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“Beware-overrated”

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Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beware-overrated”
Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

Ok, we are very frequent travelers 2-4 nights per week every week of the year, in business level hotels. I have felt compelled to write a review on this hotel because the disparity between some prior reviews and what we experienced was so great. We expected a 4-5 star destination resort. What we experienced was a poorly managed 3 star hotel.

My husband and I are consultants, and because we travel so much on business we are in the highest level in most hotel chains, including hyatt, Starwood, intercontinental, and Marriott, of which this hotel is a member. We treat ourselves once a year by using our hotel credits to go on a vacation with our children. On this European trip we have stayed at some wonderful hotels in the other chains and had a terrific trip until we arrived at this hotel.

To start, as a previous reviewer warned (thankfully), the entrance and reception is odd--you cannot drive up to the reception making it difficult to unload with bags and children etc. There is also no one around to greet you. After a very long drive, we waited with our driver for about 20 minutes while my husband searched for someone to come out and help us with our bags. If I had been traveling alone or with young children it would have been even more difficult.

Next we went to the restaurant: a very limited menu, mediocre for an off the beaten track American restaurant, poor for an italian restaurant in Italy or a metropolitan restaurant in the US. Then there was the loud comedy show/ Karaoke/Open Mic night which blasted from the outside bar into the restaurant above and to the surrounding buildings, ruining any ambience provided by the natural surroundings.

Then we went to our rooms. We were taken aback, to say the least. Since European rooms usually only accommodate 2 people, we had booked 2 rooms for ourselves and our 2 daughters. Nonetheless, at the the hotels where we had just stayed, nothing was as small as these rooms. The rooms were sightly larger than the width of the bed. To be accurate for the sake of this review, I measured it, just above 9 feet wide and about the same in the other direction. We had read reviews on this site about and had driven from the coast (off our travel path) for the spectacular views describes by prior reviews, many of which talked about the views from their room. I guess I should not have been surprised, however, given the other let downs, when we looked out the window and saw a view of a fence. To make matters worse, we had requested and been told upon checkin that we had connecting rooms with our daughters. Unfortunately, this was not the case. So my husband and I split up so our daughters would not be in a separate room away from us. We called to address this with the manager, but the phone rang and rang without anyone picking up. Finally after several attempts, we reached someone at the front desk. My husband requested to speak with a manger. Although he was told someone would call back, no manager ever called back. Eventually, we called back and were told that they could not find the manager. Again we were told they would pass along the message to a manger, again no call--this is a hallmark of a poor hotel.

The next morning when we attempted to take a shower we found that the shower doors were off the tracks and were left leaning on the side of the shower. When my husband called to have someone fix the door, the front desk said that there was nothing they could do. When my husband asked once again to speak with a manager, they said that they do not have managers.

As far as the decor and furnishings go, it is a strange combination of rustic with cheap tacky updates. The property is in no way luxurious or four or five star. The layout of the hotel also reflects a cheap conference facility, with low rise additions connected with a series of halls and elevators. The furnishings in the rooms were updated to a level you would see in a marriot courtyard, not a Weston or a Hyatt (what I would describe as a 4 star) much less a Ritz Carlton, an Intercontinental or a St. Regis (what I would describe as 5 star).

I agree with a prior reviewers assessment that this is a "conference hotel". In fact I know, because we happen to be in the medical/scientific field, that this hotel hosts many scientific conferences. Having seen the rates charged for these "all inclusive" conferences as well as seeing the "deals" offered to stay in this hotel, I believe that the positive reviews given to this hotel are not given by people who are comparing this hotel to high end hotels, but rather to budget hotels. We spent 100,000 points for the two rooms per night and expected a Ritz Carlton level hotel. Instead we received less than a marriott courtyard. (Marriott Courtyards are much better managed.) I may add, that for the equivalent number of points in the intercontinental and Hyatt chains in France, we stayed at the nicest hotels in the cities where we stayed and were always upgraded for our status.

For any Marriott frequent guests, do not waste your rewards on this hotel; rather, stay at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman or The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay or even the ones in Florida. I suspect this hotel is cajoling it's conference organizers, who are themselves not paying their own way, to write glorifying but undeserved reviews. Don't be duped!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Joe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RenaissanceTuscany, Manager at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Joe S,

Thank you for taking the time write to us through Trip Advisor sharing your experience within our Hotel .

You indicated in your response that your stay with us was unsatisfactory , and please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you seem to have
experienced.

We thank you for commenting your thoughts on the disparity of most reviews and what you have found and we appreciate your point of view although negative, that which will certainly allow us to work on the shortcomings you have found , preventing in as much as possible, such incidents recurring in the future.

We take great pride in ensuring our guest’s satisfaction and our goal is to address your concerns so that we can ensure exceptional services and experiences in future.

If I may be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Cristina Da Costa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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durham uk
Level Contributor
527 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

The Renaissance Tuscany is perched halfway up this spectacular mountain with views across the Serchio valley,and the delightful little town of Barga. We spent 8 highly relaxing nights here and could find no significant problems worthy of criticism. We ate at both restaurants,and had several snacks in the Nour lounge and all the offerings were of a high quality,muchlike the breakfasts which we enjoyed each day. Service obviously plays an extremely important roll in a hotel of this standard,and all the staff played their part admirably,with Maria,and Aleksy on reception always willing to help make our stay perfect. The pool and terrace areas are immaculately kept and like many areas of the hotel afford you magnificent views. Our room was furnished beautifully,and again to a standard worthy of a hotel of this reputation,with a huge kingsize bed,crisp egyptian cotton bedding,which was feather free as requested,and a highly efficient A/C system. The Renaissance Tuscany is in a gorgeous position,and we had an exemplary stay here and can't wait to return.

Room Tip: When travelling to the hotel from the direction of Lucca your sat nav/GPS may want to cross over the...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sunlunlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RenaissanceTuscany, Manager at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Sunlunlad,

Thank you very much for sharing your review on Trip Advisor following your recent stay with us at the Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort & Spa

We are delighted to hear that you had enjoyed your stay with us on your trip to Tuscany and were particularly pleased with the service of our associates and also glad to know that the team was able to help you . Your kind words of appreciation will be shared with the associates mentioned and the team accordingly.

Thank you once again for your thoughtful comments and we look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Tuscany.

Warm regards

Cristina Da Costa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We were 4 adults on a family vacation. We were warmly met by Helena who explained that one of our rooms was not ready because we arrived early but they arranged for all of our luggage to be taken care of and treated to a drink for our inconvenience.
The hotel is gorgeous and the staff so helpful. The staff helped us with train schedules for a trip to Florence, finding a laundromat for a quick washing of clothes, great places for dinner and so many other things. The rooms are very roomy and comfortable. Every staff member we met was cheerful, helpful and courteous. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone and hopefully will go back in the future. What a peaceful, quaint and beautiful resort.

Room Tip: The rooms overlooking the valley have a magnificent view.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stech1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RenaissanceTuscany, Manager at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Stech 1956,

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at The Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort & Spa.

I was very much pleased to read your great comments about our hotel and especially about our associates and the service we provide. I will pass your kind words to Elena and all other associates.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future. Thank you also for choosing our Hotel.

Kindest regards,

Cristina Da Costa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowmore, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

It was very nice to eat breakfast overlooking the great mountains and Barga. Unfortunately, the executive rooms we got, with view to the valley, did not meet our expectations. We tried to change room, but was told that everything was already booked (even though booking.com and hotels.com had available executive rooms). At first, we got a room at the second floor. The view from this room was poor. On day two, we got a room at fifth floor. The view from this room was much better, but no balcony.
The staff was nice and helpful. The room was clean and the beds were great.

Room Tip: Ask for highfloor excecutive room with view to the valley and with balcony
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eirik S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RenaissanceTuscany, Manager at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Dear Mr. Eirik S,

Thank you for taking the time to write your comments.
You indicated in your review that your stay with us was unsatisfactory. Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced. We take great pride in ensuring our guest’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, in this case despite all efforts we did not meet your expectations.
One again thank you for your kind comments regarding our the staff.
Our goal is to address your concerns so that we can ensure you have an exceptional experience on your next visit.
You’re a valued customer; everything we do is aimed at providing you with an excellent hotel experience. We would like to regain your trust and hope to serve you again in the future. If I may be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Cristina Da Costa
Room Division Manager
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Dunstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Off the beaten track, up in the mountains overlooking the town of Barga, on a private wooded estate. The pool and restaurant decks have the most incredible views over the area and with the good weather we had, added to the overall exclusivity and luxury of the place. The room we had was a twin, modern with a superb bathroom. Although the outlook was not as good as some of the older rooms, nevertheless, the comfort and general amenities were excellent. The restaurants were well priced, with an excellent menu and a good range of wines to meet all tastes. The lounge areas, inside and out, afforded plenty of room to stretch out and, although the bar closed 2 am, it didn't detract at all from the sheer enjoyment we experienced. Outside, there are a range of shops with well priced goods, gifts and artwork and there is also a resident travel firm that can arrange packages to local sightseeing spots, wine tasting and also to the main tourist areas of Florence, Pisa and even Venice. We didn't try the indoor pool or the spa facilities, but they seem up to the usual Marriott/Renaissance quality. Although it does take about an hour to reach the hotel from Pisa or Florence airports, the journey is certainly rewarded with an extremely warm welcome with great staff and a sympathetic response to any queries you might have. The local town of Barga is easily reached by taxi, or by foot if you're up to it, and provides a typical, Italian village feel with plenty of bars, restaurants and outdoor entertainment. It is an ideal place for conferences with plenty of space for informal and formal presentations, including exclusive rooftop terraces. Free Wifi in the lobby areas.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the restaurant and pool areas might be a little noisier, but the views are simply...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Coopsonthemove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RenaissanceTuscany, Manager at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Dear Coopsonthemove,

Thank you for staying with us at the Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort & Spa and for your review.

I was very happy to read that you have enjoyed your overall stay, our services as well as our staff and the hotel location.

Once again, thank you for choosing our hotel and I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

With kind regards

Cristina Da Costa
Room Division Manager
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Level Contributor
303 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We visited the hotel in July and were surprised it was not very crowded at all. It was a long, curvy drive up to the hotel. Long walk from the parking area to the reception, which is not very fun in the rain.

Although I did not get familiar with many of the activities that were offered such as horseback riding, this hotel awesome was splendid. The staff was all helpful and friendly. The breakfast buffet was okay but it was not a lot of selections. There was only handful of people dining. I often wondered if it was off-season in Tuscany.

Our room was on 3rd floor with balcony. The views of the hills, city of Barga, the winding roads, and the clouds were stunning. I would have enjoyed sitting on the balcony all day had it not been for some other guest on another floor waving and talking to me. At times I wished the balcony had a little more privacy. The housekeeping response for extra amenities was very quick. Room service was excellent. Only complaint I have is that my suite only had one TV in the bedroom area. It would be nice to have a second TV in the living area. The beds were comfortable and the room had attractive décor. The Wi-Fi required multiple slips of papers with long access codes. There is no lounge for platinum members. The indoor pool was great didn't get chance to try the outdoor pool due to the rain.

This is a great getaway hotel. It rained during our two-day stay, which was perfectly fine and made the stay even more spectacular.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank canyanyday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RenaissanceTuscany, Manager at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Dear canyanyda,


I would like to thank you for taking your time to write this review after your recent stay at the Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort & Spa.

We are very pleased to learn that you were satisfied with your stay and glad to see that we have lived up to your expectations.

Your comments about the hotel and staff are very important for us and are shared with our team members for encouragement and improvement.

We thank you for choosing the Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort & Spa and we look forward to welcoming you back on your future visit to Tuscny .

Yours sincerely

Cristina Da Costa
Room Division Manager
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Atlanta
Level Contributor
87 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Can't say enough about the beautiful view of Barga and the surrounding mountains. After being upgraded to the villas which are outside the main building, we were pleased with the larger room. However, The AC in our room wasn't working on Day 2 (didn't use it on Day1), so the moved us to another villa with even better views and a balcony. Other reviewers had noted the limited food choices but we haven't experienced that issue. There is also a pizzeria about 200 meters from the hotel which isn't affiliated with the hotel but we went for dinner and enjoyed the pizza. The hotel arranged a wine tasting and lunch at a nearby winery that makes organic wine. Very interesting and quite enjoyable. We will come back here when in North Tuscany.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jerman00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RenaissanceTuscany, Manager at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 30 July 2014
Dear jerman00,
Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel;
I have enjoyed reading your description and appreciate your feedback about the hotel, food and the services we provided.
Again thank you very much for choosing our hotel and we look forward to welcoming you back very shortly.

Sincerely

Cristina Da Costa
Room Division Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa

Property: Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa
Address: Via Giovanni Pascoli, 55051 Castelvecchio Pascoli, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Lucca > Castelvecchio Pascoli
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Castelvecchio Pascoli
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover a blend of Italian elegance and refined comfort at the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa. Situated on 1,700 acres in the heart of the Serchio Valley, our luxury hotel offers the perfect destination for your Tuscan getaway. Enjoy ideal access to charming and historic attractions including Barga, Lucca and Pisa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Il Ciocco Hotel
Il Ciocco Barga
Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa Italy - Province Of Lucca

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