Pienza | La Bandita

Remote though it is at the end of a long and winding lane deep in rural Tuscany, there’s no more urban hospitality than the kind they lavish on guests at La BanditaThey are John Voigtmann, formerly of New York and big shot in the world of music, and his travel-writer wife Ondine CohaneThey had the wacky idea of leaving it all behind to convert a 20th-century farmhouse south of Siena into a gorgeous contemporary retreat, a classy boutique hotel with the undemanding intimacy of a good friend’s country pile. Ab Rogers and Florence’s DASTUDIO were enlisted to create bright and spacious interiors, minimally furnished for maximum chic.

There are 8 superbly stylish guest rooms plus one small self-contained apartment, and an open-plan lounge-dining-kitchen area with the same uncluttered layout. At the last count, the chef was nothing less than a culinary wizard, and John’s wine cellar was easily up to the challenge. Summer brings the bonuses of dining on the terrace and chilling out in the infinity pool, both with sweeping views over the Val d’OrciaLa Bandita can also be rented whole as a luxury villa with all the services a house party is likely to need. Whatever the format, it’s a superb location midway between Rome and Florence with a relaxed and generous feel, worth every extra penny. La Bandita is generally closed for a couple of winter months: it reopens this year on February 21.