Italy: International travel group TUI is spending €250 million on restoring and refurbishing Castelfalfi, an 800-year old medieval hamlet.
In 2007, the German company bought an entire village in the heart of Tuscany. The project aims to bring the village “back to life” as a resort development including three hotels, residential and resort real estate, restaurants, retail boutiques, meeting facilities, golf, a winery, olive oil production and recreational facilities including a pool and miles of hiking and riding trails.
TUI has spent the last two years restoring historic buildings and reinvesting in the cultivation of the 2,700 acre estate’s 30 acres of vineyards and more than 8,000 olive trees to create “one of the most extensive and comprehensive resort-related agricultural environments in the region”.
The first hotel at the development, Hotel La Tabaccaia, opened earlier this year. The property was a former factory that dried tobacco for Tuscan cigars and has been converted in to a 31-room room boutique hotel.
Stefan Neuhaus, CEO of Tenuta di Castelfalfi S.p.A., said: “This project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Castelfalfi is a prime area of Tuscany. It has always been known for its breathtaking beauty. In the face of the recent economic downturn and during a period of financial fragility within the global property market, Tuscany has consistently remained a good investment. The region has always been synonymous with an idyllic life in Italy that many people from all over the world dream of.”
Toscana Resort Castelfalfi is scheduled to be fully-completed in 2018. The second hotel will be completed by 2016 and a third hotel will be finished by 2018.