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“Clean, Modern, Quiet and Personal Service”

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Vicarello Di Volterra
Reviewed August 24, 2012

We unfortunately waited to book our hotel in Tuscany on our latest trip to Italy. All of the Agriturismo hotels which had been recommended were already full and we stumbled across this hotel which is actually apartments. It is a brand new facility which opened in July and the place was gorgeous on a high hilll overlooking the Tuscan countryside. We were a family of four with two girls 10 and 13. The weather was hot hot (over 100 degrees Farenheit) while we were there. The girls explored the grounds while my husband and I sat on the deck watching the sunset and then we all took a late swim in the pool (it never closes). There is a spa and it has a turkish bath and Sauna - given the heat we never used it, but it was very beautiful and quiet. The staff were very accomodating and helpful - even organizing to help pay a parking ticket we got in Volterra. I would definitely come back and stay here again. The breakfast was only 15 euros and there was beautfiully fresh fruit and veggies that were prepared personally by one of the staff. There were only about 4-6 other families/couples there so the service seemed presonal and you got to know the staff just after a few days. They genuinely care about your experience and are very focused on good service. The place looked like it was taken out of a modern/rustic Restoration Hardware magazine. Very relaxing and welcoming for families.

Room Tip: The kitchenette is plenty for a family who wants to eat one or two meals in the room. The rest of t...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Joe V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalgisa C, General Manager at Vicarello Di Volterra, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2012

Thank you for your review,
we are very happy to know that your time spent in Borgo Vicarello was great for you. We wait for you for your next holiday in Italy also with other friends.

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5 - 11 of 69 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2012

Vicarello is a beautiful eye pleasing property, but unfortunately has so many faults, I don't know where to start. Other guests were joking about the place being like the "Fawlty Towers" TV Show in terms of service. You get the picture…

First off, the good. As I mentioned, the place is very pleasing to the eye. The property is well taken care off and looks luxurious. The view of the Tuscany countryside is simply breathtaking.

The highlight of the property is definitely the infinity pool, which is, again, breath taking.

Unfortunately, the service and personnel is so clueless, it takes away from the whole experience and prevents me from coming back, at least in the near future. I imagined I would have a relaxing, enjoyable time at the hotel. Unfortunately, the relaxing part was quite short lived.

The reason why I visited Vicarello di Volterra is because I was looking for a luxurious hotel near Lajatico for visiting the Andrea Bocelli concert. Vicarello looked like the most (if not the only) luxury destination close to the theatre, and hence we booked.

Unfortunately, from arrival to departure, everything felt more like bare-bone do-it-yourself instead of luxury service.

Technically, Vicarello is a luxury private residence. In practice, it's indeed totally not a hotel, but a nice property where you get a private apartment with no to little service.

They do try very hard, but unfortunately, they fail in most service attempts. The personnel is simply incompetent and probably needs to be replaced (except Elena which is the only girl who seemed to know what she was doing, and she had to try very hard, compensating for all others).

On the day of the Andrea Bocelli concert, we felt like relaxing at the pool side to enjoy the landscape and the pool. There were just 10-12 other people at the pool, yet all beds were taken (they did not plan for many guests apparently). I asked for more beds which were supposed to be send to the pool. Unfortunately, after asking 3 or 4 times, only one extra pool bed was delivered at the pool 90 minutes later. In a desperate attempt for some relaxation before the concert, we went to the indoor spa, grabbed a bed and tried to bring it to the pool. When they noticed we simply "were fed up" with waiting for over 1 and half hour for 2 sun beds, they "suddenly" quickly brought a second sun bed. Finally… Why the wait???

In the mean time, another couple had already given up on the beds and sat unhappily in normal chairs, trying to "lie down" on them and absorb some sun. After about 1-2 hours, they gave up and returned to their apartments.

When you do have a bed available at the pool side, don't expect much service. Only once (from 10 AM to 6 PM) were we asked if we wanted to order a drink. We ordered 2 bottles of water which took 30-40 minutes to be delivered.

The girl asked all 10 people at the pool what they wanted to drink and could not handle servicing more than 1 bed at a time. E.g. if bed 1 and bed 2 both asked for 2 bottles of water, instead of getting 4 bottles of water at once, she would get 2 bottles of water for bed 1, and then go back and, 5 minutes later, bring 2 bottles of water for bed 2. I had to watch this, having dry lips and really wanting some water, for about 40 minutes before finally getting some water.

The restaurant is similarly disappointing. There's no menu. You basically get what they feel like cooking, which is slightly worse than home cooked Italian food. I've had better Italian food in pretty much all Italian restaurants outside of Italy...

For a hotel that uses Twitter, Facebook and MySquare, I was negatively surprised that Wifi was only offered in the lobby. There's no internet available in the room, at the poolside, or anywhere else for that matter. Because 3G internet (via my mobile) was available at full speed using my mobile connection, I'm surprised this can't be offered. Especially for a place that considers itself to be 5 stars.

The apartment we received was slightly modern (fine shower) and spacious, but had no to little airco. Technically (and officially), they do have airco but it's so slow, you barely notice (or feel) it on full speed. Overall, the apartment wasn't anything special. To me, it felt more like Ikea luxury. Ok, maybe this is "amazing luxury" for Tuscany and seeing the location… Still, I felt they could do better on the actual apartments seeing the overall property looks so nice.

Ofcourse, don't expect much room service either. We asked for an iron and ironing board the day of the concert, but were told they only had 2 available and other guests were already using them. We did finally receive an iron 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave to the concert. We never received an iron board.

No surprise, there's no in-room dining. As I mentioned above, the restaurant doesn't even have a menu. Service also seems to stop around 10.30 PM. Two other couples, who's airplane was delayed, arrived just after midnight at the hotel. No one opened the door. They told us they had to literally climb over the fence and search for the 24 hour security which is supposed to be walking around. They looked until 3 AM after which they gave up and had to sleep in chairs and couches in the restaurant (the only place unlocked). The finally found someone around 7-8 AM. They asked for their room only to be told it wasn't ready yet… Are you serious? This is really very embarrassing if you ask me… They were supposed to arrive a day before but their room wasn't ready? It seems like they only start cleaning and making your room "ready" at the moment you actually arrive on the property.

The restaurant serves breakfast in the morning. We went 2 times, both times, there were no croissants and the bread was old, dry and hard. Basically had the option between cereal and omelette. Second day, we arrived 10.45 AM for breakfast, only to hear "sorry we're closed". Everywhere it states they serve breakfast until 11 AM, but this did not matter. So we just grabbed whatever food we still saw lying around and had some breakfast. The only other options was waiting until noon for lunch, which is also a pre-set menu and, imagining Italian lunch, probably not what you want to eat first thing in the morning. Other option was to try and find a supermarket in the area. Again, not really what I have in mind for a luxury holiday.

In terms of location, it's great for the Bocelli concert and for being in the middle of nowhere. For anything else, the location isn't that great. My biggest concern is that, if you're going to open a hotel in the middle of nowhere that's supposed to be luxurious, you better offer a nice restaurant and some good service as well. Now, we were forced to look for dinner outside the hotel. We went to the closest restaurant that's mentioned in the Michelin guide, which was in Volterra, about a 10 minute drive. Don't count on taxis. You have to drive. Nothing in walking distance in case you like drinking wine over dinner.

Overall, a fine base for the Bocelli concert but it wasn't the luxury relaxing stay I had in mind while booking the place and I definitely wouldn't come back for a normal holiday.

I spoke with 4 or 5 other couples during my stay, but none were pleased with the hotel in terms of service. Other than that, if you're a do-it-yourself kind of person, who's idea of a luxury holiday is getting groceries at the supermarket and cooking them in your apartment and you don't mind poor service whenever you do leave your apartment, this is your kind of place.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Heere-Reviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2012

We have discovered this fine new opening hotel on our way to San Gimignano,
It has been a very pleasant experence that took us two nights there.
Spacius well equipped apartment with private terrace over looking the local hills.
We've enyoyed a lot their spa expecially after a full day excursion, they offer on request a large choice of wellbeing treatments.
Staying in their apartment is like being at home even away from home and it is a convenient place for visiting this nice corner of Tuscany. We fully recommend the property to all our friends and future travellers to this destination.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Eaglefly2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalconte, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Vicarello Di Volterra, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2012

thanks for having reviewed our property, the goal of the Vicarello's staff is just to make your stay "unique"! See you there again!

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Reviewed October 28, 2015 via mobile
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Stayed: January 2015, traveled with family
Thank barovr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2014
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Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Stefffy84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2014 via mobile
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Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank tiziana f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorgoVicarello, Direttore at Vicarello Di Volterra, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2014
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Reviewed February 23, 2014
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Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Matteo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vicarello Di Volterra

Address: Strada Provinciale, 15 | Vicarello, 56048, Volterra, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Pisa > Volterra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 97 Specialty Lodging in Volterra
Hotel Class:5 star — Vicarello Di Volterra 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury apartments with fine finishes, a bar and a restaurant, a panoramic outdoor swimming pool, a private green area of 10.000mq, SPA and concierge service. ... more   less 
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