Inside Elle Macpherson, Salma Hayek and Sophia Loren's favourite idyllic Italian retreat: L'Albereta is the rural Brescian sanctuary loved by the A-list

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The modelling and acting elite tend to look for glamour-meets-seclusion when getting away from the flashing camera bulbs of their everyday lives.

And the likes of Elle Macpherson and Sophia Loren have stumbled upon their very own sanctum in the shape of the five star L’Albereta resort, tucked away amid the lush greenery of the Bellavista hills in Erbusco, Italy.

So often has actress Sophia, 83, been to stay at the hotel, there is a suite named in her honour; while self-professed 'spa junkie' Elle, 54, once listed the resort in her top two spas in the world.

Model Retreat: L’Albereta, Erbusco is the Italian retreat nestled amid rolling hills and vineyards that the likes of Elle Macpherson and Sophia Loren consider their sanctuary
Model Retreat: L’Albereta, Erbusco is the Italian retreat nestled amid rolling hills and vineyards that the likes of Elle Macpherson and Sophia Loren consider their sanctuary

Model Retreat: L’Albereta, Erbusco is the Italian retreat nestled amid rolling hills and vineyards that the likes of Elle Macpherson and Sophia Loren consider their sanctuary

Picture(book) Perfect: Based in a neo-Renaissance villa, dating back to the late nineteenth century, this leaf-laden refuge is located amid the rolling vineyards of the Franciacorta territory - a setting practically stolen from the pages of an illustrated fairy tale

'Henri Chenot’s L’Albereta in Franciacorta, Italy, is wonderful,' she stated, in a 2008 interview with The Telegraph, in which she explained where she goes in the world to be 'in a great nurturing environment'.

Elle didn't change her tune when she wrote in The Australian in 2012 that she 'would love to return as soon as possible' having come out of L'Albereta 'a new me'.

Elle put this down to the 'warm Italian service', branding the hotel both 'a treasure' and 'a delight'.

The resort is also a favourite with the likes of Salma Hayek, Arsene Wenger, half the Manchester United football team, the late Luciano Pavarotti and endless oligarchs, billionaires, sheikhs. 

Top choice: Elle  wrote in The Australian in 2012 that she 'would love to return as soon as possible' having come out of L'Albereta 'a new me'
Top choice: Elle wrote in The Australian in 2012 that she 'would love to return as soon as possible' having come out of L'Albereta 'a new me'

Top choice: Elle wrote in The Australian in 2012 that she 'would love to return as soon as possible' having come out of L'Albereta 'a new me'

Nestled in beauty: Surrounded by patrician villas and sweeping acreages and orchards, the region plays host to the summer residences of noble Brescian and Bergamasque families and has a history as rich as the soil it's vines are rooted in

Based in a neo-Renaissance villa, dating back to the late nineteenth century, this leaf-laden refuge is located amid the rolling vineyards of the Franciacorta territory - a setting practically stolen from the pages of an illustrated fairy tale.

Surrounded by patrician villas and sweeping acreages and orchards, the region plays host to the summer residences of noble Brescian and Bergamasque families and has a history as rich as the soil it's vines are rooted in. 

The only slight break in the silence that envelopes L'Albereta might occur when you are out in the gardens - where it's not unusual for a helicopter to rise from the hillside, choppering someone glamorous out across the nearby lakes.

With the likes of Elle and Sophia on the roster of past guests, and Lake Como not that far away, it's not fantastical to imagine the George Clooney aboard the aircraft as it heads off across the landscape.

Famous fans: The resort is also a favourite with the likes of Salma Hayak [pictured L], Arsene Wenger, half the Manchester United football team, the late Luciano Pavarotti and endless oligarchs, billionaires, sheikhs
Famous fans: The resort is also a favourite with the likes of Salma Hayak [pictured L], Arsene Wenger, half the Manchester United football team, the late Luciano Pavarotti and endless oligarchs, billionaires, sheikhs

Famous fans: The resort is also a favourite with the likes of Salma Hayak [pictured L], Arsene Wenger, half the Manchester United football team, the late Luciano Pavarotti and endless oligarchs, billionaires, sheikhs

Glamour: The only slight break in the silence that envelopes L'Albereta might occur when you are out in the gardens - where it's not unusual for a helicopter to rise from the hillside, choppering someone glamorous out across the nearby lakes

The hotel is all about fresh decadence; it has a scent to it that wafts gloriously around - from the bar, to the restaurant, to the spa, to the rooms.

Anyone who stays there will forever equate the aroma with L'Albereta afterwards. The candles, the bath salts, the scented towels - all are laced with a bouquet that can only be described as blossom blended with freshly-washed cotton. The scent itself is the epitome of decadence. 

Each room is an individual haven, tucked away in a turret or wing of the mansion-like villa, often spread over more than one floor, much like the Sophia Loren suite, which boasts rich tapestries, luxuriant furnishings and total comfort.

The spa offers a plethora of treatments: The Henri Chenot method which tailors a restorative body detox that reactivates the energy channels and organic functions, designed to meet the needs of each individual client

Each room is an individual haven: The rooms are tucked away in a turret or wing of the mansion-like villa, often spread over more than one floor

It's possible to achieve silence at L'Albereta. Whether you're relaxing on the terrace or balcony of your room, taking a stroll through the vines, enjoying the spa or spending some you-time in one of the various lounges, it's rare that you'll be disrupted from total relaxation.

If you don't want to be, you can quite easily go without interacting with another human being for a whole afternoon or day, even.

This isn't to say the hotel is an unsociable retreat. The staff are beautifully friendly and are there for whatever they can help you with. But they know when to let you just... be.

The ethos of the resort is based upon the art of living and the pleasure of conviviality. It offers some of the best restaurants in Brescia - giving those looking for gourmet food the chance to taste the delights of it's relatively new restaurant LeonFelice.

The scent of luxury: Anyone who stays there will forever equate the aroma with L'Albereta afterwards. The candles, the bath salts, the scented towels - all are laced with a bouquet that can only be described as blossom blended with freshly-washed cotton. The scent itself is the epitome of decadence

Not yet four years old, the cuisine of Fabio Abbattista adorns the plates of this eatery, and offers a colourful array of cookery technique and combination.

Ensuring that the fairy tale feel seeps through to even the dining rooms, the restaurant is named after the property's gardener, Leone, who has always taken care of the grounds.

You will taste the region itself as all of the herb, fruit and vegetable-laden dishes are made with ingredients taken from the surrounding hills and the kitchen garden.

The Vistlago Bistrò that sits adjacent to LeonFelice offers either indoor or outside dining, and stretches out into a terrace that offers breathtaking views of Lake Iseo.

The art of living: The ethos of the resort is based upon the art of living and the pleasure of conviviality. It offers some of the best restaurants in Brescia - giving those looking for gourmet food the chance to taste the delights of it's relatively new restaurant LeonFelice

Grapes grapes grapes: Here, you'll be treated to a tasting and tour of the incredible cellars which house the fruits of the vineyard's labours

This lake is a hidden gem in itself. It's as if it's a lesser-known sister to Lake Como [which is a three hour drive away].

Sitting on the terrace and overlooking Iseo can see time stand still. So peaceful and mesmerizing is it that it's not difficult to wile away a whole morning or afternoon there, enjoying one of the Bistrò's exceptional latte macchiatos [you simply will not taste better anywhere].

Tucked here and there around the hotel are various private terraces, each with their own allocated views, giving a different perspective in each instance. One may offer views over the resort's gardens, while another may provide you with a surround of the hillside that rolls down toward's the hotel's accompanying winery.

Franciacorta's own name is derived from 'francae curtes' - which were small Medieval communities of Benedictine monks who would instruct the locals on how to grow vines.

History: Franciacorta's own name is derived from 'francae curtes' - which were small Medieval communities of Benedictine monks who would instruct the locals on how to grow vines

Today, the area is famous for the production of sparkling wines of the same name, made via very particular regional methods and championed by the Bellavista Winery, that sits a short stroll away from the hotel.

Here, you'll be treated to a tasting and tour of the incredible cellars which house the fruits of the vineyard's labours.

Franciacorta DOCG is Italy's prime sparking wine, the country's first and bottle-fermented Brut to obtain this recognition, in 1967.

Various combinations of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes are used to make wine at the vineyard as well, with these blends fermenting slowly for at least 24 months for non-vintage and at least 30 months for vintage Franciacorta.

Exclusive method: The spa uses a method based on biontology, a scientific discipline that combines the principles of Chinese medicine and the more evolved techniques used in western medicine

Silence: Whether you're relaxing on the terrace or balcony of your room, taking a stroll through the vines, enjoying the spa or spending some you-time in one of the various lounges, it's rare that you'll be disrupted from total relaxation

The spa offers a plethora of treatments - including the Henri Chenot method which tailors a restorative body detox that reactivates the energy channels and organic functions, designed to meet the needs of each individual client.

This exclusive method is based on biontology, a scientific discipline that combines the principles of Chinese medicine and the more evolved techniques used in western medicine.

The spa of course offers regular treatments on top of this - deep tissue massages, hydro-aromatherapy, phyto-mud therapy and auricular acupuncture.

This hotel is genuinely a safe haven for anyone looking to escape the rat race of normal modern life.

If movie star decadence is what you require, without anything too garish being enforced while you relax, L'Albereta is a retreat for you.

Decadence: The spa of course offers regular treatments on top of this - deep tissue massages, hydro-aromatherapy, phyto-mud therapy and auricular acupuncture
Decadence: The spa of course offers regular treatments on top of this - deep tissue massages, hydro-aromatherapy, phyto-mud therapy and auricular acupuncture

Decadence: The spa of course offers regular treatments on top of this - deep tissue massages, hydro-aromatherapy, phyto-mud therapy and auricular acupuncture

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L’Albereta: Elle Macpherson, Salma Hayek & Sophia Loren's Italian haven

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