Stepping inside the ancient walls of Monteverdi Tuscany is transformative. The boutique hotel, which is spread out throughout the villas and old world buildings of the little village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, is unlike anything else you might experience in the world. As a Unesco World Heritage Site, the windows of each carefully designed room (courtesy of Italian designer Ilaria Miani, a friend and collaborator of director Wes Anderson) reveal sweeping views of the rolling Val d’Orcia hills and vibrant greenery. It’s no wonder Anderson penned the entirety of The Grand Budapest Hotel here.
Monteverdi has an extensive cultural program ranging from fine art exhibitions to opera singing, but perhaps one of its best-kept secrets is that it’s an amazing unexpected beauty destination in the heart of Tuscany. The six-year-old property completely revamped its spa at the tail end of last year and just this month announced the launch of its first fragrance by Maria Candida Gentile—the only woman and the only Italian, to graduate from the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery, and to be named Maitre Parfumeur.
Ancient Rituals Reimagined
Monteverdi’s spa takes inspiration from modern luxury and old traditions. Take, for example, the private travertine stone tubs that overlook the Val d’Orcia. During the Full Monteverdi treatment (a signature of the spa), an esthetician applies an exfoliant salt scrub enriched with natural Tuscan ingredients, including lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, and sweet orange. Then, you’ll be covered in a specialty wrap before stepping out onto the private terrace to take a detoxifying bath complete with local herbs, bath salts, and a homemade scrub. Schedule the treatment during the evening so you can catch the sunset. The treatment finishes with a massage.
Also on the property, a Hammam ceremony room references the customs of the Ottoman Empire, while the stunning underground baths are a nod to the ancient Romans. What’s more, the large heated pool has panoramic views of the countryside that resemble the kinds of vistas you’d only see in storybooks or on postcards.
As for the facial treatments in the spa, each one incorporates products from Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, a pharmacy in Florence that is one of the oldest in the world. Everything from the serums to the cleansers are based on recipes that were created by the 13th-century Dominican friars who founded the institution.
As for the design, Miani imbued the space with a mix of old and new aesthetics. Real trees flank the shelves of the lobby. All the treatment rooms have expansive views, and the underground bath looks like a grotto. “We wanted to feel the nature, so we had real trees,” says Miani. “We have created a natural environment, where there wasn’t one.”
A Fragrance From the Heart of Tuscany
Raspberry, rose, arnica, and blue chamomile are just a few of the notes Gentile (who has created bespoke scents for Madonna and Princess Caroline of Monaco in the past) included in her custom Essence of the Val d’Orcia fragrance, which comes in the form of organic skin, hair, and body products as well as scented candles and fragrances for the home.
For the creation of the the new fragrance, she studied the ecosystem of the land surrounding Monteverdi and opted to rely on the local florals, herbs, and other organic matter to concoct the perfect scent. “My style of creation is very close to experiences one would have with nature,” she says. “Stories and memories are the foundation of my creative process. When working with Monteverdi, I applied a reader-friendly approach and decided to give my report an environmental context where the castle and the woods become the protagonists, and everything is seen through their eyes—if they could speak what would they have to say about everything?”
A Room That Speaks for Itself
However, if it’s really a restful, spa-like experience you’re looking for, the best thing you can do at Monteverdi might involve never leaving your room. The new line of products, including an extremely refreshing face mist and fragrant bath salts, can be found there in spades.
Along with that, almost all of the rooms have spacious showers and statement-making tubs (some are a calming shade of green, for example, or copper, inspired by the Tuscan sun) that face the windows—the perfect place to spend time relaxing and doing face masks. “Colors in general, give you energy,” says Miani. “If you're walking in the street people smile at you. If you choose the proper colors in a space, you feel better.”