Review: L'Albereta

This hidden gem on Lake Iseo in Italy is part of the Relais & Châteaux collection

Location: Hidden away in the vineyards and rolling hills of Franciacorta – an area producing some of Italy’s top sparkling wines. The property lies close to one of the country’s lesser-known lakes, Iseo, but is actually only an hour’s drive from Milan or 30 minutes from Bergamo airport, making it a perfect option for Brits who have already sampled the shores of Como or Garda.

First impressions: “Are you hungry?” says the receptionist the second I walk through the front door to check in. A silly question as I quickly catch the wafts of freshly baked bread and garlic floating out from the nearby kitchen.

I’m escorted to the terrace, given a glass of bubbles (produced at the hotel’s BellaVista winery) and plates of goodness start arriving thick and fast. I quickly realise I’ve found a hidden gem in discovering L’Albereta.

The facts: The property was originally built as a private residence, and some of the original features such as paintings and frescoes remain. It’s now home to 57 rooms and suites, all of which are extremely different in size and decor.

There’s lots of cosy corners to unwind in throughout the hotel, and you’ll often find guests relaxing with a book or simply enjoying the vistas around them.

Food is king here – and the high-quality culinary offering is why L’Albereta is part of the Relais & Châteaux collection. There are three restaurants – fine dining options Leone Felice and La Filiale pizzeria, offering a mix of traditional and unusual pizzas.

There’s also Ristorante Benessere, only open to guests following one of the spa’s health and wellness programmes. The Escape Chenot spa is a destination in itself, attracting the fashion set from Milan.

Tailor-made programmes help clients to detox or work on fitness levels. There’s an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well as tennis courts and a good walking trail around the vineyards.

Explore: Make use of the hotel’s mountain bikes to explore the Franciacorta region. A visit to L’Albereta isn’t complete without seeing the nearby lake, so take the 15-minute drive to the sleepy town of Iseo. There isn’t much to do but the gelato and stunning scenery make it worthwhile.

Wow: I can’t stop thinking about the food!

Book it: B&B from €260 a night based on two people sharing.

Hollie-Rae Brader

Hollie is editor of Aspire’s print and online products. She is responsible for the running of the club and ensuring the content produced and the events organised are relevant to the Aspire audience. She was previously deputy news editor and cruise writer for sister title Travel Weekly. She loves exploring new destinations and is gradually ticking new countries off her list. She most enjoys writing about cruise, South America and Japan. Before working in the travel industry she held news reporting roles at the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.

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