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“Il Falconiere overpriced and poorly kept up”

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Relais Il Falconiere & Spa
Ranked #5 of 24 Hotels in Cortona
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago Illjan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Il Falconiere overpriced and poorly kept up”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2008

We expected a first class property as we paid a very high daily rate. Instead we were very disappointed with a second rate facility. The views were indeed beautiful but could not make up for a very tired looking room. The couch was broken, the drains did not work, the shower was unusable (to small for adults), The room was large but the bathroom was tiny. Most disturbing was that there was no air conditioning in Oct. and it was very warm. There were no screens on the windows and large number of bugs entered the room which resulted in insect bites which were very uncomfortable. We had reservations for 5 days and they would not let us check out a day early without charging for the room. The facilities were so far below expectations that some people checked out despite the fact that they still had to pay for the room. The final insult was that the owner gave tours of his winery with some tasting, and we were told by the evening clerk that their was no charge, so we took the tour and the next morning there was a $60 charge on our bill for the tour.
A totally bad and expensive time was had.

Stayed October 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank chicagoILLjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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456 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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UK
Level Contributor
46 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 229 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2008

We feel a strong attachment to Il Falconiere as it was the first hotel we stayed in on our first trip to Italy some 12 years ago.

At that time we found it to be bewitching and romantic and spent our 25th wedding anniversary there on a subsequent trip.
It has always felt slightly formal and restrained.

We returned this year and would like to make the following observations:
Cortona is not Chianti so don't expect the beautiful and famous scenery of that area.
This area has a charm of it's own and Il Falconiere is in a very good location for visiting the stunning Val D'Orcia for example and Umbria.

Rooms ain the original villa are enchanting but some are a little on the small side. They are in need of updating, particularly the bathrooms.
Some have beautiful cotto floors and reclaimed old wooden doors and feature antique furniture and gorgeous old fabrics and lace.
One has it's own private sitting our area and, on the top floor, the "pigeon loft" has wide views over the Val di Chiana.
This last one is furnished in a more modern style and you would need to be able to climb the last flight of stairs to reach it which are narrow and twisting. It is very private however.
Some have lovely views up to Cortona which is a haunting sight in the early morning mists.
One has a draped bed with triple aspect views and is probably my favourite. I believe all rooms in the villa only have showers rather than a bath.

Our junior suite was charming, very private but as it is an "original" it again needed updating. We asked to be moved because of the building works and had the one deluxe room on the original site next to the old chapel which we had stayed in previously.
Unfortunately though quiet and private and very close to the beautiful old villa this room had had more wear than the junior suite and the bathroom can only be described as in urgent need of renovation.
The room itself was in need of redecorating. It had not been touched since we had stayed in it 9 years previously.
These "original" rooms are now some 16 years old and need some attention to restore them to their former high standard.
I feel they have not had it because the former "podere" buildings have been made into guest accommodation. I was fortunate to view most of them and they are all delightful.
They feature delightful fabrics, beautiful modern bathrooms and are nice big rooms, some with good views.

We did not want to stay over in these buidlings though because to us Il Falconiere is about the villa and it's history not the former farm buidings.
We saw the wonderful, large kitchen used for Il Falconiere's cooking courses on the ground floor of one of the converted farm buildings.

The restaurant is too formal for us but we did have a very good meal there one evening. The vegetarian menu is exceptionally good and well thought out.

The swimming pool is a nice spot to sit and relax around but I believe the second one next to the podere gets little use although it is good of it's kind.
Breakfast is taken in the old Limonaia or out on the terrace and is not as good as it once was.
This, I believe is because the second breakfast room attached to the podere is not open so there are too many guests to help themselves from the original old round table that nearly fills the serving room.
Coffee is exceptionally good.
I took objection to the artificial flowers dotted around the public rooms and in our suite. They looked and felt terribly out of place.

The dining terrace with it's tinkling fountain in the old courtyard is as beautiful as ever. I recommend this as a first choice option should you be lucky enough with the weather.
There is also a very nice sitting room with books and a little tourist information.
Staff are willing to help but somehow it doesn't come naturally to most even to those who have worked there for 16 years.
Sometimes I think of it as a restaurant with rooms and maybe that's where it's niche is ?
Silvia is a high class cook first and foremost with a flair for interior design.

Room rates are a little too high for the quality of rooms in the original "Il Falconiere" and also for those in the converted podere as they do not have the atmosphere that is felt in around the villa. The tariffs are exactly the same for both buildings.
We felt Il Falconiere was still a beautiful and atmospheric place to stay and we hope it can become worthy of 5 dots again one day soon!

So there you have it, my honest opinion and experience of our trip to Il Falconiere earlier this month. I hope it's helpful.

  • Liked — Returning guest
  • Disliked — Old fashioned bathrooms
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Contessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2008

This beautiful, elegant winery is worth a stay. Expect to be paying a lot of money. We had a gorgeous beautifully decorated little villa. It was next to a quiet swimming pool. The breakfast was excellent. There are several great restaurants in Cortona. There are tours of the on the premise winery. This hotel is not for a traveller on a tight budget. The wine is extraordinary!

  • Liked — The surroundings, the rooms, the dining area are all beautiful.
  • Disliked — No WiFi
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Radish4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luxembourg
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2008

Terribly overrated!! We've lived in Europe to include Italy for 10 years and have travelled extensively throughout Italy and Europe to include one of our favorite regions--Tuscany. Located in a beautiful setting, this hotel may have been quite nice at one time but it's riding on it's former repution now! I picked this hotel for my husband and I out of the Relais Chateaux guide however, it is certainly not up to their standards and is in fact, at the two or three star level. It should be removed from the Relais Chateaux portfolio for the following reasons:

-The front desk staff are rude, unattentive and seemed bothered when guests asked for assistance. They are all in need of some serious customer service training.

-The food was overcooked at dinner and rather tasteless which was surprising considering it's reputation and location.

-Our room was cramped and the bathroom features needed to all be updated and improved. This would not be a significant issue if this was a 2 or 3 star hotel but it is listed as a 4 star luxury hotel and it is not at that level!!

  • Liked — The view/setting.
  • Disliked — Everything else!! Food, service, room, etc--poor quality for a 4 star hotel.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank lunacapri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2008

i feel that the falconiere has had some very harsh reviews written about, its actually very good. the grounds and views are superb, a real treat. The rooms are lovely, even my classical room was like a suite, and there no insect problems or problems with the doors being old, besides, why replace a rustic, chamrimg door with some unaatractive, cheap modern thing? i also did get enough toiletries for 5 days. the swimming pools are clean and are well placed, the water however sometimes, can take your breath away. the hotel has a very sweet falcon as a mascot, and a simply wondeful chapel on site. the breakfasts, well what can i say, a great experience, im not going to spoil the surprise for you. we were on the hill and had our own breakfast room besides our pool and great views, you get plain omlettes, but if you want to try the different omlettes with the kind girl who makes them, go down to the main resturaunt. the staff are fine, the waiters spoke good english, and the reception staff bent over backwards for us to book resturaunts in cortona, and helped get to the hotel on the first day when we were lost. the food is very good, but horrensdously expensive, i suggest you eat their the first night, and then try out cortona's resturaunts. the wineyard tors and cooking lessons are money well spent, and their own olive oil, wine and olives are great.

so i say, dont listen to these bad reviews, some of thing sthey say are just not true.

  • Liked — staff, rooms, location, buildings, pool, breaksfasts
  • Disliked — its very expensive resturaunt
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Justtrytolikeme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2008

I was shocked with my recent stay at Il Falconiere in Cortona, Italy. While I found the setting, grounds and views gorgeous, the service was some of the worst I've encountered in my life. The front desk was rude and completely unhelpful. They led us astray and refused to advise us on day trips time and time again. I've never heard the word "no" so many times on a vacation. And we saw many other unhappy guests complaining to the "concierge." This is not a cheap hotel, and I was disappointed by the lack of intimacy. Even on our last night, the restaurant host who had seated us for the four previous evenings greeted us with a blank stare and asked for our room number. I was very disappointed overall.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank LATravelArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york city
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2008

Hotel owner is focused on the Michelin restaurant - the hotel is an after thought. The service is mediocre at best. I wouldn't recommend visiting with children as there is no room service outside of the kitchen opening at 7.30pm. Ordering something away from the Michelin menu for our 3 yr old was frustrating. A half portion of plain pasta with butter was $30 and arrived over an hour after we ordered - no bread. Cooking classes and a vineyard tour (we showed up and it had been cancelled) proved more difficult than one would imagine. I spent 5 weeks in Tuscany and this was the worst hotel of the bunch.

  • Stayed June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Iluvredwine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Relais Il Falconiere & Spa

Property: 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:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Cortona
#7 Romantic Hotel in Cortona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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