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“Better than advertised” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Frances' Lodge Relais

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Frances' Lodge Relais
Strada di Valdipugna 2, 53100 Siena, Italy   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Guided tour of the City
Ranked #2 of 95 Siena B&B and Inns
Kelowna, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Better than advertised”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

My wife and I spent three weeks traveling Italy to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary and the 5 days we spent at Frances Lodge was the highlight of our trip. Frances and Franco are incredible hosts, warm, welcoming, and knowledgable. The accomadations were excellent and the food, both the breakfast and the evening picnic diner, were wonderful. We especially welcomed the late afternoon swim with the great views of Siena. Restaurant recommondations in Siena were perfect. We definitely liked the vibe of Siena and look forward to spending more time in the near future to explore the town while staying at Frances' Lodge. Thank you Frances and Franco for making our trip so memorable!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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186 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, WI
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Frances and Franco's place. They were the perfect hosts of this 6 bedroom working villa. The gardens, pool and views were awesome. We celebrated our 25th anniversary in one of their gazebos. We stayed in the LEMON ROOM and loved it. Spacious, views and refrigerator. Breakfast was more than we could eat. They greet their guests and tour the place upon arrival. Excellent with touring information. We rented a car for 2 days for other hill top towns (expensive), but worth it and Franco helped us with a map. Somewhat downside is the 1 mile walk to catch a bus to Siena, or eat at the nearby restaurant (it's a beautiful walk, but uphill on the way back). Bella!

Room Tip: We loved the LEMON room
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

1. the hosts, franco and frances - 5/5 - faultless. really wonderful, caring people.
2. location - 3.5/5 - not our favorite part of tusancy, didnt love siena, but others might. town is a 5 min drive away. ugly industrial area between lodge and town. we preferred val d'orcia but this is fairly close by.
3. food - 3.5/5 - basic but fine breakfast. lovely homemade farm produce. NO restaurant. but F&F offer a 'picnic' in the evening of tuscan meats, small pasta bowl etc which was superb
4. lodge - 5/5 - lovely farm, nice pool, nice view of siena, really rustic feel

small quirks: no wifi in room and pool loungers not very comfortable.these are pretty trivial though.

overall though, we wouldnt hesitate to recommend frances lodge. we had a great time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McLean, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

This place is a dream come true for anyone who has imagined themselves in Tuscany! The hosts, Franca and Franco, were warm, funny and caring. They are a wealth of knowledge about everything in Siena and the surrounding area. They were amazingly helpful with tours, restaurants, and history. The building is amazing and dates back from the 1700s, but is totally updated and totally eco friendly. The pool does not even have chlorine or chemicals! We had the family suite, traveling with our 18 and 20 year old children - it was perfect. Enough room for all and totally charming. Every detail, from the fruit basket to the amenities in the bathroom, were well thought out and appreciated. The setting is exquisite - from the view of the city to the farmland surrounding to the lemon trees in the backyard. Breakfast was the best we had in Italy - served in the back garden, it was the perfect place to chat with other guests and have a relaxing start to your day. Wish we had done dinner there, but the kids loved the city of Siena and wanted to spend a lot of time in the evening there - very young, fun, university town. Hubby and I would love to return for a more romantic holiday! It would feel like returning to visit family!

Room Tip: The family suite was wonderful - one bedroom upstairs, another off the living room - plenty of priva...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newmarket, ON, Canada
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

We spent one week, beginning July 9, at Frances Lodge. Our decision, based on the outstanding online and print reviews,did not disappoint us in any way.

We booked the White Room months in advance and the process was straightforward and quick. Franca responded quickly to our emails and was able to provide us with help and advice prior to our arrival from Rome. On July 9 just after 4.00 PM, both Franca and Franco greeted us with open arms. Their pride in both the property AND as being hosts in Siena was immediately evident. We were given a tour of the property and were in our room quickly. We had decided not to go into Siena that evening but had opted for a ‘picnic’ dinner provided by Franca and Franco. That evening we were served a wonderful meal under a gazebo overlooking Siena and as the sun set, we felt so at ease and as if we were with family.

Over the course of the week, we took three day trips outside of Siena (Volterra, La Crete to Pienza and Multipulciano and finally Chianti). Both Franca and Franco helped plan our days and I would suggest you take advantage of their wealth of information concerning Tuscany should you decide to do the same. Our ‘off’ days were spent either in Siena or at the lodge. Again, our hosts provided us with many hints and advice as well as very interesting insights into the history of Siena.

Location:

The lodge is located outside of Siena and is easily accessible by car which is what we had. Taxi and bus service is also available. The lodge looks west over Siena and the views are spectacular, particularly at sunset. The views to the east at sunrise are equally beautiful and they offer a wonderful backdrop at breakfast. We enjoyed going for early morning walks along the narrow and very quiet roads. We found the property to be very quiet and peaceful.

Regardless of where you stay in Siena, it is our opinion that in order to tour Tuscany, a car is your best option by far. For example, our trip into Chianti was less than 100 k return but we were gone over nine hours due to frequent stops and a long lunch (Franca was laughing when she heard this)!

The Lodge

Truly a beautiful building set in exquisite landscaping, we never tired of simply being there. Everywhere you turned, you could see the hard work and attention to detail of the owners. Our room, the White Room, is on the ground floor and as you might guess, is decorated entirely in white. Many of the fabrics we discovered, have been in the family for generations. This room also had a private walkout to a tiny sitting area which we really enjoyed. There is a common room available to guests where there are many books available for research along with comfortable chairs and couches. Air conditioning is available for an extra charge but we found it unnecessary. We decided to simply do what Franca suggested ... keep the windows open (and our walkout door as well). We were never uncomfortable and enjoyed listening to the insects at night and the birds in the morning. There is a fridge in the rooms and this was welcomed. Frances Lodge also has a beautiful pool which we used daily and it was such a great way to cool off and relax after a day on the road. The pool was never crowded and kept very clean. Watching the swallows swoop down over the pool grabbing insects was enchanting.

Breakfast and the ‘Picnic’

Each evening guests are asked to select their breakfast time and food choices. Each room has an assigned table in the garden and it was here we met many of the other guests at the lodge. We found breakfast to be very relaxing and this was where many of us shared our travel stories or advice. Both Franca and Franco doted over us and after breakfast we could firm up travel plans with them. Breakfast, in a nutshell, was outstanding. We could not want for anything else and do they make a great espresso!

Franca and Franco offer a wonderful ‘picnic’ dinner at an extra cost. They serve up a great meal of bread, many appetizers, pasts and dessert along with a homemade dessert wine. Franco has many great wines available as well. All this occurs under a gazebo overlooking Siena and it is there you can sit all evening. Our first meal in Siena was here and it was so memorable, we decided to do the same on our last evening as well.

The Hosts

You won’t find more helpful or gracious hosts than in Franca and Franco. We tried to spend time getting to know them and Siena from their perspective and we were rewarded with many good laughs and wonderful advice. We expressed interest in the origins of the Contrada system in Siena and Franco helped us understand this tradition and why “the Sienese are crazy!” They truly are interested in making your vacation special.

Hopefully this review is not too long winded but it is our way of expressing our thanks to Franca and Franco. If you are planning a vacation to Siena and are considering Frances Lodge, we would unconditionally recommend it.

Hope this is helpful.
Bob and Janice

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We spent three nights at Frances Lodge during our 6 week European holiday and can't say enough great things about our stay at the lodge.. Frances and Franco were fantastic hosts and were able to recommend many great local restaurants and tours to do in the area. They were even able to organize us great tickets to a dinner for Il Palio. The Lodge itself has a beautiful garden and creates a very relaxed environment. It was so hot when we were there that we were very grateful for the use of their swimming pool however beware that you have to wear swimming caps to use the pool. We travel quite a bit and have to say that our stay at Frances Lodge has been one of the best experiences ever.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

If you're looking for a farmhouse type of environment, away from the normal hotels of the region, it's hard to beat Frances Lodge. We were there with our two boys (18 and 16) for a week and ended up "pic-nicing" by the pool or at one of the many designated areas, 3 of the 7 nights we were there. Two nights we ordered pizza from town, the other night we were served a traditional Tuscan meal by Franco and Frances. But the biggest plus of the experience was Frances and Franco themselves. Rarely do you find people that are just destined to do what they do. That’s the only way I can describe this couple. Forget the travel books, forget your plans and just tell them what kind of day you’d like. They’ll recommend the perfect day away from the crowds, leaving you with a good sense of Tuscany and awed by the experience. My only suggestion is that they raise their prices to get rid of the small extra charges like AC and pancakes.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Frances' Lodge Relais

Address: Strada di Valdipugna 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Siena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 95 B&Bs / Inns in Siena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Frances’ Lodge is a loverly restored country guest home set on a hill across from Siena. Its unbelievable view looks out over the old walled city from the top of a beautiful hilltop. It is here that, since the start of the 18th century, noble families of Siena kept their “villa”—the country house where they summered from May to November, to get away from the heat of the city and to watch over the harvests from their farm holdings; and here the Owners restored the 1853' largest "Limonaia" overlooking the Historical Garden, as part of a fascinating, rich of History, wonderful Estate, belonging to the same Family since quite 3 centuries.The commanding position of the house with its 360-degree panoramic views, the closeness to the city(only 1.8 km.—little more than a mile—as the crow flies), the silence and peace of being in the open countryside just outside the city walls... all of these features await you as soon as you pass through the gates, enter the lovely driveway, and behold the incredible view of Siena’s skyline amid vineyards, fruit orchards, and olive groves. You’ll be revived by sounds that busier parts of the world have forgotten: birds chirping, cicadas singing in summer, the wind blowing through the trees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Frances` Hotel Siena

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