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Stay in the saddle: 8 of the best boutique hotels for horse riding

Whether you’re an experienced equestrian or a beginner looking to break in your first pair of boots, we’ve rounded up a herd of hotels where you’ll want to stay in the saddle as much as in your boutique bedroom – and the views from your window can be best explored on four legs.

Castello di Reschio, Umbria – Italy

Huddled amidst rolling green hills lined with cypress trees, Castello di Reschio is a one-thousand-year-old castle which has been meticulously restored and stylishly reimagined into ten bespoke farmhouses dotted across a staggeringly beautiful 1,500-hectare landscape. With state-of-the-art stables created by the estate’s founder, Count Antonio Bolza, who was inspired as a boy by the famous Lipizzaner horses of Vienna, Reschio is now home to some of the world’s most skilled dressage horses – their weekly performances by in-house trainer Antonello Radicchi and his wife Francesca in the estate’s Teatro Equestre are not to be missed. Featuring spectacular indoor and outdoor arenas, the hotel’s multilingual instructors are on hand to help with all things horse-related, from dressage lessons to guided hacks through the Tuscan wilderness.

Lazib Inn Resort & Spa, El Fayoum – Egypt

Set within a charming Fayoumi-style villa atop a lush green hillside just beyond the art-filled village of Tunis, Lazib Inn Resort & Spa is a desert mirage of pretty pink clay. In perfect proximity to a cultural treasure trove of Ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman and Islamic archaeological sites, and a labyrinth of well-preserved Pharaonic temples from the late Greco-Roman period at Madinet Madi, there is no shortage of sights to see from horseback, camel, or the comfort of a 4×4 if you’re feeling saddle-sore. Trek over the sand dunes of Wadi Al Rayan, or trot through the waters of Lake Qarun to watch the sunrise over the ancient oasis.

Torralbenc, Menorca – Spain

In prime position between rolling farmland and vineyards, and the island’s sandy beaches with Mediterranean Sea views, Torralbenc boasts the best of both worlds when it comes to experiencing the natural Balearic beauty of Menorca. A traditional finca with fuschia flowers covering whitewashed walls, threshing floors, and a stable yard, the 27 rooms and cottages are decorated in a soothing, creamy palette. Hack through the 77-hectares of the estate on horseback to make the most of the surrounding agricultural landscape, sprinkled with wild olive forests, fragrant orchards, and Mediterranean underwood.

Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge, Cappadocia – Turkey

Known as the ‘Land of Beautiful Horses,’ Cappadocia is the perfect place to explore on horseback – from the open steppes dotted with the region’s distinctive ‘fairy chimneys’ to the cobblestone streets of the villages, riders are allowed to venture virtually everywhere. Overlooking the Uchisar Valley, there is no better base for Anatolian adventures than Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge, a sublime eco hideaway where east meets west at its luxurious best. With endless routes to choose from, the Ariana team will point you in the right direction for off-the-beaten-track treks and secret spots to see from the saddle.

Rawah Ranch, Colorado – USA

A rustic set of historic Colorado-style cabins in the rugged Laramie River Valley, Rawah Ranch is a true slice of the Wild West. Channel your inner cowboy or girl with over 22 trails spanning mountain waterfalls, lily ponds and across rivers, through aspen groves and peaceful valleys. Ride through thousands of acres of pristine and protected high-country Colorado wilderness, perfect your lassoing skills on the lawn, or get up to speed in the arena with one-to-one instruction with the Rawah resident wranglers. More experienced riders can venture off property with a selection of all-day treks, including a mounted visit to ‘Ghost Town,’ an old mining camp from the 1800s where the cabins are still intact.

Carmo’s Boutique Hotel, Ponte de Lima – Portugal

With just 15 rooms and three glamping-style tent suites, Carmo’s Boutique Hotel is an intimate countryside retreat in the heart of Portugal’s oldest village, Ponte de Lima. Carmo’s guests are wonderfully placed to discover the traditions, cultural heritage and architecture of the beautiful Minho region of Portugal. With equestrian touches at every turn, Carmo’s is a horse-lovers haven – including Frederico the pony on hoof to help you with your bags. Take a class at the nearby Equestrian Centre Vale do Lima before exploring the region’s lagoons and Peneda-Gerês National Park. For a more leisurely experience, sit back in a horse-drawn carriage along tree-lined pathways to take in the rural surroundings at a slower pace.

Hotel Rangá, Hella – Iceland

From the Golden Circle in the west to the Glacier Lagoon in the east, Hotel Rangá is perfectly located to experience everything South Iceland has to offer. If you choose to spend your time in the saddle, you’re guaranteed volcanic views and a lesson in the five gaits of the Icelandic horse. Canter through fjords and over windswept black beaches, before warming up in the hotel’s outdoor geothermal hot tubs for an evening session of stargazing in the observatory – if you’re lucky, you might even see the Northern Lights.

Riverview Ranch, Montana – USA

Perched above the banks of the Clark Fork River, Riverview Ranch is a back-to-nature bolthole where each experience is an authentic Western adventure. The hotel’s connection to the vast Montana landscape greets you at every turn, whether you’re toasting marshmallows around the firepit or enjoying farm-to-table cuisine in the Lodge Great Room. When the charms of big sky country beckon, there are ample opportunities to immerse yourself in ranch life – from horseback cattle drives, team penning, and scenic trail rides through the nearby Lolo National Forest, to horse-drawn sleigh rides with hot cocoa in hand during the winter.