Castello di Casole - mixed use hotel luxury in Tuscany

John Wagner Piers Brown Uploaded

There's nothing quite like seeing the crisp blue skies, coupled with the green and gold Tuscan countryside in late April, and what better place to experience this than a stay at the recently completed 41 suite Castello di Casole boutique hotel in Casole d'Elsa, Siena, one of the largest private estates in all of Italy. 

With a history dating back to 3000 BC, the Italian castle fell into disrepair and underwent a major renovation in the 18th century, resulting in the structure that is now Hotel Castello di Casole. Previously owned by Luchino Visconti, who often hosted movie stars and luminaries of the jet set, the estate was acquired by Timbers Resorts who began developing the area footprint in 2005.

Timbers Resorts, the mixed use leisure real estate developer based in Carbondale, Colorado owns and operates a jaw dropping portfolio of premium hotels and real estate predominantly throughout the US, and Castello di Casole's 4,200 acres is a true jewel in the crown and 'break from the norm' in more ways than one.

The company's unique portfolio offers the ability for guests to purchase anything from a one night stay in one of their hotels, to a multi-million pound outright resort property purchase and everything in between - be that a week long vacation rental experience, or a 4 week luxury fractional ownership interest of a property on resort via the private residence club . With ownership comes access and the ability to exchange vacation weeks throughout Timbers' portfolio of intimate resorts - from the rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma, to the beaches of Los Cabos, to the lush south west coast of Ireland, and to the slopes of Aspen and Vail and more

Having caught the Ryanair flight, I picked up the hire car from Pisa airport and drove down towards Tuscany with my family, arriving one Tuesday evening. Set back from the road and approached via two grand cypress-lined lanes we'd arrived. After a swift check-in, and Eva my daughter opting for some impromptu work experience behind front desk we joined fellow diners at Pazzia Pizzeria situated in the hotel courtyard. With its exposed brick walls, flagstone floors, simple wooden furniture, a Carrara marble counter and a wood-burning oven we feasted on a selection of olives, speciality meats, pizzas and spaghetti bolognaise washed down by a local sparkling red wine for the adults. If you're feeling culinery you can even take part in the regular pizza-making classes for guests held here. Breakfast was served the following morning at the red-brick Ristorante Tosca, decorated with warm terracotta hues and Murano glass chandeliers, and the foodie highlight was definitely the blueberry pancakes we devoured every morning.

Days of sightseeing and quality dining in many of the local towns ensued, including an impromptu stumble upon an Italian rally car stage.

We took it easy when back at the hotel, and it was refreshing to feel how relaxed the staff were in truly spectacular grounds, particularly with our mischievous daughter and baby son aged four and one years old respectively. 

Boutique hoteliers (and their guests) tend not to have the luxury of so much beautiful surrounding space and it's interesting to note that the hotel opened in Summer 2012 after many whole and fractional ownership properties had been built and sold. The quality of the Castello di Casole development having been recently recognised by awards from, the leading consumer fractional ownership brand proudly displayed in the resort sales office.

After 3 glorious overnights in the hotel, we moved to Villa Sant Antonio a beautiful, recently completed large 4 bedroom enchanting tuscan villa together with infinity edge outdoor pool situated within the grounds, around 800 yards from the hotel and for sale through the fractional ownership purchasing option. With a young family it was great to have so much privacy and extra space, almost too much! After settling in and taking a walk around the home, the true quality of finish abounds coupled with richly textured fabrics and hand stencilled antiquities. The en-suite bathroom is the largest I've seen, complete with all the luxuries you'd expect - even a seven button switch and a selection of bespoke Castello di Casole toiletries. Looking out of the bathroom window, the view of the rambling countryside is truly stunning and we felt privileged to be part of this Tuscan landscape. 

A big thank you to Kenyon Price, General Manager of Hotel Castello di Casole and the whole team for making our first trip to Tuscany so enjoyable.

Prices start from 290,000 Euro for a fractional residential interest and 3,700 000 Euro for whole ownership.


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