Castel Monastero



Castel Monastero

A Medieval Village Becomes A Five-Star Hotel

Our car crunches the dirt road on the hill up to the 11th-century monastery now known as Castel Monastero.  Images of old farmers out in the fields from Dawn to Dusk, the Sun beating on their backs, are conjured up as we round the bend of vineyards as far as the eye can see. If the walls of this hamlet could talk the owners of yore would wish for exactly the reason I was visiting; to drink Chianti Riserva and enjoy a week of relaxation in one of Tuscany’s finest wellness spas.

This medieval village turned into a five-star hotel balances the ambiance of Tuscan nobility delicately with the contemporary settings desired by guests looking for a regal treatment.

Our first evening we relaxed with a bottle of Antinori – Tenuta Tignanello: Marchese Antinori Riserva 2013. Antinori wine company has been making wines in Italy since 1385. The first whiff of the wine springs eternal in my nose, a taste gives me the rustic taste of the foods that have been grown in the valley, well before the Chianti vineyards sprung up; blackberry, black truffle, dried cherry all swirl in my mouth. The truffle taste reminds me that Castel Monastero has a truffle hunting adventure in the woods, with dogs, to find the prestigious Tuscany truffles.





How Will You Spend Your Day

Ferrari rental, horseback riding, cooking class, poolside, at the world-class spa?

Gordon Ramsay is the consultant chef at the resort’s Contrada restaurant featuring Tuscan cuisine. Dinners can be enjoyed in either the main upstairs dining room or down below, in the old cellar.  Foods are typical of the region and included my favorite dish, slow-braised beef cheeks marinated for twenty-four hours, pureed potatoes served with delicately sauteed vegetables perfectly arranged on our plates. The wait staff was attentive and ready to grant any specific requests.

Breakfast is served either outside in the courtyard, or in the main dining room, and is fit for a King with a beautifully arranged buffet of meats, cheeses, fruits, breads, cereals, pastries, and eggs. The fresh fruit was some of the sweetest and most delicious we’ve ever tasted.  Coffee and tea are served individually with a smile. The staff speaks some English and enjoys it when you try to speak some Italian.

There are many activities I could take part in; I could rent a Ferrari or go horseback riding, jump in a hot air balloon, go for a long scenic hike, or take a cooking class.  You can fill your day with activities, or you can sit by the Infinity pool all day and breathe in the fresh air and doze off to the sound of birds and rustling leaves.

I have come to the heart of Italy to the renowned spa and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Whether it is a  thalassotherapy detox program or an LPG lipolytic mud weight-loss program, Castel Monastero tailor-makes programs that combine nutrition, energizing massages, interactive workouts, and Chinese medicine, based on the balance between body and mind.




Under The Tuscan Sun

Inside the medieval castle is the Aquae Monasterii, a pool rich in salt. You only need to stay in the pool for fifteen minutes for it to have a benefit to your muscles and joints. It is the start of a relaxing evening that drains and revitalizes all at the same time.

The hotel’s General Manager, Enzo, was there at the end of our trip to say Thank You, and yet it was us thanking him for the Italian hospitality.

Story By Lou Ann Hammond




The Belmond Hiram Bingham Train

A 2020 Must-Do

Puerta Vallarta, A Culinary Destination

Savor and Sip!

Pool Hopping in St. Barts

St. Barth Jetaway

Portland Harbor Hotel

Smartly Chic In Old Port

Portland Maine

Trendy And Traditional

Jade Mountain Resort In St. Lucia

Take A Romantic Getaway

Etihad 787-9 To Milan

Milan is Calling

Virgin Atlantic A350

New Comforts Same Glamour

$50,000 A Night Penthouse Four Seasons New York

Untold luxuries

L'Horizon Resort and Spa In Palm Springs

Desert Chic

Hotel Manapany St. Barths

Hotel Manapany St. Barths

Fly Tradewind

Travel with Ease

Delta's Newest Airbus A330-900neo

Setting New Standards

B Signature Hotels & Resorts

Unique and ever-so-chic

Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik

Picture perfect luxury.

Villa Orion

Villa Orion, St Barths

A Weekend In San Miguel

Charmingly Sophisticated

Hotel Matilda San Miguel de Allende

Contemporary Bliss

Côte d’Azur Road Trip

Ultimate Ride & Drive By Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

Delta A220 First Flight

Delta A220 First Flight

Silver Origin

Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites and Residences - Luxury With A View

Overlooking the Bay of Bandaris and Puerto Vallarta


Spice Island Beach Resort


Karl Lagerfeld at The Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo

El Invernadero New Summer Quarters

Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel

A 2019 Must-Visit

TWA Hotel

Jet -Set Style at JFK


The First Four Seasons Experience in Greece

A Natural Wonder - Honeymoon Island State Park.

Chilling with Rolls-Royce in the French Alps

Roll-Royce in Courchevel

Little Beach House Malibu Soho House

Little Beach House Malibu Soho House

Meet Delta Air Lines' New State-Of-The-Art Airbus A220-100

Aston Martin & Waldorf Astoria When The Best Come Together

Art and Chocolate In Puerto Vallarta

Art and Artisans In Paradise

Four Seasons Jet

EVA 's New Boeing 787

EVA's New Luxury

Four Seasons Hotel And Residences

São Paulo At Nacoes

Villa Premiere Puerto Vallarta

Cosmopolitan Chic

Touring the best historic hotels in Portugal in a Bentley

Bentley Continental GT

Four Seasons and NetJets

Four Seasons and NetJets Delivery The Ultimate In Travel

The Island of Gods: Experience The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali

Emirates A380 10 Years Later

Going To New Heights. Emirates A380 10 years of excellance.

The Chesterfield Palm Beach

Villa Lyra

Villa Lyra

Keep Fit on Vacation

Beautiful Cardio

TAP Air Portugal

Front of Cabin Executive Class Service

Acqualina Resort and Spa

Sunny Isles Beach

Four Seasons Explorer

Luxury Living At Sea

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Introducing The All Butler Village and More.

Delta Private Jets

New Sky Access

Memmo Príncipe Real

An Enclave of High Style

Zota Beach Resort

Contemporary Design On Longboat Key, Florida.

Hotel Trio

Hotel Trio Brings a Spacious Modern Feel to a Charming Sonoma County Town

Mayumi, Residential Stay and Creative Space

A New Level Of A Hotel Stay

The Farol Hotel in Cascais Portugal

Perched above the crashing waves

Ritz-Carlton Bacara

Santa Barbara's New Destination

Kimpton La Peer Hotel

Kimpton La Peer

Silver Cloud Arrives in Antarctica

Queen Mary Two Remastered - A New Level Of Luxury

A new level of luxury on the Queen Mary 2

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum