- Style Rustic-luxe former farm
- Setting Sheep-lined cypress hill
La Bandita hotel in the rural Tuscan countryside is proof that is possible ditch-the-day-job and follow your wildest dreams. Owned by the former manager of Christina Aguilera, John Voigtman, bought this hillside farm, his labour of love, and built a guesthouse remote enough for even the most high-strung to relax and feel a touch spoilt by the extensive wine cellar and John’s excellent vinyl collection.
Need to know
- Rooms Eight, including one suite.
- Rates Double rooms from $280.35 (€205), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast and soft drinks.
- Facilities Hammam, Shiatsu massage, fully fitted kitchen, library, DVD/CD selection, vast vinyl collection (the owner was a music manager). In rooms: free WiFi, Busatti textiles, organic toiletries. The suite has an iPod dock and flatscreen TV.
- Poolside You can enjoy sweeping views of the inimitable Tuscan countryside (and its sheep) from the infinity pool or while luxuriating in the heated Jacuzzi that sits alongside.
- Check–out Midday, but flexible, subject to availability.
Children Cots and high chairs are free, and babysitting can be arranged for €25–€30 an hour.
- Hotel closed 5 November to mid March.
- Eco‐friendly La Bandita is located in the Lucciola Bella Nature Reserve and is involved with its conservation activities. Almost all products used by the hotel are organic (including bathroom amenities) and locally sourced.
- Also Small pets are welcome at no extra charge. All rooms are non-smoking.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms No prizes for guessing what the Pig Sty Suite used to be – although now its name couldn’t be further from the reality. Opposite the main house, it offers more privacy, and an ingenious sliding wall can turn the open-plan room into a family-friendly two-bedroom suite. In the main building, the two smaller rooms offer soul-stirring sunset views, while the larger ones have sunken baths if you can’t muster the energy to stumble into the oversized shower.
- Packing tips Even the most cack-handed artists will be well served with a sketchbook and a box of watercolours: La Bandita’s hill overlooks rolling Tuscan farmland that’s just made to be framed. Bringing a camera would feel like cheating.
- Also You can hop on one of La Bandita’s mountain bikes if you feel like exploring the Maremma region – and take one of the loaner hand-held GPS devices with you to ensure you find your way back.
Food and drink at La Bandita
- Hotel restaurant Dining here is a communal experience – meals are served sociably around one table. Chef David Mangan whips up tempting Tuscan dishes, including a to-die-for pea and Gorgonzola risotto. Private dinners can be arranged by appointment; La Bandita has a full kitchen so you can also implement your own culinary grand designs.
- Dress code Forget Armani and Versace; this part of Italy is a land of floaty kaftans and Havaianas.
- Top table By night, sit by the pool under a spotless sky of stars, and get to know your fellow guests; for breakfast, perch on the hilltop and watch the local shepherd bring in his flock.
- Last orders A private meal can be prepared for you by the chef at any time, by arrangement.
- Room service John, the owner, can arrange grocery deliveries; and other requests can usually be met if he's given sufficient notice.
- Hotel bar There's a fully stocked honesty bar on offer, and John has an extensive wine cellar ripe for the plunder.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details