One of the world’s most distinctive country-house hotels was once the country palace of Pope Julius II (the same pope who commissioned the Sistine Chapel), lavishly adorned with loggias, Italian gardens, a private church, and refined salons. The current owner, the Marquis Ricci, has added his own touches in elaborately decorated suites and rooms in the papal palace and an adjoining farm building, furnished with family antiques, rich fabrics, decadently huge bathrooms, and centuries’ worth of bibelots. The overall effect is design-magazine-worthy yet surprisingly welcoming and comfortable. You probably won’t want to slouch around in your bathing suit in the swanky lounges (lined with 19th-century finery and other collectibles), but the hotel also has a delightful pool and many relaxing corners. Siena and other Tuscan towns are within easy reach.