Piedmont

iStock International

Relais San Maurizio

Address: Località San Maurizio 39

Neighborhood: Santo Stefano Belbo

City: Santo Stefano Belbo

Phone: 011-39-141-841-900

Website: www.relaissanmaurizio.it

Expert Review

If only the Franciscan monks who put together their monastery stone by stone in the early 17th century could see it now. With breathtaking views of the surrounding Langhe district from atop a hill south of Turin and not far from Alba and Asti, this sprawling complex now ranks among northern Italy’s loveliest country hotels and as a member of Relais & Châteaux. The refined, occasionally over-the-top decor in some of the public areas was added by the count who bought the place as a fixer-upper in the mid-19th century; his descendants in turn sold it to hoteliers, and, since 2002, the whole pile has been modernized and outfitted with 21st-century amenities to receive guests while preserving the feel of an old Piedmontese estate. There's a "vinotherapy" spa with its atmospheric jacuzzis, indoor pool, and barrelful of treatments based on wine and grapes, and the fine restaurant in the former wine cellar, with brick barrel vaults and one Michelin star. The former monks' cells now count as 31 rooms (including 13 suites) spread among two floors and two buildings. Each has its own decor and personality as well as all of today's luxe hotel touches; the furniture in some leans toward plush overstuffed yellow chairs, in others cane-backed and carved dark wood, and still more find a reddish color scheme with elegant stenciled friezes.

Tags: luxury | romance | smart splurge | hotel restaurant

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