Boutique Hotel Leone, a beautiful boutique hotel in a stunning off-track hilltop town
Le Marche is an area as captivating as any you will find in Italy, and is one of the very few places that has escaped mass tourism, despite its natural beauty. The Italians describe it as, ‘all of Italy in one region’, with its medieval hilltop towns full of art and culture, amazing coastline with hidden beaches, patchwork-quilt countryside, stunning mountain ranges within three national parks, and a growing number of vineyards.
If you would like to experience the smaller off-track villages, where very little English is spoken and tourists are few and far between, the hilltop town of Montelparo which is a picture perfect Italian town complete with narrow, winding, cobbled pathways between shuttered sandstone townhouses and villas. At the end of one of these little streets you’ll find a stunning boutique hotel in the town of Montelparo that is owned and run by an English couple, who have realised their dream of owning their own little slice of heaven in Italy.
Boutique Hotel Leone is located in the picturesque hillside town of Montelparo, under half an hour’s drive from the Adriatic coast, in the foothills of the Sibillini Mountains, which offers luxury accommodation and fine dining that includes all the Italian classics but with an international flavour.
The owners, Madelline and Tim, spent three years painstakingly restoring this historic palazzo into a beautifully appointed boutique hotel that retains all the authenticity and character of the original building. Each of the eight stunning bedrooms has been individually styled by Madelline, who has taken inspiration from the 5-star hotels she stayed in during her high-flying banking career in London and the Far East. Everything from the contemporary décor to the luxurious bed linen has been hand-picked to offer guests the ultimate luxurious stay.
The hotel interior is magnificent with its art deco cocktail bar, the 15th-century brick-vaulted restaurant, and the plush Salone, where you can relax for afternoon tea or an after-dinner drink. It’s outside, however, where the hotel really wows guests. The panoramic terrace offers some of the best views in town, where you can see the rolling hills and cypress trees leading across to the Adriatic Sea in the distance. Breakfast is served on this terrace, where you can watch the morning sun cast its golden light over the breath-taking landscape below. You can also dine here in the evening under the stars and listen to the sounds of the locals working and living in the valley below. The quiet and secluded private pool also takes in this beautiful view and is a perfect suntrap, where you can relax with a good book and a nice cool drink.
Another reason to visit this little gem is the town itself. A sleepy little town just 25 minutes from the coast, it is quintessentially Italian, with narrow meandering cobbled lanes climbing to the dapple-shaded park at the top of the town, where you can view the Sibillini mountains to the west and the Adriatic coast to the east. Pop into one of the two local bars or the café in the town and get a glimpse of real life that you don’t find in Tuscany. If, like us, your Italian is minimal, you‘ll find the locals here are all fluent in the international language of hand signals, pointing and smiling.
Madelline and Tim have had the honour of hosting many weddings since they opened and they can organise as much or as little of your wedding as you would like them to. The ceremony can be performed in the town square in front of the church steps by the local mayor.
You and your guests can then wind your way though the town, via one of the little bars, back to the hotel where your drinks’ reception would be held on the terrace or in the art deco cocktail bar. The wedding banquet can then be served in the 15th-century cellar restaurant or on the terrace as the sun sets, where you can then dance the night away under the stars.
Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?