Hotel

Villa Lena

Palaia (PI), Tuscany, Italy

A mansion? You could almost call it a small castle, this red building from the 19th century with its towers and the magnificent column-decorated facade. For a long time it was the beloved summer residence of an aristocratic family and later changed owners until 2007 the current owners found and acquired the now rather run-down gem on a Tuscan hill with an incredible view.

Since then, the three friends Lena Evstafieva, Jerome Hadey and Lionel Bensemoun from Paris have been spending as much time as possible there. Since they come from the art and music industry themselves, they have set up a project through which artists from all fields can stay for a while in the Villa-Lena. Here you have time and rest to be creative. Star chefs from all over the world also come to work in the Villa Lena for one month as Chef in Residence.

Holiday guests of the agriturismo, which opened in 2013, are also exhibition or concert visitors here and have the opportunity to chat with the artists during the aperitivo and dinner. There is a lot of exciting and beautiful things to see here, because every artist leaves a work of art in Villa Lena as a gift, which is then exhibited here. And if you want to rest your eyes from art and artistic creations, you can look outside and enjoy the silvery olive forests, the endless sky and the soft hills of Tuscany.


Rooms + Rates

per night
Double roomfrom100 €
Apartmentfrom220 €
entire housefrom595 €

Sustainable

ArchitectureThe Tuscan villa from the 19th century and the outbuildings that were built over the years, former stables and coach houses, have been renovated by the new owners with the help of local craftsmen and experts and with materials such as wood and Carrara marble. The interior consists largely of reused and restored furniture. In view of the art sense of the operators of the house, it is no wonder that the renovation and furnishing of the property and the outbuildings converted into guest houses has turned out to be extremely tasteful.

FoodAt Agriturismo Villa Lena, organically certified olive oil and wine are made from our own plants. Two large vegetable gardens are cultivated in the harmonious course of the seasons and supply a large part of the ingredients, which are then processed in the kitchen of the agriturismo. Other ingredients all come from the local area from local suppliers.

In addition to the rooms and apartments for holiday guests, there is also the "Artists in Residence" project under the roofs of Villa Lena. From April to November, artists from all disciplines are given the opportunity to work on their own project for one to two months, and to exchange ideas with other artists present. There are all kinds of different workshops and studios from 20-100 square meters in size in the many outbuildings of the villa. During their stay, the artists organize small painting or pottery courses with the holiday guests present, and there are often exhibitions of finished or growing projects and works. In conclusion - that's the deal - the artists of Villa Lena are giving a work of art that will have a permanent place on the many walls of the many rooms.

EnvironmentAt Villa Lena we try to be a closed circular economy. No new seeds are bought and as little waste as possible is produced. Sun and water are collected and used as much as possible. The 500-hectare land with olive, fruit and vine plants and the large vegetable gardens are watered where necessary with collected rainwater and treated service water. Many of the roofs have solar panels that are used to heat water and generate electricity. And plastic is avoided if possible. Much emphasis was placed on reuse instead of buying new equipment.

Well-BeingThere are changing courses such as yoga, and guided hikes (such as looking for truffles) are also offered. The swimming pool and whirlpool invite you to swim.


Characteristics

  • Creative agriturismo where artists, chefs and guests meet
  • Villa from the 19th century with a fantastic view over the Tuscan hills
  • Tastefully and stylishly furnished with old furniture and a great sense of art
  • "Artist in Residence" program from April to November
  • Artists present offer various painting, pottery or other creative courses
  • Own cultivation of organically certified olive oil and wine
  • Two large vegetable gardens provide the ingredients for the restaurant
  • Also well suited for events such as weddings, family celebrations, etc.
  • Guided truffle hikes possible
  • Cooking classes, yoga classes, painting courses etc. are offered
  • Permanent and temporary exhibitions of the works of artists who are and have been there
  • Destinations such as Lucca, San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena, Pisa, Florence are all suitable for a day trip

Agriturismo11 apartments + 19 roomsRestaurant + own cooking facilitiesChildren welcomeWi-Fino disabled accessPoolPets allowed

Features

  • Agriturismo with 11 apartments and 19 rooms for 2 to 6 people each
  • All apartments with their own cooking facilities
  • Breakfast buffet included in the price
  • Restaurant, pool bar and indoor bar
  • Game and TV room
  • A total of three pools, one of which is only for guests of the "Casetta Bella"
  • Wood-fired whirlpool
  • Large garden with playground and various barbecue areas
  • Outdoor yoga platform
  • Towels and bed linen available
  • Natural cosmetics from Tuscany
  • Free parking
  • Charging stations for electric cars
  • Different function rooms
  • Supervised activities for children
  • Several workshops and studios

Testimonials

Concept hybride, la Villa Lena n'est pas seulement réservée à la crème de la scène artistique. Elle accueille aussi les esthètes et les noceurs du monde entier dans un domaine toscan super inspirant. On y va. Le tout étant de savoir quand...

Céline Pécheux, elle.be, , 2020

Damit künftig noch mehr Gäste in der Villa Lena Platz finden, hat sich das britisch-norwegische Architekturbüro Hesselbrand dem ältesten Pferdestall des Anwesens, der Fattoria, angenommen und ihn restauriert. Dabei blieb das Studio der ländlich-italienischen Ästhetik des Hotels treu: Sämtliche neue Gästezimmer sind mit Eichenboden und vor Ort produzierten Möbeln ausgestattet, die Badezimmer wurden mit feinstem Carrara-Marmor aus dem nahen Steinbruch verkleidet. Neben den privaten Refugien bieten ein Yogastudio, eine Kunstgalerie, sowie ein Open-Air-Pavillion genug Orte um den Sommer (und die Villa Lena) in vollen Zügen zu genießen.

Antonia Faltermaier, ad-magazin.de, , 2020

Die »Villa Lena« scheint einen Ausweg zu bieten. Alles ist geschmackvoller. Der Tag beginnt mit Yoga, danach kann man die Ateliers der Künstler besuchen, die hier für zwei Monate ihrer Arbeit nachgehen – sie bezahlen den Aufenthalt mit einem hier entstandenen Kunstwerk –, oder sich daran erfreuen, dass ein Wandeln über die Anlage ergiebiger als das Stöbern in Styleblogs ist: geringelte Sonnenschirme am Pool, auf dem Wasser treiben Einhorn-Schwimmreifen, es gibt keine Fruchtsaft-Kokos-Alkoholika, sondern Gin mit Gartenkräutern.

Lara Fritzsche, sz-magazin.sueddeutsche.de, , 2020

The vibe is like a Luca Guadagnino film – think long, hot stifling summers spent lounging by sun-scorched swimming pools – with a helping of Wes Anderson-style symmetry and saturated colours: the pastel orange of the main villa, the pink and green of the bar, and the Hockney-esque palette of the pool, all the richer when cast under the peachy-golden light of dusk.

Jade Conroy, telegraph.co.uk, , 2020
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Rooms + Rates

per night
Double roomfrom100 €
Apartmentfrom220 €
entire housefrom595 €

Location + Directions

By car

Villa Lena is less than an hour from Pisa (54 km). From Florence it takes about an hour (70 km), Bologna is about 2 hours away (159 km) and from Rome it takes about 3.5 hours (305 km). The exact address and directions can be found on the Villa Lena website. Arriving by public transport is unfortunately not possible. Pick-up from the train station can be organized on request.