When I travel as a tourist, I usually choose a hotel that is purely functional: comfortable and quiet, so I can get a good night's sleep; and centrally located so I can maximize tourist time. This means that in Italy I usually pick a 3-star hotel located in the center of a city.
But then I discovered the Locanda Dell'Amorosa while working as a tour guide with Butterfield & Robinson. This hotel is extremely comfortable and quiet, and is in a great location for exploring rural Tuscany, but I didn't want to leave the hotel!
The Locanda is located at the top of a small hill, just outside of the town of Sinalunga. A long, cypress-lined driveway brings the visitor to the courtyard, filled with flowers and small nooks and crannies, which brings the urge to just wander and explore, or sit and enjoy – but not to leave and be a tourist! The outdoor pool area is gorgeous, with views overlooking the Tuscan hills. The food was excellent when we were there, and the service – as you'd expect for a hotel accordingly priced - was superb.
Tuscany is small enough that you can get around pretty easily and see quite a bit in one day. But stay at the Locanda, and plan to do half of what you'd otherwise do – it's worth it.
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