Tenuta La Badiola, Localita Badiola, Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy
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L’Andana occupies a particularly auspicious parcel of land near western Tuscany’s Tyrrhenian coast — Tenuta La Badiola was once the summer residence of the Grand Duke Leopold II, and today is as picturesque a collection of vineyards and sun-drenched foothills as one is likely to find anywhere in Italy. Despite this well-bred heritage, the estate’s aristocratic connection is traded on rather lightly, trumped by an association with a more current name, that of its owner, the French star chef Alain Ducasse.
A seasoned hotel chef and auberge operator, Ducasse once vowed to stay out of Italy, only to be tempted by the sheer magic of this location, a few miles inland from the seaside town of Castiglione della Pescaia. Here you’re remote enough to hide out for a while, if that’s your style, yet equally well placed to see the sights, near enough to places like Siena and Lucca and the scenic Maremma coast to make for easy day-tripping.
It’s not only about convenience, of course: this is the storybook Tuscan landscape, where the sun hangs low over the foothills, casting its golden light over rows of grapevines and olive trees. And it’s apparent upon arrival that you’re on to something special — the half-mile driveway, lined with cypresses and umbrella pines, makes for a stunning first impression.
The hotel itself amply delivers on this promise, with its rooms and suites spread across the duke’s old villa and the connected farmhouse. Interiors by the Italian editor of Architectural Digest, Ettore Mochetti, are sophisticated, eschewing faux-rustic country clichés in favor of a more urbane and opulent look. After all, the mock unpretentiousness of the first-class country inn is no less a carefully considered pose than any other, and there’s something refreshingly honest these days about a rural luxury hotel that dares to look luxurious.
Gone, then, are the crumbling, unpainted surfaces and the slightly mis-matched antique furnishings you might expect to see in a more typical farmhouse hotel. These pieces, though designed in an antique style, are custom-built and as new as the morning paper, set against a backdrop of sponge-painted pastel walls and shining new hardwood floors. Sofas are impossibly decadent and even the chaise in the bathroom (that’s right) is comfortable enough to sleep on, should the urge to nap take you by surprise on your way to or from the oversized bath.
As for the atmosphere, it’s a slightly odd blend of professional hospitality and guest-house intimacy, with breakfast ordered in the kitchen, right over the cook’s shoulder, and served in the drawing rooms or out on the patio. For dinner it’s over to the restaurant, a hundred-yard walk across the grounds to the old granary building, where a simple Tuscan cuisine is delivered with flourishes of Ducassian wit, accompanied by wines from L’Andana co-owner Vittorio Moretti’s vineyards. Ingredients are fresh and unmediated, as is the current vogue, many, like the olive oil, produced on the grounds.
The old estate boasts some thousand-plus acres to explore at your leisure, and closer to home is the pool, where it’s not uncommon to find your fellow guests passing entire afternoons soaking in the sunshine. There’s an under-used outdoor squash court and a new nine-hole golf course. Despite the estate’s aristocratic heritage, the sporting life, it seems, is less popular an attraction than the epicurean charms and quiet restfulness of the place. And if, as is likely, you’d like to take a bit of the dining experience home with you, the hotel’s kitchen offers courses in Italian cooking, training would-be Ducasses on the finer points of Tuscany’s culinary traditions.
Please note: L'Andana is open seasonally April through October. 2 Night minimum required for most rooms on weekends in July and August.
How to get there:
L'Andana is approximately a 2 1/4 hour drive from Rome Fiumicino- Leonardo Da Vinci Airport and 1 1/2 hour drive from Pisa International Galileo Galilei Airport. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an airport transfer.
- Complimentary upgrade upon hotel check-in, based upon availability
- Bottle of Tenuta la Badiola Wine in room (a value of €25)
- Home-made biscuit in room upon arrival (a value of €10)
- One complimentary glass of champagne or one cocktail, per guest, upon arrival (a value of €22)
- 33 Rooms
- Style: Traditional Elegance
- Atmosphere: Secluded
- 6 Guest Reviews
- Tenuta La Badiola, Localita Badiola
- Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy
Hotel amenities and services
- 24 hour front desk
- 24 hour gym
- Babysitting (on request)
- Beauty salon
- Bicycle rentals nearby
- Central air conditioning
- Free parking
- Free wi-fi
- Golf nearby
- Indoor swimming pool
- Luggage storage
- Multi-lingual staff
- Outdoor Swimming Pool (seasonal)
- Pets allowed (charges apply)
- Spa treatments (on request)
- Turkish bath
- Wake-up service