rates

Double rooms from $200.88 (€145), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include Continental buffet breakfast.

Also

Be schooled in <i>la cucina povera</i> (peasant cooking) with a cookery class at the villa. Learn how to make traditional treats including stuffed tomatoes, pasta al ragu, beef in truffle sauce and so on; then toast your new found skills at the celebratory dinner that follows. A session costs €120 a head (for groups of one to four) or €100 each (groups of four to eight). Remember to book your session at least a day in advance.

At the hotel

Gardens, tennis courts, mountain bikes to borrow, library of books, DVDs and CDS, free WiFi in all rooms and communal areas. In rooms: iPod dock, CD player, bottled water. Every room has double-aspect views and the junior suite has a TV and DVD player too.

Our favourite rooms

Fontelunga’s bedrooms are simple and classic, with white walls, terracotta tiled-floors and oversized damasked headboards. The Oro room (a Superior) has wonderful views of the secret garden. Flashed with silver tones, the Junior Suite, Diamante, is in its own separate cottage with a private terrace that looks out across the Val di Chiana.

Poolside

There’s a sun-warmed saltwater outdoor pool amid the olive groves overlooking the valley and the nearby town of Cortona.

Packing tips

Also

A minimum stay of two nights is usually required. Well-behaved little dogs are welcome.

Children

Children are welcome – there's a cot and high chair and babysitting is available upon request.

Eco‐friendly

The owners avoid the use of pesticides, deciding to grow organic produce, including its own olive oil.

Weddings

This property is suitable for weddings

More details

Food & Drink

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Fontelunga Hotel & Villa - Tuscany - Italy

Hotel Restaurant

The guests-only dining room serves up Continental breakfast, and light lunches and dinners can be prepared if you book them at breakfast. Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, owners Paolo and Phillip host a four-course dinner party, including prosecco with fried vegetables and crostini, a bottle of wine per couple and bottled water. The kitchen is closed on Saturdays.

Hotel Bar

There is a 24-hour honesty bar and the staff have a nifty way with a cocktail shaker. You can also sit in the dining area with a tipple or two.

Room service

Not available. If the villa is rented, a concierge service and grocery shop is included in the rates.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Country-appropriate casual, with a flamboyant frisson.

Top table

Ask to eat outside in the gardens, and catch the sun setting, resplendent, over the Tuscan countryside. The twice-weekly dinner party is served at a communal table – outside, if the weather permits (and it usually does).

Local Guide

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Fontelunga Hotel & Villa - Tuscany - Italy
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

In the pretty hilltop town of Cortona, Pane e Vino on Piazza Signorelli serves hearty local dishes and has an extensive wine list (+39 05 7563 1010; closed on Mondays). Head to Il Teatro round the corner on Via Maffei for pasta and rich meaty sauces (+39 05 7563 0556; closed Wednesdays). In nearby Marciano, book a table upstairs under the painted ceiling at Hosteria la Vecchia Rota which serves excellent pizzas (+39 05 7584 5362). Antico Osteria l’Agania on Via Mazzini in Arezzo is another trad Tuscan joint that dishes up delicious home-made pasta (+39 05 7529 5381; closed Mondays). Try the tagliatelle, and creamy polenta with the classic regional sauces. Il Goccino in Lucignano is a restaurant and brick-vaulted wine bar with a cosy roof terrace (+39 05 7583 6707). A little further afield, Pizzeria di Nonno Mede on Via Camporegio in Siena has great pizzas and super views of the black and white Duomo (+39 05 7724 7966).

+ Enlarge
Glamorous gardens

Fontelunga Hotel and Villas

5 Via Cunicchio, Pozzo della Chiana Arezzo, Tuscany, 52045

Planes

The two closest airports are Perugia and Florence, both roughly an hour’s drive away, but Pisa, Bologna and Rome Ciampino are only two hours.

Trains

The nearest train station, Monte San Savino, is 10km away and offers a direct link to Arezzo. For information on trains in Italy, see Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.com).

Automobiles

Villa Fontelunga is half an hour from Arezzo. From the A1, take the Val di Chiana exit, and then turn right after the toll gate signposted Foiano. Without entering Foiano, keep following the signs to Arezzo until you see the left-hand turning to Pozzo. You should already be able to see the blue shutters of the villa on the hill up ahead of you, and will be able to park in the shade of the pine trees. Several important sights on the Tuscan tourist trail are nearby; Montepulciano, Pienza and Siena are all between 45 minutes and an hour away.

Reviews

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Fontelunga Hotel & Villa - Tuscany - Italy

Anonymous review

by Chris Cox , Mind meddler

Swaying there in the olive groves, the Tuscan sun is beating down on us. A juicy, just-picked fig is melting in my mouth. It’s not your average Friday afternoon. Mrs Smith puts her hands in mine and we consider how long we could get away with staying at Villa Fontelunga before work notes our absence…

We’ve been beaming non-stop since we arrived. Our first sight...

Read more

Fontelunga Hotel and Villas

Anonymous review by Chris Cox, Mind meddler

Swaying there in the olive groves, the Tuscan sun is beating down on us. A juicy, just-picked fig is melting in my mouth. It’s not your average Friday afternoon. Mrs Smith puts her hands in mine and we consider how long we could get away with staying at Villa Fontelunga before work notes our absence…

We’ve been beaming non-stop since we arrived. Our first sight of this bright sienna-coloured padronale near Cortona inspired our highest-watt smiles, and a smidgen of smugness. Traditional ivy-festooned blue-shuttered villa on the outside, modern interior design magazine on the inside, this boutique B&B makes houses on those flashy property TV shows seem positively dull. Greeted as though we’re old friends of the owners Simon, Philip and Paolo, we soon have a welcoming glass of local red wine in our hands.

Philip whisked us on a personal tour of the property; Fontelunga unfolded as somewhere wonderfully elegant and undeniably Italian. Between massive terracotta plant pots on the gravelled courtyard are old-fashioned tables and chairs. From here, there are views across a faultlessly landscaped garden to valleys that an artist could make thousands from.

A hidden nook is full of Tuscan elements combined with an exclusive LA rooftop feel. If there’s a spot better suited to lounging in the shade, I’d like to know of it. OK, perhaps where I then saw a swing for two… Further snooping reveals a tennis court, and now there’s fresh-fig-eating. A quick game of hiding behind olive trees later (it’s never not funny to jump out and shout ‘Boo!’ at Mrs Smith), we seek out our suite. After grabbing another fruit from the tree and a glass of Chianti from the honesty bar.

A converted dovecote houses our junior suite, and glass bricks transform nest holes into windows that throw magical shapes into our cosy double-sinked, deep-tubbed blue and white bathroom. White-washed walls and farmhousey flooring frame charming lived-in touches from one-time film-set designer Philip. Above the bed hang tiny glass orbs, lighting up the room as they catch the sun. Our bed peers through French doors onto our private terrace, steps from the pool, hills beyond. Taking advantage of free WiFi, we hop onto Spotify and load up some suitable music (think II Trovatore or the Intermezzo Cavalleria Rusticana. Not ringing any bells? Try imagining a slickly shot ad for olive oil or pasta sauce).

Newly revived, we’re back in the main villa following the lead of the cute resident Scottie dogs. This involves flopping on the comfy Barber Osgerby sofa, in an exposed-brickwork sitting room, where design flourishes and coffee-table books remind us we’re in Tuscany. (Meanwhile Mrs Smith sniffs out a few trashy mags hidden in the corner, perfect for poolside reading.)

Soon enough, Philip appears and asks our desires for dinner; quick as a flash he’s made reservations at Osteria del Teatro, a favourite of Anthony Hopkins. We jump in the car and head over the hills to Cortona, just one of the staggeringly beautiful mediaeval town an olive stone’s spit away. Duck breast and courgette-flower gnocchi devoured in a 16th-century dining room, we return home, close our shutters and lower the shades…

Morning arrives and sightseeing calls. We’re barely an hour from Florence and Siena, and even closer to Arezzo, so after a quick dip in the pool, some fruit and fresh pastries and another cup of world-class coffee on our terrace, we head to this most Italian of towns. Arezzo is where Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful was shot. ‘It is beautiful, pigeons fly, women fall from the sky – I’m moving here,’ says its hero Guido. If only we could too. (Although, disappointingly, it doesn’t actually rain Mrs Smiths. Not on the day we visit, anyway.)

After a day pretending to be movie stars – eating gelati, attempting the world’s hammiest Italian accents – it’s wonderful to retreat to rustic Villa Fontelunga. On Tuesday and Friday nights they host a four-course supper, and tonight it’s just us and some Australians. As Mrs Smith can attest, I get bored with stuffy hotel restaurants and this communal set-up is the ideal antidote. Less maître d’, more Come Dine With Me. Minus the badly made meals and ridiculing voiceover, obviously. We drink and make merry, adding our new friends on Facebook (gotta love that WiFi), eating humble, home-cooked food prepared with fresh ingredients.

Post-prosecco and canapés (oh, those zucchini fries!), we settle onto a long table in the open-plan kitchen for a parade of delights. Ravioli, local pork and veg, then a rich chocolate torte. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a dinner party this much – Mrs Smith and I almost forget that this is a hotel. Never has the cliché ‘home from home’ been a more accurate description – it’s like staying with distant relatives. Savvy ones armed with every secret on where to eat to parking your car without paying.

Too quickly our Tuscan adventure is over, and Mrs Smith’s suitcase is closed for the final time. Or maybe not? A final insider tip from our NBFs is that en route to the airport there are fashion outlets for Prada, Gucci, D&G and Armani. The only time I’ve seen Mrs Smith happier than when she finds a skull-patterned Alexander McQueen scarf at 70 per cent off was when she first set eyes on Villa Fontelunga.

Case crammed with designer steals, we head home, fantasising about being back in that king-size bed overlooking olive groves and Val di Chiana vineyards. Jolting me from that daydream is the harsh beep of an airport metal detector. I delve into my pockets to find the keys to our suite. Now really, wouldn’t it be rude not to return them in person?

The Guestbook

Reviews of Fontelunga Hotel and Villas from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on 28 Apr 2013

We loved

It's very peaceful and the property is very tastefully decorated. Service was very nice: just enough so you still got your space.

Don’t expect

The food at the villa was just average.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 11 Sep 2012

We loved

The relaxing environment and the location with easy access to all the hill towns. We'd have happily relaxed by the pool for the entire visit but a few cloudy and cool days sent us out on the tourist trail to the hill towns, which we are glad we didn't miss. They are lovely.

Don’t expect

Would probably suggest they don't charge for CD and DVD rental from the library, other hotels don't. We didn't want to but the fact they charged seemed odd.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 9 Sep 2012 No

We loved

We loved the personal service; the pre-arrival email, the welcome drink, the suggested day trips and great restaurant recommendations. The location is a great base for touring the local area to visit vineyards and picturesque hilltop villages but also just as good for lazy days around the pool. Oh and the food - amazing pasta and more cooked by their local chef - we had lunch and two dinners at the villa and the food was superb every time. The hosted dinner party was a great evening and we all applauded the chef when she came out to say goodnight.

Don’t expect

I've been thinking about this one for ages and I honestly can't think of a single thing.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on 21 Jun 2012


Our stay at Fontelunga was one of the highlights of our five-week trip through Italy and Greece. It is a truly special place where you are made to feel welcome as soon as you walk through the gate. The property itself is beautiful and the hosts and all of the staff are absolutely wonderful. Meals at Fontelunga are fabulous – all made with fresh local produce, and the Tuscan wines are of course excellent. Hire a car so you can see lots of places like Lucignano, Cortona and Montepulciano. All very beautiful. Staff at Fontelunga can make reservations for local restaurants for you. We tried Il Goccino and La Lodola – both were excellent. We only stayed three nights but wished it could have been longer. A week would have been great and we hope to return. We can't sing Fontelunga's praises loud enough. We would have no hesitation in recommending it to everyone.

Rating: 8/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on 6 Jun 2012


Phillip and Paulo are truly wonderful hosts who put loving care and attention into every detail of your stay. Our room had wonderful views of the gardens and Tuscany beyond. We chose to have dinner at the Villa on both nights and enjoyed delicious gourmet meals. Of course I had to have second helpings so I could share them with the sweet puppies, Charlie, Lola and Lucy. Fontelunga is such a delightful place, I can't say enough about how much I loved just being there. It was so refreshing to be hosted in a way that was wonderfully luxurious yet not uncomfortably overdone. We caught ourselves feeling as though we were with old friends, which from what I can see most guests to this wonderful location quickly become. Can’t wait to return.

 

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 8 May 2012


A wonderful hotel, with exceptional hosts, plus Lola, Lucy Liu and Charlie. The room was lovely, with a large bathroom and fantastic views, and I very much enjoyed the dinner parties that Paolo and Philip held for guests. The hotel is situated in a beautiful part of the world and I can't wait to return.

Rating: 8/10 stars