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“A perfect Tuscan retreat” 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
Toronto, Canada
1 review
“A perfect Tuscan retreat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Villa Armena in mid-August. What we remember most about our stay was the warm welcome and care we received from Edoardo and his family (including Franco, the bulldog). They hit the perfect note with the service, which was friendly, helpful and attentive, but not intrusive. The Villa is located a little off the beaten track, just outside Buonconvento, but we found it using a combo of GPS and directions from the Villa's website. From the Villa, we were able to do day trips by car to Sam Gimignano, Siena, Montepulciano, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni.

The Villa itself is a charming property, furnished elegantly in the manner of a luxurious Tuscan home. We stayed in a suite that had a big, modern bathroom with high ceilings. The bathroom included a generously-sized square soaker tub and glass-enclosed rain shower with fancy features such as changing lights and different water spray options. A modern bathroom is a must for me and this met my expectations. The bed was comfortable, the tv was a flat screen and there was free wi-fi. The Villa's grounds are well kept and the pool was nice area to relax and enjoy the sun (although the mosquitos, which can't really be avoided in Tuscany in the summer, did feast on me quite a bit).

The food that we enjoyed during our meals at the Villa was exceptional and definitely comparable to the Michelin starred restaurants we have dined at in other parts of the world. We had dinner twice during our stay. The pasta dish we had during our Ferragosto tasting menu was the best pasta we had during our entire time in Italy and I'm still thinking about it. The breakfast spread was also beautifully laid out every day.

We had such a lovely stay at Villa Armena and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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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, October 26, 2013
Ciao DWorldTraveler2013,

and many thanks for your wonderful review.
We are very happy you enjoyed your time with us so much and, of course, we hope to be able to welcome you again sometime soon.
Your pasta is here with your name on :-)

See you soon!

Edoardo (and everyone else at Villa Armena)
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155 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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 (15)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

My wife and i stayed at Armena after visiting Lucerne, Positano and Rome. This was one of the clear highlights of our trip. Owners Edoardo and Elena welcome you to the hotel as if they were welcoming you to their home. The two also go out of their way to make sure your trip is special. The restaurant was fantastic, one of the best of the whole trip and we ended up eating there several nights in a row (the Tuscan steak was enormous and phenominal). We also did the cooking class with the head Chef and learned to make a number of local tuscan dishes. For one of our days, Elena organized a tour of wine country for us which was great. Each room is unique and well designed.

Two areas for improvement from our trip:
1) You definitely need a car here. We ignored the hotels suggestion about renting a car and that limits your options. Taxis here are extremely expensive and destinations are spread around the countryside. We will be less stupid next time and make sure to have wheels to take us around.
2) Would be great if the hotel had a fitness center, even if limited.

We will definitely be back next year. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: All rooms are great and individually done.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
edo7819, Proprietario at Villa Armena Relais, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
Ciao John

Thank you for writing our 100th review on Tripadvisor !
It's great to achieve this super result in just 17 months of trading and we're really happy it was you writing it.
We enjoyed your company very much and of course we are delighted we have helped you in making your honeymoon memorable.
Good luck with the marathon!

See you soon

Edoardo & Elena
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We stayed here for five nights during late July / early August and we had high expectations after all the positive reviews we'd read on tripadvisor. Suffice to say we weren't disappointed! It was one of the most relaxing holidays my wife and I have ever enjoyed. The hotel (although it really isn't fair to describe Villa Armena as such - it really is more like a sprawling country house) is situated in a beautiful part of the Tuscan countryside and, being small as well as some way off the beaten track, is wonderfully quiet and secluded. Eduardo and Elena are the perfect hosts: genuinely warm, welcoming and friendly. Nothing is too much trouble for them and you really do feel like you're staying with good friends in their holiday house. Throw in uniformly excellent meals, from the sumptuous buffet breakfasts to the mouthwatering creations on the dinner menu, and you have all the ingredients for the perfect holiday. The only bad part of our visit was having to leave - but we will be back!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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
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 14, 2013
hello dear Justin W!

Thank you so much for the fantastic review, we're really happy you had a great time at Villa Armena. Particularly we are thrilled you felt as if you were staying with good friends...this is really the best compliment we can possibly get.

Many thanks from all of us here and see you soon!

Edoardo
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London
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
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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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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
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
46 helpful votes 46 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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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 ( WiFi ) 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*
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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