Situated on a hilltop in Tuscany, not far from the picturesque town of Cortona, Villa Fontelunga is an incredibly stylish ‘home away from home.’ Whether you’re staying in the 9 room main villa or the two private villas, you’re greeted like an old friend and treated like an honoured guest throughout the entire stay. It’s hard for boutique locations to find the balance between giving guests privacy and yet being on call to serve their needs but Villa Fontelunga does this perfectly; the main villa and grounds are large enough that anyone wishing to have a romantic honeymoon or relaxing getaway can do so completely undisturbed, yet there are always staff members close by to top up your glass or recommend a day trip.
The pictures posted on my Instagram stories elicited a fair few ‘OMG’ and ‘What a place’ comments and for good reason. It’s impeccably decorated, and there are well thought out touches everywhere, that on a first cursory glance you might miss, but that come together to give the full personality of the villa and the owners. The rooms are named after the Italian names for precious stones, and the room names next to the door are identified by framed samples of the materials to be found inside. My room ‘Turquoise’ or indeed ‘Turchese’ was tastefully decorated, a mix between classic Italian and modern simplistic. There are black out shutters meaning you can get a great night’s sleep, but they open up fully to allow streams of sunlight into your room during the day giving a very bright and light feel to the rooms. The rooms were full of fun details, such as the delicious welcome biscotti, and even down to the multicoloured cotton balls provided in the bathrooms that made me smile every time I entered the room.
The swimming pool is in a peaceful area of the grounds, and as well as a sizeable hot tub there’s an honesty bar with soft drinks & beers, as well as fresh lemon water. One feature I particularly enjoyed is how every area, including the bedrooms and poolside all have subtle speakers in, allowing you to enjoy the tastefully chosen playlists throughout your stay. Of course these can be muted at the touch of a button if you so wish, but I really liked having a relaxing soundtrack to my swim, and some tunes on whilst I got ready for dinner.
Twice weekly on a Tuesday and Friday, the villa hosts a fabulous dinner party, that guests are invited to join, and most do. Including welcome drinks and canapés, followed by three courses and wine, the dinner is a welcoming, atmospheric event hosted on the main terrace overlooking the olive trees. It’s a very social event allowing you to chat to the other guests before dining by candlelight, we had a homemade ravioli to start, followed by beef, and finished with a rich tiramisu. The villa also catered to the guest’s with dietary requirements and adjusted the menu accordingly.
The dinner party gave me a chance to chat to the delightful owners of the villa, Philip and Paolo. They are incredibly passionate about the Villa, and their personalities shine through in not only the villa’s style but also in the way it’s run. They both know the area very well and are full of fantastic tips for days out, vineyard tours and restaurant tips. You really couldn’t ask for better hosts and all of the other guests we encountered also delighted in chatting with them and taking them up on their great suggestions.
The surrounding countryside is incredibly beautiful and the hilltop the main villa sits on commands wonderful views over the Tuscan hills. There are a selection of relaxation areas to choose from including a cosy cushioned area which is beautifully lit in the evenings, to deck chairs at view points around the property. They have a great selection of wines, beers and spirits to choose from and I loved sipping on a local rosé whilst relaxing with a book in the shade.
Breakfast is served daily, including fresh juices & pastries, local honeys, cakes & breads as well as eggs made to order. I ate out on the main terrace underneath the shady parasols whilst taking in the views. The olive groves are very picturesque but equally the main villa itself is so pretty with the blue shutters and burnt orange brickwork that even if you faced the building you’d be treated to a delightful view.
For those wishing to have even more privacy then there are also two private villas to choose from. A two bedroom and one a bedroom perfect for honeymooners, they share a private pool and are shaded with stylish brickwork and pretty plants. You’re welcomed to these villas with a basket of goodies to start off your stay, and your comfort and enjoyment has been considered throughout the design too, including large bathtubs with great views and fully opening doors onto the pool area.
I left Villa Fontelunga, not only relaxed and revitalised, but also feeling that I had made some great new friends. It’s a special place and one I definitely hope to visit again.