During our stay here, we had friends at a nearby B&B and the experiences could not have been different than ours at Podere Bogaruccio. On arrival, we were greeted by an older woman who spoke English but clearly was not interested in assisting us (we still have no idea who she was), sending us off to see a woman with no command of the English language. In and of itself, this would not have been a problem except that we had no idea to whom we were speaking and thought it was the owner. It was not. We did not meet the owner until after breakfast the next day. When we dropped our friends off at their B&B, the owner personally came to the driveway to welcome them and show us all around pointing out interesting plants and talking a little about the town. She was so warm and welcoming! In contrast, the innkeeper here was absent the majority of the time, either could not be found or was sitting on the front steps smoking. On the first day, other guests removed all the plates and utensils from the dining tables at breakfast, setting them up for their own use outside. We ate our breakfast off napkins and felt lucky to have 2 coffee cups. The innkeeper never noticed. On the second day, we went to breakfast at 9 (breakfast was from 8:30-9:30) to find that the same group of guests had stripped the breakfast offerings from the table and took the food outside for their personal consumption. We were left with barely anything. My husband went looking for the innkeeper but he could not find her. Twenty minutes later we gave up and we went away without breakfast. We did not feel too bad because the breakfast on the first day was disappointing in selection and obviously in quantity.
On the positive side, the room was exceptionally clean but lacking small touches that would have taken it from ordinary to a place you want to plan a return trip.
At first, we were wondering if our expectations were too high (although we have stayed in B&Bs in many countries) due to local custom. However, our friend's experience could not have been more different a few kilometers down the road. Their innkeepers were so kind and warm, they welcomed us to their breakfast table on TWO days and it was wonderful. The point of staying in a B&B is to experience and learn about local culture and people and our friend's innkeeper was a font of knowledge as was her husband. At breakfast, they regaled us with talk of local happenings, gave day trip suggestions and shared the experience of remodeling their beautiful building. Each time we returned, one of the couple greeted us in the driveway, inquiring if we had need of anything.
At Podere Borgaruccio, one gets the feel that it is indeed a working farm but with rooms to rent tacked on as an afterthought for income. I am hoping that our experience was an aberration but our friends went ahead and booked an additional week in Sept at their B&B. We will be returning to Tuscany next summer but clearly will not book at Podere Borgaruccio.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The farmhouse is perfect for all those who appreciate the beauty of nature, good food, a glass of good wine by the warm sunset, candlelit dinners and breakfasts with homemade jams, cakes, fresh fruit and homemade cheese from a small dairy in the area. At Podere Borgaruccio you will find hospitality for the whole family and live an experience that will remain in your memories. The 2 buildings making up the Podere keep intact the details of their construction with roofs made of beams and rafters and facades made by bricks and stones. The farm consists of 4 double bedrooms with bathrooms, a two-bedrooms apartment with open-air kitchen and one two-bedrooms suite in the old tower of the farm. All rooms are carefully furnished with antique furniture and each have a separate bathroom and independent entrance from the garden. Available for the guests there is also a large common living area with lounge and tv. Internet is available through wi-fi access. For lovers of relaxation, the farmhouse offers a pool situated in a panoramic position overlooking the vineyards and a small wellness area The RELAX ROOM equipped with a private infrared sauna, aromatherapy and chromo therapy. Enjoy rich breakfasts with products from the farm (fresh eggs, fruit, jam), local cheese and homemade pastries and bread, as well as candlelit dinners served in the garden under the Tuscan sunsets. For gourmets it is possible to organize wine tasting tours or cooking classes with recipes which are an expression of the Tuscan land. For enthusiasts of hiking, the farm is an ideal starting point for trekking excursions, Nordic walking, horseback riding and biking. Along the crest of the farm, it is possible to perform bird-watching of migratory species, the Bee-eater and the Kestrel, a local hawk. The farm is situated in a strategic position to reach art cities like Florence, Pisa, Lucca and medieval villages like Volterra and San Gimignano. Luxury amenities like the spas of Casciana, Castelfalfi golf courses and the Peccioli eliport are all within few kilometers distance. ... more less
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