Nestled deep within the forest-peppered hillsides of Tuscany’s Appenini mountains lies a new nature-immersive retreat. Oasyhotel – stemming from the Italian word for ‘oasis’ – is set on a sweeping 100-hectare reserve, protected in partnership with WWF. The estate is home to a thriving expanse of woodland, with treetops towering into the sky, the soundtrack of birdsong and winding trails to explore.
Following her recent visit to the boutique hotel, our product and marketing manager Shana shares why this enchanting escape is a must for wellness retreats in Tuscany.
Italy is famed for its hearty dining, rolling vineyards and charming towns and cities steeped in history. But aside from the renowned destinations in northern Italy, such as Rome, Florence and Lake Como, I was eager to find a retreat off-the-beaten track, where the air is free of pollution and the surrounding space allows the mind to fully reset. This is where Oasyhotel in Tuscany steps in.
An eco-friendly retreat in Italy
On the highest point of a private reserve, Oasyhotel is a retreat with purpose, with the mission to protect the flora and fauna, as well as supporting Oasy Dynamo – a remarkable camp for disabled children and their families. Each element of the hotel has been carefully considered to support environmental, social and economic sustainability, from the hyper-local produce served at the restaurants to the camera traps placed around the reserve to track wildlife populations and movement.
The 16 spacious private lodges, each with its own terrace overlooking the mountains, present a beautiful opportunity for a private or group retreat. These boast a calming sanctuary with simplistic Scandinavian-inspired designs and wide spaces to lap up the morning rays with a coffee in hand and a gripping novel before the day begins.
Cycling trails, cheesemaking and hidden picnics
Waiting on the doorstep is your very own e-bike, ready to whisk you through the woodland trails with ease. There are two main routes to try in the estate, each around an hour in length, which offers a refreshing glimpse of the surrounding forests, with panoramic clearings that overlook the valleys below. Health Travel can arrange a pop-up picnic set up in one of our favourite spots along the route, for a relaxed breakfast laid out beside a stellar view.
The estate’s dairy farm produces scrumptious organic cheese, yoghurt and butter, which you will certainly be tucking into during your stay. There’s even an opportunity to get behind the scenes with a cheesemaking class hosted at the dairy farm. My knowledge on cheesemaking was non-existent, but I was pleasantly surprised how enjoyable and fascinating it was to get involved with preparing a stagionato cheese to take home, ready for ageing and savouring over the upcoming months.
Relaxation by the forests and lake
On the far side of the estate, an al fresco lunch at Casa Luigi was a delicious opportunity to try many of the ingredients grown and produced on the land, from the spinach and ricotta pasta, to the salads, cheese and charcuterie. The ranch-like setting was a tranquil spot to sit back and enjoy watching the horses basking in the sunshine beside us. For experienced riders, you can even saddle up for a horse riding experience across the woodlands of the reserve during your stay.
Oasyhotel’s picturesque lake is perfect at any time of day, whether that be out on the sunloungers in the midday sun or as the inky skies emerge during refreshing Aperol sundowners. Paddleboards and kayaks await those eager to get out onto the water. For a yoga challenge, why not test out your downward-facing dog and warrior poses on the paddleboard, working on your balance and core strength.
Beyond the lake and tucked away among the forest, is a charming platform built for yoga and meditation. Protected from the elements, this group space allows you to deeply immersed within nature through mindful breathing and even for a sound bath with singing bowls and the surrounding birdsong.
Farm-to-table dining at Oasyhotel
Dinner at La Felci restaurant takes you on a culinary journey, with hyper-local, seasonal ingredients used playfully in delicate Italian dishes, packed with flavour. The risotto had our tastebuds tingling with simple ingredients with superb execution – it was certainly a firm favourite among the group. And what would a meal be without an attentive service and delicious wine from the local region? The chefs and hospitality teams did an excellent job of creating a thoroughly enjoyable meal.
Campfires and late night hikes through the woods
The forests come alive at night, so the experiences continue into the late hours. Either with a cosy bonfire and storytelling under the stars or with a late-night hike through the woods with a guide. Torches in hand, we silently moved through the trails, remaining alert for the sounds of wildlife rustling through the trees. It isn’t often that you can wander through the dark forest surroundings peacefully, so this mindful activity heightens the senses as you deeply reconnect with nature.
Around an hour into our walk, a faint light appeared in the distance among the trees. As we drew closer, we were greeted to a roaring fire in an old brick hut and a long wooden table laden with lanterns – it felt like a scene out of Harry Potter! No one had expected this beautiful setup and the surprise was loved by all, as we chatted over a large glass of chianti under the trees and night sky. After a while, we set off again to complete our walk, under a full moon which illuminated the clearing, as we gazed out onto the lights of a city flickering in the distance.
Camping under the stars in Tuscany
If you and your group wish to spend a night camping under the stars, Health Travel can assist with arranging a cosy forest campsite with everything needed for an earthy, rewilding experience. Wake up to the smell of the pine with breakfast served out in the woodlands, ready to kickstart another day of light adventure in Tuscany. Your Geo guide will be waiting to talk through the conservation efforts in the reserve, including setting up camera traps to track wildlife, including red foxes, deer and the elusive grey wolf. If you’re lucky, you may even get a glimpse of some of the wildlife during your stay.
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