I cannot recommend this hotel to anyone for the following reasons, which I feel merit the full explanation I have given below. In short, the owner of this hotel is an odious individual who should not be in the hotel business if he does not want to be polite, or even honest to his guests. He does not deserve your custom and there are plenty of agriturismos and other hotels in the area which offer far superior (and in some cases cheaper) accommodation and service.
During our two week holiday in Italy, we decided to visit the Chianti region on Sunday 11 September, the day of this year's wine festival in Greve in Chianti. When we looked for accommodation, the hotels in Greve in Chianti were full and so we searched for accommodation within walking or cycling distance of Greve. We chose Villa Sangiovese because its website stated (and still states today), unambiguously and without qualification: "we can arrange bicycle hire for you". A week ahead of our arrival, I telephoned the hotel to ask if they would be kind enough to arrange cycle hire for us on the Sunday. The owner's response was simply: "Do it yourself", repeated three times, followed by the helpful insight that the local cycle hire venues are "closed on weekends".
This initial taster of the owner's rudeness and of the misleading nature of the hotel's literature was unfortunately borne out during our stay. The hotel's restaurant menu offered several "fresh, handmade" pasta dishes. Further enquiry revealed that these pastas were neither made on the day, nor made at the restaurant, and the pasta with funghi which we chose was over-cooked. We then chose the "bistecca alla fiorentina" - a steak which, incidentally, the hotel's website advertises as the "house speciality". The house speciality was also over-cooked. The price of the steak was listed on the menu as €3.50-€4.00 per 100g and we ordered an 800g steak. At the end of the meal, we asked that the cost of the meal be added to our room bill and, being quite tired, we didn't query why we hadn't been presented with a bill to sign at the end of the meal.
The following morning, after we had waited for the owner to finish his cigarette (in the kitchen - presumably that's acceptable from a hygiene perspective), he presented us with a bill which included a charge of €46 for the steak. When I suggested that there might be a mistake, I was told bluntly "There is no mistake". After I quoted the price listed on the menu, the owner somewhat farcically asked how much I wanted to pay, and we ended up paying €32 for the steak. Never before has the rudeness of a hotel owner made me as angry as this man's did, the highlight of the exchange being his declaration: "I don't want to discuss this any more". Unbelievably enough, this exchange all took place in front of another couple of guests who were waiting to check out.
The hotel's setting is nice, the breakfast was good, the waitress was very friendly (despite the sexist joke the owner made to her in front of us during breakfast) and the room was adequate (despite it having a twin bed instead of a double bed and despite the fact that the bathroom was antiquated). But the owner renders such considerations utterly irrelevant.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Once a century old winery, since 87/88 relais hotel restored. Located on the small square of Panzano as well as in panoramic position with gorgeous views on the Chianti hills, the hotel is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Every room is individually refurbished with restrained taste in decoration and a few antiques. In the restaurant with its spacious gardenterrace Tuscan specialities as the Bistecca... Are served accompanied by a vast selection of Chianti classico from our cellars. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Villa Sangiovese Hotel Panzano
- Sangiovese Hotel Panzano
- Villa Sangiovese Panzano In Chianti, Italy - Tuscany