Borgo San Felice

A charming medieval Tuscan village

Nestled amid the rolling Tuscan hills of the Chianti region sits a tiny hamlet, or borgo, called San Felice. Today, it houses a 60-room-and-suite resort that spans a medieval village, encompassing areas that were once a wood store, an olive press, a school, a bakery and wine cellars.

Sensitively converted, the property takes into account the local area (with an eye toward sustainable practices) and yet still feels as if it was designed with the luxury traveler in mind. With two restaurants, a cantina, a gift shop, a vineyard, a chapel and a spa onsite, it’s easy to spend several days on property, in between visits to the nearby town of Siena and other local Tuscan sites. Be sure to allow for plenty of time at the hotel to indulge in a grape-must treatment at the spa, savor authentic Italian meals at the fine dining spot and the casual osteria and perhaps even take a morning hot air balloon ride over the rolling Tuscan hills.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Borgo San Felice dates back to medieval times, specifically, the 8th century. Today, the property spans the whole “borgo” or town, and includes a chapel, the original town square and onsite vineyards and olive groves.
  • Rooms are spread around the grounds, ensuring that you feel as if you’re living in a village-like ambiance. We’d pick the authentically Tuscan suites, which feature a natural color palette with exposed beams, travertine and oak floors, and ceramic artwork made by local artisans.
  • This is a culinary destination, from the modern Tuscan at the upscale Il Poggio Rosso to the made-onsite wine. Don’t miss chef Juan Camilo Quintero’s cooking classes — you’ll make pasta, traditional Florentine-style bread, dishes with wild game and more.
  • The expansive spa carries a wide array of treatments for anti-aging with Italian products by Comfort Zone and Anthology, as well as a large fitness area with Technogym equipment.
  • Don’t miss a chance to stroll the property’s extensive gardens, including L’Orto Felice, or “the happy vegetable garden,” from which many fruits, herbs and vegetables are farmed. The garden is also a place for elderly village residents and local disabled children to work as part of a community program.

Things to Know

  • The Tuscany hotel is on an active vineyard that attracts guests and oenophiles alike. The wine is exported, so if you ever want a taste of the Borgo, you should be able to order it quickly.
  • We’d suggest a rental car, so that you can pop into the town of Siena (15 minutes away) or just explore the countryside on your own, but drivers are easily arranged for a day of wine touring or sightseeing.
  • One of the best times to visit is in July and August, when the historic Palio di Siena horse race takes place. It’s a bareback ride through the town where 10 horses and riders, each dressed in the colors of their local city wards, race for glory. The tradition has occurred since the 14th century and is popular with locals and visitors.
  • Borgo San Felice is a seasonal hotel, closing from December through March.

The Rooms

  • While you’ll certainly book a room “type,” accommodations themselves are both individually decorated and varyingly sized, due to the historic nature of the property.
  • The rooms mostly have a crisp, fresh look. Some have more design details, like the Legnaia Suite with thick blue and white horizontal stripes in the bedroom and maroon and white diamond checkered tile around the tub.
  • If you wish to bring the whole family or simply want more privacy, the resort offers two villas: Cassanova and Colonna, both just steps from the village. They both have private gardens, full kitchens and pools, allowing you to enjoy Tuscany like a local, with all of the amenities of a luxury hotel at your fingertips.

The Look

  • Fragrant red geraniums in window boxes and hanging jasmine decorate the stone building facades, giving cheery pops of color to the muted historic site.
  • Interior color schemes are neutral, letting the natural detail of the rooms shine, like terra cotta or wood floors, exposed beam ceilings and delicate stonework. Bright flashes of color in rich velvets and linens add a luxe feel.
  • Lush gardens interspersed with historic buildings in their original gray and tan stone leave you feeling almost as if you are visiting a private estate and not just a resort.

Meeting rooms
Outdoor pool
Getting There
San Felice, Castelnuovo Berardenga, 53019 Italy
FLR (1 hr 15 min-1 hr 30 min)   PSA (1 hr 40 min-2 hr )   FCO (2 hr 30 min-3 hr)  
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