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Castello del Nero Boutique Hotel & Spa, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa 

Strada Spicciano, 7
Tavarnelle Val di Pesa
Tel: 39 055 806 470
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

With its 700 acres of centuries-old cypress trees and impressive gardens, Castello del Nero feels much like the fiefdom of a Tuscan lord—and in fact, the original structure has belonged to various noble families since the twelfth century. Frescoes and vaulted ceilings give the design grandeur and formality, as do the terra-cotta floors, claw-foot tubs, and sumptuous four-poster beds done in the baldachin style with fabric headboards. The 50 huge guest rooms designed by Alain Mertens (Madonna and Sting are among his clients) are airy and light, with beautiful fabrics and subtle colors. Florence is a 25-minute drive away, and the property offers free twice-a-day shuttle service. The only caveat is that the hotel imposes feudal tax—like charges for any extras—breakfast costs about $40 a person, a glass of prosecco is $20, and Internet service is another $26 per day. ESPA is included among the 2007 Hot List Spas.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: In mid-October, the tourists leave and the cuisine grows rich with truffles.

Which room to book: No. 114 offers a quintessential Tuscan view.

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool, Spa

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