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“How to Get Good Reviews While Abusing Guests”

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Appartementi Casa la Torre - Nomipesciolini
Ranked #31 of 66 San Gimignano B&B and Inns
Half Moon Bay, California
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“How to Get Good Reviews While Abusing Guests”
Reviewed June 18, 2012

This is the worst disparity in TripAdvisor reviews vs. reality we’ve ever experienced. We’ve a theory as to why, but first the problems.

Claudio and Daniella gave us the wrong address. Wrong street, wrong “door”, no actual address. As this would not resolve on internet maps, we asked in advance for an actual / GPS address; but they kept sending us the same “boilerplate” reply and assertions that it was correct. We assumed that it would make sense when we got there. Big mistake: snarled traffic, stuck in ancient streets, had to back up 300m with 1 inch mirror clearance, an hour of intense stress, and a very negative first impression of Claudio and Daniella’s hospitality and courtesy. It turned out that our meeting place can be described VERY EASILY with a simple address and without misleading guests. When we pointed this out we were treated like the worst sort of idiots. We felt “set up” to need a rescue, and were not amused.

Also in advance we’d asked about Air Conditioning, as a deposit was required for a two week stay in June. Claudio assured us by email reply not to worry as “The apartment is very cool… stone building.” This might have been true, and with all the good reviews we figured it was. Another big mistake. It turns out that the stones of Nomipesciolini get blazing hot in the sun, and then release heat through the night so that even fans in both windows can’t begin to compensate. Is 90 degrees at midnight news to Claudio, or was he being dishonest? I suppose only an idiot would complain, he means so well.

With the windows open we killed three mosquitoes in less than a minute, then gave up. With Claudio’s “stone building” walls radiating heat, to close the windows would mean getting roasted alive; so we got eaten alive instead. We thought of leaving and finding another hotel, and in retrospect we should have.

Apt problem details: The bed wobbles like a jelly mold, and would be passed over at a homeless shelter. The internet did not work after a brief tease, with no way to reset the hung modem as it is “in a different apt.” Just underneath the bedroom window are 20 restaurant patio tables advertised on the main street for “SMOKERS”. No electrical outlets in the entire kitchen wall… yet there’s a toaster sitting on the counter (with no extension cord) that appears never to have been used. Sheets were filthy, tattered and moth eaten. Sit once on the couch and stir up the cigarette reek… and you’ll learn not to do that again. When we went to mop up some spilt wine under the couch we found disgusting dust-bunnies and detritus—had it EVER been cleaned before? We had to wear shoes as our socks got caked with floor debris in just a few steps otherwise; it was that dirty. Go to turn on the kitchen fan or light, and your fingers will get so slimy/greasy that you’ll have to wash with dishwashing soap to get the grime off. This list could go on, but you get the idea…

So what is going on here? How can so many people write glowing reviews about such a overtly gross and filthy place in actual fact?

Our theory is that, despite their lack of housecleaning care and sometimes overbearing demeanor, Claudio and Daniella are very ingratiating. While we can acknowledge, and appreciate, their fawning, it does not make a dirty apartment clean… in experience or a review. But I suspect most people grow to like obsequious Daniella and Claudio and are thus wary to slam them in a review. So the people who really do enjoy the place write reviews, and the detractors don’t bother as this would seem ungracious. At least up until now.

To us, courtesy is not a pose or imposition, but providing a good quality of experience.

As well, people react differently to general obsequiousness, but heroic responsiveness nearly always plays well. From the reviews, the wifi does not work, but “Claudio got it sorted straight away.” “Claudio happily came to our rescue after we got lost and he drove us straight to the apartment in our car.” Here we have it, then. Run sloppy, then play the drama-hero in overcompensation. We’re not into this game, which was obvious right off. Once this abusive pathology is realized, the trick is to get away without suffering any more “help” (or insults if you do not play along) and to warn others who might not like it either.

We left after one day with mosquito bites, stressed / grossed out, steaming hot, and vowing to take the time to write the review we wish we’d read beforehand.

Nomipesciolini is a VERY DIFFERENT place with super-involved hosts that you are going to either love or hate. Having read this far, now you should have a fair indication of which.

This was our third trip to San Gimignano, and our only bad one. We blame the hosts for their sloppiness, misdirection, dishonesty, overbearing involvement, overt insults, and ultimate abuse.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
14 Thank Dean-Laura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Proprietario at Appartementi Casa la Torre - Nomipesciolini, responded to this review, June 25, 2012
I’m really sorry for what you wrote. I always try to put out of myself for my guests and any request, complain or need they have I consider my duty to figure
out. If I have 42 very positive reviews and only your bad, it is not fair at all that you wrote the other ones are not real. Furthermore, why your pictures
where any rooms is identifiable should taken in our apartment and the others not? My deeply belief is the guest is always right, but your behavior had been
very unfair since you arrival (you didn’t pay the balance as well, even if the payment policy!) and I have to stand up for my business.


If you had already been inside the historical center of San Gimignano, you should know that there is a no traffic area and the rules are not the same as
in your country where probably there are different standards and easier ways of driving. We give our guests instructions to make the arrival easier for them
and for us who are waiting for them. Why should we give you the wrong instructions while we wait for you at the apartment? If you took the wrong
direction, because it can happen, instead of yelling and being aggressive as soon as your arrive, you should realize that we gave you the assistance
immediately and went to pick up you in the wrong place where you stuck. At that time, you told us that you were stressed and wanted to leave SG, before seeing
the apartment. One hour later you changed mind and decided to reach the apartment. When you arrived at the apartment you told us that you did love the
apartment that you knew was with no air conditioning. Three of us gave you the assistance with your luggage and parked your car in a private garage which was
included in the price. We told you that we were available for any needs as we tell all of our guests and gave you numbers to call us 24h. Because we trust
our guests, we told you could pay the next day, even if in the voucher there was written the payment must be done on the arrival. The day after you came to
our shop, threw the keys yelling as you did on your arrival and left the apartment without paying.


Cleanliness of our apartments is one of our biggest priorities. We personally take care of it with the whole attention an owner has.


All of our guests appreciate the cleanliness of our apartments as one of their highest values.
Again, we are really surprised for what you wrote. I’m very proud of our apartments and always try to put out of my way to give my guests a great holiday. They always have been appreciating it and all of the reviews show that we have the best and most requested Property in the historical centre of San Gimignano.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
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English first
Ireland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2012

Casa la Torre is the ideal place to stay while touring the Tuscany region as well as San Gimignano. It's a large apartment in perfect condition and it has wonderful views of the Tuscan countryside as well as out into the wonderful world heritage town of San Gimignano. I would highly recommend it. Also, the owners (Claudio and Daniela) are simply wonderful they gave us all the best insider tips and even brought my wife and I out dancing on our first night. It really was a unique and very welcoming experience and we felt we were staying at a friend’s place rather than just renting.... AMAZING Italian Welcome in the heart of Tuscany. What more could you ask for.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Travelling-RTW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leonberg, Germany
1 review
Reviewed May 26, 2012

We spend 10 days at Casa la Torre and enjoyed it deeply. The flat provides everything what is needed and Claudio and Daniel were very helpful. The views on main road and the landscape are fantastic.
The flat is sufficient for families up to four. The beds are in my opinion too soft.
I would recommend Casa la Torre again and again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Berndt C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banbury, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2012

A terrific place from which to explore San Gimignano itself and the surrounding areas. Our stay was comfortable, facilitated by the welcoming and very helpful Claudio and Daniele. The kitchen and bathroom are both well-equipped and modern, with everything you need.

The central location means you can look out on one of the main thoroughfares of the town and soak up the sights and sounds as soon as you get up in the morning. You also get some great views of the misty, smoky Tuscan countryside from the bathroom and bedroom windows, and excellent views of the towers and the ever-present jackdaws (fascinating to watch!). Plenty of delis very nearby, and the excellent Boboli bakery just down the hill. A bit further afield for the COOP, but only 15 minutes' walk...

I would unhesitatingly recommend this apartment as a base and as a place to stay in itself; perfect for a couple. Thanks Claudio and Daniele for a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2012

We hit lots of snow on the way to San Gimignano in February and didn't make it to the apartment as planned but Claudio and Daniela were very accommodating--and also let us pay the remainder of our rent on paypal after having my wallet/money/credit cards stolen in Paris. Thanks goodness our week in San Gimignano was a good one! Due to our money situation, we ended up having breakfast, lunch and dinner in the apartment--it has the basics of olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, some tea, and other food items, along with dish washing liquid and washing machine soap. It is nice not to have to buy these things, which we have often had to do when renting a holiday apartment. The kitchen is well equipped and new with an easy to use gas stove, large fridge and freezer, and all the pots and pans to make soup, pasta and sauce, etc. There is a grocery (COOP) a short walk away, a place to buy gelato in styrofoam containers, and lots of wine stores, and several Italian versions of a deli. There were three of us, and we appreciated having a separate bedroom with lots of storage room. You can't hear from one room to the next, so the sleepers were not bothered by the person watching TV. The bathroom appears to be brand new with a great shower, bidet, toilet, sink and washing machine, which we used--drying the clothes on the drying rack and radiators. The living/kitchen/dining area has a fold out sofa and there are plenty of blankets, sheets and pillows. It was a nice cozy place to come back to after walking around town. The apartment itself was immaculate--and looks to have been recently done. The apartment is up 36 stairs and Claudio is generous and fit enough that he helped with our luggage--all 6 pieces of it!! And when we acidently drove the car off the cliff just outside of town--yes, the front wheels were airborne--Claudio helped us by getting a wrecker to tow the car back onto solid ground--we would not have been able to communicate that given our lack of Italian, so that was a life saver. Because it was so cold and snowy, we spent more time than expected in the apartment (rental car didn't have snow tires), and enjoyed the 10 or so English speaking TV channels, along with the WI FI for our computer. We also enjoyed watching the carnivale parade late on Sunday afternoon, as it went right by the window of the apartment, down main street. Be sure to visit the church next door--it is very interesting. My wish for the apartment would be for an electric kettle and a toaster!! The apartment is super clean, could not be better located, and the owners bend over backwards to make your stay a good one!!!

Room Tip: This apartment is centrally located--can't get a better location!
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ChautauquaNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2012

As advertised this is a neat apartment with fantastic views, of the main street from the living area and from the window in the bedroom. This is a great spot to base yourself from to see the Tuscan area. Claudio and Daniela are beautiful. They where very helpful, friendly and when we had only one small issue, the wi-fi (we needed it for contact with our business back home) Claudio got it sorted straight away. We recommend this spot for a family of four or less and would quite happily return.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chrissykat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2012

One week between Christmas and New Year, San Gimignano, good food, nice weather and no fixed plans. Perfect. Now all me and my wife needed was a great place to stay and I am pleased to say we definitely found it in Nomipesciolini. We try to to visit SG at least once a year as it is a very special place to us and have stayed in several different apartments before, all good. The Tripadvisor reviews got us curious about this one so we decided to give it a go and have no regrets whatsoever. Dead smack in the middle of the town and a private parking space (not included in price, but day rate very reasonable) at a five minutes walk. Price/quality is excellent. If I need to find any fault at all is that the apartment is a little bit dark, but the view of the street from the main window is fantastic. Also the kitchen is adequately stocked, yet having a regular coffee machine would be nice, but these are very minor gripes. Thank you Claudio & Daniela, you can be sure we will return. Jessica & Erik.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Greywood1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Appartementi Casa la Torre - Nomipesciolini

Property: Appartementi Casa la Torre - Nomipesciolini
Address: La Torre Nomi Pesciolini | Via San Matteo, 30, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > San Gimignano
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 66 B&Bs / Inns in San Gimignano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
the centre of San Gimignano, in the main street, via San Matteo (part of the ancient Francigena road), you can find the Nomi Pesciolini Palace. It dates back to the XIII century, where once was the residence of Desiderio,king of the Longobards. Also Federic "Red Beard" stayed there, during one of his journeys to Italy. At the bottom of this palace-tower, you can also find an etruscan grave, in the middle of a nice typical garden. he palace is close to Duomo of San Gimignano. Between these two medieval buildings, you can find Daniela's private accomodation, where the lady is renting one double room with private bath or shower, kitchenette, TV, air conditioning, wi-fi and with possibility of adding at least two extra beds. Panoramic view of the famous tower's while from the bedroom window one can enjoy the view of the beautiful tuscan countryside. Bedroom or apartment in the typical style of this area. Possibility of parking, conventioned with the municipality's car park. We offer all these services for our clients, hoping they will have an unforgettable holiday in tuscany. Car parking is not a problem. On your arrival you will be given a special access permit to reach our apartments. A private garage is available few metres far. ... more   less 
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Appartementi Casa La Torre - Nomipesciolini San Gimignano, Italy - Tuscany

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