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“Absolutely fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Borgo San Felice

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Hotel Borgo San Felice
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   loc. San Felice, 53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Haarlem, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Absolutely fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for a romantic weekend break and could not have been more satisfied. The hotel itself and the rooms are simply gorgeous but apart from that, the staff are helpful and friendly and go out of their way to make sure you enjoy a perfect stay. The food is also outstanding. I wouldn't be surprised to see they receive a Michelin star in the near future. We can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed February 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hingham, Massachusetts, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

First the good:
My husband and I traveled to San Felice for 4 nights in October. The hotel property was beautiful. The rooms are very clean and the decor is keeping with the Tuscan charm. The resort is isolated on a hill top overlooking the region, but it is very convenient to Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Siena by car. If you are looking for a quiet, charming resort this is your place! If you are looking for night life and being within walking distance of anything do not stay here. For us the location was perfect! We rented road bikes, which San Felice helped us to arrange, and we road between 60 - 70km/day visiting all the local towns. The roads are hilly and winding and at times you feel as if you are the only person in the world! AMAZING views as you ride between towns! There is also, a beautiful pool, but it was a bit chilly for us. We were told that it is heated, but they only heat it to 75degrees. Not sure what your idea of heated is so just be aware. But is is lovely to sit and read next to.

The front desk staff was very helpful. One in particular, and unfortunately I do not remember his name, but he seemed to be there all the time. He arranged reservations, helped us to find a bike rental company with quality road bikes, and made many useful suggestions. He was very apologetic about the lack of a/c. He was outstanding! He seemed much more manger material than the actual manager.

Now the bad:
Our issue with the resort was this: It is very costly, "luxury" resort that advertises air conditioned rooms. This was one of the reasons that we selected this hotel over others, and we payed more for it! When we arrived to the resort around 4:00pm it was nearly 90degrees outside (unusually warm for October). Our room was stifling!! Went to turn on the air conditioning, but heat came out. Called the front desk and was told " we have heat air conditioning". Hmmm, what is that? Well it turns out that they fill their pipes with cool water in the warm months and hot water in the cool months. So you have either heat or air conditioning. There is no forced air. They had already switched their pipes to heat for the season. Therefore, there was NO AIR CONDITIONING. We opened the windows, which if you are familiar with European hotels, they do not use screens! So, this means our luxury room that we payed $700 night for we are now sharing with flies and mosquitos! We were told that they would bring up a fan, which they did at midnight after we called again. So we slept(or tried to sleep) with no covers, a fan, and the bugs. It did cool down over the course of the week, but never to the point that I felt we did not need air conditioning. We used the fan every night and slept with just a sheet and the window opened.

The worst part: The manager! He was not apologetic at all. Nor did he offer to do anything for us. I felt that our room should be discounted as they falsely advertised air conditioned rooms. We could have stayed at a much less expensive resort and received the same accommodation. His response was " well, how is everything else?" He made a point to speak to us every morning,so we just smiled and said we were having a great time. Why ruin our vacation complaining all the time.

The restaurant:
AWFUL! I had read the reviews, but decide to try it anyway. Sorry that I did not listen to the other reviewers advice. The restaurant itself is beautiful and they have a great pianist playing, but that is all that was nice about it. The staff was very cold. They weren't rude, but they weren't welcoming and friendly as we found the rest of the region to be. The whole atmosphere was very pretentious. The food was terrible as well. In fact we went down for lunch the following day, because we were waiting for a delivery and couldn't leave the resort. When we were given the same menu as the night before we got up and left. We would rather skip lunch than to eat from that menu again!
The bar menu had some very good "snacks" which held us over until we could leave and go somewhere else. I am not sure why such a pricey resort does not offer more options for lunch. Pizza? Pasta? No where to be found.
Also, beware that the restaurant was VERY expensive. When the bill came we asked if tip was included and were told "no". My husband tipped very generously, only to find out the next night from a different restaurant that tipping is included in all of Italy and it is not necessary to leave extra. So, we total were taken advantage of by the San Felice staff.

See my review of Il Celliere a Castagnoli. By far the best food and service! A Must! I want to go back to Tuscany just to eat at this restaurant again!

I want to add that our issues were not isolated to just us. We talked with 3 other couples during the course of our stay. Conversations were struck up when we overheard others complaining about all of the same issues. Everyone was equally disappointed with the restaurant and the excessive heat with no air conditioning. One couple changed rooms. We were offered the same, but declined as none of the rooms had air conditioning we didn't see the sense in packing up. There reason was that some of the rooms receive less sun exposure and are therefore cooler. The couple that changed were shown 4 different rooms before choosing one. They were told it was a more expensive room and were charged extra! So they had to move because there room did not have a/c and they had to pay extra! Absurd.

This may be a great resort when the a/c is on. I have understand that this may have been an unusually warm fall and normally they do not need the a/c, but it is unacceptable for the managers lack of concern. I would not stay here again because of the manager and a lack of response to his guests concerns.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DarioIaquinto, Direttore generale at Hotel Borgo San Felice, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear customer,

I am very sorry to read about your unhappiness regarding your trip in Tuscany last October as our objective is certainly the opposite, and we strive hard to provide a real Tuscan experience to all of our customers.

The air conditioning problem was due to unexpected, unusual weather conditions for the time of the year and we decided to switch our system to heating in order to ensure that none would have suffered from the expected cooler Fall weather of October. Once the switch was done we had no possibilities of turning the A/C system back on even during the high temperature we registered during your stay.

I have taken good note of your comments regarding our staff attitude both in the positive and in the negative aspects you have highlighted and I am very surprised as they are all committed to enthusiastically provide our customers with a superior hospitality experience. As far as I am concerned I am also sorry that my daily checking with you during your stay was interpreted as a routine and not as a sign of concern for the inconvenient that occurred to you because of the weather.

In order to fully address your points, I also have to admit that the point you raise about the restaurant and our F&B offering takes me particularly off guard. Since we started our collaboration with the two Michelin star Chef, Francesco Bracali, we have received only extremely positive remarks and compliments for a cuisine that takes inspiration from the territory to re-engineer traditional Tuscan cuisine into a creative menu that has been well received by our guests and even by the most sophisticated food critics.

I will take your remarks with me in the future operations of our resort, but I wanted to express to you directly the senses of our deepest regret for not having been able to deliver to you the magic of Tuscany we are used to provide to all our guests at all times.

Achille Di Carlo
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

We stayed a couple of nights in this property during a bike trip to Tuscany in 2009.
This is Italy in its best. Beautiful property, bucolic, amazing sunsets, quiet, classic, private....and the food is simply outstanding. They produce their own wines and olive oil. A dream property. Highly recommended to couples and to everyone that wants to enjoy a slow, tasteful, rich experience

Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Borgo San Felice is well-situated and exhibits superior service in a region known for its hospitality and beauty.

The staff is precise, attentive and warm.

The rooms are large, charming, exceedingly clean and detailed.

The grounds themselves are a retreat of relaxation (pool, restaurant, spa) and spots to explore (winery -- try the Vermentino; historic buildings; bikes for borrowing), yet are surrounded by classic Tuscan countryside near a castle, more wineries and Castelnuovo Berardenga's outstanding Bengodi's Enoteca & Cucina.

We were happy to call Borgo San Felice our week-long home and our only wish is that our stay wasn't temporary.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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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Boston, Massachusetts
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

San Felice is a 'keeper'. I will never go to Tuscany again without staying there. This exceedingly charming hamlet of 46 rooms and suites is idyllic from first glance. Tiny pebble stone lanes are lined with large terra cotta pots dripping with geraniums and plumbago. Roses scream with color, and their scents fill the air. Vines are spare and artfully maintained; two tiny churches chime the hour; and our sunny suite is designed for sophisticated comfort.
Attention to detail here is unparalleled, every view is enchanting, window boxes overflow; and the sunset views of Siena can be breathtaking. An excellent friendly and unobtrusive staff treat their new guests with the same sweetness as those who have obviously been there often. Pleasantly responding to and anticipating every possible need they promote relaxation. Dario Iaquinto in particular did a great job of coddling us.
The Relais chef elegantly presents an array of high quality menus. Perhaps a bit pricey and pretentious; but I had an ethereal saffrom risotto for a by the pool lunch which I will never forget.
Borgo San Felice offers a truly unforgettable vacation in an extraordinarily beautiful and interesting part of Chianti,and would be perfect for a destination wedding.

Room Tip: Third floor overlooking the tiny piazza as well as the tiny grape covered lane to the cantina.
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

This past October, we stayed in several hotels while touring Toscana and Borgo San Felice is our favorite. The reception was very warm. We had a nice junior suite overlooking a rose garden. It is very nice to walk around the <borgo> which also includes a chapel. Our dinner was excellent, so was breakfast the next morning. We regret not to have planned a longer stay to enjoy the spa and just relax on the beautiful property. But we will return.

  • Stayed October 2012, 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.
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We stayed for four nights in this former monastery and hamlet converted into a delightful hotel. The rooms are in several closely adjacent buildings. Our room was smaller as expected in Europe.

Very good reception desk. Even if you are staying the main building you get a short tour of the premises. The complex features a large swimming pool, spa, winery, pool table, tennis courts, bicycles and exercise room. Superior levels of service by a very friendly staff.

The bed was deliciously good. The bathroom was better than average although more shelf space would be appreciated. Wi-Fi is free and fast. Unobtrusive maid service was extremely good.

Breakfast was very good offering the "normal" fare. This was at the end of our 20 day Tuscany trip, we were little tired of scrambled eggs, cereal, yogurt et al. So a wider variety would have been appreciated from all of our hotel breakfasts. But the food was tasty especially the apricot pie which I wish I had never started eating as it was becoming detrimental to my waistline.

In the evening, the restaurant displays a much higher level of elegant cuisine for which you pay handsomely. Service is well paced, attentive and close to flawless. A piano is played mostly unobtrusively giving a pleasant ambiance to the evening. One night, we had the Tasters Prix Fixe for our meal. Hint: unless you are super hungry, you will be wishing that next course mistakenly given to the wrong table. It was quite good but incredibly filling.

If you are out and about with a busy day tasting wine and eating local fare, you can go to the bar and with each alcoholic/non-alcoholic drink ordered, an appetizer appears.

Our group had a wine tasting in the wine store on premises which featured their products alongside other Toscana wines. Remarkably, they had a limited supply of some very good vintages still for sale. The host was quite knowlegable about the area and its wines. It was a very nice wine tasting.

Although primarily geared towards adults, children could be accomodated in this hotel. We aren't sure how handicapped people are served as most rooms appear to involve stairs. Again, as with the previous hotel, a car or some form of transportation is required if you want to go "off base".

Everyone in our group agreed that this was the best hotel on our trip. It is a unique and wonderfully strange hotel which we highly recommend.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hotel Borgo San Felice

Address: loc. San Felice, 53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Castelnuovo Berardenga
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Castelnuovo Berardenga
#2 Romantic Hotel in Castelnuovo Berardenga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Borgo San Felice 5*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
San Felice is a medieval hamlet with rural architecture typical for the Chianti, nestling amidst vineyards and olive groves that cover the hills sloping gently towards the picturesque city of Siena. Today San Felice is a five star hotel, part of the prestigious international chain Relais & Chateaux. Situated in the heart of Tuscany in Chianti Classico, San Felice is only ½ hour driving distance to reach the art centres as Siena. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Relais Borgo San Felice Hotel
Hotel Borgo San Felice Italy/Castelnuovo Berardenga, Province Of Siena

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