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“Cheapness so Thick I could Slice it with a Knife” 3 of 5 stars
Review of L'Andana

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L'Andana
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Localita Badiola, 58043 Castiglione Della Pescaia, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
West Islip, NY
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
183 helpful votes 183 helpful votes
“Cheapness so Thick I could Slice it with a Knife”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

My Dearest and I enjoyed a relaxing stay at L’Andana. It is pleasant enough but falls short of the high standards set by other Italian resorts in the same price bracket. Everywhere at L’Andana I found cheap and tacky touches making it painfully obvious that management is more interested in the bottom line than in providing five star luxury.

The guest rooms at L’Andana are housed in two low rise buildings of recent construction and indifferent quality. If you look past the rustic ochre paint job, these buildings have about as much charm as your average Holiday Inn. The exterior walls feature clumsily patched holes and peeling paint.

The guest rooms are large and spacious but full of cheap touches. Most of the furniture is made of painted softwood with visible chipping and scuff marks. The art on the walls appears to have been produced by making Xerox copies of old architectural drawings and then framing them. Fake plaster antiquities were bolted to the walls. The cabinetry and shelving were made of painted pine. No carpets or rugs on the floor. The lighting was tacky. The center of the room featured a fake gas fireplace with a frame and mantelpiece of painted softwood.

The bathroom was also spacious. I loved the huge mirror, the expansive countertops and the double sinks. Then things went downhill fast. In order to bathe, one needed to step into something that looked like a wading pool that featured a rainforest shower head, a handsprayer, a bathtub faucet, and a metal drain plug shaped like a shitake mushroom. The wading pool was far bigger than you needed for a shower, but it was lined in small sharp-edged tiles that made it uncomfortable to sit down and take a bath. There was no shower curtain, so taking a shower involved spraying quarts of water across the bathroom floor. I was terrified that the top heavy shitake mushroom would fall over onto my big toe and break it. Apparently the wading pool was someone’s creative attempt to mimic a Roman bath. While there are many areas of life in which I applaud creativity, bathroom plumbing is not one of them!

More about the bathroom: the towels were Holiday Inn thin, and no extra towels were provided. The shampoo, bath gel, and other product were L’Andana’s house brand of indifferent quality. The toilet and bidet lived in a small cell within the bathroom. The door to the cell banged against the bidet. I did chuckle at the thought of giving the cell door a good slam so future French guests would have to get along without a bidet!

Breakfast is served in a room that gives new meaning to the term “soul-less”. Zero décor except rust shards shaped as animal profiles. Poor ventilation. Dirty and tattered sheer curtains. Tables and chairs borrowed from a prison cafeteria.

Breakfast service was amateurish. No-one greeted us when we arrived. We seated ourselves. On a clear sunny morning we were told that outdoor seating was not permitted since there was a threat of rain. Five minutes later a French family loudly demanded and received an al fresco table. (I guess they looked more waterproof than My Dearest and me.) Some waiters spoke passable English at breakfast; others did not. I seemed to terrify one waiter in particular: he visibly shook in my presence.

The breakfast buffet was disappointing and woefully more limited than the breakfast buffets at other Italian resorts I have visited. No meats other than cured or baked ham. There was only one variety of cheese most mornings. No smoked salmon or other fish option. When buffet items were finished they were not replenished. The coffee was acrid and often lukewarm. On a few mornings we were offered freshly squeezed citrus juice: an isolated nice touch. On other mornings we ordered beverages that never arrived. Some days we were offered cooked food; other days we were not.

L’Andana sports two swimming pools surrounded by serviceable loungers. Pool service was friendly but slow. A brick wall lined the end of one pool – apparently intended as a decoration. Lion faces cast in plaster hung from the wall and water drained into the pool from spouts in their mouths. Someone has been shopping at the Home Depot!

Lunch hit some high notes but was inconsistent. The house salads delighted me, bursting with fresh produce from the region. On some days the spaghetti ragu was divine with freshly made pasta and a traditional meaty sauce. On other days both the pasta and the sauce came from a supermarket. On some days the waiters were professional and charming. On other days the B Team waited tables and stumbled over their English. I have a strict rule against ice cream, but the delicious homemade gelato forced me to break my rule – again and again and again!

The Trattoria Toscana Restaurant features large portions of red meat roasted in a rustic style with lots of garlic and rosemary. For the most part the meat was very tasty, but some bits were too chewy for me – it’s difficult to enjoy a meal when your gums ache from overwork. The service was friendly at the start of the meal when they are taking your order or selling you an expensive bottle of wine, but afterwards you are mostly left to fend for yourself. The sommelier scowled when I had the temerity to ask for a dessert wine at the end of my meal. The olive oil and the roasted veggies were super!

Trattoria Toscana is overpriced. There are many charming restaurants nearby that offer more imaginative food at better prices. If you stay at L’Andana for more than two nights, you simply must visit some of them. I particularly recommend Terra di Nello, where the steak tartare was divine and the cured pigs cheeks melted on my tongue like butter. (When I explained to our rabbi my thesis that pork products in Tuscany are kosher, he didn’t argue. I take that as a Yes!)

Despite all the shortcomings, My Dearest and I enjoyed our stay at L’Andana. The countryside is lovely. The setting with vineyards and olive trees all round is charming. Lying by the pool gazing at all this beauty, it was possible to overlook even quite glaring flaws.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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202 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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ITALY
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

Great place beautiful scenery, but terrible restaurant service, quality of the food, ok, but not enough related to the price. The same for the LUnch restaurant it was a disaster , it took them forever to serve and then again for ever to bring the check. Would never go back to the restaurant but the hotel is beautiful.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 1 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.
London, UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

We have recently spent four days with our young chidlren at the Tenuta of Casa Badiola, part of the Andana's hotel and loved it. While it is expensive, the sorrounding are just wonderful, quiet and peaceful. Our room was really spacious and had a nice garden and view of the hills. The one thing we really appreciated is that all the staff were really friendly with the children and made us feel confortable at all times. The food at the Villa was very good, but probably not excellent considering the price, but we had amazing meals at the Trattoria Toscana. We would def, want to go back

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

The food and wine are certainly good at L'Andana but neither make up for the poor service. In summary, I would choose one of the many 4 star agriturismo in the area for better value all round.

While the prices and category of this hotel are five star, do not expect attentive or experienced staff unless you are in the main restaurant or part of a private event. This hotel clearly relies on its location and the brand of Alain Ducasse (at the hotel about 5 times a year) to draw clients. When we arrived and couldn't find anyone at the bar or restaurant (midday) we were advised that 'as this is country house style, if you want something you need to find someone to ask for it'.  When we asked if we needed to reserve bicycles we were told 'no', however when we arrived to find they were all gone, we were told they couldn't be reserved and there was nothing to be done/no apologies until pressed.  There was a pool bar but seldom anyone there to serve.  The room service menu has about 12 items so after 3 days you may be tempted to ask for some variety, be prepared to be told, as we were, that the Room Service menu is not flexible and if you want more options you must go to the restaurant.  As a final touch, when we left early on our final morning (as we had pre warned we would) nobody had bothered to open the very large iron gates at the exit of the hotel so we had to do this manually in the dark - far from the Virtuoso experience that this hotel promises.

Room Tip: Room 10 has a fabulous jacuzzi bath in bedroom
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Great Falls, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

L'Andana is a stunningly beautiful property with gorgeous gardens, vineyards and olive groves. The setting is postcard perfect. Our deluxe double room was spacious with a king sized bed, a sitting area with satellite tv and DVD and a large lovely bathroom with separate shower and claw footed bathtub. The crisp linen sheets on the bed were an elegant touch as were the vin santo dessert wine and cantucci cookies left in our room at bedtime. Unfortunately, we found the service shockingly lacking for a five star hotel. Our room wasn't ready when we arrived even though we had informed the hotel of our arrival time as requested. Our room key didn't work when we were finally escorted to the room. At lunch at the less formal Villa restaurant my husband was brought the wrong pasta dish. Buffet breakfast at the same restaurant is served between 7:30 and 10:30. When we arrived at 10:15 we found little left to eat. Judging from the looks of things, the breakfast offering was meager in the first place. Finally got some fresh melon after many requests. Dinner at the Michelin starred Alain Ducasse restaurant was even worse in terms of service. Waited half an hour to receive a menu and when we asked for one we were told by a surly waitress that it wasn't her fault that there were not enough. Waited 45 minutes for the sommelier to show up for us to order wine. No amuse bouche was offered, but the bread was truly amazing. My husband lucked out with his order and had a fantastic fish carpaccio followed by a veal chop so tender it melted in the mouth, which was cooked to perfection. I was less lucky and had a fish stew that clearly had extremely fresh quality ingredients, but was bland. To end the meal we were served the wrong dessert. Throughout the meal a crazed toddler ran between the tables as if he were in a playground and neither his parents nor the staff did anything to regn him in. The spa was lovely and I had a decent massage and an exceptionally good pedicure, but when I tried to buy spa products afterward there was no one there to serve me--not even when I returned an hour later. In a word -- disappointing.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

We are extensive travelers and have had the privilege of staying in the best hotels all around the world over the last 40 years.
Arriving to L'Andana was very promising since the grounds and scenery are truly beautiful and we had already had an excellent experience at the sister hotel L'Albereta situated near Verona. We had reserved two suites for 3 nights and our first impression was rather positive, apart from a few interior design and architectural flaws. The dinner at the Trattoria Toscana was our first disappointment, as the service was very poor and the food average as Alain Ducasse' interpretation of Italian cuisine fails to convince. Breakfast proved to be an even bigger disappointment with a mediocre selection of food and worse service than at he Trattoria. Even the coffee (in Italy!) was bad.
In other words, this hotel (and the restaurant!) appears to be suffering from being a long way from its general management.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Stamford, CT, USA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

Stayed at L'Andana for 2 nigts during our tour of Tuscany. This was our favorite hotel of the stay, with Brogo San Felice being very close second. From the moment we started on the long driveway from the gates to the hotel, it was clear that L'Andana is in a class of its own. The bellman was already outside welcoming us. The check-in was fast, efficient and friendly. Our room was great! L'andana is a perfect combination of service, quality and luxury in one place.

Buffet breakfast and especially Sunday brunch at L'Andana were absolutely great! In fact they were so good, that the meal at Michelin star'ed Trattoria Toscana was just OK in comparison.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about L'Andana

Address: Localita Badiola, 58043 Castiglione Della Pescaia, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Grosseto > Castiglione Della Pescaia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Castiglione Della Pescaia
#2 Romantic Hotel in Castiglione Della Pescaia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — L'Andana 5*
Number of rooms: 33
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Also Known As:
l`Andana Hotel Castiglione Della Pescaia
L'Andana Castiglione Della Pescaia, Italy - Tuscany

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