Sunday, 26 January 2014

Ultimate B&B

I’ve started sifting the bottom cabinets of our bookshelves, more precisely those concealing piles of interior design magazines. I haven’t had the heart to throw away my beloved Art & Décoration and other French copies, some of which are more than 10 years old. After all, Mediterranean style is rather timeless.

The French interiors took my mind to some of the places where we have stayed on our travels. Even though we generally stay in private apartments it sometimes happens we (meaning I) can’t find a suitable one, in which case we prefer a bed-and-breakfast or a small privately owned hotel. The B&B we’ve adored the most is the gorgeous little Le Stanze del Casale in Portoferraio on the island of Elba. It was an absolute joy to stay there.

The place is located a few kilometres outside the town, not exactly by the beach but in a quiet and picturesque rather rural setting at the bottom of a hill not far from the sea. We were delighted about everything there, especially the owners and the fact that there is nothing fake about the place. All the items looking traditional or old are authentic hand-crafted, antique or vintage pieces.

The decor is most charming and welcoming with lots of delicious well thought out details both indoors and outdoors. You could stay at a place like this for weeks discovering something new of the interior and surroundings every day. We enjoyed our stay so much we didn’t mind a bit the lack of a TV in the room. Who would come to Elba to spend time indoors anyway?

The lovely owners have renovated their place from an old farmhouse. They live in the same building but in completely separate quarters with an entrance of their own. So they are always available but will not disturb you if you prefer privacy. Moreover, they are such animal lovers that visitors with pets are also welcome to their place. The B&B is open from April until the end of September. I bet it is fully booked most of the season.

Our room.

Our terrace facing the hills.
We travelled to Elba a few years ago in April when the weather was mostly sunny but we also saw some cloudy and rainy moments. We would like to return one fine day towards the end of the season when the crowds have cleared out. Should we be lucky we might be able to revisit Le Stanze del Casale, too. To me, it is the ultimate benchmark for a B&B. That’s how I’d envision by own fantasy establishment to be like, an inviting and tasteful home-like little place full of character.

More on our visit to Elba here.

Portoferraio across the bay.

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