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“This Could Have Been Great - It Wasn't”

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Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi
Certificate of Excellence
Gloucestershire
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“This Could Have Been Great - It Wasn't”
Reviewed 6 April 2013

In Summary

Not a luxury apartment - maintenance items not fixed
Kitchen equipment laughable
Reception closed at 7pm so had to phone for attention
No wellness suite as promised
No cycle track as promised on site
Truly dreadful food in restaurant
Disinterested management

In Detail

I should preface this review with a word about me. I stay 200 nights a year in 4 and 5 star hotels all over the world. I am Gold or Platinum card on most loyalty schemes. I ran large (800 bedroom) London hotels and was in the business for 15 years. I have recently completed my professional diploma in vegetarian cookery with the Vegetarian Society. I can cook, I can run hotels at the highest level and I am a vegetarian.

We booked the Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi on a special deal. The promise of a Deluxe Suite with breakfast seemed great - particularly since there were things like a wellness suite on site.

Actually we seemed to have been allocated a Deluxe Apartment on arrival. Not sure since it was about 9pm and Reception had closed at 7pm (where did it say that in the booking?). We phoned the number on the closed door and a helpful young man showed us where our room was (Adriatico apartment - is that a luxury suite?) and helped with luggage.

Still it was a nice room on two floors and warm. No food available anywhere because it was Easter Sunday and 9pm. Restaurant closed and nothing else open in Castel di Lama. OK - bienvenuto in Italia. We drove to Ascoli and bought takeaway pizza and beer (Luxury? Italy?)

The kitchenette was two electric hotlpates, two saucepans, a wooden spoon, a sieve and a grater with lots of plates, bowls and the cheapest cutlery imaginable. More like a team building challenge than a luxury apartment. No knives to cut anything with. The design of the kitchenette meant the electric kettle cable trailed over the two hotplates - bad design. No freezer - only a fridge which was in the lounge not the kitchen - hmm feeling less luxurious by the moment.

Nice weather next day - let’s exercise in the wellness room. Oops closed for refurbishment along with the swimming pool - where did it say that in the booking?

Breakfast was adequate if uninteresting and very limited on options on the buffet. One or two pastry items became familiar faces over the next two days.

Still we had brought bikes with us from the UK to cycle to Ascoli Piceno or down to San Benedetto del Tronto which “can also be reached along a splendid cycle path from Ascoli” according to the hotel’s website. This came as a big surprise and shock to the Tourist Information people in Ascoli Piceno. There is no cycle path from Ascoli to the coast and definitely nothing that goes near Castel di Lama. They should know - particularly since one of the staff lives in castel di Lama. The joy was starting to pale. We had brought bikes to cycle but couldn’t and there was no exercise facility as promised.

Back to the hotel. The two safes didn’t work so we couldn’t lock anything away, the handle in the shower had no central screws so fell off in your hand, the sliding door on the bathroom had no handle on the inside so could not be shut and the plug in the whirlpool bath could not be released. “Luxury” term now becoming laughable. All reported to reception in writing. News came back that most could not be fixed. The plug in the whirlpool bath was taken out - so no bath possible but at least it emptied - but of course you couldn’t fill it because there was now no plug.

The phone rang next day and someone asked us if we wanted to move since we were unhappy with some things. At this point we decided it might not be better anywhwere else given the standards we had seen so far so stayed. A bottle of Prosecco appeared that night - nicely displayed on the table with a corkscrew (?).

The restaurant seemed very closed so we ate in. next morning (April 3rd) we asked if the restaurant was actually closed. No, of course not, it is open. Great let’s book for tonight at 8pm. By the way one of us is vegetarian - no problem at all the chef will be able to accommodate that.

At 8pm we entered the empty restaurant and got the table d’hote menu. Hmm nothing much vegetarian - but one main course looked a possibility.

One of us ordered the lamb - sorry chef says only fried lamb tonight. OK and what are the “verdure stagione” - chef says only grilled vegetables tonight there are no “verdure stagione”. Wow this menu went out of date quickly - we were the first through the door. The web site talked of a kitchen garden that “enable us to offer guests tasty and natural ingredients all year round” - Not tonight apparently.

I asked if Insalata Caprese was possible as a starter. Of course. What arrived was about twelve wedges of tomato with two balls of mozzarella. Not sliced? No basil? No dressing? Luxury restaurant? Insalat Caprese? Not bad for a student but not a restaurant standard.

The lamb dish was one lamb cutlet deep fried to extinction covered in nuts propped on a bed of fried vegetables - noticing a frying theme here? The grilled vegetables (which arrived some time later) were two slices of aubergine and a piece of pepper on a side plate. The aubergine was warm the orange pepper was peeled, soggy and not cooked that day.

My main course was pasta in a watery sauce with halved cherry tomatoes and bits of mushroom. If my student son had served that in his bedsit I would have been disappointed. On “Master Chef” they would have asked “What were you thinking?” Truly awful cookery, badly designed, made, seasoned and presented.

Another table of three Italians seemed to be receiving much more attention - they were getting a tasting menu that seemed to run to eight or nine course. Lucky them. Each dish arrived with a full explanation and they seemed surprised and delighted. We were never shown that menu.

Dessert - two or three items verbally described. I chose some kind of semi freddo/mousse. A bought in thing with a swirl aerosol cream on top and squeezy chocolate sauce out of a tube. Nice at the burger bar - not in Ristorante Borgo. I asked for a doppio espresso to go with it. Got a sweet little stove top coffee pot of coffee. Nice but not a doppio espresso…

OK let’s pay and leave. No sign of anyone so we went to the desk. Could hear voices in kitchen - perhaps discussing the next delicious course for the three Italians on the next table. Waited another five minutes then left.

Phone call on Thursday morning - perhaps to ask if we were enjoying our stay. No it was to ask what time were leaving on Friday. Hmm perhaps we are in the way of someone important coming in.

Went to reception at 1100 on Friday - seemed to irritate a young Italian woman who was holding a Skype telephone conference at the reception desk. Was she perhaps the owner or manager? Who knows? She called a receptionist to deal with us. We were told we had to go to the restaurant to pay our 73 Euro bill since it was a different business.

Having lost the will to give feedback by this time I went and searched the kitchens for David - he had been our helpful (but slightly unshaven) waiter the night of the dreadful dinner. I paid and left.

We will not go back. We can not ever recommend this place. It seemed like a good idea but the standards of hotel keeping, cuisine, maintenance and customer service are a very long way below their luxury promise. At three stars this would have been irritating but expected. At this level completely unacceptable. My advice would be to find some professionals to run this place or give up and just do weddings and functions (with a much better chef).

Room Tip: Get there before Reception closes at 7pm and make sure you check all the details of your booking and...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
18 Thank clearworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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berlin
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2012

very nice property with very friendly staff. stayed in apt and really enjoyed our stay and visit to ascoli piceno. we had dinner at restaurant in the evening which was great. waitress didn t speak english but we managed. i think we should have come a month earlier as you could feel it being off season in october. also happy that we came on a tuesday as this place is probably booked for weddings every weekend and i could see it becoming very busy.

Room Tip: we stayed in 'tronto' and enjoyed it very much
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank thomasmarkerttt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2012 via mobile

Our hearts sank when we turned off the motorway, following the signs to Castel di Lama... and the industrial zone. Sure enough, we passed through a landscape peppered with light industrial units, really quite depressing. When we finally hit the town, things improved, and the final rise up the hill to Borgo Storico was much more promising.

The property itself is best described as 'fading grandeur'. The main building is effectively a small palace, with a minor princess still in residence on the upper floors. The building is sumptuously decorated, with beautiful ornaments, furniture, and books on fine art and history in every room. There are several common rooms on the ground floor, which are mostly kept open for guests to wander freely through.

The bedrooms are very poorly lit and decorated in a somewhat gothic style, making them rather gloomy. However, the views are spectacular provided you are looking at the mountains beyond the industrial lowlands in the foreground.

One tip: if you like a soft pillow, take your own! The supplied pillows are like bullets. Also, if you are a light sleeper, take earplugs: there appears to be a kennels somewhere nearby, and the barking was incessant.

The staff are lovely, and the remainder of the facilities (including the pool) are very good.

We were unlucky with the weather, and found we had to drive quite long distances to find interesting places for wet-weather visits, with one exception: Ascoli Piceno, only a 15 minute drive, was enchanting, and contains one of the most beautiful piazzas we've ever seen, as well as two fine art galleries.

Overall, and especially in good weather, this makes a pleasant destination.

Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank MikeRayJones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pewsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2012

This is an absolute gem and perfectly located between a short drive to the the beach or inland to the magnificnet Ascoli Piceno. We [family of four with children aged 6 and 3] have just returned from a wonderful week here and cannot wait to return.

The apartment set up-Adriactico- was very well geared for a small family, the restaurant served some wonderful locally sourced food and wine, and the village below served incredible gelatti [Bar Sport]. The pool was a reak treat and there were acres of beautiful grounds to explore. We received a very warm welcome and nothing was too much trouble.

What a great spot.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank HAMJT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2012

We stayed for a week mid June. We also found the hotel focussed on the weddings and the restaurant and felt those of us in the apartments were left to our own devices most of the time. On a Sunday it was impossible to find anyone and I, like another client on this page called the mobile on the closed reception door and no one answered. We decided to leave early in the morning, around 5.am the morning of departure as it was so hot and we were driving a long way south; imagine our surprise to find locked gates and no one around. Eventually we got thru to the mobile and the key to the gate turned out to be on our room key. We wasted forty minutes and were not happy. I felt this establishment was poor value for money - and I felt put wedding and restaurant guests first. Sorry

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank beverley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
borgostorico, Owner at Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi, responded to this review, 23 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on the Borgo Storico. We apologise greatly for the problems you experienced during your stay. Your review has been very helpful to us and has made us understand that we were understaffed in the month of June. We tried our best to accommodate all the necessities of our guests but unfortunately we could not meet all requests. We now explain in advance the different kind of keys that are given to our guests and we have also recruited more staff that can help guests throughout their stay.

Again, please accept our deepest apologies and we hope to be able to host you again at the Borgo for a special and relaxing stay.

Kind Regards,

Stefania Pignatelli Gladstone
Custodian and Curator
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2012

We arrived on June 23, 2012, at 6:15 PM after a long and tiring day. Upon check-in we inquired about dinner reservations and were told that the dining room was closed for two days due to a wedding. I was greatly disappointed and had never heard of such a thing at a quality hotel. I expressed my concern about potential noise from the wedding party which is normal with weddings, and I was assured that we would not be disturbed since they would be in the large house. I asked that we receive room service at the very least, trying to work with them and understood that the staff at such a small hotel would be stretched thin, and the receptionist said she would check with the chef and let us know. She took us to our apartment suite which was very hot when we entered, we guessed around 29 -30 degrees C. It had been a very hot day and I was surprised that the staff had not turned on the air conditioning in preparation of our arrival. The receptionist turned one air conditioner and left. Subsequently, we turned on 3 more units we discovered in the apt. The air conditioning units were grossly undersized for the size of the apartment (living room, kitchen, bedroom, bath) and barely blew any cool air. There was noone available to help us with our luggage. The receptionist called and said that the chef could not provide us with room service until 9:00 PM which was too late for us. I asked why we had not been notified about the wedding, lack of dining, and restrictions to the use of hotel space due to the wedding. She replied that she tried to call that day, but only got our travel agent. Our travel agent confirmed that they called him at 3:00 AM in the US. He returned the call and when he talked to the receptionist she only asked if we were still planning to stay. He replied that yes, we would arrive, but she never said anything about a wedding or lack of dining. I asked why had they not told us about the wedding months ago since we had made our hotel reservation 6 months ago, and I got no reply. After retiring at 9:00 PM very upset by our experience, we were awakened at 9:40 PM by singing and yelling. I identified the source as coming from the area behind our apartment, and opening the bathroom window, found a loud party going on outside our window under a tent. I tried to call the office, but no one answered. I got dressed around 10:30 PM and went to find someone to discuss the noise as well as the heat in our apartment. Our room was still much to hot to sleep comfortably. It was around 28 deg C. The temperature outside was cooler than in our room, but we could not open the windows due to the noise. A diiferent receptionist in the office who had not answered our phone call said she would come to our room to see if she could help with the air. When she arrived she checked the air and concluded that there was nothing she could do. She suggested that we move to another hotel due to the heat as well as the noise. We accepted her offer due to the heat as well as the noise. She made the reservation at Hotel Casale. I asked about payment and she said that we would pay Hotel Casale 140 euro directly and not owe Borgo Storico anything. We packed up and departed with no help with our luggage. We are now surprised that Borgo Storico did not share our experience with the booking company and that we are now having to explain to them to prevent us from being charged for a rather disasterous night. I cannot remember a time in my life where my husband and I were treated with such disregard at a hotel. Always ask if there is a wedding or large party before booking at this hotel! And don't stay in the apartments when there is hot weather!

Room Tip: Do not stay in apartments in hot weather. The main house is apparently much cooler due to thick wall...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Brooke T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
borgostorico, Owner at Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi, responded to this review, 23 July 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed review of the Borgo Storico. We are extremely sorry for all the inconveniences you had to go through during your stay in June. Your review has helped us improve our services, we have taken action and:

- Room service is available during wedding evenings. We try our best to provide guests with the swiftest possible service but due to a sudden lack of personnel we had difficulties in accommodating all the requests we received during your stay. We are very sorry for what you experienced.
- Before all arrivals the air conditioning in the rooms is turned on. I can confirm that all units are EU standard size for the spaces of the apartments and suites.

We hope that your stay at the nearby hotel was of your liking. We would never charge you for a night in another hotel, being your departure our fault. I can confirm that our Front Desk Manager phoned and emailed your agency immediately explaining their would be no extra cost involved.

Again, please accept our deepest apologies for the misfortunate events during your stay and I still hope that you were able to appreciate the beautiful area of the Piceno that has many hidden treasures to offer.

Kind Regards,

Stefania Pignatelli Gladstone
Custodian and Curator
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Fitzroy, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2012

A beautiful location overlooking the Tronto valleys, hills and Grand Sasso. The gardens are magnificent, the pool inviting, the restaurant excellent, and all the staff were always helpful for every request. A great location to visit the surrounding attrantions. Don't miss the nearby historic hill town, Offida. Probably one of the most beautiful and friendly, with the locals proud to direct you to the Chiasa, museum, theatre, and Enoteca. The hotel's winery is a treat with S. Panichi, a perfect host. Also visit Illuminati winery in nearby Controguerra, again being perfect hosts. The peaceful quiet here will amaze you.

Room Tip: Five star but look out for specials.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ericaw910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
borgostorico, Owner at Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi, responded to this review, 23 July 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you with all our hearts for the positive and very informative review on the Borgo Storico. The Borgo lies on a hill overlooking the Tronto Valley and the view embraces the Adriatic coast, the Abruzzo rolling hills, in very clear days the Gran Sasso (the highest mountain of the Appennines) and the Sibillini Mountains. At 8km we have the wonderful white travertine medieval town of Ascoli Piceno with its museums, churches and comfortable piazzas with Historic Caffés, ceramic shops and high-end boutiques. Offida is the most charming of the small hill top towns of the area. But we also have to mention Ripatransone with its very small alleyways and Acquaviva Picena with its impressive Fort and belvedere view. On the coast we have towns like Grottammare and Cupramarittima that make very pleasant trips in the search of history and good fish restaurants.
Around the hills and valleys there are quite a few other wineries that organise wine tastings for our guests like the Cantina Aurora and Saladini Pilastri. The area offers a variety of interests, all with the same common denominator: very few tourists, only culture and nature travellers.

We do hope to host you here at the Borgo again and in the mean time we send you Kind Regards,

Stefania Pignatelli Gladstone
Custodian and Curator
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi

Property: Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi
Address: Via San Pancrazio 1, 63082 Castel di Lama, Italy
Region: Italy > Marche > Province of Ascoli Piceno > Castel di Lama
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Castel di Lama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi Hotel Castel Di Lama
Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi Italy/Castel Di Lama

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