So, I found this intriguing little place when scouring for a relaxing and unique hotel to spend the last night of our belated honeymoon. It looked amazing, just up our street; secluded location, interesting restored building, panoramic views, lovely grounds, tempting spa and nice restaurant.
Oh dear. What a disappointment.
We arrived to some confusion over our booking and were actually given 2 separate rooms. An easy mistake I suppose, and one that could easily be forgiven. If I hadn't contacted the hotel in advance to request a bottle of bubbly for the room as a nice little touch to celebrate our final honeymoon destination. One would have assumed on this basis they may have been expecting a honeymooning couple (who had, incidentally, booked a junior suite)? Apparently not.
Once rectified, we were then given a key and pointed in the vague direction of the room...which was 'interesting'. Old? Yes. In keeping? Debatable. Done on the cheap in the pretence of sympathetic restoration? Absolutely. And the bathroom? We won’t mention the state of the toilet brush...all in all tired and dated.
Oh well, staying positive we decided to head on out to the pool...or the spa...or the bar for an afternoon tipple. Nope. None of the above is available. Everywhere is closed. The place is like a ghost town. We ambled through the gardens and up to the outdoor pool area...which I can imagine are lovely...in the height of season when they're tended to and maybe have some people around? Not today. Try as we might to find someone to help point us in the vicinity of the hotel spa (or indoor pool) there wasn't a soul to be seen.
We could be forgiven (if the pics are anything to go by) for assuming the spa/indoor pool were part of the hotel...so we decided to go and look for ourselves...down the dark stairwells we ventured...
This was probably the highlight of our stay. Although we didn't find the pool (it's in a separate building near the gatehouse at the bottom of the hill. Odd.) We spent a good half an hour exploring the hidden corridors and rooms (mainly used as storage), beautiful banquet hall (closed) and lovely terrace/osteria/bar (also closed). Unfortunately we felt like naughty schoolchildren tippytoeing and whispering our way around. This would have been so much nicer if when we arrived (or prior to) the hotel had maybe explained that our stay was out/toward the end of season and therefore could only offer limited amenities. With maybe an invitation to look around at our leisure (on the understanding that this was the case)? After all; this is the hotel’s USP is it not?
We arrived in the restaurant that evening to the ever smiling cleaner/waitress (as my nan would say 'chewing a lemon'). The dining room itself was lovely, some interesting features and art dotted around the place, nicely set tables (white linen, silverware, etc.) and a lovely view of the courtyard through the panoramic windows. Or there would have been if that area wasn't curtained off.
We were really impressed by the extensive wine list (which we had to ask for). Really good selection of both Italian and French wines. Unfortunately, our lovely bottle of Barbara D'Alba was somewhat tainted by the floating cork. Apparently offering an excellent wine list doesn't warrant training your staff on how to extrapolate a cork in one piece.
Dinner started promisingly; a very tasty amuse bouche and lovely appetisers. Alas, by the time our main was ready to serve two other couples had arrived (amounting to 6 diners in total). This, I can only imagine, caused a little confusion as my husband's 'bleu' fillet steak arrived without even a hint of pink. Sacrilege! We left shortly afterward to retreat to our room with a conciliatory bottle of wine and a crossword (rock 'n' roll).
Breakfast - we arrived to an empty dining area (having arranged the time the previous evening) and waited 20 mins after sitting for someone to come and offer drinks. However, there was a nice selection of toast, sweets breads and jams laid out for us to be getting on with in the meantime.
We'd requested a late checkout (1pm) but left much earlier. I'm not entirely sure which, if any, part of the experience (other than the wine) would warrant half of the cost.
Sigh. As they say 'it's the little things that count'. Unfortunately this message hasn't made its way to this random hilltop retreat.
Definitely one to avoid!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cappuccini Resort is the place of the hospitality in the very heart of Franciacorta: situated in a XVI century monastery, the hotel features 14 rooms, among which 3 Suites, all equipped with fireplace, living room and a view of our private park. The Restaurant Cucina San Francesco is open every day for lunch and dinner and our Chef Piercarlo Zanotti’s cuisine, matched with a magnificent wine selection set by our Sommelier marco Pelizzari, will delight your senses and you will discover one of the finest cuisine in this area. For your relax, Wellness Center Elis offers a pool, sauna, hotbath, gym and differente rooms for treatment and massages: our peculiarity relies on the exclusive use of the wellness center that we grant to our guests. In summertime enjoy our swimming pool, surrounded by olive trees and rose bushes, relaxing on our sunbeds, under a shade or on our solarium terrace. The Resort position is a good starting point for your excursions in Franciacorta and to Lake Iseo. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cappuccini Hotel Brescia