After coming from Bordeaux and Florence, it took us a day or so to adjust to life in Tuscany at the Renaissance. The pace is laid back, the views are spectacular (don't worry, even if you have a room without a valley view you can still enjoy the vista from the pool, restaurant or other locations). Indoors, there are lounges and lobbies with large fireplaces and ample comfortable seating.
In the room - The usual excellent Renaissance bedding and overall quality. Generous supply of bath products and nice thick towels. Rooms are spotless and well cared for, dark woodwork, marble floors and quality furnishings. Rooms have small refrigerators with space for your own food. Coffee in room, iron and blow dryer, robes and slippers. Some rooms are smaller yet have a terrace, and excellent for a solo guest (most 900 rooms for instance are better for solo than couples I think). We are now in 316 and this section has exceptional views as well as terraces. Not a lot of wind so you can actually enjoy sitting out even if it's a cool evening. We didn't have a much room to room noise, walls and windows are well insulated.
This location can be hard to find, I highly recommend GPS or contact the hotel for explicit directions rather than relying on maps. It's not hard once you understand the key milestones. The locals know it as il Ciocco (pronounced something like ill chocko) in case you need to ask directions.
The staff has been fantastic, from helping us find a perfect local restaurant in Barga, to advising on day trips, to covering every request we've had. Antonia and Achilles in particular were very guest focused and deserve a special note in making our anniversary trip special.
Breakfast buffet may be included, and is a nice, typical Marriott complete spread. If not included in your rate, it might seem a bit expensive and you can run into Barga for pastries and coffee. The dinners we had on site were good, not spectacular, and somewhere between reasonably and higher priced as you’d expect at a hotel.
The spa, if included in your rate, is a lot of fun - a very warm pool 31 C, sauna and steam, and a 'people car wash' called the wasser paradise where you walk through a series of cool, warm, hot, cold and aromatic sprays - see spectacular photos under DeanHSt Paul post. Indoor and outdoor pools both clean and well attended. My only complaint is that the hours are very limited which doesn't allow you to sight see and still visit the spa early or late in your day.
For the price, this is an exceptional value if you want to slow the pace down a bit. If you are looking for a central location with lots of action and sight seeing by foot or walking distance to restaurants and trains, then this might not be the best pick as you'll need to drive to that stuff. While this is also listed as an event center, that is not the primary focus, and the overall feel is that of a mountain resort for couples relaxing, not an event center, which is important to me when traveling for pleasure and not part of a conference. There was a journalist conference while we were there, but we’d never have guessed it because the entire facility was still quiet and well run.
We'll definitely be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover a blend of Italian elegance and refined comfort at the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa. Situated on 1,700 acres in the heart of the Serchio Valley, our luxury hotel offers the perfect destination for your Tuscan getaway. Enjoy ideal access to charming and historic attractions including Barga, Lucca and Pisa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Il Ciocco Hotel
- Il Ciocco Barga
- Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa Italy/Province Of Lucca