We saved the best destination for last on our recent trip to Italy. Reschio (located in the heart of Umbria) opened as a hotel in May of 2021. I spent a good deal of lockdown dreaming about this much-anticipated opening (along with the editors of Tatler and Vogue), and I knew that it would be one of the first places I visited when travel started back up. It is hard to even find the words to describe just how magnificent this property is, there is literal perfection in every corner. This post is going to be heavy on photos so that you can see for yourself.
Castello di Reschio is an actual castle on 3700 acres which dates back over one thousand years, and was purchased as a family retreat by Count and Countess Antonio Bolza in 1984. The original purchase in 1984 included not just the castle, but close to 50 outbuildings that were just waiting to be transformed into an Italian haven. They enjoyed it themselves for decades, until their son, architect Benedikt Bolza, along with his wife Donna Nencia were inspired to share this idyll with others who could appreciate their vision.
To experience Reschio is to look through the lens of a design genius- Benedikt and Donna have had a hand in every tiny inch of this massive property, not just creating the perfect hotel, but designing multiple pieces of furniture and lighting (all available for purchase) as well as decorating and re-purposing the outbuildings so you too can acquire your own slice of heaven.
Count and Countess Antonio Bolza still live on property, and it is their stable of Arabian Horses that is one of the highlights of the estate.
While the average room rate is quite high, (you are also able to book a private house on property) it is well worth the splurge for a once in a lifetime chance to live as a King and Queen (or Count and Countess as the case may be).
Several months ago when we were initially planning the trip, our first step was to inquire as to the availability at Reschio for four nights (very limited) and once that was secured we planned the remainder of our itinerary around it.
Our initial impressions upon arrival up did not disappoint.
The initial greeting set the stage for the entire visit. The staff were all exceedingly friendly, and each and every one was remarkably good looking, fitting right in with the surroundings. We were given a quick tour of the main gathering areas, from the Chapel, to the flower arranging area, the bar, and the glassed in Palm Court (stunning). We were then brought to our room (Suite 1) and given a quick overview of all the amenities.
The suite was spacious, though while not divided into separate rooms there were well defined areas which fulfilled whatever needs we had; a small coffee and mini bar (with a delicious chocolate almond torte), a luxurious bed, a dining table, desk, dressing table and lovely bath.
The embroidered bedding, the custom made bed frame, desk lamp and magnifying mirror on the dressing table were all pieces I was trying to decide whether or not might fit into our decor back in the States.
Following check-in we moved on to wide-ranging exploration and picture taking, ultimately relaxing by the stunning infinity pool that is made to blend in to the surroundings like a lake. If you take a closer look you will notice that there are no umbrellas near the chaise lounges so as not to block any views, all the shade is provided by the existing trees. Located alongside the pool is Bar Il Torrino whose staff is ready to bring drinks, snacks, and ice cream at a moments notice. The area by the stables is equally gorgeous, with breathtaking sculptures by Nic Fiddian-Green.
Each evening we made our way over to the Palm Court for an aperitif (Negroni time!) and some piano music before dinner. This is such a delightful space, and truly makes you feel as though you have been transported to another time. We met the nicest people over drinks, it seems another prerequisite of the hotel that they only book delightful guests.
There are two restaurants at Reschio, one that is “casual” Ristorante alle Scuderie, and one that is more formal, Ristorante al Castello. On our first evening we tried the more casual of the two. The food was very good, and the service was excellent. The restaurant is open to both the public as well as hotel guests. They were able to accommodate my gluten free pescatarian diet, so I was grateful for that. The food, while absolutely fresh and seasonal was tasty, but a little fussy, and not appealing enough to dine there more than once during our stay.
On our second night we tried Ristorante al Castello with friends we met over cocktails in the Palm Court. We were so busy drinking and talking that I forgot to take too many photos, but here are two. The pictures don’t do the food any favors, the lighting was a challenge, and as with Ristorante alle Scuderie, the service was excellent and the ingredients top-notch, but the menu just wasn’t particularly appealing to me.
Breakfast was another matter, served each morning in the same space at Ristorante al Castello, the food was terrific. There were endless options on the highly photogenic buffet, the dishes from the kitchen were delectable (high marks for the french toast from my husband) and the fruit was perfectly ripe. We were happy to report to our table each morning and graze while we planned our day’s excursions.
One morning we decided to take a cooking class at Reschio’s Accademia di Cucina della Bottega with our new friends. In addition to time spent at Reschio we took some day trips which you can read about here. I am not sure whether the Cookery School has had many students as of yet because they seemed quite unorganized and the class started about 45 minutes late. The instructor couldn’t have been nicer or more well-intentioned, but it did not go smoothly. Once the class got underway we prepared a lovely panzanella, bruschetta, lentil soup, meatballs and a pretty amazing Tiramisu (I made my own gluten free version with biscuits). We ate what we cooked outside with plenty of wine, and it made for an enjoyable activity, but they may want to fine tune the experience a bit.
There are plenty of activities on property aside from the cooking class; bike riding, tennis, horseback riding, truffle hunting, hiking, and an excellent spa. I enjoyed a signature body scrub treatment and my husband and I spent time in the Bathhouse complete with a Roman bath and rain shower (built into the Castle’s original wine cellar) and sauna.
On our third night we stumbled upon a restaurant on our way back to Reschio and decided to venture out for dinner. I Girasole di Sant’Andrea is located about 10 minutes away, in a somewhat unassuming spot, but as we managed to secure the last table we had a feeling it would be good (and we were right). When we arrived the parking lot was full and the outside dining area was buzzing with happy patrons. We were brought a glass of house made Prosecco to enjoy while we studied the menu and wine list. The proprietor Simone took our orders and continued to serve us, along with a very enthusiastic waitstaff throughout the meal. We devoured freshly baked bread (gluten free as well!) along with olive oil made on property and a complement of other homemade specialties. The wine list was extensive and incredibly well priced, the ingredients were fresh and local, the dishes were expertly prepared and the experience was excellent. We liked it so much we returned the next night! If you are staying at Reschio and want to venture out for a change, I would absolutely recommend I Girasole for a very authentic and lovely meal.
Alas, the time came to head home. We had a mid- morning flight out of Rome, so the hotel arranged for a car to pick us up at 7 am (the trip to the Rome airport is about 2 1/2 hours). They asked whether they could pack us a light breakfast, and of course we agreed. We opened our feast up while sitting in the Delta Lounge, and received many envious glances. This was a perfect send-off, and very much in keeping with the Reschio experience.
Once we arrived home the images of Reschio lingered in my dreams. The hotel has received a tremendous amount of great press (rightly so) and had been lauded as one of the best hotels in Italy right now. I would have to agree with this assessment, just taking into account the aesthetic and the service, it is pretty close to perfection. The food though is what keeps it from being number 1 in my book; while very good, it is not life changing.
In my estimation, If you are looking for the very best hotel experience in Italy, I believe that the Villa Feltrinelli in Lake Garda (you can read my review here) is perfect in every way, and I am counting down the days until I can return.