Villa Lena is an Italian paradise like no other. Set in the Tuscan hills, this unique guesthouse promotes nothing but the good life. Not only does it offer a variety of accommodation but also has an in-house artist residency that fosters multidisciplinary creative talent.
The trio behind this picturesque hotel has varied but complimentary backgrounds. Lena Evstafieva is a contemporary art consultant; Jerome Hadey has a Parisian band ‘Outlines’, and Lionel Bensemoun set up Paris night club, ‘Le Baron’. As they note, “together, they wanted to bring in one place their experiences in music, art, entertainment, film, fashion and other creative fields and create a unique retreat.”
The estate is made up of a combination of buildings all clustered around the main villa, which was built by a local family, the Ferrini Del Frate, in the 18th century. The central idea being that everyone gets together on long lazy Tuscan nights for an aperitif, music and dancing. All set against the backdrop of Mediterranean hills and rolling fields.
The Villa caters to the lone ranger, lovers, friends and families with the choice of single rooms, apartments or whole villas. And then of course there is the artist’s residence where Sophie Buhai created her architectural jewellery pieces seen on In/Out not so very long ago.
The rooms, designed by Parisian Clarisse Demory, are sparse and wistful, as soft and pure as the Tuscan sunlight that pours through their windows. Minimalist, honest vintage furniture are accompanied by a fanfare of hero pieces such as the cane rocking horse or Ettore Sottsass’s ‘Tahiti’ table lamp sitting on Superstudio’s ‘Quaderna’ table from Zanotta. Floral arrangements sourced from the property’s garden complete the picture.
Everything seems to come full circle in this paradise. The grounds boast their own veggie garden and what isn’t grown on-site is locally sourced. The rooms are decorated with past resident-artists’ works. The Villa has a shop that promotes it’s in-house artistic collaborations along with a carefully curated selection of local crafts, the estate’s homemade olive oil and wine. It’s a tender project with heart and soul captured beautifully by photographers Coke Bartrina and Frederik Vercruysse.