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“Beautiful hotel with fantastic service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Armena Relais

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Villa Armena Relais
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Localita Armena, 53022 Buonconvento, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Buonconvento
London
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel with fantastic service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

Villa Armena has all the luxuries and decor of a boutique 5 star hotel, with the familiarity and friendliness of a family run B&B.

The rooms were stunning with lots or mod cons whilst remaining sympathetic to the original design and style of the property.

The food was excellent (so good we ate in the restaurant 3 times!) with a range of Tuscan dishes and a great wine list showcasing wines from the region. We loved the outdoor dining space with the large window looking into the kitchen so you can see all the activity.

We found Edoardo, Elena and all the staff to be incredibly welcoming, always stopping to have a chat with us and helping us organise day trips. We can’t recommend highly enough.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edo7819, Proprietario at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, September 12, 2013
Hello Rob!

Thank you so much for your kind review. We're thrilled you enjoyed your experince with us and of course we hope to be able to welcome you again very soon.

Thanks!

Edoardo
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174 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

A beautiful and peaceful location; a fantastic restaurant (and wine list) a quirky yet wonderful pool make this a haven in Tuscany. Eduardo and Elena go out of their way to provide a truly personal and welcoming experience at this delightful hotel. I cannot recommend Villa Armena highly enough!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
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edo7819, Proprietario at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Hello roykerley,

many thanks for taking the time to write this wonderful review.
We hope to be able to welcome you again very soon.

Ciao

Edoardo
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

If you're looking for a predictable luxurious hotel devoid of emotion or human interaction, i suggest you go elsewhere. BUT if you're looking for the warmth, charm and personality that DEFINES Italy, then i highly recommend Villa Armena. I have stayed with Edoardo and Elena four times, and watched as the property was constructed, understood the details and the vision they had, and it has lived up to its billing. Anything you want- from a wine tasting with Laura, a special cake for dessert from Nadia, an after dinner drink, beer by the pool- its taken care of. this is the type of place that exudes luxury, charm and relaxation that is missing in so many places in Tuscany. The restaurant is terrific, the wine list is exquisite, the setting is magical and the hosts are two of the most caring and thoughtful proprietors i have come across.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 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.
edo7819, Proprietario at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Well veloclassic...what can we say...thank you SO much....we are really looking forward to your next visit guys!

Ciao

Edoardo & Elena
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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Personally I found this a bit of a strange hotel, it's more of a b&b with restaurant than a hotel but with hotel prices.

Admittedly my view of this 'hotel' is not helped by the fact that the pool was out of action for 2/3 of the time we were staying. Having booked this part of our trip as a relaxing retreat it was extremely disappointing to be told the pool was out of action, furthermore the relaxed attitude towards telling us made it even more irritating it was more a case of 'oh well it will be fixed when it gets fixed'. Not a good start.

My other major grip with this place is the service or rather total lack of it. I'm highly suspicious of recent reviews saying how excellent the service is - IT ISNT. We constantly had to search for someone to order food or drinks from, no one ever returned to ask how things were or if we would like another drink etc. I don't think that the owners of this hotel have any experience of how to 'do' hospitality - it's not sufficient simply to have a beautiful property and hope that the rest will take care of itself. Hospitality is a constant job - you've got to be on duty the whole time actively taking care of your guests. We felt distinctly left to our own devices.

Personally I found breakfast a bit on the dull side - all three morning things were out of stock or run out, no plates one morning, no juice another, no fruit etc etc etc, plus the same dry old cakes which were wheeled out three days in a row.

On the plus side, the food in the evening restaurant is superb, however being the only guests one night it was completely devoid of any atmosphere whatsoever. The room was also pleasant not the best and not the worst I've ever stayed in.

Overall disappointing, read with caution with other reviews on here I don't necessarily think they are representative.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edo7819, Proprietario at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
Dear Dalls,

thank you very much for your review.
We always try to understand from each review what can be improved and what a guest liked or dislike about our hotel. This time though I struggle to understand what you didn't like and really it seemes to me that you have forgotten to mention 1 thing or 2 in your review.
First of all about the swimming pool.
I personally told you that a pump of the pool broke down the evening before your arrival and your 4 days stay with us. I also told you though that the following day at 18.00 you would have been able to swim again.
Which you did.
We ordered, received and installed the new pump - thus completing the full maintenance of the pool - in less than 36 hours.
Not bad for a "laid back attitude", no ?.
And indeed it was 1 out of 4 days that you could not use it, which makes it 1/4 of your stay.
Not 2/3.
As you will appreciate things will always break and incidents will always happen what is important is the reaction time that one has. Which is something that other guests who were with you at the villa at the same time did appreciate very much and already wrote some great review about their experience,well before yours. Frankly we found this comment extremely unfair also in light of the fact that you forgot to mention that when you arrived and we informed you about the issue with the pool we also gave you a FREE UPGRADE in our Superior Suite instead of the Standard one you booked........
The lack of service: we have in total 10 rooms. And in the villa there are 12 people working. 3 in the kitchen, 1 waiter, 1 waitress, 1 porter/Gardner, myself, my wife, my mother and 3 maids. 12 people for a maximum of 20 guests that we can host at the same time. Maths does not lie. Hence the good reviews we got underlining the quality of the service you receive at Villa Armena.
If 12 people for 10 rooms is not enough than perhaps you should choose an hotel with a private Butler dedicated to you and you alone. However I'm afraid the 295€ per night you spent here (in the SUPERIOR SUITE) might not be enough.
Last but not least let me remind you that myself and my wife LIVE in the hotel and we are on call 24/7 for 9 months of the year so I find it fairly difficult to be more available than this.
You found breakfast dull.
Our breakfast buffet features the following: Cappuccino, espresso, american coffee, 8 falvours of tea, cold milk, soy milk, skimmed milk, half skimmed milk, Prosciutto cotto, Brie cheese, salame, zucchine, cherry tomatoes, yellow and red peppers, Quiche (home made), Boiled eggs, brown bread, white bread, honey, apricot jam, strawberry jam, orange jam, cherry jam, carrot cake, chocolate cake, raisin cake, plumbcakes, croissants, croissant with chocolate, pears (all the cakes, bread and pastries are home made of course), kiwi, watermelon, melon, strawberries, red currant, pineapple, red berries, plain yoghurt, 5 different flavours of yoghurt, yellow orange juice, red orange juice, grapefruit juce, cherries and apricot.
And this is the buffet INCLUDED in the price of the room.
Then we have a " la carte menu" which offers fried eggs, scrambled eggs, omelette of any kind with any filling you wish, poached eggs, fried bacon, sausages, vegetables shakes, pancakes and the full english breakfast.
Perhaps of course this is not enough for you and that's why you describe it as dull but next time if there is something in particular that you'd like to have just let us know. We would have had it on your table next day for sure instead of keeping quite and then writing from behind a screen whene there is nothing else that we can do about it.
As far as the restaurant is concerned thank you for appreciating our dishes. The restaurant opening times are from 7.30 to 10. It's much mor likely that people will dine later than 7.30 EXACTLY though as most of them at that time are still by the pool enjoying our non existiing service.
You know, our job is the best in the world as we work to make people happy.
And we love it.
However sometimes can be extremely though as if common sense is lacking you can work as hard as you can, your staff can be as great as it can be, your food can result as fantastic as any other in the world..but your breakfast will always be "a little on the dull side".....

Kind regards

Edoardo Giacone
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Watford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

We spent a week at Villa Armena Relais for part of our Honeymoon. Based on previous reviews, we had some pretty high expectations of the villa, but in reality, words don't do the place, people or setting any justice.

The Building itself is a listed building which has been renovated to the highest standards; the quality of the rooms and the attention to detail is like no other hotel I've stayed in - just amazing.

The family that manage the hotel are fully committed to the general running of the hotel and have a firm grasp of how to treat customers. If you like customer service, this is the place to go.

The food served at the hotel is of the highest quality - I confess to eating two 1.1kg Fiorentina steaks - they were outstanding. The breakfast buffet was always prepared on time and the selection of home-made cakes, fruit and cooked breakfasts were delicious.

We absolutely loved this place and have already made plans to go back - it is simply beautiful.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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edo7819, Proprietario at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, August 11, 2013
Ciao faltahan!
thank you so very much for your fantastic review. I can tell you that we have enjoyed your company as much as you seem to have enjoyed your experience at Villa Armena. It was really a pleasure looking after you and we sincerely hope to see you again very soon; and next time there will be also little Leonardo waiting for you of course :-)

See you soon

Edoardo
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013 via mobile

We just returned from traveling Italy for a 2 week honeymoon. From the US, we travel internationally annually, and our travel tends to include cities and beach. We added 2 days in Tuscany at the last minute, and regret that we didn't stay longer. Villa Armena was perfect. The grounds are beautiful, expertly landscaped and well maintained. Its hard to find appropriate words to describe how lovely the villa is. The owners were very thoughtful in their restoration of the property. Other than heading to Montalcino for wine tastings and to walk the town, we were content to enjoy the villa and its various sitting areas. The interior design and furnishings are perfect - befitting of the area and historic feel of the building, luxurious and livable all at the same time. The owners and small staff made us feel completely welcome - always available to chat and support, but not imposing. We would go back without question.
-ivy and shawn

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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edo7819, Direttore at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, August 11, 2013
Ciao guys!
Thank you so much for your wonderful review, it's much appreciated indeed. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and we can only hope to be able to welcome you again sometime soon.
A big ciao from everyone here!

Edoardo
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Tilff
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Last year we spent three marvellous days at the Hotel Fontanelle in the Chianti regionThis was one of our most relaxing and delightful stay in Italy. So this year we decided to repeat the experience in the Montalcino area. After a thorough research, we selected the villa armena based on the wonderful reviews we read on trip advisor. Now, that we are back home, we write this review with very mixed feelings. On the plus side, the villa is very nicely redecorated, very spacious, and the rooms are very large and comfortable. While we had reserved a regular room, we were kindly upgraded to a suite. The suite was very large, nicely decorated and had a very spacious and modern bathroom. The overall property is very clean and well maintained. On the minus side, we were very disappointed by the overall level of services and a certain rudeness from Eduardo, the owner. While the villa was almost empty with only 3 or 4 rooms being occupied, Eduardo and his wife were not very welcoming or kind in their interactions with us. When we arrive the welcome was cold even though professional. While the villa has a restaurant, it is almost empty in the evening (with only one or two tables occupied) and we decided that we would rather eat in small lively villages on terraces where we could enjoy a nice Tuscany atmosphere. In addition, the restaurant is on a small terrace very closed and with no view. This seems to upset Eduardo and we definitively had the feeling that as the days went by, he got more and more upset because we declined to eat at his restaurant. When we left, we felt very uncomfortable as we could sense that Eduardo’s rudeness had spread out; no one would help us with the luggage, asked if we needed help or directions, nothing. Very disappointing and completely unacceptable. Definitively, not a place where the client is king. You better obey to Eduardo and fall in line, otherwise you might be in for a very bad experience. Other aspects of the service were no up to our expectations. When a family of 4 requested towels at the swimming pool, they were generously handed out 2 towels.... There was also asked pretty directly to remove a small table with drinks from the lawn as if it bothered Eduardo that they had dared to move the table by a couple of meters. The water of the swimming pool is green in color and we could never figure out whether there was a problem with the filters and something else or if this is by design. Overall, this is neither a 4 or 5 star hotel as the services are not at the required level. This is neither a luxury bed & breakfast as one does not feel very welcome by Eduardo and his wife, and you don't get the personal attention that one would expect in a resort of this type. For a mere 100€ extra, you can stay at the fantastic Hotel Fontanelle. Next time it will take me a split second to make my decision.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edo7819, Proprietario at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Together with Elena we thought long and hard about what to reply to you dear PierreTilff.
In the end we decided that the best answer for you was going to be not to reply anything at all. Just PLEASE do keep your word and do not consider us ever again for your holidays.

Thank you.

Edoardo & Elena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Armena Relais

Address: Localita Armena, 53022 Buonconvento, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Buonconvento
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Buonconvento
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Villa Armena Relais 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the romantic heart of Tuscany, only 20 minutes from Siena, only a stone’s throw from Montalcino and Val d’Orcia, in a fairytale world exuding magic and beauty, Villa Armena is a late Renaissance structure. Built of red brick, with original oak beams and roof, and having terracotta floors and a beautiful Italianate garden, Villa Armena today is an exclusive establishment with just 10 rooms, each one unique, where service, attention to detail and exclusivity are the cornerstones of our offering. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Armena Relais Buonconvento, Italy - Tuscany

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