TUI to Develop 250 Million Euro Resort in Italy
An inspirational story of revitalization and restoration, Castelfalfi, an 800-year old medieval hamlet that has risen and fallen several times throughout its history, is in the midst of a new renaissance. In 2007, the German tourist brand TUI AG purchased an entire village in the heart of Tuscany. The project, the largest of its kind in Europe at the moment, is a 250-million Euro investment and promises to bring the village ?back to life’ as a unique resort development including three hotels, residential and resort real estate, restaurants featuring gourmet and Tuscan fare, retail boutiques, meeting facilities, golf, a winery and olive oil production and recreational facilities including a pool and miles of hiking and riding trails.
Castelfalfi resides in the district of Montaione, and is situated in the center of the magical triangle of Florence, Siena and Pisa. At the time of purchase, only two inhabitants lived in the village and the land housed an 11thcentury citadel, with a castle, a small church and a handful of abandoned farmhouses set on 2,700 acres of land among pristine rolling hills, valleys, vineyards and olive groves. After receiving permits and approvals in 2011, TUI spent the last two years restoring historic buildings and reinvesting in the cultivation of the 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.
Stefan Neuhaus, CEO of Tenuta di Castelfalfi S.p.A., comments,??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. However, under TUI?s ownership, the estate has been welcoming guests since 2010 with the renovation of its golf course and club – regarded as one of the most beautiful and challenging, yet playable for all skill levels, in Italy. Golf at Castelfalfi includes the 18-hole, par-72, 6,945-yard Mountain Course, and the 9-hole, par-37, 3,467-yard Lake Course that opened in November 2011. Plans are in the works to expand the Lake Course to 18 holes once all real estate prospects are further developed.
In a region famed for fresh, authentic cuisine, Castelfalfi continues centuries? old culinary traditions at Trattoria Il Rosmarino ? the estate?s first restaurant which opened in 2011 under the direction of Executive Chef Francesco Ferretti, who bases his menus on locally sourced produce from the surrounding farms and fields. A second fine-dining restaurant is scheduled to open in spring 2014 in Il Castello, the castle.
To restore the Castelfalfi estate, which has the endorsement and support of the City of Montaione, and to assure the greatest levels of authenticity and historic integrity, TUI hired a team of Italian architects and project managers to lead the first stage of development consisting of the medieval Borgo, or village. The first-phase result, completed in summer 2013, included the fashionable and contemporary interior design of 41 luxury apartments and nine shops housed in the 300 year-old buildings of La Terrazza 1, La Terrazza 2 and La Ghialla, all lining the main street in the village. The estate is undergoing further development including 18 existing Casali?s (farmhouses) currently being sold and custom-renovated to buyer specifications.
Castelfalfi?s design team will match buyer needs and expectations delivering ?key-in-hands? for their very own Tuscan dream with contemporary, classic, modern or eclectic interiors. One of the largest farmhouse?s on the estate is the 900-square meter Bovalico, located towards the eastern end of the Mountain golf course with spectacular views back towards the Borgo and the Castle.
The new seven golf villas being built along the edge the golf course are situated in two areas, ?La Querce,? next to the fairways of the Mountain Course and ?I Bianchi,? more centrally located by the 4th?fairway of the Lake Course. When completed, owners can place their homes, apartments and villas in a rental pool for visitor accommodations.
Castelfalfi, reached a major milestone in March 2013 with the opening of its first hotel, Hotel La Tabaccaia. The property was a former factory that dried tobacco for Tuscan cigars and has been given a new life as a 31-room room boutique hotel. Plans are currently underway to build a 120-room four-star superior property set in the rolling hills not far from the ancient Borgo with a spa and rooftop restaurant slated for completion in 2016.
In July 2013, Castelfalfi opened Le Piscine ? featuring four swimming areas for adults and children, including a 30-meter long pool, gym, sauna and snack bar. Le Piscine is available to all Castelfalfi guests.
The dream of Castelfalfi is well on its way to being realized. Wherever visitors stay, Castelfalfi is designed to provide owners and guests with the best of rural Tuscan living along with all the amenities of a fine resort, from sumptuously designed accommodations to world-class golf, fine dining, sightseeing throughout historic Italy, extensive outdoor recreational amenities and facilities and a unique opportunity to revel in 800 years of European tradition in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.