We stayed at San Lorenzo in August 2012 for two weeks as a family of three, our daughter is (was) nine. We thoroughly enjoyed it despite the record temperatures of over 40C almost every day!
The heart and soul of this "resort" is the family managing it - Ruth (front of house), Salvatore (back of house & head chef) and their son Thomas (a bit of everything). They and all their staff have provided perhaps the best customer service we have ever had. Nothing was too much trouble, including in our case no less than three trips to the local doctor! They genuinely care for their guests as much as they care for their business which is why they have so many good reviews and so much repeat business. Even if there are things you can pick on, you don't because the overall experience outweighs anything else. In the end it feels more personal than just a business transaction for a holiday. This is a place and a family you want to succeed.
We rate the service as spectacular and other aspects as good or very good giving an average of very good to fit in with TA system.
I'll now try to be more specific and helpful. :-)
The location is easy to get to by car, as we did, with fast access from the Autostrada. This also helps with travel times to certain other parts of Tuscany for those wanting to explore the area. Rome even is only a 2hr drive south so is within day-trip range. There is ample covered parking in close proximity to the apartments and it's possible to move your car right next to them for short periods for loading and unloading the bags. Although there were people staying without a car I'd have to say it is much better to have one as there is nothing within walking distance.
San Lorenzo is on a hill and could not be more private and peaceful. The views from every direction are of the Tuscan countryside or vineyards. Being on a hill, you often get a refreshing breeze in the evening and despite the extreme heat we encountered we never felt as completely overwhelmed by it as we did when we took a day out to visit Florence or other cities. For this reason, and the fact we have already seen a lot of Tuscany, we spent a lot of our time at the resort and by the pool.
The working farm activities do not intrude in any way but are there to enjoy, the animals for example, if you wish to. An added bonus for kids or animal lovers.
The meal packages are good value and you should not be worried about booking them in advance. We had a couple of breakfasts and nine dinners and enjoyed them all. Food quality of course depends what you are used to and if you are a real food nut then you will want to go out and explore other restaurants as we did. San Lorenzo aims to be highly self sufficient in ingredients they use which naturally enough restricts the menu options, no fish for example, but what is served is very well done and plentifull. The taste of the home produced ingredients does come through. You will certainly not be disappointed with the quality or quantity of Salvatore's cooking, you may wish for a wider menu. Italian breakfasts are always a sad thing for someone who enjoys a "Full English" but San Lorenzo breakfast is as good or better than you can expect anywhere else. All our meals were on the outdoor terrace by the pool. A lovely setting with the opportunity to socialize with other guests or not, as you choose.
The pool was one of the reasons we chose San Lorenzo as our daughter is half dolphin, hence our first doctors visit being for "swimmers ear"! It is an excellent "family pool" and suited our purposes very well. If you want a tranquil moment of breast stroke and reflection you will be restricted to breakfast time or late evening really, depending of course on the number of kids staying at the time. On the other hand, if you have kids then they are unlikely to be short of friends to play with. The question of sunbeds is no different to everywhere else you might stay and I won't go into it except to say the German family previously mentioned (valid comments) were in every other respect very nice people.
It is easy to get coffee, cold drinks and ice-creams by the pool either being served when someone is there or helping yourself (except coffee) and writing it in the book.
Because we stayed from Wednesday to Wednesday we were in two different apartments. The first was Casa Lucia which was okay, with a good central location. It is called "boutique" and I think this is best interpreted as being better for 2 people than for 4 and for those not intending to cook an awful lot. That's our opinion though. The next people in there were a family of four and they seemed happy enough. Our second was La Capanna, which is the wooden hut. This was much more spacious and located at the far end of the resort away from other guests and closer to the farm so you have more privacy or more isolation depending on your point of view. It worked fine for us.
The immediate surrounding area and the town of Terranuovo B is nothing spectacular by Tuscan standards but unless you intended to walk everywhere this is not a concern. It does provide all the services and shops you might need, supermarket and so forth. A very short drive gets you into the sort of countryside and villages you expect to see around here and there is plenty of choice for days out, wine, food, etc.
Overall, as said at the top, we really enjoyed our stay and would like to thank Ruth, Salvatore and Thomas for making this a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable holiday.
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