Just 15 minutes from central Florence via car, Villa La Massa sits on the gleaming Arno River in Tuscany’s peaceful countryside. A stately and elegant Medici manor house restored to its former glory, 500 years of history modernized to today’s luxury hotel expectations sits awaiting guests to explore its story.
I stayed at the hotel recently and was taken, instantly, by the fantasy of it all. Arriving through an unassuming gate and onto its 22 acres of olive groves and lemon tress, you can breathe a sigh of relief as a feeling of complete stillness instantly infiltrates your mind.
Two other villas accompany the manor house on the property, which make-up and offering of 37 rooms and suites. Although, it should be noted that standard rooms here are anything but standard. Tuscan simplicity reign supreme and muted colors that echo the gardens creep into each suite’s décor plan. In every room you will find plentiful bottled water, flat screen televisions, large closets, ample bathrooms and gorgeous, custom amenities. In my room, I found a bottle of the Iris room fragrance created by the iconic Santa Maria Novella pharmacy in Florence, as a keepsake.
Villa La Massa has a gorgeous new Arno Spa in the cavernous lower level of the main manor house, where they offer wonderful treatments for guest to enjoy, along with showers, steam baths and more. There is also a fitness facility that is equipped with an excellent selection of machines to maintain your physical heath during your stay.
The hotel features three dining options, including a beautiful pool bar for warmer months, as well as a private dining experience in the wine cellar and the famed Il Verrocchio restaurant which looks out over the Arno river and onto the hills of Rufina. Il Verrocchio’s breakfasts are to die for – a buffet of Tuscan specialties including: cakes, breads, cured meats, cheeses, yogurts, organic marmalades, eggs and more. Dinner is out of this world – utilizing ingredients from the garden and concocting stunning dishes influenced by various regions of Italy.
Although Florence is only 15 minutes away via the hotel’s private, complimentary shuttle, it’s difficult to pry yourself away from the property. My favorite thing here is the simplicity of walking through the gardens, along the river and reading by the fire in the manor house. Shoulder season months of April and October are wonderful times to visit. And, trust me, once you stay here, it will be hard to want to stay anywhere else in the region.