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“Exquisite location with subpar accommodation”

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Fontebussi Tuscan Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cavriglia
Certificate of Excellence
SRQ
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Exquisite location with subpar accommodation”
Reviewed 25 October 2010

While driving into the property, I pinched myself. The property is immaculate in design and care. There are olive groves and an amazing swimming pool. Separate and unique buildings offer rooms of varied sizes and amenities. Ours was simple yet quite pleasant. The negative came when I turned off the light to sleep after a long and wonderful day. The walls so paper thin, I thought I was being offered wine and a dance with another group in the building. However technologically literate I am, I could not turn the heat on, so layered up in clothing to stay warm. The mattress was also uncomfortable. When I showered in the morning, water sprayed everywhere as the shower head would not adjust.
In summary, the superficial appearance of style falls short in reality - especially for the price.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank sarahsi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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163 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2010

This hotel is pretty unusual. As other reviewers have said, it's a mixed bag. Firstly the good points:
The views are amazing and the sense of being in the middle of the Tuscan countryside is wonderful. The building are all interesting and varied with great attention paid to what must have been an expensive renovation. The rooms are kept very clean and the grounds and pool are generally spotless. This is a great location for exploring Tuscany, despite it being quite isolated. A car is a necessity - I really recommend getting out and exploring the local area.
As you might expect I have quite a few bad points, which for me spoiled the stay at this hotel. A big gripe is the airconditioning. Our room had a very small window so the aircon was needed, even in September, for a comfortable sleep and to keep insects out. The first night, it wasn't working at all so we asked at reception and were told that they didn't think anyone would want it on, so they had turned it off for the whole resort. It stayed on for 2 nights and was then deactivated again which meant that 50% of the time we were there, we didn't sleep well.
I'm sure some rooms are lovely, but ours (a classic double) was small even by city standards, very very dark (the lights were very dim also), with a minute portable television (not that there's anything on in english except the almost unbearable CNN). There was no bath, only a shower. The walls were pretty thin and we could hear people talking in other rooms. There is no useful information in the bedroom info pack about things to do locally. You get one pillow each and that's it. The wardrobe had a collection of Dolcis and M&S coathangers (about 5) which weren't enough. I mean - come on! The last time I had a wardrobe like that was in 1985 in a Weymouth boarding house! You can't get an iron or ironing board in your room - you have to go to the dungeon like laundry room and buy some tokens for it. Our room was directly above the restaurant and on 2 occasions I was awoken by what I assume was the kitchen staff setting breakfast up to their favourite pumping choones on the hifi - not good enough I'm afraid.
The pool is nice, but not heated at all (it is actually pretty cold) and there is no pool service of any kind. You have to go down to the bar which is ok, it has a small terrace. It would be lot nicer if you could sit there with a drink and enjoy the view in peace, but they insist on playing blaring pop music from the bar which absolutely ruins the experience. The bar closes pretty early at 1930.
I found the staff to be actually quite unfriendly at times. On checking out I queried a couple of items on the poorly made up bill and was met with utter hostility. They will help you with finding out things to do if you don't mind waiting for 30 minutes while they answer the phone. The manageress swept in and out now and again but made no effort to talk to guests. We asked on arrival if we could stay an extra night and were told they would get back to us that evening - they couldn't be bothered, which was lucky because we were actually pretty pleased to go in the end.
I found a few things to be charged extra which I would have expected to be free - you have to rent towels for the pool. The internet is not free (3 Euro for 30 mins). I needed to use the internet on one occasion - it took 3 minutes to open Gmail, which is pretty frustrating when you have limited time. You are charged a fee for losing any of your keycards.
The restaurant is ok but I wouldn't recommend more than one meal there. Inside there is little atmosphere. The food was good in the evening. Breakfast is ok, but you sit outside which is nice for the great view (with the exception of the heavy duty buzzing powerlines, wasps and cigarette/cigar smoke wafting across your food). I'm not a rabid anti-smoker but we seemed to spend most of our time at the pool or the restaurant in a cloud of other guests cigarette smoke which was most unpleasant.
The guests seem to be a mixed bunch from couples to families. One thing I must say - I would not recommend this resort for a honeymoon. Their website is very nice and shiny, but the photos are actually fairly misleading. This is not a quiet hideaway in the countryside - it is trying to attract all kinds of guests and this means there is a large children's pool with play area right next to the main pool. It is NOT that peaceful!
There are other dining options in the local village. Despite what the reception staff will tell you, you can quite safely walk up the road and back again. It is a steep climb but worth it. There is a superb restaurant in the village which is far superior to what's on offer at the Borgo. I thoroughly recommend it.
Overall I think this place is trying to be too many things to too many people. It needs to concentrate on providing peace and relaxation for people. I would not recommend it to friends at the moment - there must be better places out there.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Richp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 24 August 2010

Nice area. We stayed in the tower, 3rd floor. Nice balcony, grea view. Nice little room on two floors. However, air-conditionning doesn't cool down the upper floor - far too hot to sleep well! Fridge takes well over 12 hours to make drinks cold. (Reception didn't believe us when we told them.) Good service in day-time snack area, terrible service in restaurant, where you have to eat because nothing else around.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SouthIsBeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2010

My friend and I stayed here for a few days - it was a pleasant place to stay in, the food in the restaurant was very good, although the menu is a bit limited if you plan to eat there every night for a longer stay. The breakfast was extensive and good, refreshed constantly.

The rooms were nice, although you can hear the echoes of people talking loudly and banging heavy doors at times when you might still wish to be asleep, which is a bit frustrating as you are in a place way out of the cities and towns that you expect to be quiet (but this is the other guests, not the hotel itself, and this problem can be found in a lot of other places).

The bathrooms are spacious, and complimentary toiletries are provided.

The pool is beautiful, although it was being cleaned the day we arrived so we could not use it, and after that we were off busy sightseeing on other days.

We found this to be a reasonably good base for exploring towns nearby (Gaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Castellina), and further afield (San Gimignano, Volterra - go to both of these!)...yes the latter were a bit of a drive, but that is good because you see more of the region.

The photos of the hotel on the internet are accurate - although there is a large powerline running through the view from the restaurant which does not seem to show up in any of the photographs!

WiFi/internet access is a bit on the expensive side at EUR 5 for half an hour - this is dictated by the hotel's rural location and access to the internet, and therefore beyond their control, but something that potential guests should be aware of.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lightwork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
214 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2010

We stayed here in the first week of July and enjoyed our visit. The Fontebussi is beautiful-and the property (including the pool) are beautifully maintained and the Tuscan views are outstanding. Our room was quite small and the bath/shower very difficult for my tall husband . The restaurant was outstanding, with excellent service and food. The negatives were that the hotel was extremely far away from the area which we visited during our day trips (Siena, Volterra, San Gimignano) which meant a lot of driving over winding roads and that the hotel itself is difficult to find - more signage would be an asset coming from the A1 highway. We enjoyed our stay nevertheless!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank sugabtoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Breda, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2009

Fontebussi is an old hamlet that has been turned into a hotel with restaurant and apartments. It's beautifully done; great gardens, nice buildings well restored, a fitnessbuilding, a conference hall, and 2 magnificent pools.
Our 1 year old son could play in de childerens pool without us worrying. It was like a shallow bowl with a soft floor. Absolutely perfect.
The staff was allways ready to help and freindly (even at this end of the season period).

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Paul68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York
Level Contributor
282 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2009

We couldn't have picked a better place to stay, it was fantastic !

The views are spectacular especially from the restaurant. Our room was in the main block but it was so quiet and peaceful. The room itself was incredibly dark as we only had a small door opening out on to the terrace but that helped given the heat. Do make sure you close your doors and use the air con before dusk hits though as we were bitten to death by mosquitos.

We didn't have any problems with building work or any evidence of land levelling either.

The pool is huge with plenty of sunbeds and there is a small snack bar open during the day.

The restaurant is open every night except Mondays and the food is incredible. The price is really reasonable too when you consider the view, the presentation and quality of food. We wish we'd eaten here again as other "cheaper" places turned out to actually be more expensive in terms of what you got for your money.

The restaurant at breakfast is another matter as you get plagued by wasps so you can't really eat outside and take full advantage of the weather and the beautiful views.

The staff are friendly and very helpful, we needed train times to Florence and the man at reception printed out times for us and told us how to get to the local train station of Montevarchi where we could park for free.

We visited Pisa, Lucca and Florence whilst staying here and although it was a fair trek to all, we couldn't have picked a better place to stay.

I would certainly go back, tomorrow in fact, if I could !

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank WitchyYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fontebussi Tuscan Resort

Property: Fontebussi Tuscan Resort
Address: | Loc. Fontebussi, 52022, Cavriglia, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Arezzo > Cavriglia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Cavriglia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Fontebussi Tuscan Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Borgo Di Fontebussi Cavriglia
Fontebussi Tuscan Resort Italy/Cavriglia, Tuscany

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