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“A bit of magic”

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Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 May 2010

Having read the endless good reviews of this hotel on Tripadvisor I was slightly apprehensive of whether it was really going to live up to expectation. It more than did. The villa is spectactular from the outside with stunning views. Inside it is beautifully decorated with large airy rooms, all tastefully decorated. The small number of staff are are extremely friendly and welcoming and unfailingly helpful and will do anything to give advise and help to make your stay more pleasant.

One of the highlights are the dinners, served buffet style, which consist of various cold hors d'oerves, followed by soup and/or pasta, a main course, usually a roast and a choice of dessert or cheese. It is simple with no real choice but well cooked and beautfully and entertainingly presented by the charming chef.

The hotel is run more like a private house party. If , like us, you like the idea of a comfortable and homely base from which to explore the Tuscan countryside, you will find no better. If , however, you are looking for a more conventual hotel with a multitude of staff, then Villa il Poggiale is not for you. However, we personally loved it and any small flaws were more than compensated for by the beauty and homeliness of it and the friendliness of the staff. For us it was perfect and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cdlf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
camillaFirenze, Direttore at Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2010

We are so happy to read your wonderful review. We really enjoyed your stay with us and so glad that it was the same for you!
In the hope of meeting you again we send our warmest regards
Villa il Poggiale
Monica

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396 - 402 of 808 reviews

Reviewed 13 May 2010

I chose the Villa Poggiale after careful scrutiny of its beautifully written and photographed online ‘brochure’ and the many positive comments on TripAdvisor. I made a reservation 6 months in advance for 2 standard rooms in the villa ( not near the noisy kitchen). I specifically did not choose the ‘independence’ option. I feel that accommodations should offer few surprises, unless they are happy ones. We had a few basic requirements and this place seemed capable of meeting them all nicely. The website promised internet, air conditioning and excellent service. This place didn’t fulfill its promise or promises to us.

Here’s what we got:
Upon arrival, around 2pm. we were ushered into the impressive ‘drawing room’ of the Villa to wait to check in because there was no staff to register us as they were frantically handling the unexpected return of a huge group of 60 business guests. A lovely Scottish woman offered us coffee and biscuits, to while away what would become way too long, given our desire to get settled and back out there in the Tuscan afternoon, which was threatening rain. After an hour or so, seeing the day slip away and our plans evaporating, we insisted on checking in and were taken, instead, on a tour of the main villa. We saw the spa, which seems to be occupying the former dungeon. There were many steps and stairs, and few windows on the bottom level. The ‘dining room’ was in the dark, windowless basement where, we were told, we could join the 60 business men for dinner later, if we wanted to. No thanks. We were not taken upstairs, where we later discovered, just before checkout, there were a couple of lovely hideaway lounges, which would have been nice for sitting and reading. This tour was, it soon turned out, a delaying tactic, since, when we were finally registered, it was explained that we would not, actually, be staying in the Villa at all, but had been relegated to an ‘independence cottage’ at a remote end of the property. (Remote, meaning you need a car to drive back to the main house, especially in the rain, and are quite cut off from the aforementioned facilities… It was obvious that the opportunity to book this huge group necessitated the shuffling around of other guests. I had wanted to be in the main building. I was later told me that these rooms are considered part of the Villa and guests can be consigned to this annex even if they didn’t ask for it. So be warned. It’s an entirely different experience, not to everyone’s taste.
The impressive pictures on the website of this ‘apartment’ are actually of another set of rooms, since ours bore absolutely no resemblance to them whatsoever. This may explain why some guests may find the ‘independence’ acceptable….they probably got the rooms on the upper level of the farmhouse, with the fireplace and lounge area. There is no argument that the view, even in the cloudy, now rainy weather, was spectacular. All the views in Tuscany are terrific, wherever you are. But our rooms were down a slippery stone path, numerous steps and were, in the end, shabby, damp and creepy. One star, at most, if that.
Having come so far and wasted so much time, we felt we had no choice, at this point, especially when we were assured us that the management would make it up to us the next day with better rooms in the villa when the big group left. It had been over 2 hours, and since most of our afternoon was already wasted, we decided to be good sports and get on with it. Our student travel days are long over, and all of us need the usual help with our luggage since we are seniors with separated shoulders, bad backs and arthritis. To save time and wasted effort, we decided to drop most of our larger bags back for storage in the Villa for the next day’s move. Still, it was difficult to manage loading and reloading the trunk and the wheels on our sturdy Samsonite snapped off pounding down the many stone steps. I slipped and almost fell on the picturesque mossy stone walkway. To her credit, the young employee offered to carry everything down herself, but it seemed unreasonable, not to mention incredibly time-wasting to expect her to unload luggage of 4 travelers by herself and carry it down the hillside. At this point, we began to seriously wonder if there was, in fact, any adequate staff at this place.
The two adjoining rooms were ‘quaint’ to say the least. Everything was old and shabby, not in a good ‘antiquey’ way. Forget the promised internet, there were not even phones to communicate to the main building, problematic in case of emergency. The windows wouldn’t close, had no screens and so, were open to the rain and insects, of which we had plenty. The place was incredibly damp and moldy smelling. In my room, there were no bedside tables or lamps, but oddly, there was an superfluous headboard fastened to a totally different wall, as if the position of the bed had been changed but someone forgot to remove the previous headboard. I guess you could characterize the lighting as ‘romantic’. (The men literally couldn’t see to shave the next morning). Admittedly, there were plenty of towels, stacks of them. I think our room was the linen storage area for the whole annex. There was a primitive kitchenette in one bedroom, old crockery and pots and a rustic table for eating. A gas stove but no matches. The other bedroom had a loveseat. When I book a place for a holiday, I expect a few basics, like seeing and protection from the elements. These rooms do have great potential, but to pretend they have the same standards as the Villa rooms or bear any resemblance to the pictures on the website, is, frankly, delusional.
We set off to have dinner in town, wondering if we needed to buy flashlights, but were assured the vicinity was well lit. Not so. We found it difficult and dangerous to navigate the property in the dark, both by car and on foot, with the inadequate lighting, especially around the wet steps. We almost had another spill. On the positive side, there were roses climbing outside on the walls and a glorious pheasant wake me up at 6am with his hooting. This, I didn’t mind. What was on the outside was lovely. It was the inside that failed to measure up to either the publicity or what we had hoped for when choosing this property.
The next morning, after a decent breakfast, we were showed alternative rooms on the main floor that were very impressive at first glance. Large and grand-looking, just off the main office. No slippery steps. We were eager to get touring the area, so we accepted. They assured us that our luggage would be dropped off by our return in the afternoon. Which it was. Instead of apologies or an acknowledgement of the mix-up, however, we were getting the sense that we were getting a big favour. Upon our return, around 4pm, my sister discovered that her new room was intolerably hot and that even opening the windows didn’t help. There was no a/c. as advertised….it was explained that it was ‘against the law in Italy’ to use it in May. (Other hotels we stayed at said it could be used starting May 1. It was May, for the record.) It was eventually conceded that the antiquated heating system was somewhat inefficient and these rooms got the main blast of heat before it circulated to the rest of the villa, that the temperature of the individual rooms could not be adjusted. A room change was necessary. We were told to re-load our own luggage and drive the car around to the back and carry it all back in to the new below-grade room, which had many little steps, up and down, to reach. We got the definite impression that helping us out was a big inconvenience and we had used up our turn. Later on, to his credit, however, another staffer became quite helpful and made a terrific suggestion for a restaurant in town and the next day, at checkout, actually helped us stuff our baggage back in the car.
Suffice it to say that there was no ‘service’ in the usual sense, for such a large property with such grandiose pretensions. In our palatial room, the heat was, indeed, pretty overwhelming and I could not open the window since it faced the highway with a lot of traffic noise. The mirror in the magnificent-looking bathroom hovered somewhere near the ceiling and I could only see the top of my head. I took it down (very self-sufficient) and propped it up in the window for light and discovered, to my dismay, that it was ‘antiqued’ glass, with black dots and streaks on the surface….again, very photogenic but completely impractical – no thought to the actual needs of guests, just decor). The lighting in the humungous bathroom was low-key, so, again, forget shaving or makeup. I could hear all the conversations going on in the adjacent office area in the morning in spite of double doors. You need a mitt-full of keys, just to get in to the Villa at night, the front gate, the lobby, your room, etc. since the staff, such as it is, vacates at 8pm. This may not seem like a big deal, but you try getting back in at night in the pouring rain!
As a traveler, I am constantly learning. This kind of property makes a very pretty picture. You’d think, by the images on the website, that quality fabrics are in use, but even in the fanciest rooms, the bedspreads are tacky cotton quilts, the blankets, ancient, pilled and grubby looking and the lighting non-existent. There are powerful fragrances hanging in the air everywhere, yet everything seems ‘unfresh’. There is a very small staff to attend to guests, especially if they are full (the hotel, not the guests).
I came away with the feeling that it was felt that they more than made up for our disastrous first night and we should have been grateful to stay there, that anyone with complaints is simply failing to understand that this is a ‘private home’ experience and cannot be measured with the usual expectations. (When is the last time you paid to be a guest in a private home?) It was eventually acknowledged that it might be a good idea to consider notifying guests if there was no alternative but to consign guests to the ‘independence’.
I’m sure if all had gone as we expected, and we had gotten the proper rooms to begin with, and had checked right in instead of wasting the entire afternoon, we’d have had a different opinion. I understand that the opportunity to book 60 business guests for rooms and meals is not one a hotel can afford to turn down. But surely, guests who have taken the trouble to book months in advance should not be given short shrift. At our next stop, a similar kind of property, the wholly adequate staff graciously and promptly welcomed us, attended to our luggage and provided us with the kind of professional experience we expected. They gave the impression that they were there to make our holiday memorable (in a good way) not that we were there to admire them and make the best of it.
It is my measure of a good inn/hotel that, when the stay is over, I wish I didn’t have to leave. Frankly, I’m very sorry to say, I couldn’t wait to get out of the Villa Poggiale. Be forewarned that consistency is not their strong suit. As I was told, each room is different, so you cannot expect the same experience each time. Hit and miss. But it’s not just the rooms that are inconsistent. The service fluctuates as well.
I suppose this, like other negative reviews, will be followed by the usual refutations, but, with all due respect, the staff of the Villa needs to have a reality check when it comes to what’s going on in the hospitality business these days.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tgtoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2010

We had THE best time here. Monique, Irene and Anna are truely priceless!! All staff were helpful with their local knowledge and the cooking school was a lot of fun.
We took the Autumn flavours package and were absolutely thrilled with the great time we had at the wine tasting and evening meal. In fact our whole stay was fabulous!
Highly recommend Villa il Poggiale just out of San Casciano. Beautiful views, beautiful Villa, beautiful people and beautiful language.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank KiwiTravellers2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
camillaFirenze, Direttore at Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2010

Thank you for your words, they mean a lot to all of us, we are so happy when our guests appreciate our efforts and enjoy their stay.
In the hope of meeting you again we send our warmest regards
Villa il Poggiale
Monica

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Reviewed 11 May 2010

We loved this place! It not only takes you back in time, you are left with the feeling that you have come home. And a very nice home it is! It is ideally located for travel throughout the Tuscan region. The staff were all warm and helpful, responding to our smallest request. Our only complaint was noisy neighbors as sound carrys across the courtyards and thru the halls. The breakfasts are traditional European and very basic and the evening dinner was only fair with no selection. You can do better by going into the village where there are several nice choices. The staff will help you with reservations.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank J2travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
camillaFirenze, Direttore at Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2010

We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us at Villa Il Poggiale and look forward to having you with us soon.
Thank you for your positive remarks about us and we are going to endeavour to improve so that you may be prepared to give us full marks the next time you are with us.
Villa il Poggiale
Monica

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Reviewed 29 April 2010

We have stayed here twice, the second time was in May 2007 at the end of our holiday in the Chianti hills. The hotel itself is elegant, beautifully furnished with attentive and friendly staff.. We were very happy to return for the final two nights of our holiday.
I booked one of the best rooms on the ground floor and we were put in a different room for the first night. For the second night we were moved to the room I had originally booked. During the night I was kept awake by some noisy guests who were chatting in one of the lounge areas on the floor above.. I got up to use the bathroom and switched the light on to see a black beetle run across the bed and my partners back. Thinking little of it.. I squished it and went back to bed. Didn't sleep for the rest of the night .. Had to leave for the airport early so got up in dawn light and opened the shutters. Was horrified to see lots of bugs running across the bed and disappearing behind the head board of the bed. On closer inspection we found the headboard was infested with tiny bed bugs and eggs. Left the hotel before reception was on duty.. in order to catch our plane. Rang hotel from airport and left a message about the bed bugs. We were bitten all over our legs .. not nice!!!! The hotel apologised but offered no explanation or compensation. Great shame.. love the hotel.. hate the bugs.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Saffy58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
camillaFirenze, Direttore at Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2010

Dear Sirs,

These guests are perfectly right in their complains.
In 2007 the general area and Villa il Poggiale were infested by wood bugs, it was a nightmare, we tried different companies and exerts to get ried of the bugs and finally they discovered what kind of very rare bugs they were and got ried of them.
But it took a few weeks!
Now it is a old story, but we are still deaply sorry for that discracefull inconvinient.
We apologize even if three years have passed
Villa il Poggiale
Monica

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Reviewed 7 April 2010

they give great service, very friendly and helpful. the place is great with wonderful view and breakfast is good

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank micmac123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
camillaFirenze, Responsabile at Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2010

Dear Friends,

It was a pleasure to read your review which is full of warmth and good memories of your stay with us.
It means a lot to us to see that our guests enjoy the things we like to share with them and the help we try to offer so that they can enjoy Tuscany and the villa at their best.
In the hope of meeting you again we send our warmest regards

Villa il Poggiale
Monica

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Reviewed 7 April 2010

Staff very attentive and willing to help. The location is great near to San Casciano and the view from outside is great. The hotel is very quiet.
Our room (we believe is not the only) didn’t receive wireless signal, so internet access had to be done in the living room
Breakfast could be improved; it was too simple for this price range

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank ptgaltraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
camillaFirenze, Responsabile at Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2010

Dear Guests,

We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us at Villa Il Poggiale and look forward to having you with us soon.
Thank you for your positive remarks about us and we are going to endeavour to improve so that you may be prepared to give us full marks the next time you are with us.

Villa il Poggiale
Monica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica

Address: Via Empolese 69 | Via Di Mucciana 2, 50026, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > San Casciano in Val di Pesa
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in San Casciano in Val di Pesa
Price Range: £72 - £237 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa il Poggiale Dimora Storica 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Il Poggiale Dimora Storica is located in the heart of the Chianti region, only a few kilometres from the historic centre of Florence. The property is classified as a historic villa, finely restored, offering a warm, friendly service and great hospitality: even the smallest details have been carefully considered to make your stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. In an oasis of peace surrounded by enchanting gardens, fragrant with roses and plants, guests can sip a tea and start a beautiful day in the country with a good breakfast rich of products and ingredients of Tuscan cuisine, from homemade cakes, honey, fresh ricotta to salami. From April to October the restaurant is open. Each day the chef prepares lunch buffet with typical dishes of Tuscan tradition, accompanied by a good selection of local wines. We organize cooking lessons in Villa. The villa also features a brand new wellness Centre. Guests can now relax in this Chianti SPA accommodation offering simple treatments, essential oils and fragrances made with raisins, olives, citrus fruits and honey. The Villa offers Wi-Fi connection free of charge. The property is the ideal for romantic getaways or holidays with the entire family, in addition to wedding ceremonies, banquets, work breakfasts, meetings, and much more. Children are welcome offering them services and attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Il Poggiale Dimora Storica Hotel San Casciano In Val Di Pesa
Hotel Il Poggiale Dimora Storica
Il Poggiale Dimora Storica Hotel
Villa Il Poggiale Dimora Storica San Casciano In Val Di Pesa, Tuscany, Italy

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