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“Frances Lodge, Siena”

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Frances' Lodge Relais
Ranked #1 of 120 Siena B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
“Frances Lodge, Siena”
Reviewed 24 October 2013

I chose Frances' Lodge after a few months' searching books, the web, and talking to folks. The main reasons were Frances herself (her warm, detailed and prompt email responses to me) and the wonderful venue and location just outside the old city walls. Frances and Franco are wonderful, friendly and professional hosts both of whom have old ties to Tuscany and the Siena-Florence area. Breakfast outside the orangerie in the old terraced garden with a view of Siena's towers in the near distance was wonderful every day, as was the atmosphere on the small farm of olive groves, saffron field and vines. Transportation is easy - long walk, bus, or easy parking on the grounds if you wish to rent a car in Siena or come with one. It's quiet and easy to sleep, and there are many day trips to the surrounding hill towns, Chianti castles and wineries and other excursions. We took home some of Frances's home made olive oil...I would highly recommend this place to anyone. We were a family of five (children 15, 18, 21) but I could see couples or any other combination being highly satisfied.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Stephen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francafrances, Owner at Frances' Lodge Relais, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Dear mr S,
I have just read your review and....just two lines to say: <<Thank you so much!>>
Franco and i are waiting for your next trip, as we are just now harvesting the new ExtraVirginOrganic Olive Oil !!
Frances
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
Date | Rating
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English first
Houston, texas
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2013

We had the best week in Tuscany and highly recommend this bed and breakfast! Franco and Franco are the perfect hosts and it is like having your own personal travel agent at your disposal. The breakfast each morning was out of this world and I am still craving the homemade crossaints, honey and jams, all made fresh with their own ingredients grown on the property. The Rose's Room was lovely and the bathroom very spacious and comfortable with a stunning view. The pristine pool overlooks the Tuscan hills and all the towers of Siena. The entire property is pristine, very welcoming and felt like home away to home thanks to our attentive hosts, including the 4-legged ones, beautiful Shepard's I would have spirited away if only they would have fit in our luggage. Every day they check on your plans, make suggestions, provide maps, places to stop for sightseeing, meals, coffee etc. As a former travel agent, I was more than impressed with their knowledge of the area and the lengths they both go to ensuring their guests the best possible vacation. The lodge is in a prime location to access the old city and easy parking in Siena as well as for easily leaving for the day to visit all the area hill towns within the region.

Room Tip: The Rose's Room is upstairs on a corner so has magnificent views and a very spacious bathroom an...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rhumbline1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francafrances, Owner at Frances' Lodge Relais, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear mrs Melissa,
Franco and I would like to say "Thanks" because we greatly appreciated your comment !
Especially knowing yours was the opinion of a former Travel Agent !!
We really hope to have you again with us
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Ypsilanti, Michigan
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Frances Lodge is a nice place to stay but for the money I would have chosen another location. Upon arrival (which must be between 4pm and 7pm) Franco escorts you around the property while letting you know all of the rules, of which there are many. The last place you go is your room.

We had the Jr. Suite, which is exclusive from the other rooms but can be noisy if other guests congregate in the picnic area just outside the door. By the way, there are signs that no picnics are allowed at the picnic tables. The suite is also adjacent to the kitchen, and there is a plywood panel that separates it from the suite. You will hear kitchen noise.

The bed is located upstairs and appears to be a queen size bed but is actually two twin beds pushed together. The bed was not that comfortable but had small hard knots in the mattress. The sheets had a very strong laundry detergent odor. The day before our departure, an envelope was left on the bed stating that it had been a pleasure to clean our room and hoped we were happy. We assumed this meant a tip was expected. This is the only place in all our travels that we have ever encountered something like that.

The Junior Suite is located at the end of the property near a very nice pool. There is a sign at the pool that a bathing cap is required, and there are two in the room. There is also a sign on the bathing caps that they are happy to provide them for your use but if you take them, your credit card will be charged.

The suite was cold in the mornings and evenings due to no heat (not sure when they turn it on for the cold season). There were signs stating that air conditioning was available for an extra charge.

The lights were on a motion sensor and only stayed on for about a minute unless you kept moving. Fine if you’re just sitting and watching tv, but truly annoying if you want to read and have to stand up every 60 seconds.

The hosts place a basket of fruit in your room upon arrival, which is very nice. However, it unexpectedly disappears on the second day of your stay.

In the evening, you must select a breakfast time on the menu where you also select your breakfast items. There are things like pancakes and waffles and orange juice for an extra charge. We were seated outside in the garden, which was a little cool in the morning. The last day of our stay we requested to be seated inside because we could see our breath in the air and it was quite cold.

A deposit on the room is required when you book your stay, and that is charged to your credit card. The balance, however, must be paid in cash on your departure. Not wanting to carry 1,000 (+) euro on us, we opted to take Travelers Checks. We had no idea that banks in Italy will not cash them, so we had all these useless checks. We ended up having to go to the ATM several days in a row to withdraw the maximum amount allowed to get the cash, which was really inconvenient.

There are some very positive things about Frances Lodge. Frances and Franca are very nice and provide extremely helpful information about things to do, and specific driving directions for getting to your destination. Franca scheduled a tour of a winery for us and directed us on a scenic route to it. Also, try to be around for the evening sunset. You just may catch a gorgeous view, as we did.

If we could suggest anything, it would be to raise the price a little to get rid of the extra charges and allow for the use of your credit card. To sum things up, we would have had a more favorable impression if there weren’t so many rules and extra charges. The rules made us feel as if we were being scolded in advance – kind of like staying at your parents and hearing “when you are under my roof…” The extra charges made us feel nickel and dimed, as others have said in their reviews.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francafrances, Owner at Frances' Lodge Relais, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear mrs Stowe,
I have read with a great surprise and a lot of displeasure the review you have just posted on Tripadvisor. No one word about all those topics you have listed meanwhile you were here, and at the departure, smiling greetings…. I never would have thought you were so unsatisfied!
Anyway, thanks for the three lines of positive comments: I will consider your suggestion to include everything in the 2014 prices.
Again, I am really displeased: In 14 years of activity, we have had four negative comments, yours included.
The only consolation is that your sister and brother in law had a so different opinion that they are still keeping sweet memories about their stay with us.

Frances
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Bowie, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Frances Lodge is a farmhouse that has been converted into a bed and breakfast by the hosts, Franco and Franca. It is an excellent base location for exploring Tuscany by car. There are gardens, a delightful pool (although in October it was too chilly for us to use), and fields of olive trees, grapevines, and saffron on the property, as well as a garden of lemon trees. We stayed in the Moroccan Suite for eight nights, which was very comfortable. Good bathroom with a terrific hot shower, The bed is in a loft above a small sitting room/kitchenette.

After we had a hot breakfast (juice, hot chocolate, fresh croissant, scrambled eggs, bacon, home-made jams) each morning in the large and airy main room, Franco and/or Franca would review our planned itinerary for the day, draw maps for us, and recommend interesting sites that were not always in the guidebooks. We followed their recommendations religiously and never regretted it. Our hosts were enthusiastic and immensely helpful, truly nice people to get to know.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank etm_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francafrances, Owner at Frances' Lodge Relais, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Dear "etm from Bowie",
Franco and I really loved your comment about your long stay with us.
You appreciated any detail, from the accommodation, to the breakfast and the premises, and we are very happy when our guests enjoyed their stay.
You have "matched" the feeling of our hospitality, and it would be a real pleasure to have you again with us.
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Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 October 2013

We spent several days at the Frances Lodge with our 3 children. This place is fabulous- the views of Sienna and the Tuscan landscape is stunning but the real charm of this place is the proprietors, Franco and Franca. F&F are both so knowledgeable about Florence, Tuscany and all things Italian, including soccer! They practically planned our itinerary, helped us rent a car, drove us back and forth to rental agency, told us where to eat and even which dishes to order on our adventures around the Tuscan countryside. Their recommendations for pici, gelato, wine tours and roads to take were perfect. This husband and wife team have turned their gorgeous home and farm into a real treasure. The breakfasts are fabulous, the rooms divine and there is even a pool. We will be back

Room Tip: No bad rooms. Be sure to email Franca- she is ever so helpful in suggesting lots of things. Just t...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 3BJS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francafrances, Owner at Frances' Lodge Relais, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Dear mr 3JBS,
Franco and I fondly loved your comment, and really appreciated you had considered us as the Italian members of your family!
You have a vey nice family, and it was really a pleasure to have you with us: remember that "mi casa es su casa" as for the Spanish people !
Waiting for your next trip
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San Diego, California
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 1 October 2013

We spent my 30th Birthday here with Franco and Franca! We were only able to book one night, but then went over to the neighboring castle for another night, so it worked out great! Franco and Frances were so welcoming and their home is so beautiful! The breakfast was superb and the homemade jams, options and all were fabulous way to start our explorations of Siena. They even booked our city tour for us and gave many other recommendations! Love this place and couple!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JRose2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
francafrances, Owner at Frances' Lodge Relais, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Dear mrs JRose
I am very happy you enjoyed your stay with us, and Franco and I really appreciated your nice review!
Hopefully you can soon come and visit us again, staying longer with us!
We are waiting for your next trip !
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Level 6 Contributor
294 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2013

The whole ethos of Frances Lodge is that it is different and very personal. The first email was lengthy urging a longer stay and outlining lots of details and rules about arrival times. sat Nav takes you a weird route up a dirt track and across a railway crossing but Franco's online maps and a little local knowledge actually make it very easy to find. A car is pretty essential although the centre of Siena is close and you could easily do taxis or even walk if you're fit and have time. The greeting is very personal and both Franco and Franca go out of their way to make you feel welcome and offer advice on things to do and trips into Siena. It's different to any hotel I've stayed in and I do 150 nights a year, but it grows on you and the outdoor breakfast is a nice touch. Like many European hotels the pool isn't heated and so in September it's a real brave man that ventures into 19c water. I doubt it feels warm ever and you should note this. The views are lovely. Franco's evening picnic is a wonderful experience and well worth it to avoid driving into Siena. The service, food and wine are brilliant. We enjoyed it overall. Beware if booking the white room as the plumbing for at least 2 or 3 rooms is in your room and the noise when the showers come on was a bit disturbing early in the morning.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank georgegibbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Frances' Lodge Relais

Property: Frances' Lodge Relais
Address: Strada di Val di Pugna 2, 53100, Siena, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Siena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 120 B&Bs / Inns in Siena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Frances’ Lodge is a loverly restored country guest home set on a hill across from Siena. Its unbelievable view looks out over the old walled city from the top of a beautiful hilltop. It is here that, since the start of the 18th century, noble families of Siena kept their “villa”—the country house where they summered from May to November, to get away from the heat of the city and to watch over the harvests from their farm holdings; and here the Owners restored the 1853' largest "Limonaia" overlooking the Historical Garden, as part of a fascinating, rich of History, wonderful Estate, belonging to the same Family since quite 3 centuries.The commanding position of the house with its 360-degree panoramic views, the closeness to the city(only 1.8 km.—little more than a mile—as the crow flies), the silence and peace of being in the open countryside just outside the city walls... all of these features await you as soon as you pass through the gates, enter the lovely driveway, and behold the incredible view of Siena’s skyline amid vineyards, fruit orchards, and olive groves. You’ll be revived by sounds that busier parts of the world have forgotten: birds chirping, cicadas singing in summer, the wind blowing through the trees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Frances` Hotel Siena

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