This 12th-Century Monastery in Umbria Is Now a Contemporary Boutique Hotel

Nestled in the countryside of Umbria, about an hour away from the charming medieval city of Perugia, Vocabolo Moscatelli occupies a 12th-century monastery that’s been painstakingly restored by German hoteliers Frederick Kubierschky and Catharina Lütjens. Having met while working at the Park Hyatt in Zurich, the young couple dreamed of creating their own little hotel. Indeed, they’re very present, chatting with guests and the locals who frequent the restaurant and lobby bar. 

They worked closely with Florence-based architect Jacopo Venerosi Pesciolini to breathe new life into the crumbling monastery, adding contemporary design elements like bespoke four-poster beds in sleek silhouettes made by fourth-generation ironsmith Emanuele Lispi, colorful bathroom tiles by local ceramics studio Cotto Etrusco, sleek light fixtures by Flos, and contemporary art by Italian artists. They even hung a replica of Boy with Apple from Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel above the check-in desk as an homage to Kubierschky’s time as a concierge. The property is a member of Design Hotels.

Lütjens describes the hotel as “a place that offers all the amenities of today’s generation but doesn’t get bogged down in standards.” To that end, breakfast is included and they serve it a la carte all day long, freeing guests from the constraints of typical hotels. They also strive to draw in locals with community-oriented events and help guests delve into the destination by offering activities like foraging, forest bathing, truffle hunting, wine tasting, and pottery classes with a local ceramicist.

Each of the 12 rooms and suites was individually designed, with its own color scheme, plus a mix of antiques and contemporary furnishings. Some of the rooms in the main building have a private balcony with an outdoor bathtub and curtains for privacy. The annex has a bridal suite and a spa room with an indoor sauna and an outdoor jacuzzi in a private garden. Kids aged 14 and up are welcome as well as dogs, who get their own amenities including pet beds, bowls, and treats. The hotel is surrounded by about 2.5 acres of grounds with an outdoor pool, a pergola, and a garden that grows vegetables and herbs used in the restaurant.

Top Takeaways:

Location: Umbertide, Umbria

Star-Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: A historic monastery with modern interiors and a laid-back vibe nestled in the countryside.

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: Kubierschky and Lütjens are wonderfully welcoming hosts with a worldly outlook who go out of their way to make guests feel at home.

Food + Drink: The restaurant serves modern Italian cuisine with international influences, inspired by the cooking of Yottam Ottolenghi. The cozy lobby bar serves classic and creative cocktails as well as local wine and beer. 

Any Neighborhood Recs?: Trattoria da Volpelli just up the road is a no-frills spot serving authentic Umbrian cuisine, like homemade tagliatelle with freshly shaved black truffle. The charming city of Perugia is about an hour away.

Amenities: outdoor pool; manicured grounds with a vegetable garden and pergola; deconsecrated chapel used for yoga, pottery classes, and other events; breakfast a la carte served all day; in-room dining; pet beds, bowls, and treats; spa suite with private sauna, jacuzzi, and garden

Rooms: There are 12 rooms and suites in the main building and annex

Pricing: Starting nightly rate at €380 ($414), including breakfast

Closest Airport: San Francesco d’Assisi Airport in Perugia

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