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“Villa Ricci Hotel Nice People Poor Food”
Review of Villa Ricci Hotel

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Villa Ricci Hotel
Ranked #11 of 81 Hotels in Chianciano Terme
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We enjoyed almost everything about our holiday, the trips (Although very expensive) the hotel staff were the best we have ever experienced, the coach driver took care and drove to a high standard of safety and skill, the Travelsphere representative was First class. The well being centre was Superb!

The food however was very poor!
Reconstituted and recycled.
We understand that we get what we pay for but really, the same old appalling tired starter in the evening, that poor miserable salad. We had fish once that was not cooked through properly. It was uneatable. On the Friday the Roast lamb was a disgrace. You wouldn't feed it to a dog.
Over salted soups & pastas and other dishes, far too salty making them uneatable. Which in turn meant we had to eat additional meals out because we were still hungry and sometimes went to bed hungry.
An out of order coffee machine all week, so stupid and unnecessary queuing occurred all week at breakfast, and that disgusting over-sweetened condensed so-called fruit juice.
A real joke.
Travelsphere promote a cuisine experience in Italy. It was not.

The food was very bad for the 1st 3-4 days, and everyone on our table complained (to each other), and then it seemed to gradually get better during the last 4 days, to the point that the last 2 days were very good, and everyone seemed to forget their bravado of how they were going to complain when they got home. It was uncanny. Someone suggested that it was a deliberate ploy. That's maybe taking things too far, but it was strange.

Drop the 5 and on 1 occasion 6 courses! Have a good starter, and main course, oh and get some vegetables with the meat course, and a nice sweet. That would have been far more impressive not to mention satisfying.

Hotel staff the best! Go room only, and eat out!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank P G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 55 of 721 reviews

Reviewed June 2, 2013

I stayed here during a Travelsphere holiday to Tuscany. A nice hotel with very helpful staff who work extremely hard and for long hours. The food was good and the wellness centre was wonderful. However, the whole area is suffering from the economic downturn and many surrounding hotels appear to have closed.The rooms badly need a refurbishment as the bedrooms are a little gloomy and old fashioned. The bathroom had a very small shower cubicle. We had a wonderful view of the countryside from the balcony.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank KathrynW46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Hotel is clean, it is a welcoming family run hotel. The Wellness centre is such a bonus, and a treat. The staff are very helpful and nothing is too much trouble, I highly recommend Villa Ricci. Fantastic

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank CKay_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

Nice family run hotel.. Rooms adequate could do with a little make over.. Our room had shower no bath.. It's tight in the bathroom with the shower opposite toilet.. We paid extra for balcony view well take the travel sphere brochure it's not what you get! We had flats almost at eye level..the view at distance is good .. To the left was the old town.. Where the hotel is a lot of the hotels looked closed? It's not to noisy at night which is a result being in the town.. Small bar downstairs bottled beer only.. Reasonable prices.. We went and looked at the spa which was clean and tidy- we didn't use it due to the opening times - we booked all of the tours which were great 'tasters' of the different towns- this meant long days and little time for the spa..
Food wise I'd read it was like school dinners which I do feel is unfair on the hotel the food was good and varied- four courses salad/ soup / pasta / main/ desert - all the soups were quality.. Quite a few veal dishes although always another option .. I don't really do deserts I made an exception
with the profiteroles which were superb! Breakfasts had plenty of options my only criticism is the coffee machine and lack of operating help plus small cups.. Once we got the hang of the machine the wait was ages if you timed it badly when everyone was trying to get a drink. My advice take a mug and make the wait worthwhile..
Our travel guide/ history buff/ 'leader' was Sara - can't fault her work rate and a good sense of humour .. I'm not used to having my day all organised so a little adaptation was needed on my part- Sara's on the mike explaining the days tour giving you background info to enhance the visit..
Florence was cultural but continually you felt hunted by the pickpockets you get warned about
Pisa you run the stalls and hawkers to see the leaning tower - no hawkers in this area- watch the McDonald's it was busy and our order taken in the queue but the bill different at the till? I challenged it and it was sorted..best beer in Pisa look for the green awning very fair rates
Siena- not bad nothing can prepare you for the view the compo - we walked it found a bar up a small alley as prices were silly in the square
Lucca- great day out its the top gear wall town...avoid a beer in the roman ampithea it's dear
Favourites San giamigani, la pienza, montepulciano
I think Vila ricci is an ideal base don't be put off by the coach travel it allows you to see the countryside.. The family try very hard to be helpful and considerate at the hotel and should take pride it shows - recommended for families and all
Julie and I had a great time although it was a different holiday for us.. Once I relaxed we really enjoyed ourselves.. Sara was a great ambassador for travelsphere our driver manwella was
brilliant .. Best of all I had no driving! Some of the hill top towns had limited parking.. Not driving meant a beer and pizza was possible,
Take your walking shoes the pace is easy and at your own speed.. Plenty of stoping places
We had an extra trip to Assisi - loved it ...a restaurant slightly out of town called la stalla was a highlight with our friends Colin and cathy - it's cash only very reasonable and highly recommended

Our first weeks holiday for ages (5 years) I'm self employed we usually do long weekends- this trip was to celebrate Julie's 50th it was really great

Room Tip: Views are subjective if you don't opt for the balcony you face the main road it's not busy l...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank john p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

I've just returned from a week at this hotel and was very impressed by the chef's creativity and willingness to provide dairy free soups, main courses and desserts. This obviously was time consuming for them and it made me feel welcome and cared for. It was much appreciated! The waiting staff were cheerful and very efficient. Our driver Manuel was a very smooth and careful driver which made a difference in helping you appreciate the wonderful scenery en route.
Our guide Sara was delightfully cheerful and very informative and interesting with her descriptions of the art, architecture and history of the region. Mrs Gilbert

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Jill G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel V, Responsabile reception at Villa Ricci Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2013

Dear Mrs Gilbert,
thank you for your review and your kindness. It has been a pleasure to welcome you.
Your beautiful words about our Chef Stefano and the waiting staff really impressed us.
Every night we offer soup and pasta, a choice between two second dishes, side dish, vegetable buffet, fresh fruit and dessert, but any guest can ask for different dishes and we can manage dairy free diet, gluten free diet, vegetarian diet and take care of any specific request we receive.
See you soon for a new holiday to discover the 'treasures of Tuscany'.
Best Regards
Laura

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Reviewed May 13, 2013

I was travelling in a group of forty with Travelsphere (previously Page and Moy), many of whom had travelled with this company previously.

THE HOTEL

I feel a bit guilty about not giving 5 stars (cinque stelle) as I said I would when I spoke to one of the staff before leaving but, on reflection, there are a number of issues which led me to drop the rating to four stars.

There are many good points about the hotel: it is clean, there is plenty to eat (I particularly enjoyed the dinners), the staff are excellent (and they would make a special effort if the main dinner item wasn’t to your liking) and, perhaps the main thing, if I was visiting the area again, I would seriously consider staying here for a second time. I made no use of the “Wellness” facilities but the people who did praised them.
The downsides:
Breakfasts – limited choice of cereals and fruit. Only sterilised milk is available, but this seems to be the norm for Italy. Teas and coffees are obtained from a machine but it is painfully slow and long queues build up.
Seating arrangements – we were requested to stay in the same seats at every meal. If you find people with whom you are compatible (as we did), this is fine; if not, you’re stuck with the same people throughout the holiday. Inevitably, you don’t get to talk to as many people as you otherwise would. This point has been raised before – the hotel replied to “Andy” on 11 July 2012 thus:
As regards the arrangement at tables, we kindly use to ask to stay in the same seats for each meal with own drinks (because drink are not included). Our restaurant is big and allow to everyone to change seats every day can creates some troubles about the organization, but we are always gladly available when a guest asks to change seats [sic]
Frankly, this is risible: I can think of no other Page and Moy/Travelsphere hotel where this happens. Is the hotel seriously saying that it is insufficiently well-organised to cope with people sitting in different places (but within the same area)? The company needs to raise this with the hotel and perhaps consider moving its substantial business to a hotel which can show more flexibility.
Bedroom – shower cubicle cramped and shower itself very temperamental.

For the best views, ask for rooms 538 – 540.

THE TOUR

Chianciano Terme (C.T.) is not in the centre of the area and hence the visits to Florence and Pisa require long coach journeys (2 to 3.5 hours each way) resulting in the time spent in each place being rather limited – particularly Pisa, where there was insufficient time to go inside all the attractions in the “Field of Miracles”. I wonder if Travelsphere has investigated if there are more central locations.

The scenery was superb and the coach journeys to the nearer locations were particularly enjoyable. The driver took a different route in each direction adding to the pleasure of the ride.

Although only five days had visits placed, there was sufficient interest for the tour guide to organise an addition trip on day six to Assisi. A number of people commented that this was their favourite place. I made the mistake of not going up to the rocca (castle) from which the views were said to be tremendous. I was deterred by what looked like a very long climb from the main square; however, people who climbed it found it quick and quite easy.

Many people rated the guide, Sara, as one of the best – if not the best – of all the Page and Moy/Travelsphere holidays they’d been on. I could have wished she’d spent less time discussing the mythology associated with the places we visited and more on the architecture, but that’s a minor quibble.

I like to photograph the interiors of the buildings I visit. Photography without flash was permitted in most places: the main exceptions were the basilicas at Assisi (St Francis – the main one – and St Clare, but it was allowed in the cathedral), the cathedral at St Gimignano, the baptistery at Siena (although it was allowed in the main part of the cathedral and the library). I don’t know if photography is allowed in Santa Croce Florence or San Domenico, Siena.

Room Tip: Rooms 538 - 540 offer superb views from balcony.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank ferrocene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel V, Responsabile reception at Villa Ricci Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2013

Dear Guest,
many thanks for your kind opinion. We are really pleased to read such a detailed and specific review about your holiday in Tuscany. It 's very important for us to know the opinion of every guest in order to improve our offer to make our guest's stay more pleasant and relaxing.
Chianciano Terme is a small town in the heart of Tuscany, between Chiana Valley and Orcia Valley, a good location to visit surrounding territory. Chianciano offers interesting walks to discover the old town, with a panoramic view on Umbria, Trasimeno lake, Montepulciano and Chiusi Lake, the Etruscan Archeological Museum and thermal parks.

It's really a pity you didn't relax in our Holistic WellBeing Center: the WellBeing Pool source of Energy before or after an excursion, with a sequence of water jets massage, music-therapy and colour-therapy, the Route of Water and the wise hands of Antonella and Elisa, the beauticians.

About the arrangement at tables we use to reserve a part of our restaurant hall for the guests of Travelsphere Group in order to let them move from one table to another (for every meal we change tablecloth, table napkins, glasses and cutlery). We usually prepare table for 2 or 4 or whatever is asked for couples or group of friends who want to eat separately and every request is always considered; please ask to the reception for all, it's always available. The only thing that we want to tell you is the drinks are not included. The waiting staff has to know all table changement about the restaurant to offer the better service. The drinks are charged separately in each room on a beverages restaurant card.

We hope to meet you again for another visit to this wonderful area.
Best regards
Laura

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

Just returned from a lovely week holiday, great location, spectacular views.
Excellent and plenty of food.
Clean and quiet hotel, very relaxing.
We made good use of the "Well Being Centre"
Would recommend to family and friends.

Room Tip: Would advise a room with a balcony, most have.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Ipswich42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel V, Responsabile reception at Villa Ricci Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2013

Dear guest,
we are glad that you had a good holiday at Hotel Villa Ricci.
Many thanks for your kind opinion.
Best regards
Laura

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Ricci Hotel

Address: Via Giuseppe di Vittorio 51, 53042 Chianciano Terme, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Chianciano Terme
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 81 Hotels in Chianciano Terme
Price Range: $55 - $106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Villa Ricci Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Villa Ricci Hotel, located at Chianciano terme, is the perfect solution for your vacancy or business trip.The Mencarelli family welcomes you since three generations trying to make your stay an unforgettable experience.Close to the historic city centre and the Chianciano Spas you could spend your holiday in our spa treatment centre, use one of the three conference rooms for your business time and taste the best dishes of Tuscan and national cuisine.The ideal place to regenerate body, mind and spirit enjoying a wonderful landscape in the Tuscan countryside.The rooms are furnished with all comforts and free wi-fi connection.We look forward to welcoming you! ... more   less 
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