Laidback luxury is the general ethos here at Villa Lena, a gorgeously curated boutique hotel that honours contemporary art and design, offsetting the ragged wilderness of the rural surroundings. Along with being at the forefront of modern style, the past is also glorified, what with the villa being in use and the conversion of the ancient stables into beautiful rooms, here it feels that the classical and contemporary are in harmony.
Villa Lena is owned and run by contemporary art professional Lena Evstafieva and her music producer husband Jérôme Hadey, who set up the estate in 2007 along with the Parisian multifaceted curator of creative spaces Lionel Bensemoun, responsible for the 3,000-sq meter living space Le Consulat in Paris and recently added another string to his bow with La Folie Barbizon near Fontainebleau. Designed by Paris-based Clarisse Demory, the rooms and common areas in the fattoria (ancient stables) are simplistic, but adorned with beautiful sourced antiques and works done by the artists over the years (each creative leaves a trace to the villa art collection). The spaces inhabit a beautiful equilibrium of simple calm and carefully curated, becoming inspiring spaces primed for recharging.
Villa Lena was built at the end of the 18th century by Ferrini Del Frate. There are frescoed ceilings, shimmering chandeliers, a grand staircase that leads to a balcony primed for a Shakespearean love-story, alpine dressers, artisan lamps, a little chapel, music room, dining room, the ultimate French-doors which back onto the villa garden - pure theatre. If you clamber to the top, you will reach either of the two towers which are joined by a long balcony, the ultimate viewpoint for dusk and dawn.
"The restaurant has swooning views down into the valley. We eat delicious tomato and burrata salad with basil from the Orto, Chickpea fritters, seabass with salsa verde, crispy potatoes, ragu, aubergine and ricotta orecchiette, followed by pistachio gelato and ghost stories under the stars."