We had a large room with an amazing view over the Tuscan countryside. Very comfortable room, nice spa, nice service. Also very sweet with young children. Nothing bad to say but it just comes short of perfect because of the concierge and the food. For example the concierge couldn't give any advice on activities/shopping not in the menu of the resort, when asked about the olive harvest he told us to go to the resort's gift shop to buy their branded oil...which is not the best and very expensive. Same for the wines. The restaurants are nice but have limited kids options and those options often cost more than adult main dishes...so in time of the curfew it was a challenge with a kid, some creativity on their side after the covid curfew took effect would have been the sign of a true 5 star hotel.
The assigned room was nice overlooking the iconic valley.
Unfortunately, the hotel experience itself cannot be considered a true 5 star experience. Staff seemed stressed and did not personalize/anticipate any of the conversations besides a lovely lady with glasses by the outside spa-pool. Felt like the hotel is understaffed and simply cannot keep up with 5 star properties around the globe...
Side note, all three mornings during breakfast the coffee/tea and water order was simply forgotten until we were about to leave. Wifi did not work (as room was not checked in as per the reception desk). Covid measurements were explained but are lacking details (e.g. registration process during check-in where used pens have to be put aside however passports and creditcard are being exchanged and kept in hand for several minutes?)
We just returned from a couple of weeks stay at Il Castelfalfi and really enjoyed the experience.
The hotel is extremely well managed, even more so with excellent sanitation procedures in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19, which was very reassuring. Special mention should go to the lifeguards on this respect, who were regularly cleaning the loungers and even the steps in the swimming pools.
Our room was very clean and comfortable and we were treated each day to fresh water and regular other treats, including fresh fruit and a bottle of wine, which were nice touches.
The choice of swimming pools is first class, as are the facilities in the gym and the hotel is very palatial. We only ate breakfast there during our stay, which was fabulous, made more so by the wonderful views of the area whilst eating. The waiting staff were both immensely friendly and efficient, a description which can also be given to all other members of staff we encountered during our stay.
The singular negative is that whilst the hotel is obviously luxurious, some of its pricing seems unnecessarily expensive. Even with the 15% discount given for stating at the hotel, playing golf and tennis at the nearby golf club is disproportionately high and charging 12 Euros for a fruit smoothie around the pool is unwarranted. In this latter respect, the mistake was ours in not checking the prices before we ordered, but when we did query it, we were told it was because it contained fresh fruit, which seemed an unusual explanation as I hadn’t realised this was such an expensive ingredient, especially when the main constituent of the drink was ice anyway.
I accept the fact that some of the hotel’s clientele probably won’t concern themselves with any form of pricing, but there will be many others, like ourselves, where the same is not true; I expect to pay more for luxury, but there is a balance to be struck for this and at the moment, I believe the hotel don’t have this right and are missing out on opportunities as a result.
This quibble aside, we really enjoyed our stay and are grateful to the staff for helping to make this the case.
We had an enjoyable 3 night stay here. This is a RESORT so If you are looking for a quaint Tuscan escape this is not the place for you.
The staff were so friendly and made the stay for us. Rooms are very clean and of a decent size.
The gym is excellent, Pool is good with lovely views. Spa was partially open (steam room/ sauna closed due to COVID). Restaurant food was of a high standard in the main restaurant and poolside however, the basic Italian (a small walk) ‘Il Rosmarino’ was very average and slightly disjointed service.
We were given a map of the cycle routes of the resort on arrival by the hotel, however after asking concierge about hire costs for bikes they told us ‘it’s nothing to do with us’ and we had to speak to the company directly that operated the rentals. It would have been helpful to have the information required and book ahead as we unfortunately missed out!
The team happily extended our check out time free of charge, which was a real plus to the end of our trip. Thanks for a relaxing stay, we will recommend this hotel.
We arrived here after 3 days at the amazing Hotel VILLA CORA in Florence. If you’re looking for 5 Star luxury - VILLA CORA is where you’ll find it. CASTELFALFI is decidedly not... The website is extremely misleading in relation to what it actually looks like and we strongly feel we are victims of false advertising.
The minute we arrived at Castelfalfi, we felt uneasy. The hotel looks nothing like the website - and it is utterly charmless. Nothing here reminds you of the fact that you’re in Tuscany - or even in Italy. You might be at a Holiday Inn anywhere in the world. This is a (charmless) 4 star property at best.
We did our best to stay positive and began the check-in process, during which we were informed that every night we would have to choose our time for breakfast for the following day - this due to COVID precautions. Our faces dropped - having to set our alarm clock so as not to miss our breakfast slot is not our idea of a vacation... Obviously, if this had been the only problem, we surely wouldn’t have cared - but the combination of the atmosphere, combined with these rules, quickly made us feel like we were on a high-school excursion.
The hallways on the way to our room gave us the impression that we were touring an upscale clinic. The rooms can only be described as “generic IKEA-chic”... A glance out the window showed the Tuscan hills in the distance, but also the ugly mess of an attempt at landscaping in the garden that was probably meant to conceal the generator and the air conditioning. The fly screens on the windows enhanced the prison feeling.
We headed for the pool area (uninviting) and out to the terrace, where a kind, lovely waitress took our order of coffee and water, after which we deliberated over what to do. We both have traveled a lot - and we both have stayed in 5 Star, 4 Star and 3 Star properties over the years. We’re not spoiled brats. We have never just left a hotel, but after a short conversation, we both decided that (after just having gone through the lockdown) we were not willing to spend a week in this apparent cultural wasteland - especially while staying in one of the most beautiful and sensorially rich countries in the world!
None of this was the staff’s fault, of course. They didn’t design the property, nor are they responsible for the misleading representation of the property on the internet. When I went to the reception to announce our imminent departure, I felt like I was about to tell somebody their kid is ugly - a very uncomfortable position to be in... I take zero pleasure in offending anyone. The manager inquired if there was anything she could do to make us feel differently - but there really wasn’t anything that could be done, short of using a magic wand and transforming the place completely. She did point out that there is an old, more authentic portion of the property - but that portion remained closed due to COVID. I doubt, however, that it would have made a difference.
Next, I was told that it was impossible to now cancel our reservation and get any kind of refund on our planned 7 night stay. The card had been charged in the full amount - and that was that. As it turned out, since we had booked through Expedia (actually we booked through HOTELS by POINTS in association with Miles & More - but that’s another story...) the hotel considered EXPEDIA to be their client, rather than us. Fair enough - I’m not going to fault them for this. These seem to be the intricacies of modern day booking practices - packages are sold and exchanged among the large agencies - much like mortgages. We are fighting the charge with EXPEDIA - since we were clearly victims of false advertising.
What was extremely clumsy but on the part of the manager, was the fact that we were charged for the coffee and water we had consumed during our two hours at the hotel (a total of 10 EUROS). If I’ve just told my unhappy guest that I can do absolutely nothing for them in regards to the 2600 Euros they’ve already been charged (on a hotel stay they will not be using), I would have said: “We’re happy to take care of your coffee”.
We left and drove directly to CASTEL MONASTERO. We love it here. They, too, have certain restrictions due to COVID. It doesn’t take away from the wonderful experience we’re having. I’ll give them a separate 5 star review.