(An excerpt from theApril 2007 issue of Dream of Italy.)
Relais Alla Corte del Sole is one of the four charming Umbria hotels reviewed in this issue by Rosanne Cofoid: Well, if George Clooney stayed here, it’s good enough for just about anyone. The romantic 18-room Relais began its life as a 13th-century monastery that belonged to the order of St. Stephen, and it is believed that St. Margaret stayed here on her way to Cortona. Situated high on a hill, less than a mile from the border of Tuscany, with a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside and Lake Trasimeno, the property is perfectly located to tour both Tuscany and Umbria–it’s located just 11 miles from Cortona and Montepulciano. The accommodations are spread throughout the property in beautifully restored ancient stone buildings, complete with beautiful and immense wooden beams on the ceilings and furnished with beautiful antiques and carpets; many feature canopied beds. The largest suites can accommodate up to five, an ideal solution for a family. The grounds also include a large swimming pool with a bar strategically located to make the most of the position. The hotel has a lovely lounge/bar, L’Orangerie, with several comfortable sitting areas (and a prominent photo of G.C.!), perfect for reading, playing a game, or relaxing with friends after a day of touring. There is also an excellent restaurant complete with wine cellar and sitting area below, a perfect area to hold a wine tasting or serve hors d’oeuvres. The property offers a variety of wellness services, such as tension release massage and shiatsu, tours of the area, and cooking classes. Località “I Giorgi”, Petrignano, (39) 075 9689008Rates: During the high season, a double ranges from 195 to 230 euros per night and a suite is 285 to 340 euros. Junior suites also available. Includes breakfast and taxes.