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“A Refugee Camp with a Good Chef” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa

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Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Condominium   |   Via Cerroni, 50050 Montaione, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A Refugee Camp with a Good Chef”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Are you kidding me? What were we thinking?

Or better yet, what was the management of Castellare di Tonda thinking when they decided to market this place as refined Tuscan resort? Yes, the location is wonderful. It is a beautiful spot in the heart of Tuscany and the setting will not disappoint anyone. If you close your eyes and imagine rolling Italian hills and the green multi-hued blend of olive trees and vineyards, that is what you'll see here.

However, that is where the romance ends.

To be fair, we knew this was semi-self catering, and a bit more earthy and casual than our typical destination. However, this does not excuse dilapidated, dark, and cramped (one might say "creepy") apartments. If you don't mind intermittent hot water, questionable plumbing, power that doesn't work, and rooms with the barest (read: "lack of") essentials, then by all means, have a go. Was it at least clean? Hard to tell given the wear and tear. Maybe that was as clean as "shockingly worn down" looks to the naked eye.

What about the quiet evenings? Ha! Don't worry about sleeping, because you won't. The beds are uncomfortable and the portable air conditioning units barely serviceable. Of course, if you enjoy supplying your own toilet paper, doing your own laundry,and living with one bath towel for 2 weeks then you will be nonplussed by the appalling lack of refinement or service. Wait, let me rephrase that: the appalling INDIFFERENCE to service. We had problems with our accommodations from the outset, but not once did the staff at Castellare di Tonda actually apologize for our troubles. They neither anticipated problems, nor reacted to them with proper solutions. This is not to say they are unfriendly or unkind or rude. Not so. They are simply ignorant. Clueless. Lame. Incompetent. Choose your adjective, because they all fit.

So why 2 stars and not a zero?

One could attribute it to my generous nature and willingness to go with the flow. That could be, but in all fairness, it is probably because the chef was excellent and a delight. We had 2 weeks of very good food. We are demanding when it comes to cuisine, and he delivered. We were very happy with dinner each night, and Fabio the chef made it fun. Although, curiously enough, (or perhaps given the nature of the place, to be expected), breakfast is uninspiring. The fresh pastries are a treat, but the rest of breakfast is surprisingly unimpressive and one quickly tires of it after an extended stay.

And obviously, the setting is so attractive it is difficult to find it without merit as a destination. And if you are a kid who wants to run around and swim and basically be at summer camp for a couple of weeks, then you will think this place is great. But i think that is more the nature of Tuscany than the doings of Castellare di Tonda.

So would i return? Not in a million years, and not if they gave me the place for free. Does that mean you should avoid this place like the plague? Again, it depends on how low you can set your expectations. If you don't mind the bare bones amenities, the do it yourself nature of the accommodations, (well, the DIY nature of pretty much everything), and you are willing to overlook a staff that seems to drown in fog, then perhaps you will be fine, (and you will eat well at dinner and have wonderful views).

Just don't expect to see me there, so send me a post card. Let me know how it goes.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ctonda, Public Relations Manager at Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
Dear valued client.
Thank you for taking the time to review our Agriturismo. We truly value the opinions of our customers and we apologize that we did not meet your expectations on this occasion.
Firstly, thank you for your comments about our location. We are proud of the natural beauty of Castellare di Tonda, which as you mention, is an unspoilt paradise for visitors to the area that wish to enjoy the areas many outdoor and sporting options available.
In regards to the issues you have had with your apartment, we are extremely sorry to hear that your stay was not enjoyable. Castellare di Tonda is a very large estate, made up of 12 different farmhouses located over 900 acres of land. Some of the farmhouses were restored more recently than others, and it sounds as if you may have found yourself in one of the older apartments by your description.
During this winter, we have decided to close Castellare di Tonda for maintenance of the apartments. We have a team of builders and painters restoring the apartments requiring attention.
In regards to the lack of toilet paper, or fact that you had to do your own laundry. Please do keep in mind that Castellare di Tonda is an agriturismo and not a hotel. The apartments are self catering to allow clients self sufficiency during their stay. This means that if a family would prefer not to eat every night at the restaurant, or pay extra for daily cleaning – then they are not obliged to pay for these extras. The kitchens are fully equipped to cook at home, make a cup of tea etc, but on the flip side we have also the services available for clients that do not wish to self cater, and they can choose to utilize these extras at an extra cost. The base price of the apartment does not include daily cleaning or a daily change of linen. Each apartment is supplied with complimentary toilet paper and toiletries to cover the first days of the vacation, after this, unless the client has requested daily servicing the clients are expected to be self sufficient . Linen and towels are supplied fresh to all apartments every 7 days as part of the base price of the apartments, and this also is the norm with many other agriturismi in the area.
We have a mini market onsite next to the reception for the purchase of basic products (toiletries, milk, fresh bread etc) and a supermarket in the nearby village. Tuscany has an amazing food culture, and many of our guests like to buy local products and cook with them during their stay; so the self catering option is very popular.
Castellare di Tonda is a wonderful destination for those seeking to have contact with the real Tuscany. We pride ourselves on the fact that the farm is locally owned and managed, and the staff (from the restaurant to the reception) are all people that live locally. Many of our clients return year after year due to the personalized service they receive here, so we are very sorry to hear that you found the reception staff unwilling to assist with correcting the issues you experienced during your stay.
Thank you for your positive feedback of Fabio and his team at our restaurant, who all strive to offer high quality service and food to our guests.
Providing our guests with the best possible Italian hospitality and service has always been our mission. We have addressed the various issues you have mentioned in your review, and spoken with our employee’s to better understand what went wrong during your stay. As I mentioned, this winter we are working to restore many of the apartments on the estate, and we are working to offer our guests in 2014 a superior experience staying with us in Tuscany.

If you return to Montaione, we would love to have the opportunity to speak with you directly, and we would be happy to try find a resolution to the issues you have experienced above. We hope to see you again in the future and wish you the very best.
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543 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 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Paris, France
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

If you are looking for a place to relax by the pool, mountain bike,Hike or horseback ride, this is the place to be. The walking trails are very good. In the Montaione village there is a tourist office that gives out free maps of nice walking trails in the area. This is a working farm that makes its own wine and olive oil. We loved this, but the accommodation is more farmhouse than hotel – so charming and simple rather than extravagant luxury. The farm is well serviced with a spa, large equestrian center, mountain bikes and a lake for fishing. There were lovely views of the countryside, vineyards and an old castle from our apartment.
The farm is rural, but with many small and medium sized towns and sights to see within a short drive. There is a lovely communal feel to the farm, and it was just how I imagined Tuscany to be - quaint and colorful, and very relaxing. The staff were all very nice, excellent service in the restaurant. I would recommend this location to friends.

Room Tip: Towels are not changed daily, so bring a beach towel for the pool so you can keep your bath towel cl...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ctonda, Public Relations Manager at Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and providing your opinions to the trip advisor community. We are glad that our holiday estate met your expectations and that you were able to enjoy the countryside and local walking tracks. We strive to deliver excellent service and experiences to all of our guests; we are pleased to hear that you found the staff to be friendly and helpful.
You are correct that this location is ideal for sightseeing and relaxing.
We look forward to welcome you back the next time your travels bring you back to Tuscany.

Thanks again.
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essex
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

We have just returned from Castellare di Tonda staying in a three bedroomed apartment in the Castellare complex. We were a party of six - four adults and two children.
This was a great location close to the restaurant, kids club and the stables. The pool for the complex was of a good size with ample umbrellas, loungers and deck chairs. All the bedrooms in the apartment were of a good size and the towels and linen were all spotlessly clean. Furnishings were basic but totally good enough for our requirements and we had air conditioning thank goodness!
The apartment had it's own private outdoor table and pergola and we spent most of our time outside enjoying the beautiful views from there and from the pool area.
The only downside to our particular apartment was that the living space was very small and would not really be adequate if it rained every day however other apartments had much larger living areas so if you do visit it would be good to ask about this if it is important to you.
We ate at the restaurant several times and found the food to be of a really good standard and the staff very pleasant and eager to please - it has a very laid-back atmosphere and none of us could fault it. Food and Wine prices were reasonable - a bottle of Prosecco was 15 euros, 11 for Chianti, and there was an eat as much as you like three course buffet available in the evenings priced at 25 euro and half price for children as well as the al a carte menu.
The children attended the kids club three or four times and went horse-riding which was well organised and they had a great time. The adults in our party also went on a hack which was again well organised and took us through some lovely countryside and vineyards. All the horses were very well behaved and friendly.
Overall my opinion of Castellare is that it is really good value for a family holiday beautiful Tuscany.
Don't book if you're expecting luxury - this is a good value, comfortable holiday in superb surroundings with Florence, Sienna and the hill top villages with in easy driving distance.

Room Tip: If living area is important to you make sure you check before booking.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ctonda, Public Relations Manager at Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and providing your opinion of Castellare di Tonda on Tripadvisor.
You are right that the Castellare farmhouse is one of the best locations for clients looking to base themselves in walking distance from the horses, mini club and reception.
Thank you for sharing your considerations of the horse riding, mini club, restaurant and staff with the Tripadvisor community. We pride ourselves on offering a unique Tuscan experience to our guests.
Hopefully we are able to provide you a second opportunity to warmly welcome you sometime in the future.
Thank you again for your time and response.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013 via mobile

Clean and central location for most car trip venues (Pisa, Florence etc) BUT all a bit basic and run down. 5 tennis rackets for 2 courts. Buy your own toilet rolls. Restaurant pretty uninspiring. Mountain bikes old and not serviced. Wifi was weak.

If you want to lie by the pool or visit elsewhere then not a bad option but you will struggle to entertain any children over crèche age.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ctonda, Public Relations Manager at Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear valued guest,
Thank you for your review. We greatly appreciate your feedback as it helps our business continue to grow and improve. I am happy to hear you enjoyed our central location, but sad to hear you found the estate basic and run down.

We have taken on your comments, and have invested in new mountain bikes and from 2014 we will have a new WIFI provider for faster and more reliable internet access.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the issues you encountered during your stay. We hope you will consider Castellare di Tonda for a second visit the next time you’re in Tuscany.
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Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

the title "resort and spa" is very misleading, as are their pictures on the website. more honest would have been "family cabins." we are not spoiled or fancy people, but would expect a resort and spa to provide us with toilet paper for our stay, instead of having to buy our own. as a couple traveling to experience italy and find some rest and relaxation, this was not the place. we were told that there was wifi available -- but not clearly explained that we would have to travel a half mile from our accommodations and sit outside in the cold night to use it. in addition it booted us out the fourth day and they were not able to restore the connection as our device was blocked for reasons of " time expired" (we still had one more night and day to stay). the service at the restaurant was very disorganized. the menu was a pastiche of smorgasboard all over the map in an effort to cater to many nationalities. not much authentic italan cuisine. and, too many children!!! one evening two boys threw many handfulls of sand and rocks in the parking lot, hitting our rental car with pebbles. i was in the car waiting for my partner with the door open. their father simply stood by and watched, saying nothing. i finally stood up and told them to stop.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ctonda, Public Relations Manager at Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear hathead913,

Thank you for taking the time and providing your opinions on our farm and accommodation. We sincerely apologize for the situations that you encountered and that our agriturismo fell short of your expectations.
During the summer months the farm is popular with families, and children are present at the restaurant during the evenings. We are sorry that this was a problem for you, and that you did not enjoy our buffet selection, but many of returning clients find the selection of different dishes an attribute rather than a negative aspect. Our chefs are all local Tuscan women, and there is always a good selection of local Italian fare available with the more generic dishes.

This winter (2014) we have taken on a new wifi provider to assure our clients a faster and more effective wifi service. Not all apartments have a wifi connection, but there is always availability at the bar and restaurant, and we have couches outside the reception to provide comfort to clients using their computers. This is a free service to all clients.

Thank you again for your time and response.
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Santa Barbara
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

The place and the countryside is beautiful. Accommodations are quite basic but sufficient, the hotel restaurant turned out to be a great surprise, with the buffet offerings rivaling the area restaurants.

The staff was very friendly, especially Simona & Anja and the front desk, and the great Fabio at the restaurant.

The villas are split into 2-3 apartments, so you are likely to share the pool and villa grounds with other people. Please note that a new Italian law prohibits children younger than 14 from going on trail rides, so if you're planning a family horse riding vacation you might be out of luck.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

I will keep it brief, the location of the Villa's are quite off the beat and path, if you are planning to stay and enjoy the activities on site and rest it's nice, if you are planing to day trip around the area, the extra driving can be taxing. The wine, food and olive oil are brilliant. The accommodations are average, they are not luxury but fine for sleeping. The laundry facilities are 3rd world level, so don't plan to wash much while you are there.

I rented a second story villa for a week. On one of my last nights I kept my shoes out to dry and the dog from the apartment below decided to eat my 200 euro shoes from Lloyds. I made a formal complaint and they told me to go and talk to the person directly and deal with it. I tried everything to have the establishment assist me or compensate me in any way.... they told me it was my problem. In the end I dropped the topic because I was getting no where, however I vowed to post my issue on Trip Advisor just so others know that if anything happens while you are staying at the Castellare you will most probably not have the support of the management to try and assist you in resolving a problem you might have. This even left a very bad taste in my mouth and I will not recommend this establishment just based on their mind set toward customer service.

Regards

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa

Address: Via Cerroni, 50050 Montaione, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Montaione
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Montaione
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Castellare di Tonda Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 120
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Also Known As:
Castellare Di Tonda Hotel Montaione
Castellare Di Tonda Resort And Spa
Castellare Di Tonda Resort & Spa Montaione, Italy - Tuscany

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