What We Love
- Daily breakfast, a welcome glass of wine and unlimited coffee, water and soft drinks are included in the Jetsetter rate
- The infinity pool overlooking Val d’Orcia — here’s your photo op
- A few rooms have gargantuan free-standing tubs right next to the beds
- Italian chef Dario cooks on-site
What To Know
- A city tax of approximately $1.30 per person, per night, will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- The hotel is small and may be a little too intimate for some, but it’s perfect for a group of friends or family
- Dinner is served daily
- Don’t expect a big, elaborate breakfast, this is Italy: A coffee and a croissant is typical
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
When former Sony music executive John Voigtmann bought the property that is now La Bandita in 2006, it was little more than a barn — albeit a barn with a stunning view. There were cows in what is now the reception area. The beauty of this boutique retreat is that it retains the rustic charm of the area, from its bumpy cypress-lined drive to its Tuscan farmhouse aesthetic. In many ways the hotel feels like a home, such is the intimacy of the open-plan living rooms and kitchens. And small details, such as vestiges of Voigtmann’s record label past (read: an impressive vinyl collection and the odd industry award), make it feel far more personal than a standard boutique hotel.
Bed and Bath
The eight sleek rooms showcase Voigtmann’s impeccable taste, from the breezy linen bed canopies to the waterfall showers and oversize bathtubs to the bright green accents throughout. And the rooms come with quite a view: The setting on a hill above Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO Heritage Site midway between Rome and Florence, means you’ll be looking out at rolling fields dotted with grazing sheep and hay bales.
There’s no official restaurant, but on-site chef Dario is terrific and can cook the hell out of a bowl of pasta in a way you have never tasted. He whips up nightly family-style dinners and can create private meals on request. There’s also a covered pergola for alfresco dining against an enchanting backdrop and you’re encouraged to help yourself to a bottle of finely aged Brunello whenever you want. Taking a dip in the on-site infinity pool or plunging into the hot tub, which overlooks Monte Amiata, feels like stepping into the most honey-colored Tuscan postcard ever made.
How to Get There
We stayed at La Bandita for just two days, but would happily have stayed for longer. It’s a wonderful, small, pretty BnB, with clean, comfortable and airy rooms (ours was the smallest, and lovely), and a lovely, quiet pool area with scenic views of the countryside. The breakfasts are delicious, with a huge spread including delicious breads, fruit, pastries and cakes, and local produce including jams and honey. The coffees were great. The best thing about this BnB is the staff, who truly want you to treat the place like your home (cold drinks are free, which is a generous touch) and who go out of their way to make you feel welcome. They were all very charming. La Bandita offers lunch and dinner for guests, which we didn’t join in on as it was our first visit to Tuscany and we wanted to explore, but we heard from other guests that they were delicious. The location of the country house is ideal - plenty of charming places to visit nearby. We will return!
We stayed at La Bandita for one week, at the peak of summer’s heat peak and it was just magic!
Part of it is because it’s secluded (it’s a 15 min non-paved road to get there), part because of the stunning location vita views across the UNESCO heritage listed Val d’Orcia, but certainly most of it due to the friendliness, attention and professionalità of the staff.
Paola greeted us every day providing local suggestions on what to see, where to eat, including locals sagras and events you would never find out about otherwise, and all excellent recommendations! She did the impossible for us, just as an example, she managed to find a spot for a tour at a winery in the Chianti region (including wine tasting), even though when we were informed they were all-booked.
The chef Dario is a resident there and he prepare amazing food, inspired by local tradition, but certainly capable of taking it to the next level, likely due to his 5-years+ tremendous experience in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Copenhagen.
Even the manager John, came one day to greet us and explained the history behind La Bandita, founded by the British philantropist Iris Origo, in an area where there was literally nothing before.
You need a car to go around, and following Paola’suggestions, we managed to see unique and authentic gems like Bagno Vignoni, the Sant’Antimo abbey, San Galgano abbey, Pienza, Montepulciano, San Gimignano and many more places that make La Bandita simply a perfect hub, even location-wise, to explore southern Tuscany.
Not to mention that by the pool you can enjoy some of the most extraordinary sunsets while drinking a glass of one of the trillion fantastic bottles of wine they store in their cellar.
Overall, a real gem where you can relax and enjoy, super quiet at night, where even the stars seem to come to say “hello”, contributing to make your stay fabulous.
The drive up on the Stoney/dirt road is worth the effort albeit you may want to get home before dark if you are not a confident driver!! The country house has great service, wonderful rooms, excellent staff and the provisions of unlimited capucinno, water ( both sparkling and flat), soft drinks is unprecedented. The evening familyste meals were exceptional and the staff were extremely helpful and will to assist in booking preparing your day!!