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Our review : Castello di Reschio in Italy

Can we still be surprised by Italy, one of the most visited countries in the world by luxury clientele? Even if you’ve been to some of the finest hotels in Tuscany, Venice and Rome, chances are you’ll be amazed by Castello Di Reschio, an ultra-luxury hotel of unbridled charm from which Pascal Languillon, CEO of Luxe Wellness Club, has just returned. His story below shows that you can enjoy an extraordinary wellness experience in a hotel that refuses to use the term “spa”.

An unspoilt sanctuary on the border of Tuscany and Umbria

A castle lost in the middle of nature (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

I was very excited to discover theHotel Castello di Reschio, since it is due to open in 2021, given its reputation as one of the most fantastic hotels in Italy. It is the fruit of decades of love, art and hard work by a visionary family: the Bolza. Acquired by Count Antonio Bolza in 1994 when it was completely deserted, the estate is truly immense: 1,500 hectares of preserved oak forests, vineyards and olive groves, and even 7 private lakes, all dotted with farmhouses that were once in ruins. To give you an idea,the Reschio estate is bigger than Biarritz, where I live! The feeling of space is total, and you probably won’t even have the chance to cover the 80 km of slopes!

The magical atmosphere of central Italy (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

At the heart of the estate lies the castle, dating back to 1050, now transformed to accommodate 36 rooms and suites, two restaurants and a unique wellness area. This transformation is the fruit of the creative vision and talent of Count Benedikt Bolza, son of Antonio, architect and designer, and his artistic wife Donna Nencia, princess of Florence’s prestigious Corsini family.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that the decor is particularly meticulous, blending styles and periods – both classic and modern. Incredible fact: everything you see at Reschio was designed by Count Benedikt: the furniture, fixtures and accessories. You can even buy them on your way out!

The landscapes and restored farmhouses around the castle … as in Tuscany (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

I found the estate absolutely spectacular: avenues of tapering cypress trees, forests of oak and chestnut, and a magnificent lake… All the charm of Italy is here, minus the crowds .

The hotel’s outdoor pool is truly extraordinary. It is 30 metres long and heated to 30 degrees… Above all, its oblique shape is astonishing. It looks as if it’s been cut out of the ground, and is set against a backdrop of pine trees and the castle. What a delight to dive into this pool like nowhere else!

A mystical atmosphere on this wonderful pool with the mist in the early morning (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The Reschio estate offers a wide range of activities, including hiking, cycling, tennis, boating, fruit picking, truffle hunting, fly fishing, cooking classes and horse riding… A way to reconnect with nature and the simple things in life, to forget the outside world and then rediscover it. A place where I’d love to spend a week to recharge my batteries completely!

Home-designed bedrooms

The 36 rooms are arranged around a central courtyard, and they’re all different. Indeed, their shapes and proportions were dictated by the irregularity of the building. I stayed in a magnificent 80m² “Grand Suite“, number 24, on the 2nd floor, with a view of the hills and their cypress trees on one side, and the rooftops of the château on the other. The windows are narrow, because Count Benedikt didn’t want to touch the outside of the castle. This slightly dark aspect of the rooms is offset by subtle lighting that creates a warm ambience.

Majestic rooms – here, my suite 24 (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Let me repeat: every element and piece of furniture was designed by Benedikt Bolza himself. Everything is a contrast of colors and materials, with straight lines and black metal contrasting nicely with road lamps in lush velvets. Bathrooms feature large, old-fashioned bathtubs and more modern double basins. Other materials include rough stone, warm terracotta and grained wood.

I appreciate the fact that there are no televisions in the rooms. Just the bluetooth speaker you need to play Italian music while dancing!

A truly exceptional wellness experience

As a wellness expert, I was eager to discover how Reschio stands out from the competition of dozens of large spa hotels in Italy. Let me tell you right away: Reschio offers a wellness experience like no other! The hotel has succeeded in creating a magical, enchanting atmosphere that no one can replicate.

Pascal bathes in a Roman-style toga (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

First there’s the Roman baths, a sumptuous indoor pool in what used to be a cellar. Here, you can bathe in a short toga rather than a bathing suit, in an almost monastic atmosphere where candles add life and warmth. At the far end of the pool, a corridor leads to what appears to be the bottom of a well… From the ceiling, probably 10 meters above, a tropical shower cascades down… The sauna-hammam area is equally successful, with experiential showers that smell terribly of lavender.

However, what I’ll remember most of all from my time at Reschio was the extraordinary bathing ritual in the private room, a two-hour treatment unlike any other, and certainly one of the most memorable treatments of my life. First of all, the setting is impressive, almost intimidating: a stone cellar with a crackling fire in the fireplace, two baths, two treatment tables, candles everywhere… and religious music of Gregorian chants throughout the treatment. This “private room” is not a treatment room, it’s a true sanctuary!

The treatment itself was as captivating as the room itself. It all starts with washing and exfoliating the feet with coarse salt and a lavender concoction. Then the therapist, a frail young Italian woman with strong hands and confident movements, asked me to stand on the massage table so she could brush my body, dry. A strong sensation guaranteed – an epidermal reaction, in the good sense of the word!

The bathing ritual, an exceptional moment (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

The treatment then continues with a bath in what resembles a hot soup with aromatic herbs and clay. The therapist ran the glove over my body… It’s nice to be washed while listening to Gregorian chants. The pope’s bathing ritual is reproduced here… So picturesque… and terribly relaxing! A few minutes of back massage finished off all the remaining tension in my body. After two hours floating in this divine atmosphere, I can say that this treatment will remain forever engraved in my memory.

I returned to this “Private Room” for a facial, which again was very different from what is the norm in today’s luxury spas. Here, no machines, no technology – just the care of expert hands to create a kind of kobido, with natural products that all smell better than the next.

I was not at the end of my surprises. That’s right, Reschio offers yoga classes in a church! A magical setting in which to practice… It was in this same church that I was lucky enough to benefit from a treatment called “Yoga care”, similar to a Thai massage: a mixture of pressure and stretching for two hours – and here again, Gregorian chants to immerse you in the atmosphere.

Reschio pushes the boundaries of imagination when it comes to wellness, and in a world where luxury spas are relatively stereotyped, it’s a real breath of fresh air for me to see that you can create a surprising customer experience if you give yourself the means.

Yoga in a church (Photo: Luxe Wellness Club)

Local Italian cuisine

The estate adopts a “closed circle” approach, designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. The produce for the hotel’s restaurants all comes from the estate or its immediate surroundings: Reschio supplies its farmers with high-quality seeds, which are then planted and returned to the estate in the form of fruit and vegetables. The estate produces 10,000 bottles of wine a year (delicious), as well as exceptional olive oil, not to mention honey, gin, amaro…

I really liked the breakfast. A reasonably sized buffet with excellent products. Some fresh fruit, of course, for the healthy touch, but I have to admit that I threw myself on the pistachio cream, a real treat, to accompany the delicious viennoiseries. Consomme is served every morning for those in a vegetarian mood. A wide range of sweet and savoury dishes can be ordered from the kitchen. Portions are relatively small, because here it’s all about balance.

I was able to try out the hotel’s two restaurants. Ristorante al Castello is located in the heart of the castle. Simple, elegant decor, terrace with views over the valley. Breakfast is also served here. The menu is not very extensive and dishes are predominantly meat-based, which can limit options for those with specific dietary requirements such as vegetarians. The dishes are tasty and beautifully presented. I particularly loved the shrimp, lemon and marsala risotto.

The hotel’s second restaurant, Scuderie, is a ten-minute walk from Castello, via the equestrian center. The setting is superb, reflecting the same elegance as the rest of the property: marble tables, splendid lampshades, high ceilings and plenty of space for al fresco dining. The menu here is more casual, with delicious grilled meats for dinner. It was another memorable evening of excellent wines!

Our feeling

Castello di Reschio is a unique and totally enchanting hotel. It has that extra soul that the luxury hotels of the big chains are incapable of creating. Everything you need for a relaxing experience is here, especially as the wellness offering is exceptional in its quality and originality. Coming to Reschio is like stepping back in time, away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Unforgettable.

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