Staying at Villa San Michele was dreamy. It is a gem of a hotel. The staff was so professional from the moment I got there. Even the exuberant colors of the flowers seemed to greet guests.
The San Michele is a 15th-century monastery that was converted by Orient Express Hotels into a luxury hotel. I stayed in a junior suite, situated in the side of the mountain.
The rooms are beautifully decorated. The walls are very chic in pale yellow and light-blue stencils. The beds are canopied in white linen and the furnishings are all antique.
My huge bathroom had Bulgari bath products, his and her sinks, robes and slippers (even the slippers are a different color for the men).
The sitting and eating areas in my suite were on either side of the French doors that opened up to the most magnificent views of the lush garden and Florence. The pool and its bar also had truly amazing views of the city and I easily could have wiled away a day up there.
The food at San Michele was delicious and the restaurant also had an incredible view. The Chianina beef is the thing to order there, as it’s what the region is famous for. The breakfast is the most impressive I have seen: charcuterie plates, cheeses, fresh fruit, cereals, fresh-squeezed juices, pastries, homemade breads and anything else you can imagine.
A cooking class is available on a terrace and the hotel offers private tours to Sassicaia and Brunello for wine tastings and lunch. The hotel also has a free shuttle into Florence.
Villa San Michele is ideal for honeymooners and adults but I wouldn’t recommend it for those with children.
The hotel also has a sister property called The Capannelle in the Chianti region of Tuscany. The villa is a revamped old farmhouse which produces its own award-winning wine and olive oil. Guests can rent out the entire villa along with butler service.