We stayed at the Donini for two weeks at the latter half of September 2013. The hotel is situated in a small town 20 mins drive from Perugia and close to the dual carriageway E45 - it was an excellent base for exploring the hill towns of Umbria, Lake Trasimeno etc. The hotel, a former country seat of a nobleman, is in a splendid setting in its own wooded grounds which we enjoyed walking in (though beware midges at dusk). The town itself has very few facilities though it does have a self service laundrette.
The lounge and reception area in the main part of the hotel are impressive and comfortable with a small library and seating areas. The staff were very friendly and polite and most of them spoke quite good English.
Our room in the main part of the hotel on the second floor was delightful with a view out onto the garden and the pool. The bathroom was lovely and very well equipped. Unfortunately, on the second night, the air conditioning decided to malfunction and, although it wasn't switched on, made a disturbingly loud noise which woke us up and kept us awake. The next morning we reported this and asked for it to be fixed. On returning in the evening, this request had apparently been forgotten and nothing had happened but the technical guy happened to be around and came and looked at it. Although I don't speak Italian, I worked out he thought it couldn't be fixed. Nothing further happened until I went and asked what was going on. The receptionist then found us another, higher grade room which we were very happy with and were in the process of moving to when she came and said there had been a mistake and would we move again. This was a bit trying but the room was again a very good one on the third floor. I'm reporting this at some length just to note that although we were very pleased with the end result, the staff weren't proactive in sorting this issue out which is one reason for witholding a star.
The breakfast selection was excellent and the staff pleasant and helpful. Full marks.
The pool was very pleasant but too cold for more than a brisk few lengths. It was a shame it wasn't heated even a little as it would have been much better used - I was the only person we saw swim in it though the air temperature was in the mid to high 20s most days. We also used the hotel spa pool a couple of times which was very warm indeed! There wasn't a gym.
Both our rooms were well equipped with mini-bar and TV and nice furniture to relax on. The beds were great. The CRT TV (remember those?) claimed to have satellite but there were only about 10 channels in total and none in English so we had two weeks without TV. Fortunately the wi-fi worked well in the hotel and in our room so we could get the news on our portable devices. Although not far from a busy road, there was no noise and we were only disturbed by the dawn chorus of thousands of sparrows roosting in the trees (very pleasant) and the bell from the level crossing in the town (not bad).
As we were staying for a relatively long time and because the alternatives meant driving we quite often ate dinner in the hotel restaurant Pantagruel. This was quite high end food and pricey but on the whole, very good quality and it had a pleasant ambience and friendly staff. The menu remained the same while we were there and we did run out of things to choose by the end. We would also have liked to have had more choice of types of secondi (pieces of meat without gravy or sauce predominated), non-meat dishes generally and side orders of vegetables. For the money, we did have more enjoyable food elsewhere.
We were surprised that in a hotel of this quality there was no regular bar. It was possible to ask at reception for some drinks to be brought onto the terrace but this seemed to be by special request and there was no menu. Ditto for snacks for lunch or at other times. Some groups that were staying did have a bar organised during their visit but this was only available to them. We made our own arrangements by buying drinks and snacks to have in our room before dinner.
These slightly negative remarks are for completeness and people staying for a shorter time would probably not find any of these issues a problem. Overall, we had a very enjoyable and restful stay in a wonderful part of Italy.
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