Nestled among cypress trees in sun-drenched Tuscany is an Italian masterpiece. At the Borgo Santo Pietro, built from the ruins of a 13th-century villa, tranquillity reigns.
Your only dilemma will be whether to sample the villa's sensual spa, float in the infinity pool, or wander the 13 acres of orchards and herb gardens that supply the restaurant.
Meo Modo serves simply exquisite dishes including wild boar ravioli with puree of carrot and rocket. Over at the Treehouse Bar & Brasserie on Mondays, the hotel stages its own 'Farmers' Food Market', a relaxed and convivial dining experience with live bands.
More intimate is the Chef's Table in the kitchen, where you have your own personalised meal created. At dusk, grab a chaise longue in the Treehouse Bar and drink in the 180˚ view of the reddening Serene Valley as you sip the signature Borgo cocktail of champagne and white rum over fruit-flavoured granita. So this is what the Italians mean by la dolce vita…
WOW FACTOR: You're given a cordless phone on arrival so that you can order drinks wherever you are.
FLIGHT TIME: 2 hours, 15 minutes
LAST UPDATED: 2nd June 2014 at 6:25pm
This restored 13th-century pilgrim's lodge in southwest Tuscany blends high-end luxury with breezy informality.
With only eight rooms in the Main House, it feels intimate and welcoming as well as decadent. For ultimate privacy, opt for the recently converted garden cottages.
Accommodation is top-notch, of course, but the garden is the real star here, full of scented roses, cypress trees and stone fountains. Chandeliers hang from pergolas and cushion-scattered daybeds sit under trees inviting you to take time out with a book.
After a dip in the infinity pool, head to the Terrace for peach Bellinis and antipasti.
The spa uses natural oils and herbs from Florence's iconic pharmacy, the Santa Maria Novella, so be sure to pre-book a treatment.
Once you've dosed up on R&R, head to Florence (a scenic one-hour drive away) to add some cultural buzz to your bliss.
WOW FACTOR: Take a picnic and walk along the woodland path to the remains of the Cistercian abbey of San Galgano.
FLIGHT TIME: 2 hours