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“A rainy stay”

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Residence Il Casale
Ranked #19 of 24 Hotels in Cortona
Reviewed May 23, 2008

Il Casale provides a self catering option well placed for Cortona's highlights, on the road to Arezzo. The accomodation is in old farm buildings, typical of the period, with small windows and antique furniture. The place was clean, but in late May's rainy weather, rather gloomy, and no heating was available after May 1....we were cold due to the dampness. No starter pack of oil, salt, pepper, wasing up stuff provided which seemed mean, especially after we had to pay a Euros 30 'cleaning charge'. An ok choice but not fantastic.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AlanSchofield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 - 33 of 68 reviews

Reviewed April 6, 2008

Our family of four, including two teenage daughters, stayed at Residence II Casale for four nights during Holy Week. It was VERY quiet there. In fact, we may have been the only guests. The weather was cool, but pleasant. It's a good place from which to see Tuscany. We drove to Assisi one day. Another day we went to San Giamono and Sienna.

The hotel is very pleasant. Our apartment was large with a reasonably well-equipped kitchen. We cooked our own breakfasts and a couple of nights dinner too. It would be nice if some essentials, such as basic spices, condiments, paper towels, and dish soap, for example, could be supplied.

The rooms were very clean and comfortable and the staff friendly. Alesandra was particularly helpful and friendly.

In Cortona, we had a wonderful dinner one night at La Bucaccia, which is run by a family. Very friendly place and good food.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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Thank AirplaneGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2007

Our stay was planned as part of a wedding group. We did not select this accomodation nor did we have any input as to the accomodation being selected.

Our flight was delayed and we arrived late to this accomodation.

The owner was very good about providing directions to our private driver and we were able to find this tucked away accomodation with no problems.

The building is old, the grounds are full of beautiful flowers and trees, but not without some problems due to age of the property.

The 10-12 individual units, mostly two bedroom one bath units, were all included in the group arrangement...we basically had the entire accomodation.

The fee was presumably negotiated for the group stay.

I cannot comment on that. It was more reasonable to stay at the selected accomodation than to find other accomodations in the vicinity as being with the group was the primary focus.

Our unit Gardenia, they seemed to all be named for flowers, was a one floor, 2 bedroom, one bath small /compact efficiency apartment.The kitchen was basic and very small, The mini /dorm sized refrigerator /freezer was not clean but usable.The bathroom was very clean, and large ; it had a large sink, toilet, bidet and a small shower. The towels were thin but good sized and the toiletries supplied were sufficient for a few days, not a week.Other units had a bedroom up and down and some had two up.All had a single bathroom. We understood that we should bring our own toiletries and we did. We also understood that these units were self catering...this means you bring your own supplies and we did.

Unfortunately the day we arrived the hot water was not functioning and that was due to neglect/maintenance.We saw the water heater calcifications. Once the hot water was restored it was plentiful and wonderful.

The furniture provided was a smallish kitchen table (about 24x18) with four chairs, a sofa which was old, springs worn out and shabby. The hutch contained some kitchen equipment and dishes. This was more cabin oriented than we would have preferred.

The beds were very short and if you were 6 ft. they were difficult to sleep in. The bedrooms each had a window with some screening but not fixed so that the flying insects stayed out.The bathroom had a fixed screen and let in some good daylight.

The living room/kitchen area was dark and not well lighted. The doors could be left open but then you were allowing the flying insects to come in. A no win situation.

As we were part of a group we had acess to many of the other units and for the most part they also resembled ours...very rustic.

The courtyard outside the units was small and the units shared some patio table and chairs...the washer for the compound was in a separate building and the charge was 6Euro, no dryer but they did have drying racks. We did not pay to wash clothes even though there was a charge.The drying racks were at each unit and worked very nicely in the courtyard.

No breakfast was included but you could go across the road to the owners other property, Villa Baldelli, where for 13 Euro you could get a continental breakfast...we did not do this. We heard the food was very good and the hotel was described as very nice.

The pool area was very nice...we did not use the pool.

The office staff was EXCELLENT...our luggage did not arrive with us and they kept in contact with the airlines and provided us very good information as to the expected arrival. The ability to have someone who spoke Italian to the airlines was "PRICELESS". We appreciated their efforts as the bags arrived 3 days late.

This accomodation is not near any town within reasonable walking distance. The nearest town was Camucia where the train stops...it has some smaller restaurants and grocery stores for supplies. The COOP store there also is quite nice and the prices are reasonable. Most stores do close daily between 1-3PM.

The city of Cortona, the walled city, is some distance and you will need a car if you want to go there.The parking is outside the walled city and free...the streets inside the walled city are very steep and it should be noted that for people with hip or knee replacements the walk can be tiring and sometimes dangerous. The cobblestones are slippery and uneven.
We had dinner one evening at LaBuccacia and the food was absolutely fabulous. It is a small owner run restaurant and the service and food were just great.

It is a lovely city and unfortuately we did not have enough time to devote to exploring it.

Would we have chosen this accomodation...no

Would we stay at this accomodation again...no

Would we recommend this accomodation...if you understand the limitations presented by the age of the buildings and that it is at best a one star accomodation...the bathroom was the best thing about "The Gardenia" at Il Casale...then I would recommend it.

The photos found online do not accurately portray the actual property and its condition...

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank jtamchay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2007

I recently spent a week at Il Casale with my husband and friends and we all found this place to be a lovely retreat. The gardens are beautiful and the swimming pool area is a delightful place to relax under the Tuscan sun.

Our accommodation was rustic, comfortable and relaxing and we all enjoyed having our meals outside our apartment. The apartment felt more like a little house with our own area of garden. Il Casale's position is very handy to reach a lot of interesting places and Cortona is a short drive away. (It is very reasonable to take a taxi if you wish to enjoy a few drinks in Cortona's ancient square). We drove to Siena and Lake Trasimeno with ease.

Vittorio, the owner and all his staff were very helpful and I would definitely recommend having breakfast at his other property, Villa Baldelli, which is just a short stroll away - it has a lovely terrace with views of Cortona and the breakfast was sumptious!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HappytravellerPurley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2007

Il Casale is a lovely, relaxing retreat, but it is far more rustic than the website suggests. Our apartment was quite large, with a bedroom, living room/dining room, full kitchen and two bathrooms. The bedroom had a double bed (really two singles pushed together) plus another single bed, antique dresser, chest and wardrobe. In the living room, a large sofa, dining table for 3, small TV with satellite but no video or DVD player, and assorted antiques. The kitchen was outfitted with a full gas cooktop/electric oven and small refrigerator, a few pots and pans, and some cooking utensils. Each bathroom contained a toilet, sink and shower, but no bathtub. On the grounds you could enjoy a clean, spacious pool, a garden area with chairs and tables, picnic and barbecue facilities, and a laundry room (washers only, no dryers but drying racks).

Our major complaint was that, contrary to their website and the information on Venere, there is no internet anywhere on the grounds, wireless or otherwise. When we asked about the internet, we were told they could not understand why the internet was not working and perhaps it was due to the weather. We had to go to the hotel next door, which is owned by the same family, and even there the wifi did not always work, but they let us use their computer. (When the wireless service does work, the charge is exhorbitant, but they gave us a reduced price after our complaints.)

Although the staff, both at Il Casale and Villa Baldelli, were extremely nice and helpful, the hotel did not provide what we felt were an appropriate level of supplies for a residence where people stay for several weeks. For example: They did not supply dishwashing soap, sponges, or paper towels for the kitchen, nor sufficient quantities of toilet paper and soap for the bathrooms, which we had to purchase ourselves. The maid service is once per week although you can arrange and pay for more frequent cleanings. However, when the apartment was cleaned, the soaps that were there were taken away, no new soap was left, and the sponge that we had purchased for cleaning the bathrooms was removed. This may have been an oversight and when we brought the office’s attention, we received a new sponge and two or three small packs of soap. There were extra pillows and blankets, but no extra towels. We were surprised to find there were no basic food supplies other than salt and pepper: no oil, sugar, coffee, spices; the cooking utensils were absolutely minimal (for instance, no spatula, slotted spoon, paring knives, plastic containers—essential things for cooking). The buildings, which date back to the early 1800s, are quaint but the plumbing system needs major work (the drains never stopped gurgling and popping), and, given the lack of windows, the only way to get light and air into the apartment was to leave the doors propped open. This, of course, meant major problems with flies and mosquitoes. The heating did not seem to work, either, which was needed at night even in early June. The original terracotta tile floors look beautiful, but you can hear every footstep of the people above you, which were sufficiently loud as to wake us up during the night and early every morning, and we’re both sound sleepers.

Il Casale is close and convenient to Cortona, assuming you have a car, as well as many other tourist attractions in Tuscany and Umbria. It's a good deal, since for the price of a small room at an inexpensive hotel – 100 euros a night -- you can get yourself a large apartment with kitchen. The photographs online are a bit misleading, so know what you’re getting into: this isn’t a luxury resort by any stretch; it’s a rustic retreat.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank DCDolcevita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SpiritofCortona, reception at Residence Il Casale, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2007
Google Translation

With reference to your comment we would like to explain you the following points as we believe that the satisfaction of our guests is vital in our sector.
First of all the internet connection, we are very sorry that it did not work during your stay but I can assure you that it was because of the weather, in fact, as you already know the signal comes from the hotel next door and a rainy weather can cause problems not only here, in our residence, but it is a very common thing everywhere. In other periods none of our guests has ever complained.
Secondly, as for the foodstuffs you mentioned (such as olive oil, sugar, coffee spices etc) we would like to inform you that we are not obliged to provide them, and on the contrary -according to the latest hygiene rules- we are not allowed to provide it, sometimes when the packaging is well maintained and not damaged we leave them available for the following guests inside the apartment.
Moreover our residence has Self-Catering apartments –as mentioned on the web site venere----- which means that the supplying of soaps and foodstuff is on the back of the customer also because we cannot know the single needs of our guests, however as you could have seen we provide basic things at the arrival but generally speaking we are not in duty bound to do so.
Furthermore, the reception is open both in the morning and in the afternoon in order to help our customers in everything the may need, therefore, if you had problems you should have mentioned them to our staff always at your complete disposal.
As for the other problems you had, such as the gurgling of the drains, the noise of the footsteps and heating etc. we are sorry to learn it now and only throughout the comments posted on Tripadvisor an an other site. If you had communicated them at the beginning of you stay we would have given you another apartment and we are sorry also to inform you that only you complained about all those lacks in our service in fact all the other guests have had a pleasant stay.

Your sincerely,
The Staff
Residence Il Casale


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2007

Beautiful location for touring Tuscany. We loved the amenities - pool, kitchen,laundry. The location is walking distance to grocery and hike to Cortona. Train station is nearby. We appreciated the general quiet atmosphere and rustic surroundings. Would reccomend this location to anyone interested in touring Tuscany with a few days to soak in the sun by the pool.

Stayed: May 2007
Thank ShanaPVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2007

I had a wonderful experience at Il Casale villas. The owners were friendly and the grounds were beautiful. It made for the best trip to Italy. The pool was immaculate and open for swimming at all hours. The rooms were spacious and fully equipped for cooking.

Stayed: May 2007
Thank andreavirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Residence Il Casale

Address: Via San Pietro a 434, 52044, Cortona, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Arezzo > Cortona
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Cortona
Price Range: $92 - $213 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Residence Il Casale 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Residence in The Valley of Etruscan Princes Il Casale, a residence out of a building of the year 500 sits in front of the towers, the domes the green and the sky of Cortona, a city of ancient origins, often visited by the ex French president Mitterand, and today by the University of Georgia (UGA). During august it is the chosen location for the National Antiques Showroom, where for the occasion, in the old rooms of Palazzo Casali and Palazzo Vagnotti, all the most important Italian exhibitors gather. The rural complex is situated nearby the San Pietro a Cegliolo neighbourhood. Today it is a very comfortable and accommodating Residence, hidden in the silence of a spectacular and suggestive creation of the nature. It is laid out around a huge garden and the mother tower which overlooks the main building, which is also the oldest and still maintains the original features, like the double slope roof and the external stairway with a wide landing for the middle floor access. Behind one of the complexes’ wings, finds room on over an hectare of green grass, the swimming pool which is for guests use only. Built with the most modern and efficient techniques its size is 16 by 8 meters. Furnished with deck chairs, comfortable pillows, umbrellas, showers and everything to help relax and fun for the kids, while watching Cortona’s skyline. The garden is one of the most beautiful features of the complex. Very well grown and cared, shines with plenty of different flowers varieties and plants which give colour to the spectacular green English carpet. Here you’ll find the tables and chairs for breakfast and dinner in a relaxing environment. The residence is made of 10 apartments, of which 8 sleep 4, one sleep 3, and one sleep 2. They all provide a stylish and elegant solution, floors and ceilings made with old cotto tiles and antique furniture aging around the year ‘800. Everything carefully planned and put together in respect of the most modern way of living. The apartments have two bedrooms, some of which with two double beds, some other with one double bed and a room with single beds, bathroom with shower and the living room with a cooking corner (fire spots, electrical oven, fridge, double sink). The general feeling is of a relaxing and “antique” luxurious environment. The bedrooms are especially thought in the way they’ve been furnished. Antique beds (‘700 and ‘800), carpets who match the period of the furniture, practical closets also from the ‘800 style. Everything is planned to match with the floors and the ceilings. Apartment sleep 4: two bedrooms with two double beds or one double bed and two single beds, bathroom with shower, living room/kitchen fully equipped. Apartment sleep 3: one big bedroom with a double bed and a single bed, two bathrooms with shower, living room/kitchen fully equipped. Apartment sleep 2: one bedroom with a double bed, one bathroom with shower, living room/kitchen fully equipped. Possibility to have additional beds on request. SERVICES: Every apartment has its own external space furnished with garden chairs and table, and inside provides Satellite TV, air conditioning/heating direct phone line. WI-FI CONNECTION ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Residence Il Casale Cortona
Residence Il Casale Hotel Cortona

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