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“Wonderful Experience.”

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Relais Il Falconiere & Spa
Ranked #7 of 24 Hotels in Cortona
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 October 2012

The il Falconiere was a wonderful surprise. It was a great place to come to between Rome and Florence. We stayed for 3 nights in a very cool room in a small building next to the restaurant. it was decorated in Tuscan style which was lovely. The old world doors were hard to open but, once mastered it was a cinch. (my husband never could open or lock our room). They staff here was superb. I am lactose intolerent and Luigi and the staff went above and beyond to make sure I would not have anything that would make me sick. The food here is excellent with a wonderful chef. We had some of our best meals in Italy here. The grounds, vineyard and olive groves are beautiful. We had a very informative wine tour and tasting. They just happen to produce some very good wine which added to our dining pleasure. Our only disappointment was that we didn't reserve space in the cooking school in advance. We didn't realize that you have to do this in advance since it fills up fast. (next time). This was something we thought maybe our travel agent should have mentioned. All in all we loved Il Falconiere and would not hesitate to recommend this hotel. We can't wait to return. It was a wonderful Relais & Chateau property. This is in Italy. In Cortona. Not in New York City. It was just charming.

Room Tip: Ask about rooms and location before hand. Also, make sure to book the cooking school before your arr...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Il_Falconiere, Proprietario at Relais Il Falconiere & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 March 2013

Dear Nancy,
thank you for your wanderful review, I'm sorry you miss our Cookery Experience! Cooking Under The Tuscan Sun is our cooking school that sometime an advance reservation is required...Next time!!! Differnt room with easier lock and cooking class! I''ll organize a special welcoming for you next time!
Silvia Baracchi

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194 - 200 of 516 reviews

Reviewed 15 October 2012

First something positive, this hotel is set on beautiful grounds on an amazing vineyard and the wine was truly delicious. However, we feel it is overly expensive and overrated and will not return because of our experiences. I'll start with the worst note- Our rental car was broken into in their parking lot. It cost us about $400 because the deductible on our damage insurance was $1000. This property is extremely remote and gives the impression of being secure and safe. Il Falconiere states this is the first time this has happened and acted very concerned and surprised. However, when asked the hotel would not compensate us for any of the costs we incurred. What poor customer service for such a "highly-rated" hotel. This is certainly not something you would expect to happen when you are paying $300 Euros a night! While the property is beautiful and quaint, the rooms are really not updated and there is NO insulation between rooms. In fact, you can see your neighbor through a huge crack where the doors meet. We got next to no sleep the first night due to a drunk couple fighting loudly across the hall. Even just opening or shutting doors will wake you up. I had two very disappointing but overly expensive services at their spa. The free turkish bath, sauna and steam shower were lovely, but my $200 facial and pedicure paled in comparison to anything I've gotten for near that price before. Finally, one of the highlights was the tour of the vineyard and wine tasting by the owner when we first arrived. It was one of the highlights of our whole Italy trip! We were a little shocked, however, when we got our bill and they had charged us for it! There was no mention of this when we signed up. Again, just bad business. We assumed it was complimentary since we were guests at the property. Of course, nothing is free in Italy so we should have known :) Even with the cost, we would have done it anyway because it was wonderful but felt a little blindsided. We expect to receive top-notch service for our money and when compared to places like the Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria and other wonderful properties in this class, this property just doesn't hold up their reputation.

If you are a down to earth person...stay at Villa Marsili in downtown Cortona for a fraction of the price. So many things are complimentary there, and the staff is fantastic and make you feel comfortable and at home. There were no disappointments there and you can walk to all the Cortona restaurant and shops.

Room Tip: Get a private suite separated from the main house if you stay here and like to sleep.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Shannon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Il_Falconiere, Proprietario at Relais Il Falconiere & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2012

Dear Shannon,
Thank you for the time you dedicate to us. I understand that after the bad experience in the car park, any positive thing goes away! After a negative experience everyone is less relaxed and maybe doesn’t enjoy a lot the vacation. I’m sorry for what happened, we are not used on our area to have delinquency, we live in countryside and we are usually very quiet and safe. I don’t know about the money you are talking about, of course we have a private insurance for any request.
Inside the hotel we offer different activities and both in the rooms and in reception clients can find prices lists and decide to take part or not, usually a wine tour is followed by a wine tasting of 3 or 4 glasses of wine, a tasting of bruschetta with our own extra virgin olive oil, cheese and salami. It is hold personally by the producers, my husband Riccardo or my son Benedetto and takes about 2 hours. They are more than happy to show the winery and explain their philosophy, but all of this has a cost!
About the spa, we are very proud to use natural ingredients coming from the estate, but in case of facial our proposal is the treatments of Officina Farmacia Santa Maria Novella of Florence . They are very exclusive and everyone can see immediately the result! We have employers working in the spa from many years, with an excellent level of experience and everybody love them a lot!!!
Tuscany is very enchanting and thank you for your decision to come again.
Silvia Baracchi

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Reviewed 3 October 2012

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of staying at various Relais & Chateau member properties. I must say my experience at the il Faconiere was disappointing at best. The grounds are wonderful and the property is quite historic but there were so many deficiencies for a fine hotel property that the list of issues is endless. I would encourage the owners to pay simple attention to the details that makes one a "fine property and worth the price one pays". That unfortunately is not the case with what we experienced. Like another reviewer stated, how in the world did this property qualify for the R & C distinction?

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank hh5638
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Il_Falconiere, Proprietario at Relais Il Falconiere & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2012

Dear sir
Thank you for your opinion about my property, I like take in consideration every review that can help to improve our service. This is not the case, I don’t understand what you liked or if you have had some matter and what. We are used to offer to the guests our efforts to make their vacation memorable ( I mean in positive way!). I recommend to the ladies at reception and to the staff to dedicate time to every guest to understand more about their whishes and try to make them happy! Unfortunately sometime clients are not very communicative and this make our job very hard.
I hope to have the possibility to welcome your again at Il Falconiere, personally, during your next trip in Italy and make your vacation special and memorable.
Silvia Baracchi

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Reviewed 2 October 2012

Let me warn you, this will be long, but if you are considering Il Falconiere, and in particular one of the cooking programs, please read on.

First and foremost, if you are looking for a shiny new place to stay which is perfectly updated, Il Falconiere is not the place for you. It is what used to be a family home that dates back to the 17th century. Yes, that means that it is older and that it has slightly older fixtures, etc., but I personally don’t agree with the prior negative reviews. Our bed and bathroom were very nice. We were able to cool our room just fine; the shower was not an issue nor was the bed. Again, the rooms are not modern but have a charm that we loved.

We booked the 5-day cooking package staying in a Junior Suite and our stay was one of if not the highlight of our trip. Just about everyone we spoke with did a cooking class somewhere in Tuscany, but I wanted more than just 1 class. Our program included three 3-4 hour hands-on classes all taught by Richard Titi (more on him later); the first class was with a bigger group of 9 people but our second two classes were just my husband, Chef Titi and me which were really cool. It also included pretty much all meals (you cooked a 4-course meal in each session and then ate the meal at either lunch or dinner), 3 different private tours with guides (1 of Cortona and surroundings, 1 day trip to Montepulciano and Siena and other stops, and one to the local market with chef Richard Titi to purchase ingredients); the tours also included meals arranged in advance by Il Falconiere. Our package also included a wine spa treatment (see below), a vineyard tour (which we ended up missing by our own mistake). In short, it was pretty much all inclusive.

I chose Il Falconiere because of their flexibility. So long as there were two of us (my husband was a trooper and joined in the cooking) we could do the classes pretty much whenever we wanted. We were also asked if there was anything in particular we wanted to cook but their menus were so diverse that we had no changes. In short, Chef Titi was awesome. He was extremely knowledgeable, clearly loves what he does (and is amazing at it) while also being a really nice, down to earth guy. We thoroughly enjoyed all of our classes as well as the market trip with him. Plus, most importantly, the food we prepared with him was amazing. If you want to cook in Tuscany, I cannot recommend Il Falconiere enough.

Silvia and Ricardo Baracchi, the owners, were both also extremely nice. They joined us for cocktails our first night, which was a very nice, personal touch. Silvia made a point of checking in with us every time she saw us; we also had a farewell drink with her and Richard Titi on our final night. Quite honestly, everyone went out of their way to make sure our stay was enjoyable. Want to reschedule your welcome dinner to the last night? No problem. Need a ride into (and later back from) Cortona? No problem. They were incredibly accommodating and we really did feel more like a friend/family guest than simply people paying to stay.

Our room was between the spa and the pool and was very quiet and private. It had a huge lawn in front (plus 2 chaise lounges shaded by fruit trees) which was basically all ours; it was bigger than our yard at home. The Junior Suite consisted of a good sized bedroom, a living/sitting area with a couch, desk, armoire, etc., and a bathroom. We felt like we were in our own private little cottage.

The property itself was amazing with spectacular views out over the hills and Cortona. There are actually two pools on the property, one by the main area and another up the hill past the vineyards where there are additional rooms. The grounds are absolutely beautiful. (One recommendation: bring mosquito repellant. The property is in the country and you will get bitten.)

Daily spa use is included, specifically steam room, Jacuzzi and a very nice lounge area with beautiful views. Our package also included “Wine Therapy” which was a Jacuzzi bath for two in a huge copper tub with a large bottle of red wine added to the water. To be blunt, it was awesome, if not completely decadent to be sitting in a wine Jacuzzi while drinking champagne. After, we relaxed in the lounge enjoying the view. A perfect relaxing afternoon. They have other treatments as well, but we didn't have time to try them.

Breakfast was good: the usual breads, cheeses, meats, eggs. We enjoyed all of our meals, both the ones we cooked and the tasting menu we tried on our last night. I do not understand the negative comments about the food, either at breakfast or dinner.

I will be honest, I was a little nervous before our stay as there are obviously mixed reviews of the property and I had no idea what I had singed us up for. But our stay was amazing and we highly recommend the resort, the restaurant and the cooking program.

If you have any questions at all, please message me. I am happy to answer any questions.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SarahInSoCal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Il_Falconiere, Owner at Relais Il Falconiere & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 December 2012

Dear SarahInSoCal
Thank you for your superb review, I see that you are used to travel and write review, for that I like it a lot!!!
You noted many details and that make my work very pleasant.
Thank you and I hope to welcome you again soon
Silvia Baracchi

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Reviewed 18 September 2012

We found the estate to be lovely. Our room was in the "newer" section, a bit off from reception and the main restaurant, but it had it's own breakfast area and outdoor (unheated) pool. It was quiet, spacious and had exceptional views. Turndown service left fresh towels as well. The breakfast consisted of yogurt and cereal choices, fresh fruit and pastries, fresh pies and cake as well as a variety of cheeses and hams, coffee to-order and fresh squeezed orange juice. The staff were always courteous and friendly, though it did take 30 minutes once for them to bring a bucket of ice. We made use of the on-site spa (complimentary daily access) and enjoyed it, though we wished the pool was warmer! We enjoyed the tasting menu and restaurant immensely, dessert being the highlight. We would recommend a stay here if on the "3 nights for the price of 2" special rate.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DMD06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Il_Falconiere, Owner at Relais Il Falconiere & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 December 2012

Dear DMD06
Thank you for your nice review, I like a lot your descriptions about the hotel, it makes me fell better. I always try to make happy my clients and when I realize that it happened I’m very satisfied.
I hope to welcome you again and have the possibility to share my world with you!
A presto
Silvia Baracchi

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Reviewed 9 September 2012

Could it be that Relais and Chateux now has a curve basis in a desperate attempt to add a relais in Tuscany. I have been to dozens of relais and this isn't close to measuring up to their standards. Most of the complaints on this site seem to be the same so pardon the redundancy. The air condition in the rooms do not cool the room, its hot. The mattresses are 30 years old and hard as a rock. My wife woke up in pain every morning. The showers good luck trying to figure out how to work it. No gym. The coffee pot filled with dust like its been sitting unsused for a year. What relais would pass this. Very bad service in bar. Breakfeast buffet the worst ever anywhere. Now on to the restaurant same issue as I am told they have a michelin star. For sure 100% this restaurant is no more deserving of a michelin start then McDonald's. The food, some dishes good some just plain bad. The service terrible you will strain your neck looking for the one captain who takes orders on 21 tables all by himself. I on both nights went and got him and made him come to my table and take my order. Once nice thing to say. It's a beautiful property in a beautiful Tuscan setting but after coming from the 4 seasons in budepest and the four seasons in Prague we know what perfect is. Relais in my opinion should be one better then a four seasons. Neither the hotel or the restaurant are close to dererving a michelin star or a relais and chateux membership

Room Tip: stay elsewhere
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank golfbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Il_Falconiere, Proprietario at Relais Il Falconiere & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 8 December 2012

From Silvia Baracchi Chef and owner
Dear Golfbob,
thank you to spend your time to write a review about your vacation. For us your opinion is very important to make our Relais and service better and better. I see you made a reservation on September and our air conditioning was in perfect working all the summer and especially in September with a chilly temperature it worked perfectly ! Maybe was your sensation.
About the restaurant , we have this organization from many years, Luigi our Maître can organize the service and take the orders scheduling at the best the arrival of our clients to avoid stoppages in the kitchen. At the end we don’t have 21 tables at the restaurant , we have just 16 and spread in different dining rooms, so I think was not easy for you check our service, especially in the second floor. Our Michelin starred restaurant is not a fast food and we like to dedicate the best attention to every client. I don’t want a simple Chef de Rang takes orders but can do this just the Maitre or myself.
I opened at the first the restaurant on 1989, the hotel 4 years later , at the end we cannot have mattresses 30 years old , we changed all the beds 4 years ago and yes, they are not soft because they are orthopedic the best chice for the health of the body ( back and shoulders ) maybe you are not used to this kind of healthy attentions. We are always able to change our mattresses and pillows on request.
You are right we are nor a Four Season hotel , but we are very proud to be part of Relais & Chateaux , most of them are family hotels which excel in the art of hospitality with their personal touch and attention of every detail. I’m sorry to be far from your aspetations, but of course every clients is different and we love all of them a lot!
Hoping to be able to change your opinion on your next trip in Tuscany .
Greetings
Silvia Baracchi

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Reviewed 5 September 2012

As we planned our travels through Italy, we most looked forward to our stay at Il Falconiere. It not only met but exceeded all expectations. The setting of the hotel is breathtaking. Taking a walk though the grands is so enjoyable. Our Junior Suite was unique, highly spacious and very romantic. The hotel restaurant is exceptional. We had a meal there on our first night and it is something we will remember for years to come. The setting is the most romantic. Aside from the taste and quality of the food, the staff operated like a well oiled machine. The sommelier is outstanding. The chef sent a complimentary tasting plate of desserts to our table, the perfect end to a perfect dinner. We also took a cooking class with the resident chef Richard Titi. He is a very talented, yet most humble man, and we learned a great deal, but most of all enjoyed the experience. The facilities at the hotel are great, and all of the staff very friendly. By far the most enjoyable stay we have had throughout our travels in Italy. Cannot recommend highly enough.

Room Tip: The junior suites are impressive.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Joy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Il_Falconiere, Proprietario at Relais Il Falconiere & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 16 December 2012

Dear Joy,
thank you for your review it is very beautiful, you touch different aspects of Il Falconiere. I and Richard will be always happy to have guests like you inside our kitchen to work together hands-on!! Each clients is important for us and we can learn a lot from them too!
Thank you again for the time you dedicate to us, I and Richard are always ready with new recipes and we are looking forward to welcome you again.
Silvia Baracchi Chef & Owner

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Additional Information about Relais Il Falconiere & Spa

Address: Case Sparse San Martino Bocena 370, 52044, Cortona, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Arezzo > Cortona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Cortona
#6 Luxury Hotel in Cortona
#7 Romantic Hotel in Cortona
Price Range: £165 - £417 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Relais Il Falconiere & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The typical Tuscan villa which dates back to the 17th century was the home of the famous poet Antonio Guadagnoli. Now completely restored and transformed into a countryside Relais, it is part of the prestigious chain Relais & Châteaux, which exuberates the art of hospitality.In the restaurant, in the kitchen, at the reception, dedicated to taking care of the needs of our guests ,we are proud to offer everyday our availability and our specialties, improving them continuously. The art of refining quality is achieved by caring about details that make a difference.An ideal setting for those who love the beauty of the countryside, the atmosphere of the Relais is quaint with characteristic old-fashioned Tuscan charm. The twenty-two rooms are elegantly furnished-each unique in color and décor and reflecting the classic, refined style of important Tuscan homes. A few rooms are in the antique villa, some attached to the villa’s chapel and others in the cottage. All share the view of the magical landscape of the Cortonese countryside and are fully furbished with every modern comfort.La THESAN ETRUSCAN SPA has the goal of reawakening all of your senses through the harmony of the environment and the flavours and tastes of Tuscany.The Etruscan Thesan Spa guides you to discover the true relaxation, with a unique and unrepeatable involving all five senses. A wellness Trail where the two basic elements - water and heat - are skilfully combined with lights, sounds and colours therapeutic to optimize the relaxation. Exclusive for Officina Profumo Santa Maria Novella of Florence. Behind each of our actions is the desire to spark an unforgettable emotion: a recipe with delicate and persistent aromas, a special and rare decoration, the vistas leaving you breathless and astonished, the warm welcome that makes you feel as though you belong.. all of this will take you to the primordial feelings of pleasure. Staying with us will leave you with everlasting memories.The restaurant is on two floors with a glass and wrought-iron conservatory, overlooking the outside dining terrace with its ancient fishpond and rose-clad pergola. The cooking, which is personally supervised by Silvia, with the help of the head Chef Richard Titi, has succeeded in creating new temptations, using original and traditional recipes to create a marvelous cuisineaccompanied by great wines. “Il Falconiere” is situated in a quiet, elevated, rural location amid vineyards and olive groves. It enjoys enviable views of the Val di Chiana to the west, and Cortona, the ancient Etruscan hill town just three kilometers to the south. The Relais is ideally located for short trips to some of the most famous art cities of central Italy, such as Arezzo, Perugia, Siena, Florence and Assisi, all within in an hour’s drive away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Relais Il Falconiere Cortona
Relais Il Falconiere Hotel Cortona

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