— Please tell us a little about beautiful Borgo Santo Pietro.
We now have 17 rooms. The swimming pool has also been made longer so we now have a big infinity pool. We’ll develop more of the park and lake area with a new spa facility and a new Tuscan trattoria-style restaurant.”
— Borgo Santo Pietro
— What is your hotel’s philosophy?
It’s like a 5 star hotel and it’s also a farm. We do both.”
— Santo Pietro Suite
— What was your inspiration to buy a place in Tuscany and open a small boutique hotel?
We didn’t know where we wanted to be, but in looking around, it ended up being Tuscany. We bought it as a house we wanted to live in at first. Coming from London, it’s very remote for full time life, especially when our son was around five years old. We thought he needed bigger possibilities than the sheep and goats around.
As much as we love the villa, we realized we couldn’t live there permanently. We have five gardeners to tend the 13 acres. Had it been our private home, we would never have been able to do that.”
— How would you describe the style of the interior at the hotel, the atmosphere?
For instance, I wanted to have waiters that knew how to do silver service but without standing with their hands behind their backs. I think people want to get under the skin of where they are, and the best way of doing that is to have a chat with the people who work there, who aren’t distanced from the guests. People want to hear about the local life.
And the staff tends to enjoy it because it adds so much more to their jobs. They have a chance to talk to the guests they serve. It is a place where social ranking is non-existent. We all enjoy the same things.”
— Borgo Santo Pietro pool area
— Please tell us a bit more about the hotel’s facilities.
We have a pool, which is heated and all natural, not treated with chemicals. And we have a spa, once housed in our old bakery oven which dates back to 1229, but has now been moved to a bigger facility within the gardens. We offer art classes with our on-site resident artist, archery lessons, flower arranging lessons, and wine tastings, which is where we pick five estates of the year that have made remarkable wines. And people can buy it and we'll ship it to them. And we’re going to introduce horses next year. We already have the horse guide set up for tours.”
— Garden Suite bathroom
— And you also offer cooking classes at Borgo Santo Pietro?
We have some classes that stand out that people seem to like a lot, like all the different ways of using dough, for everything from pasta to bread. All of our pasta is handmade onsite.”