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Hotel Highlights

  • Affordable chic
  • Relaxed welcoming atmosphere
  • Great for families

Overview

Best appreciated with a glass of local bubbly in hand, La Villa hotel is is a restored 17th-century property surrounded by the rolling Monferrato vineyards of Piedmont. Set amid spectacular scenery and some of Italy’s top restaurants, this country hideaway blends historic details with contemporary essentials.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking La Villa with us:

A bottle of prosecco in your room

Facilities

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La Villa Hotel - Piedmont - Italy

Need To Know

Rooms

12: five suites, seven doubles.

Check–out

11am; if guests want to stay by the pool, changing facilities are available.

Rates

Double rooms from $210.24 (€158), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

You could perfect your pasta-making skills at chef Charlie Mozley's (formerly of Bocca Di Lupo) cookery classes. He'll teach you how to get your fusili pasta springy and your farfalloni bow ties trim, followed by sublime sauce pairings. Of course, one cannot live on pasta alone, so his charcuterie and pizza-making lessons will bulk up your gourmet repertoire. Wine-tasting and wine-appreciation classes are held in the cellar, which holds more than 200 vintages, and if you want to have a go at snaffling gastronomy's most-prized ingredient, take part in a truffle hunt in the local woods.

At the hotel

Air-conditioning, minibar, Internet; flatscreen TVs and DVD/CD player on request.

Our favourite rooms

The Granary Junior Suite is vast, with original terracotta floors, arched ceilings, a four poster bed and a bath overlooking the vineyards. If you’re a sucker for a vista, the Terrace Suite and the peaceful Moroccan room share a fabulous private patio. The view from the claw-footed bath in the Romeo and Juliet room is also lovely.

Poolside

Outdoor pool (no diving: adults' feet can always touch the bottom).

Packing tips

It’s not what you take, rather the space you should leave in your luggage to cart some of the wines, cheeses, truffles, mushrooms, amaretti and other delicacies awaiting you in this the region. No need to take a hairdryer either as they provide them.

Also

Small, well-behaved dogs are allowed, one at a time. Smoking is allowed outside.

Children

Over-12s welcome. There’s a games room with satellite TV. Two of the suites sport large sofa beds, suitable for families of up to four; there’s a charge of €20 a night for additional guests.

Food & Drink

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La Villa Hotel - Piedmont - Italy

Hotel Restaurant

La Vie serves local produce and great Piemontese wines. Chef Charley Mozley has fine tuned his Italian cuisine at Fifteen and Bocca Di Lupo; for La Vie he's crafted an elegant and imaginative menu, which includes bruschetta with poached egg and wild mushrooms with a gorgonzola fondue, and pan-fried fillet of sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke purée. Make your dish extra decadent with white-truffle shavings – sourced in the woods nearby.

Hotel Bar

This little enclave is the hub of the hotel. In winter, they light a wood fire; in summer, it opens onto the courtyard. Guests can drink as late as they like on an honesty-bar basis.

Room service

Light snacks for late-arriving guests, but otherwise no room service.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Completamente casuale; unless you’re off to a Michelin-starred eatery, when you might want to plump for Prada.

Local Guide

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La Villa Hotel - Piedmont - Italy
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

You can giddily whizz down vine-strewn hills on a bike (reception have loaners you can borrow) or sedately trot through the glorious Piedmontese countryside on horseback. If you don't want to roam far from the hotel, tennis courts and a golf course can be found nearby. 

Local restaurants

The hotel is proud of the fact that it has the largest concentration of gourmet chefs in Italy within a 30km radius. If you just fancy a quick bite, Mistral in Bazzana (+39 0141 702967) is ideal for a steak and chips or a simple pasta. Alla Locanda in Mombaruzzo is a local trattoria with a sweet courtyard; closed Mondays. If you want a formal Piedmont experience, Bardon del Belbo in San Marzano Oliveto (+39 0141 831340) will regale you with a set menu, and let you choose from their dazzling wine list. In summer, earmark a table on the terrace; closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. Family-run San Marco in Canelli (+39 0141 823544) has a Michelin star, and it’s elegant but friendly; closed Tuesday evenings and Wednesdays. La Gallina at the Monterotondo di Gavi (+39 0143 685 132) is hard to beat for style and service; book a table out on the terrace, loosen your waistband and go the whole four-course hog. If you’re smart you’ll do it the tasting way when it comes to the acclaimed local white wines.

+ Enlarge
Monferrato vineyards

La Villa

7 Via Torino, Casalotto, Piedmont, 14046

Planes

The closest airport is Genoa, just an hour away. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flies in from other destinations in Italy and London Stansted. The airports in Turin and Milan are other options within ninety minutes of the hotel.

Trains

The nearest train station is Nizza Monferrato, roughly a 10-minutes drive from the hotel; for train times see Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.com), or ask at the hotel - they can help with times and connections.

Automobiles

Alessandria Sud, Asti and Acqui Terme are within a half hour car journey from the hotel. Turin and Genoa are less than 90 minutes away. Nearby motorways are the A21 (Torino to Piacenza) and the A26 (Genova to Gravellona). Parking is provided.

Reviews

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La Villa Hotel - Piedmont - Italy

Anonymous review

by Juliet Kinsman , On-the-go editor at Mr & Mrs Smith

All our concentration was required not miss the turning to La Villa, off a winding country lane in the heart of Piedmont. One impressive right-angled swerve into the foliage-framed driveway and there it was: a handsome butter-coloured boutique hotel with sage-green shutters came into view. We’d barely made a crunch on the gravel when one half of the English couple behind this …
Read more

La Villa

Anonymous review by Juliet Kinsman, On-the-go editor

All our concentration was required not miss the turning to La Villa, off a winding country lane in the heart of Piedmont. One impressive right-angled swerve into the foliage-framed driveway and there it was: a handsome butter-coloured boutique hotel with sage-green shutters came into view. We’d barely made a crunch on the gravel when one half of the English couple behind this converted palazzo spotted us across the garden and cheerily indicated that a glass of prosecco awaited us inside. What, no queuing at reception? No bellboy to tip? This is what we call arriving.

The hotel – originally 17th-century – has undergone some impressive anti-ageing procedures. You can’t tell it is such an oldie, and I intend this as a salute to its English owners, who have given the three-storey building a fantastic new lease of life as a country hideaway. That said, it is far from bereft of classic charm: the vaulted ceilings have been preserved, the flooring is original, and the render is perfectly sympathetic, but neutral colours and unfussy, comfortable furnishings give it a modern-day freshness. We’d missed out on doing the serious Mr & Mrs Smith thing, since the two honeymoon-worthy suites were booked, but our ground-floor boudoir was charming, with its soothing simplicity, handful of antiques and slick travertine wet room.

As I was sniffing the White Company bathroom products, I was alerted to the fact that sunset was upon us by Mr Smith wielding his camera. His manly non-verbal communication skills lured me away from the handmade olive-oil soap and out onto the terrace, to make the most of this gorgeous dusky time of day. A tip for the vain: don’t turn down a snapshot at twilight. Forget Vaseline on the lens, or having to fool around in Photoshop when you get home – this flattering half-light is like cracking open a tin of insto-airbrush, so there’s no better hour to agree to pose for some holiday snaps.

As darkness fell outside, we picked up our welcome drinks from the bar in the living-room area, and wandered up to the pool. Our feet dipped in the water, a chilled glass of the local fizz in our hands, we savoured every second. It’s moments like these you yearn for again – anything for just a quick trip in a Tardis – when you’re back in front of your computer at work. ‘I’ve always been a fan of wine with holes in it,’ remarks Mr Smith, swirling his aperitif like the cat that got the cream. I was too busy snaffling another crumbly amaretto biscuit to dignify his quip with a smile.

The pool is of the intimate kind, rather than some monumental infinity affair. Having the spot all to ourselves, looking out across that countryside, was heavenly. And it wasn’t simply a case of the bubbles in the local fizz enhancing our view of undulating hills and terracotta-roofed farmhouses. As we headed back to the house for supper, we were already looking forward to soaking up the Piedmont tableau in the morning sun.

The following morning, the bright Italian sunshine roused us wonderfully early – we had big plans for the day and were grateful for the wake-up call. The husband and wife who run La Villa were on hand at breakfast on the terrace to offer suggestions of where to go sightseeing, where they could book us a table for supper, and to give us a hand with directions. After greedily sampling enough conserves, cheeses and cold meats to rival a tasting tour of Borough Market, washed down with impeccable cappuccino, we set off for a fix of culture and consumerism.

If typing in ‘Asti’ into your brain’s Google brings up images of hen-night shenanigans, then it’s time to update your mental search engine. As well as being the producer of the famous spumante, it’s a charming town, and refreshingly untouristy. We strolled its cobbled streets through the bustling food market, our grazing broken up by a whirl around some pretty churches. Duly impressed by the craftsmanship of Italian designers of centuries past, we were also quite keen to check out some more contemporary creations at the Serravalle Designer Outlet, an hour’s drive back in the direction of Milan. With Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace up to 70 per cent cheaper than in the shops, by the time we were ready for our dinner, this Mrs Smith was struggling under the weight of enough bags to rival even the most dedicated WAG.

From one indulgence to another: our next pilgrimage was in honour of the grape. La Gallina restaurant in the stylish Monterotondo di Gavi resort made a rewarding destination. The cossetting cluster of L’Ostelliere hotel, its eatery and Villa Sparina farm were created by the original champion of this vintage, so we resigned ourselves to the duty of having to sample as many variations of the fine white wine as possible. Mr Smith pointed out that our first glugs out in the open-air bar, overlooking endless vines, amid a fragrant herb garden, must have represented one of the finest tipple/terrain combos going.

Out on the terrace of La Gallina, a parade of culinary treats occupied the rest of our evening, along with a little eavesdropping – irresistible among such interesting-looking glamorous guests. But it was hard to make use of our ears when our mouths were getting so much attention – we ate mouthwatering salads, risotto, lamb cutlets and fresh fruit. Piedmont is a destination to please refined sensualists, with its epicurean delights, shopping fit for a footballer’s wife, sightseeing to sate the keenest amateur art historian... We experienced more in one day, by exploring in each direction from La Villa, than some holidaymakers do in a fortnight. So much so that we were quite prepared to spend the next day – and, quite possibly, the one after that – snoozing by the pool.

The Guestbook

Reviews of La Villa 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

We loved

I loved the beautiful setting, lovely decoration and ambiance, and the wonderful and kind hosts.

Don’t expect

If I'm going to be picky, then the mini fridge wasn't cold enough. Everything else was perfect!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the very friendly and helpful management and staff, excellent accommodation, lovely restaurant with a very personal service and beautifully renovated building.

Don’t expect

A little more shelter from the wind around the pool would be a good idea.

Rating: 10/10 stars