From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Set amid 7,100 undulating acres of vineyards and olive groves near Montalcino, Castello Banfi, maker of some of the region's best-known wines, has opened its doors to overnight guests, having converted its former workers' lodgings into sumptuous accommodations that embody Tuscan-style good living. The 14 individually styled rooms, housed in conjoined eighteenth-century stone buildings adjacent to the estate's twelfth-century castello, have retained some atmospheric elements of the original structures, from wood-beam ceilings to deep-set windows to terra-cotta floors, and are done in a cheerful, elegant Tuscan palette, including softly patterned silk draperies, plump couches, and absurdly comfortable beds with romantic baldachins. Special touches include a gratis bottle of Brunello, an LCD TV hidden in a false bookcase, and free high-speed Interneta rarity in these parts. The large, well-lit bathrooms also come with comfort in mind, equipped with heated towel racks, sizable glass-walled showers with rain showerheads, and toiletries made with Sangiovese grapes grown on the estate. The service throughout is warm and efficient, and the hearty breakfast (included in the room rate) exceeds the typical Continental-style offerings, while the two excellent on-site restaurantsthe intimate Michelin-starred Ristorante, and the more casual Tavernaoffer well-prepared Tuscan dishes and, naturally, a strong house wine list. A small pool overlooks the bucolic landscape of vineyards.2008 Hot List
When to go: The harvesttime months of September and October, with their fall colors and still-warm days.
Which room to book: No. 16 comes with a large dressing area and both a soaking tub and a shower. The loft-style No. 17 faces a rose garden, while No. 31 has stone arches.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›