This is one of those places that really should be fabulous. The setting is tremendous with fabulous views across the Tuscan hills and our eventual room, a suite, was lovely, albeit a little dated, with a super sitting room, large bedroom (although the mattresses were old and past their best), bathroom and little kitchenette. The pool, as other reviewers have said is set nicely in the woods and the tennis court, not that we used it, looked great.
However, there is a general look of the place not being looked after. The swimming pool would have the most amazing view, had they bothered to trim the trees/foliage a bit. The poolside bar was never open during our three night stay and clearly hadn't been used for some time - with the remnants of a long past barbecue left in the grill. The chairs were never tided or cleaned and the grass around the pool had long since worn out and there was just dirt underfoot. All something of an enormous shame, when it could have been such an asset and centrepiece for the hotel. The same was true throughout the grounds. For example the rockery, which is shown on their website, is also long since overtaken entirely by weeds.
Another example was when we arrived at 2.15 PM (it advertises that it has lunch till 2 granted) and we asked if it would be possible to have lunch. It wasn't but they did offer to make us sandwiches (for the princely sum of €8 each we discovered when we checked out) which consisted of ham, in unbuttered stale bread and cheese in similarly unbuttered stale bread. Which is somewhat inexcusable for a hotel that prides itself on its food. Dinner was admittedly very good, with the exception of one dish on the first night (prawn tempura which was disgustingly greasy) which you can accept as a one off. Again the breakfast was pretty good but tinned fruit salad and coffee resembling metallic river water really let them down. However, as many others have said, the waiter was charming and very helpful.
In terms of rooms, we had booked a junior suite as we had read the review on here about some of the rooms and wanted to be sure of one of the better ones. Anyway, my recommendation would be not to bother with these - the room we were shown was dark, with no window in the sitting area and only a small one in the bedroom. Hence we decided to upgrade to the suite which, as i have said, was lovely - with the exception of the mattresses on the twin beds which had seen better days.
Finally, on checking out we dutifully paid our bill and discovered that the litre bottles of water served at dinner were €6 each. It wasn't much in the great scheme of things but it left you feeling rather robbed as you left which struck me as a little daft on their part. In fact, when I questioned the price, I was told by the receptionist that 'yes it is expensive'.
All in all, this is one of those places that could, under the right management, be absolutely amazing but the lack of care and attention to detail took a great place and made it distinctly average. I would recommend but with reservations above.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Borgo Pretale is a heavenly retreat in the lush green hills of Siena.34 rooms located both in the XIIc. Tower and in the lovely cottages spread in the 2h garden.Restaurant with tuscan specialities and terrace with breathtaking view over the valley. Sporting activities: Tennis court, gym with sauna, archery, trekking, mountain biking and swimming poolConference room -ideal location for team building and outdoor training.Wedding and banqueting facilities.Open seasonly from April to October ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Borgo Pretale Sovicille
- Borgo Pretale Hotel Sovicille
- Borgo Pretale Italy/Sovicille, Tuscany