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Reviewed 9 August 2009

With Cortona as the backdrop, vineyards surrounding, and Italian gardens...what more could we ask for? Food was sublime, morning cappucinos with a tasty buffet started the day. THe front desk service was so helpful and called on our behalf to book ferry tickets to Elba. The secured the hotel reservations also. The owner gave us a full tour of the winery and the cooking school facility. Watching the Falcon hunt at sundown was an interesting sight as we sipped on a Wine Spectator rated red, I will bring groups back here for many years to come.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank WorldwalkAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2009

I wish we had read Trip Adviser before we decided to stay at il Falconiere as the mixed reviews would have warned us about this hotel but it had been recommended by friends who had stayed previously and had thought it ok . They had arranged to meet us at the Hotel and had checked in earlier in the day and were given a relatively nice modern junior suite. However there appeared to be only one like theirs. From the start we knew we would have problems with the front desk girl who showed us to our so called junior suite (room 11) which was just a large room with a couple of armchairs and was frankly a disgrace,especially the bathroom which was a windowless basement down a flight of stone steps. The only shower was a hand held attachment to the bath taps which didn't even stretch to the bracket and had no pressure at all. For a hotel of this alleged high standard and price not to have an adequate shower is unbelievable in 2009. Furthermore their other guests don't seem to need wardrobes or drawers and what they have was a relic of a bygone age. There was no lining paper in the drawers and most of the doors didn't close properly. Needless to say we asked to be shown another room but the front desk girl, who seemed to have an attitude problem, said there were none available. We therefore asked to see the manager and a more senior front desk girl (not the manager) duly appeared. We said we would be leaving unless they could offer us something more acceptable. All of a sudden a couple of other junior suites became available in another building ( an old farm house about 500 metres from the main buildings) although these we were shown were little better. However we were eventually shown a large 2 room suite which they offered us (to be fair at no extra cost) on the proviso that as this suite was booked by someone for the following night we vacated it at noon the following day, moved to an adjacent junior suite (which also didn't have a seperate shower) and then we could move back to the suite on our final night . Having viewed several junior suites and even the large suite we eventually stayed in we feel all needed renovation, especially the bathrooms, which were all tired and appeared at least 20 years old. As we had booked some time in advance, our friends seemed ok with their much better room and we were only staying 3 nights we accepted the offer of the suite (which did have 2 seperate bathrooms including a somewhat elderly but adequate walk-in shower ) despite the inconvenience of having to move in/move out /move in again each day! On the plus side the location and grounds (the Hotel is within a large vineyard with the town of Cortona on the distant hill) were lovely and most of the staff were friendly and efficient. The Hotel prides itself on its terrace restaurant where we dined with our friends once and were reasonably satisfied even though the choice was limited and the price very high. We ate elsewhere on the 2 other nights. Breakfast ,which was included in the rate was adequate but again with little choice although everything was fresh. The post script to all this is that on the last night we were finally introduced to the manager/owner who told us that following our comments they had a meeting and were going to upgrade all bathrooms! I can't believe it took us to point this problem out as they should have done this years ago and in any event any refurbishment should go far further than just the bathrooms. Incidentally we received no compensation for any inconvenience, not even a drink! Overall a huge disappointment !

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Masterspy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2009

The accomodation was okay but the so called Michelin Star 1 Restaurant attached to the establishment well go to Cortona five minutes drive away and you will get better service and proper food. We waited over 1.5hrs for a main meal only and we were the second table in the restaurant at 8pm the only other table was a table of four when we first came in our meals were finaly served at 9.40pm and then we couldnt eat them. Very disheartening to say the least. Although the property is very pretty and the majority of the staff were pleasant I would advise you to take the effort to eat in Cortona at one of the many fine restaurants with out the flounce and fluff. Have to let you know my daughter after eating in the restaurant attached to Relais Il Falconiere got sick after the experience and ended up in hospital in Florence. The biggest floor in this place is the restaurant attached otherwise it would be a beautiful place to stay - maybe the chef and head waiters need to go to Cortona / Florence and learn about service and food . We went to Florence after staying at Relais Il Falconiere and stayed in a Villa/Hotel next to the Arno River and the Accomodation Staff the whole establishement was supurb, which was more expensive but worth every cent.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Mad101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2009

What is going on with these reviews?!?! I stayed here with my mother in September 2008 and I have to say I was a bit wary given the reviews on this website. Some people will have had bad experiences, they happen, but not enough people give positive reviews and frankly I find some of the criticisms of this hotel to be absolutely absurd; the rest of the review should explain why.

As a lawyer working for an Investment Bank in London I have travelled for business and leisure throughout Europe and the US. I always prefer modern preferably 5* boutique hotels; you know what you are going to get; comfortable, ok food, clean, modern, good service and more often than not exorbitant prices. For me travelling to an authentic renovated Italian Tuscan Villa was a bit of a departure and I had my reservations, but my how wrong could I have been? I loved the charm of the 500/600+ year old buildings. What are you people on?! If you travel to a hotel which is almost older then America of course you are going to have creaky floor boards, low doors, and skeleton keys; it's part of the charm and it is what makes this place so special! They could have renovated by knocking down the interiors and making a fake pastiche of authentic Tuscan but they chose to be true to the origins of the building, of the area. It is truly marvellous and you really feel like you are a hundred miles away from the hum-drum of the city while you are surrounded by the most beautiful antiques and old reclaimed furniture but with all the modern luxuries and conveniences of a 21st century hotel. I would have been sorely disappointed to have walked into a room with laminate floors, veneered furniture, and bamboo plants; that is not what you get here. What you get here is a slice of the past and the people who renovated Il Falconiere have done it marvellously. This a real authentic but comfortable Italian rural luxury retreat. You know what it is like from its own description; if you want to criticise that then I recommend you go stay at a Hilton or Marriot or some other soulless chain. You won't get a private 15th Century Masonic Chapel there!!

Other than the beautiful Tuscan scenery and authentically renovated buildings the next thing well worth mentioning is the food. The restaurant has a Michelin Star and for good reason; the menu is varied from the traditional to modern Asian twists on Italian food (the sort that will earn you the coveted star) all made with fresh ingredients (mostly grown at the hotel or locally). I was bold in my choices and was not disappointed, my mother chose more traditional dishes and she too raved about them. The meat deserves special mention as it was not at all like the meat I typically expect of a Mediterranean country. Personally I find the meat in Southern Europe to be often tough and not lean; that was not the case at all at Il Falconiere and the meat was more like what I expect from Ireland or the UK; really tender lean meat and very tasty and perfectly cooked. We always drank the house wine (from Il Falconiere's own vineyard) and it did not disappoint. The white was refreshing and light, very Italian, but good Italian. The red was surprisingly deep and was quite mature; very fulfilling and an excellent accompaniment to the red meat. For owner produced wine this was very impressive and at a bargain price. I would recommend anyone staying at the hotel to go Half-Board; for Michelin food it is well worth it and a snip of the prices you would pay in London.

Service tends to be subjective and some people may find Italians to be a little bit abrupt then they would be used to (especially if they are used to service in the US); indeed European service, while honest, does not tend to be up to that of the US (but is definitely much less 'in-your face'). From the moment we arrived at Il Falconiere we were made to feel welcome and all the staff were absolutely charming. Of special note is Silvia. While we where there we experienced a family tragedy and had to return to Ireland urgently. Silvia went out of her way to help us in any way she could; dealing with insurance companies, handling translations, and sitting us down and chatting to us not as the hotel manager / owner but as a friend who really sympathised with what we were going through at that time. She made us feel like one of her family in a way only an Italian can in such a circumstance. She dealt with us with sensitivity and kindness; you can't ask more from a hotel now can you? A chain would not have been interested and we would have had a nightmare getting home. What's more they probably wouldn't have refunded the 1/2 board like Silvia did (the room was covered by our insurance). Like I said everyone's experience of service is personal but, from my experience, you really couldn't ask for more.

It may seem like I am gushing a bit but I have really never been so let down by trip advisor and the other reviewers on this site as I have been in the reviews for this hotel. It’s like we were staying at another hotel! We had such a fabulous stay I really can't speak highly enough of the place. It magical and would be perfect for a honeymoon or romantic get-away. My mother and I were so impressed we have organised a family reunion at the hotel Summer 2009. All my brothers and sisters, their spouses, my mothers sister and all my nieces and nephews will be there. I think that pretty much demonstrates how highly we rate this hotel.

I'm a convert. If you expect a chain book into a chain. If you want an experience this is the place for you.

PS there is a fantastic outlet mall 30mins drive away with all the designer names at prices that beat the big US outlet malls now that the Euro has lost some value. Ask Silvia and she'll give you directions. I spent a lot but saved a small fortune!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank IrishRJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2008

The beautiful village of Cortona is the only reason to visit this area.
The Relais & Chateaux Il Falconiere was a huge disappointment to
us. Torn screens, terraces unswept, and generally an aura of the
tired hotel. The food was delicious in their restaurant, but over kill for Italy. The beauty of this area is the simple Tuscan fare steeped in flavour and tradition. Admittedly, the grounds are lovely if slightly unkempt. We left a day early and had to pay for our expensive and not very exciting room. Too many vases with fake flowers!!
270

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank 270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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