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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.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Contessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Radish4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!!

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank lunacapri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Justtrytolikeme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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3  Thank LATravelArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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