Your impression of this place will definitely depend on your expectations and what makes a good holiday for you...If you want to experience comfort and mod-cons, this isn't for you, BUT if you are more concerned with atmosphere and experiencing rural Italy, this place is a wonderful spot! Situated in the tiny village of San Momme, in the mountains above Pistoia, if you haven't got a car, the place is currently only accessible via a 40 min bus ride and a 10 minute walk to the village. There is a wonderful (& apparently quick) mountain railway but this is currently out of service due to a landslide.
The hotel is run by Ricardo, the owner, who was very friendly and accommodating and all of the staff are from the village. The rooms are a somewhat 'pot-luck'... we were told on our arrival that we would have 1 room for the first night and move to a balcony room on the second, which was not a bad thing as the first room, although with beautiful views, was tiny, with a rusty, cracked 'wet room' with no shower curtain... but our second room was much more charming with a balcony over the terrace, a fridge & a small but sufficient bathroom.
Breakfast is nothing to write home about, and although the meals there ended up stinging us financially (as there is no menu or indication of price, with each course charged for separately), they were home cooked and incredibly tasty... If you don't want to eat there, your only other choice is to eat at the little Pizzaria / bar / general store in the village centre which was charming and friendly, but which only does pizza (in various different forms!), or you can get food from the little supermarket by the station when in Pistoia.
There is a beautiful pool, that overlooks the valley, which on the weekends is used by a few locals too, but was generally very quiet.. and other than the peculiar choice of evening entertainment a couple of nights a week (some man playing percussion instruments over dance tracks for 5 hrs one night, and a couple of nights of kareoke mostly with love songs sang by the chap running it) it is very quiet... if you want to escape the 'entertainment of the evening, we suggest a wander down to the plaza to watch the locals playing bingo, or bridge, or sat drinking coffee and talking in the square which was much more typical of village life....
As I said, your impression will depend on your expectations, but we loved it, and with easy access from the town of Pistoia (which is truly beautiful) to Florence or Pisa it was just the experience of rural Italy that we wanted and we had a wonderful stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ecolabel hotel amid the green hills of tuscany, close to a handy train station connecting florence and lucca easily in a short time leaving your car directly in free hotel parking place or garage. Local food and wine, bird gardening, nature and tennis court , large swimming pools, football field, gymn, snookers, children playground. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Arcobaleno Hotel Pistoia