While our stay at the Castelletto di Montebenichi was very enjoyable overall, we'd probably look for a property that was less remote on our next visit to the area.
The deluxe room we stayed in was well equipped with a comfortable bed, desk, tv, small refrigerator and a roomy wardrobe though it could have used a bit of "refreshing". Additional storage space for toiletries in the bathroom would have been appreciated, but otherwise the shower, and amenities were fine. The overall ambiance created is fairly relaxed and welcoming, and Montebenichi, though too small to be even referred to as a village, is picturesque.
The antiques, decor and overall visual impression of the property is quite lovely with a great deal of attention to detail. There are several common rooms to relax in, including the upper patio. Marco was ready to assist if asked, and provided us with advice about a day trip that helped a great deal.
The breakfast offerings were fairly standard, which is not an issue in itself, but the fruit was not always fresh, and the platters not refreshed. If there happen to be families staying when you visit, be sure to enjoy your breakfast early! Feel free to ask for cappuccino as it is not available from the self serve buffet but is happily provided.
We appreciate countryside vistas and quiet, but we found this location a bit too remote. There is only one small restaurant (max.18 seats) nearby and because we failed to mention needing a dinner reservation before we left one morning, we had to drive 20 minutes to Ambra for dinner late at night. Thankfully the wonderful little place we'd been a few nights before could take us-----their last table! Though the restaurant in Montebenichi was alright, we were not particularly impressed with our meals there. We did however, really enjoy the experience at Alla Corte di Bacco in Ambra. There are just not many options in the evening without a bit of a drive down winding, narrow roads in the dark. Not ideal if you like to enjoy a Tuscan red with your dinner.
For the 4 nights we stayed at the Castelletto we had busy days planned with seeing sights in Tuscany, and because it was late September we did not avail ourselves of the pool area. With it being at least a 6-7 minute walk down from the castelletto, the pool (just beyond and below the car park) is quite removed from the actual hotel building. While mobility is not a problem for us, the distance should be mentioned for those who might have difficulty walking up and down the steep and narrow streets to and from the parking and pool areas. During our stay we did notice one senior guest who seemed to be struggling by the time they walked from the car to the hotel, and then up two flights of stairs in the castelletto to the guest rooms. Thankfully you can park in front of the castelletto to unload and load luggage, though it did take us some time to find the actual building on arrival. Marco takes pride in the fact that he does not like signage.
While the Castelletto was a unique experience, we found we'd much prefer something that didn't require quite so much driving in the evening after already full days exploring Tuscany.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Castelletto di Montebenichi, a perfect spot for visiting Tuscany, located in the Chianti, half way between Siena and Arezzo. Staying at the Castelletto is a magic experience offered to a few guests only who will enjoy precious works of art, including period frescoes, archeological finds, sketches and antique paintings, drawings, sculptures, bronzes and ceramics. They will be caught up in a pleasant, unforgettable out-of-this-time atmosphere. In this ancient mansion, dating back to XII century, tradition and modern comfort are combined perfectly. Guests are encouraged to move free like in their own home in a comfortable and familar, yet elegant and exclusive environment. At a few steps in the park guests can enjoy a swimming pool, a small sauna, and a gym with a jacuzzi mini-pool along with a marvellous view over the surrounding hills and the valley. The Castelletto has no restaurant, but around the corner a wonderful "trattoria" called "L'Orciaia" offers tasty traditional Tuscan dishes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Castelletto Di Montebenichi Hotel Bucine