We stayed here last year and had a wonderful time. Expectations were high for another nice trip at Le Fontanelle and we were pleased. This location in Chianti is perfect for day trips to various towns.
We had a suite with a large private lanai and yard with it's own apricot tree. The views were heavenly. The bed is comfortable, and we're tempurpedic people, difficult to please. The linens are soft linen, not scratchy linen. The room is decorated with quiet country elegance. Wifi was no issue this year. We were supplied with plenty of shampoos, etc. all we needed. Overall this hotel notices who you are. I’m allergic to everything. So I placed the bouquet of fresh flowers outside and hid the potpourri in a cabinet. They respected that. I’ve stayed in places where they have to put it all back every day as if they’re ticking boxes instead of noticing what makes us happy. Not at Hotel Le Fontanelle, they care.
The service at this hotel is by far the best we had on our trip to Italy. The employees are clearly enjoying their work and the guests. However, everyone was professional as well. The front desk will attend to every need. The laundry service? WOW! I filled out the our names and room number and signed the form. The pile was sitting on the chair across the room, figuring I would list it all after dinner. After dinner, I discovered the laundry was missing. The turn down maid saw the form was signed and took it all so I wouldn't have to deal with it. Wasn't that nice? It all came back, on time, wonderful. The rooms were cleaned to perfection. The room service is a delight. They offer to bring it in courses. I had an electric hot water kettle placed in the room. When I needed a ceramic tea pot, they heated it before bringing it. Really? That was such a special touch. The restaurant is a delight with wonderful flavors. The breakfast buffet has a generous spread of yogurts, fruits, local honey and preserves, meats, pastries, etc. The dinner menu is good, the specials are high quality. The steak, pasta, fish, ok, everything gets special mention. Just eat there. It's expensive, yes. But if you're paying that much for a hotel, you can afford that much for dinner. The surprises from the chef at breakfast were over the top. I'm still surprised with the variety offered for so few guests overall. When we stopped and really thought about what is available compared to how many guests were staying there I felt so much gratitude.
So every wonderful hotel has it's weak points. What are they?
1. The outdoor pool. The outdoor pool's location is beautiful and perfect. The service was well intentioned and sweet. But, the poolside lunch menu is really lacking, as is the flexibility to make something off menu.
2. The bathrooms in the suites are teeny tiny and truly, not 5 stars. This is because of the architectural restrictions when they remodeled. It's just good to be forewarned. This is not a Four Season's bathroom, it's a tasteful adorable country inn bathroom. They've made efforts to improve the lack of a counter top with glass shelves and trolleys. I found it to be functional, it's just lower your expectations, ok?
3. The blow dryers, yes, special mention, not in the bathroom review. Ok guys, most 5 star hotels that cost this much provide a Full Size Ion hair dryer. Especially in a suite. Not some little travel dryer with a button that has to be held down while using. I'm guessing this place is owned by a man, or a lady who has wash and wear hair. Or maybe the electricity isn't sufficient? Not sure what's going on there...
4. If you're shipping things home, specify EXACTLY when you want them to ship. The hotel sub contracts to MBE in Siena. They do a lovely job, everything arrived safe and sound. Just let them know when you want it sent and it will all be fine.
5. Why are all the chairs backwards in the restaurant? Backs to the view? I'm not getting that. Is this a cultural thing I'm ignorant of? One night I switched it, but I felt odd because everyone else was facing the restaurant instead of the view.
6. The Gym. An indoor pool? That was amazing! I loved it again this year. However, the gym is teeny tiny, like the bathrooms. Two treadmills, two bikes, an elliptical, a cable type machine, free weights and a bench. That's it. There is no room to use the weights/bench etc. I made do with the Fabulous Indoor Pool. However, I eat a lot of food in Italy, I wanted more options for the price of the hotel. Maybe this will be rectified with the new building being built up on the hill? Or maybe I'll just become a better swimmer. Hard to say if I'm complaining or complementing the hotel with this one.
7. Not their weak point, more our weak point: Your GPS has many settings with various ways to input a location. Make sure yours is the same input type as theirs before you enter the journey. No one wants to reprogram in a roundabout. Or, maybe the hotel would consider posting all 3 versions of their GPS coordinates.
8. TV, yep, we’re those people. We turn on the TV, when? Well when I’m using the full size hair dryer of course, ha ha. Not kidding. I think that tiny hair dryer saved my husband some aggravation. ( Since I was just putting my hair up wet. ) We couldn’t find an English station. Most hotels have the CNN world news or something… I’m not expecting more than that. Thank you good wifi!
All in all I would totally stay here again. Actually, we've already booked it. They're really wonderful, all of my pickiness aside, this is a wonderful experience, with a delightful team, and a perfect location in Chianti.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
September 5, 2012
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First of all, thank you very much for having returned at Hotel Le Fontanelle and for your new booking for 2013 season! We are thrilled to meet you again.
Also, we would like to thank you for the precious review you left us: it is also thanks to our Guests' thoughts that we could try to collect ideas to improve ourselves and we are pleased you found some positive changes this year.
We are happy you understood our spontaneity and devotion in assisting our Guests, because we really care about that. Our first purpose is to satisfy our Guests' needs and if -for human reasons- we cannot "promise" something (because... you can never know), on the other side, Guests can be sure we will all anyway try to do OUR BEST to resolve it!
Believe me, it is not presumption, but just our wish of making our Guests stay as more memorable as possible (surely in positive sense!).
At the same time, we will keep on trying always more reducing our weak points when possible.
Looking forward to welcoming you again, we wish you a great life!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.