- Style Aristocrat’s peaceful palace
- Setting Narrow Norcian streets
Umbria's unique character shines through in every touch at Palazzo Seneca hotel, a 16th-century stone retreat whose masculine-leaning décor includes antique wood furnishings and deep leather armchairs. This sophisticated boutique hotel – with its overstated four-poster beds and towering drawing room fireplace – is elevated by a striking (and truffle-boasting) restaurant, library and spa.
Need to know
- Rooms 24, including one suite.
- Rates Double rooms from $181.44 (€132), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast and entrance to the spa.
- Facilities Spa, courtyard garden, free WiFi throughout and a library including DVDs. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, minibar and free bottled water. Guests can take adavanatge of a free shuttle service to the sports centre, which has a fitness room, pools and tennis, basketbal and volleyball courts).
- Poolside No pool, but the spa has Turkish baths, a sauna and a hydro-massage bath big enough for six. Guests can use the indoor and outdoor pool at the Bianconi sports centre nearby.
- Check–out 11am; check-in, 2pm.
Children Little Smiths are welcome, with cots provided free for babies, extra beds for older children, and babysitting with a local nanny for €15 an hour (book a week in advance). The restaurant offers a child-friendly menu.
- Also Petite pets can come along too.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Those who like to primp and preen will love Room 107 for its enormous dressing area. This superior room has a wrought iron bed with an elegant brown leather sofa at its foot, though fans of the power shower should note the bathroom only has a bath. The Junior Suites are particularly grand and spacious, and are ideal for families, since they interconnect. Both have a gargantuan four-poster intricately carved from dark wood, and ornate ceilings, cornices and oak panelling. Water babies will love Room 210, which has an indoor wet room (the whole ceiling rains on you), and a private terrace with sun loungers.
- Packing tips Some cycling attire for discovering Norcia’s beauty by bike; understated Massimo Dutti threads so you can relax in style; glamorous swimwear for the spa.
- Also The hotel can arrange cookery classes, wine tastings and horse riding nearby.
Food and drink at Palazzo Seneca
- Hotel restaurant Vespasia is an elegant and airy crème-caramel complexioned space, with white-linen-dressed tables, white walls, leather armchairs (straight-backed for men, curvy for the ladies) and fresh, flavour-packed cuisine. Treats such as tagliolini with fresh black Norcian truffle, and split rib-eye with pecorino cheese and breaded seasonal vegetables showcase the lush local produce.
- Dress code Relaxed European finery: a silky shirt or clinging wrap dress. Spruce up more casual threads with a Hermès scarf, tied in an insouciant knot.
- Top table Sit by a window so you can admire the garden, or if the weather is clement, sit outside in the courtyard.
- Last orders Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 10.30am, lunch from 12.30pm and 2.30pm, and dinner between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.
- Room service The 24-hour room service includes drinks, snacks and light meals, and items from the restaurant menu.
- Hotel bar No bar as such, but guests can request drinks, and sup them in the library, or ensconced in one of the drawing room’s chocolate-brown armchairs, by the crackling fire.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details