About the hotel
This incredible country villa was built in the late 16th century and continually developed and refurbished over the years, becoming known as one of Tuscany’s most beautiful villas in the 18th and 19th centuries. It frequently housed popes and royals on their way around the country. It was fully restored and converted into a hotel over five long years, and is now one of Florence’s most stunning estates. With 65 rooms and suites and all of the frescoes, majolica (an Italian tin-glazed pottery), sculptures and stuccoes restored back to their original beauty, the villa is indeed beautiful.
Villa Le Maschere is outside of the city of Florence and you get the feeling you are staying at a friend’s country estate. The rooms are spread across the main villa and the Chini Pavilion, which was formerly the gardener’s house (what a lucky gardener) and has also been used as an orangery and a carriage house. With more than 40 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds leading down to Bilancino Lake, there’s always a quiet spot to relax or a secluded path to explore.
The suite experience
There are a few different kinds of junior suites across both buildings, each with a unique layout and style. We stayed in a suite in the main villa with a loft and high ceilings covered with frescoes. Suites are bright and airy, though a little on the small side when compared with a modern hotel. Those in the Chini Pavilion have French doors opening onto the gardens, which are particularly gorgeous in spring.
Choose between three restaurants on the property; Il PioppoNero (meaning Black Poplar) serving traditional Tuscan cuisine for lunch and dinner, Il Cancello di Ghiereto serving breakfast and Il DivinVino, an intimate restaurant in the restored wine cellar that is open for dinner during the summer months. If you want to get more involved in your meals, the villa runs cooking classes in the huge kitchen followed by a meal at a group table with matching wines. There is also a great local restaurant within walking distance of the estate – ask the helpful staff to point you in the right direction.
The ancient basements of the main villa have been transformed into a plush spa with huge arched windows looking out over the gardens. There’s a sauna, Turkish bath, emotional showers, Jacuzzi and treatments using French brand Sothys on offer.
The property is around 30 minutes outside of Florence, but there is a complimentary shuttle on offer at designated times.