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“Beautiful castle in the Tuscan country!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Castelletto di Montebenichi

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Castelletto di Montebenichi
Piazza Gorizia 9, 52021 Montebenichi, Bucine, Italy   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Montebenichi
Concord, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful castle in the Tuscan country!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2011

We recently stayed for two nights at the Castelletto while traveling through Italy for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were blown away by this "hotel". The owners, Marco and Arnaldo, spent several years renovating this small castle into a bed and breakfast boutique hotel. Their attention to detail is amazing. The entire castle is open to guests with multiple small common rooms that are filled with antiques and really gives the feel of being in a castle. The hotel is in a tiny village 4 KM off the nearest road. It has a collection of tiny homes. All very quaint. In addition to the castle, there is a separate free parking area behind a private gate with a beautiful pool area which sits on the side of the hill with breathtaking views of the Tuscan country side. There are flowers everywhere. It is just outstanding.

In addition, the staff, especially Marco and Barbara will do anything to help you find what you want to find. Barbara is available to hire for wine tours which we did. We drove through the countryside with her and learned more about Italy than the rest of the trip. They made a suggestion for a great restaurant about 15 mintues away. When we got lost, we called Barbara and she talked us through the directions. They are really helpful!

There is a tiny restaurant in Montebenichi (only one restaurant), but I highly recommend it. It is quaint and authentic but also great local food.

This place was a great respit on an otherwise hectic trip through Italy. Our room was large, comfortable with very effective air conditionting. Free drinks throughout the hotel including in your room is also a plus. The breakfast was very nice.

The only thing to fix over time is that the free wireless internet only worked in the lobby or the common room. With the thickness of the castle walls, the signal simply doesn't get into the rooms. Therefore, if this is important for you it may be frustrating. We used the internet to Skype our children and had to do it in the common room which was not convenient. This, however, is the ONLY flaw in this beautiful place.

Room Tip: I can't imagine there is a bad room!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2011

Castelletto di Montebenichi was a paradise. From the welcome greeting by the owners and Barbara to the beautifully decorated room to all the food, drinks and services, it was our best experience in Italy. The views from the castle's rooftop terrace were amazing. The pool and yard adjacent were beautifully landscaped and provided a relaxing place after days of touring. The owners have restored the 13th century castle to a remarkable condition, and their personal collection of antiques make it an especially warm and livable museum. Marco, one of the owners was always around and conversing with us, telling stories of the castle, and even serving us coffee at breakfast. His friendly and humble presence was a definite plus to our stay. Barbara gave us a delicious and informative cooking lesson in her home with generous hospitality. I would (and have) recommend this castle stay to anyone wanting to experience Italy and Tuscany at the personal level.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Fremont, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2011

We spent 2 full weeks in Italy from Rome to Venice and everything in between and this is definitely one of the highlights. Marco is a great host/owner and loves spending time with his guests. The Castellletto is immaculate and furnished with antiques from the area. Each room is very private and comfortably furnished. We stayed in the only room not actually in the Castelletto, called the annex as it is in a building across the street. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: Book early
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Toronto
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

Loved our 4 night stay at the Castelletto. Glad we had GPS to find it ! Marco was a wonderful host. Spent days out visiting Cortona, Siena, San Gimignano and Montereggione, returned to enjoy the spectacular view from the roof top terrace. Pool area was beautiful, water was still a bit chilly for swimming while we were there. Enjoyed the local restaurant for dinner.

  • Stayed May 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calfornia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
223 helpful votes 223 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2010

Hands down, this is the best place I've ever stayed at, and I've traveled extensively. My family (husband, and two teenaged daughters) stayed here for 4 nights in July. We were all bowled over. Had I known how much I would fall in love with this place, I'd have stayed here a week. (My husband and daughters agree, and that's unusual!) If you are looking for the perfect honeymoon spot in Tuscany, look no further. Even if you are just traveling with a spouse, family or friends, I guarantee that you will not be let down. The Castelletto is located in a tiny village, that is just what you might imagine a tiny village in Tuscany looks like. The only thing I can think of that might have made it better would be one or two tiny shops, such as a bakery or a small gelateria. But as I think the population of the village is around 50 or less, that's probably not going to happen.

Marco, who runs this establishment, is priceless. He is the perfect blend of sophisticated, kind, thoughtful, helpful and genuine. He (with the assistance of Arnoldo, who was not in residence when we were there) has decorated the place tastefully and lavishly, but it isn't de trop. It's just divine. And some of the pieces are jaw-dropping, like a rare Roman bronze statue of a boy, from around 2nd century B.C. Frescoes, tapistries, rare paintings, fabulous furniture, wooden beams caressed by the ages and lustrous antique details abound. Nothing tacky. Sigh! I sure do miss this place. It's too bad their website does not really give you the full sense of a visit here. Staying here is rather like a holiday with a wealthy Italian uncle who owns a tiny and exquisite castle-museum.

My advice: rent a car, drive here, then come to this enchanted place and act like an Italian, not an American tourist. Forget about schedules, museums, racing here and there and seeing everything there is to see in Sienna, Arezzo and elsewhere. (Although it's very tempting, and we certainly did it!) Relax. Pour yourself a drink (from Marco's delightful antique decanters). Savor the air, the sky, the vista of olive trees. Marvel at all that is around you. Be enchanted by the tiny, ancient hamlet of Montebenichi (pronounced: Mohn-tay-ben-EE-kee). Enjoy the sumptuous rooms filled with amazing antiques. Dive into the pool and let the Tuscan sun kiss your skin. Ahhhh... if this isn't heaven on earth, nothing is.

We stayed in the room at the top of the building, with a gorgeous view across the hills. I believe it was the Junior Suite. It was on the 3rd floor (or at least, what Americans refer to as the 3rd floor). Our girls had the room directly across the hall. Theirs was a Deluxe Room, I believe. The rooms are not like the Four Seasons. They are unique, one-of-a-kind, lovingly decorated. Sure there are small flaws here and there, as the building is medieval. The beds were plenty comfortable and we slept well. Our room had a gorgeous view out across the Tuscan hills: olive and apple trees hugging the landscape in neat rows, bordered by slender cypresses. The air was clear and warm, scented with sage.

Marco suggested (months before we arrived, via email) that we might wish to book a cooking lesson at a nearby restaurant while we stayed at the Castelletto. I secretly worried that it might be a bit silly, or not very good, but we were not disappointed. We booked a lesson with Marzo, a chef at the Osteria di Rendola. Mind you, it's not a Michelin-starred restaurant. But it's very real, very Tuscan. Marzo was funny and a great teacher, and good with our teenaged girls, a small feat in and of itself. Together we made a roulade of rabbit (filled with a stuffing of sausage, olives and onions), eggplant parmesan (not the ersatz American sort), fresh egg pasta and ridiculously good chocolate mousse, among other things. Gosh, everything was tasty and superb. (See photos.) Picky teenagers happy. Adult foodies happy. Win-win.

We used the Castelletto as a base to explore Siena, Volterra, Montepulciano, San Gimignano and Cortona.

Nice features: air conditioning in the rooms (remarkable, since the building is centuries old), delightful breakfasts (all sorts of fruits, breads and goodies, cappuccinos and espressos made to order) in a pretty little breakfast room (see photo). Help-yourself decanters of sherry, gin and tonic and other assorted drinks, nuts and freshly prepared goodies at the witching hour (in one of the common rooms, on the 2nd floor.)

There is a nearby restaurant, tiny but dependable, a stone's throw from the Castelletto (maybe the only restaurant in the village, called Osteria l'Orciaia). It is listed in the Michelin guide (not a starred restaurant, but still.) They have a good but limited menu, just lovely. And a view out across the hills. Drinking wine and eating pasta here, while dusk falls, the crickets chirp, and Tuscan day becomes night -- ahhh, bliss. We ate there 3 times. Tip: book ahead, as the restaurant only has few tables and they book up quickly. I believe they are only open for dinner, not lunch.

There is a pool on the property, with a pool house, lots of towels, and ice creams and treats in the fridge, which you can help yourself to. Very nice touch. It's a short walk from the hotel down the hill to the pool area. Guests are given a special key to get into the pool/gardens/pool house area, so it's very private.

Sure the wi-fi Internet is dice-y and Marco is not Dexter the Internet fix-it guru. If you are coming here to this paradise and you are trying to get on the Internet that badly, you need some serious help.

Note: the hotel is listed as being in Bucine. If you are looking on a map, e.g., Google maps, the hotel is actually beyond Bucine, maybe another 5 miles. It's out in the middle of the countryside, on a hill, in the tiny village of Montebenichi.

In short: gem of a hotel, a must-stay. Rent a car if you stay here. Stay at least 3 days or you will kick yourself. Soak up the romance of the place, and enjoy!

  • Stayed July 2010, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2010

We took a 2 week trip to Tuscany and northern Italy and staying here was the highlight. It's the perfect location to explore the area. We stayed 6 nights and could have stayed longer. It's such a unique place, from the art, the old books, the frescos...we felt we were emerged in Italian culture and history. Marco is a wealth of knowledge down to the tiniest detail of where to park when we drove into Florence, to which restaurant would be wonderful to celebrate our anniversary. His recommendations were better than any guide book. Barbara was wonderful, we took a wine tour with her and it was so personal and enjoyable. Parking is easy, the pool area was beautiful to just sit and enjoy the view, the breakfast was delicious and the cocktail hour was enjoyable. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Swampscott, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2010

Castelletto Di Montebenichi was paradise. From the greeting we received at check-in through the cocktail hours, breakfast , recommendations on what to see in the nearby villages, it was beyond what words can describe. Marco, the owner, is such a gem. We learned so much of the Tuscany area from chatting with him. Barbara is a master chef! We took a cooking class from her in her home and I couldn't wait to return home to try out what we had learned from her. I can say that I will return some day because it was an experience that you need to relive over and over.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castelletto di Montebenichi

Address: Piazza Gorizia 9, 52021 Montebenichi, Bucine, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Arezzo > Bucine > Montebenichi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Montebenichi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Castelletto di Montebenichi, a perfect spot for visiting Tuscany, located in the Chianti, half way between Siena and Arezzo. Staying at the Castelletto is a magic experience offered to a few guests only who will enjoy precious works of art, including period frescoes, archeological finds, sketches and antique paintings, drawings, sculptures, bronzes and ceramics. They will be caught up in a pleasant, unforgettable out-of-this-time atmosphere. In this ancient mansion, dating back to XII century, tradition and modern comfort are combined perfectly. Guests are encouraged to move free like in their own home in a comfortable and familar, yet elegant and exclusive environment. At a few steps in the park guests can enjoy a swimming pool, a small sauna, and a gym with a jacuzzi mini-pool along with a marvellous view over the surrounding hills and the valley. The Castelletto has no restaurant, but around the corner a wonderful "trattoria" called "L'Orciaia" offers tasty traditional Tuscan dishes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castelletto Di Montebenichi Hotel Bucine

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