ADVENTURE LUXE TRAVELTRAVEL
Sleeping Under THE STARS We all have memories of sleeping outdoors under the stars once spring transformed into summer. These days, you might sit on your porch or patio to do such a thing, watching the sky as the minutes tick closer to midnight. But, then you retire indoors to sleep in your cozy bed surrounded by four defined walls. Capitalizing on the nostalgia surrounding camping and combining it with luxury features, multiple hotel and resort properties across the globe have created a similar experience. We’ve selected a handful of must-visit destinations for sleeping under the stars in absolute comfort and elegance.
> L’Albereta Photo Credit : L’Albereta
To understand the appeal of L’Albereta, you need to first think about the surrounding landscape and history. Flanked by the Po and Alpine valleys, Franciacorta is a verdant patch of rolling green hills nearly equidistant between Milan and Verona, shaped like an amphitheater and dotted with castles, towers, stone churches, and abbeys that have stood there for centuries. In fact, monastic courts had established estates here even before 1000 A.D. While it was once primarily farmland, today, it’s a wine production area where techniques date back to the days of the Benedictine monks. Although multiple wines are produced in the region, Franciacorta has become associated with a sparkling fermented wine made out of a combination of chardonnay, pinot Bianco, and pinot Nero grapes. As visitors note the remnants of the past and their connection to the present, the Franciacorta region’s warm yet not hot conditions with light winds have long been a draw. Locally, it’s a prime spot for country homes, and in looking out from L’Albereta, you’ll see these villas punctuating the undulating, almost uniformly green landscape in all directions. L’Albereta, a Relais & Chateaux property emphasizing wellness through its spa and restaurants, mirrors these aspects with its design. Visually, it’s based on the country villas of centuries past – in fact, the property was constructed as such in the early 20th century and used by the Moretti family, its current owners, for a number of years – and aligns with the shape of the Bellavista slopes, feeling as if it’s a part of the surrounding countryside. The Moretti family turned it into a vacation spot in 1993, first opening the property with nine rooms spread across its main villa and Torre Bellavista. Carmen Moretti de Rosa, Vice Chairman of the Terra Moretti Group and Managing Director of the Terra Moretti Resorts division, came up with the concept, inspired by travels with her parents and the details going into these properties, and looped in Milanese chef Gualtiero Marchesi. 42 | www.ClienteleLuxury.com
The property continued to grow, joining the Relais & Chateaux chain in 1999, and now encompasses 57 rooms across the original country house and four other buildings. Character wise, entering the property feels as if the landscape and history are coming along, with the buildings’ neutral to warm tones, rounded edges, frescoes, pink and cream marble, and vintage furniture all reflecting Moretti’s vision. Then, the luxury emerges, through fireplaces adding a just-like-home feel, wooden poster beds, detailed parquet flooring, and whirlpools inside the guestrooms. Wherever you go, large windows let the light in, and balconies and terraces throughout allow you to look out at the vineyards, trees, and, at some angles, Lake Iseo. Wherever you are, be sure to breathe in the distinctive scents of lime and magnolia. While all of these facets alone make for a memorable vacation, those wanting the under-the-stars experience need to book room 404. Although it resembles the other rooms once you walk inside, pressing a button changes the environment immediately: The roof opens up, revealing the sky above, whether it’s filled with blue and wispy white clouds or points of light over a vast expanse of black. By morning, breakfast on the room’s private terrace only solidifies the destination’s romantic, fantastical atmosphere.