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Review of Villa Pitiana

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Villa Pitiana
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Donnini
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 15, 2009

I travelled with my two small children aged 4 and 3. Stayed 7 nights from end of August. All had a brilliant time including the experience of travelling by train from Pisa Airport to our hotel.

Saved a lot of money by booking the room/half board directly with the hotel and booking the flight separately.
Saved a further ~ GBP200 in total air fares by flying from Gatwick to Pisa instead of Florence Airport.
Saved a further ~ EUR140 by taking train/s (cost ~ EUR10 including my 4 yr old) from Pisa Airport to Sant Ellero train station then about 5 mins taxi ride from there to the hotel but you have to phone the hotel from the station to send you a taxi (as there were no taxis whatsoever there). Taxi fare from Pisa Airport to the hotel would have been around EUR 175!!!

Booked a classic room (#28); a nice corner room in the Villa itself with the two windows facing two different views on the 2nd floor and had classic furnishings, very clean, ceiling was amazing (with wooden beams). Bathroom was spacious, beautiful and very clean. View(s) from the Villa, in particular from the poolside anytime of day was breathtaking. Sunset was on the poolside. Everyone has access to that view; therefore no need to have an expensive room unless you are newly-weds! or you have money to burn!

Dinner (half board EUR25 per adult per night) was excellent because of the quality of the service and food; choice of two from each course was available which was always good. My kids loved the food and munched their way throughout the day to dessert. The restaurant manager and the chef were always helpful and flexible on what the kids could have. The Villa's own house red wine was lovely and very affordable.
Breakfast could disappoint some people as the only hot item on the cold buffet is boiled egg! but this was ok for us as there were different types of cereal and Itallian meats/cheese, cakes/pastries, yogurt fresh fruit etc.
Lunch menu had very limited choice but nonetheless all was tasty (pizza, lasagne, salad or toasted panini etc) and was served at the bar.

On the down side: bed was a bit on the hard side; walls could do with some touch up paint job, as some small bits around the edges of the bath/shower could do with resealing etc; TV was very small, very old and remote control did not work.
Main problem though was the atmosphere during quiet periods; during busy periods including weddings, the Villa buzzed with good vibes but when it is quiet it appeared a place without soul. Entertainment for kids was non-existent, so took my laptop & DVDs for evening entertainment as there were no facilities apart from the swimming pool and the 2km walk around the beautiful "Yellow Ring" which managed to do twice. Service at the bar can sometimes be slow but when you are on holiday ...I guess you just have to ...chill!
But all these really were minor issues.Really!

Conclusion: Villa Pitiana is a beautiful place suitable for most families except perhaps teenagers. You will have a brilliant time if you are easy going and do not concentrate too much on minor issues and also remembering that this is a 4* not 5* hotel. The staff were always professional and kids-friendly. (Tip well for extra special service).
I will definitely go back but will need to hire a car or increase my taxi budget to discover other villages/towns nearby.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank GigiLondon_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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125 - 131 of 291 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2009

Villa Pitiana is a classic hill top villa with a magnificent view on the valley. The villa and its surroundings itself has a lot potential but needs a lot of work to be able to live up to the expectations you get when you visit their website. It all comes down to proper maintenance and quality of service. From a 4 star hotel you should be able to expect more.

We stayed in a garden house at a discount rate (70e a night). For the rate we payed, it was reasonable. If the normal rate (175e a night) would have applied we would not have accepted the room. We had a small 'hybrid' shower containing both a shower curtain for one half and a shower door for the other half (since the original second door was missing).

Apart from the hotel itself, the location is beautiful but also far away from any other activities and facilities like supermarkets, restaurants etc.

Since the the hotel itself offers a very limited lunch menu that stops at 2 pm this can be inconvenient.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank rdv1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2009

The villa is well situated to tour Florence &Tuscany. Great setting on side of hill with wonderful views over valley below. Faded elegance sums up the reception rooms, odd mixture of antiques and modern. Our room was large and simply furnished, not partcularly comfortable with dirty stained carpet. Bathroom was modern but showering usually ended up with wet floor. Staff were helpful but not enough at start of week and service a bit slow. Breakfast was OK with good choice of food but nothing hot other than boiled eggs. Evening menu very limited and wasn't changed in week so only ate there once. Weather was great while we were there but couldn't relax round pool or in garden as only a few deckchairs available and very uncomfortable iron chairs on terrace.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank sharrenb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2009

This was the first stay on our trip and what a way to start it. It is beautiful, peaceful, everything you imagine a Villa in Tuscany should be and more. We had one of their rooms at the top, with wood beam ceilings and the bathroom to die for!!. The view was the hills of Toscana. We woke up to birds signing every morning. Located just about an hour outside of Florence, it is perfectly located for driving to all the Hill Towns. Easy access to the A1 (Autostrada). The staff speak wonderful English and every bit of advice was appreciated. Though we received execellent 5 star service, we felt like it was home. The food, wine and service is heavenly!!!

Already planning my next trip and advised friends to stay here as it is magical.
Thank you all at Villa Pitiana, especially Laura.
Cheers

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank TracyBrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2009

We 4 days at the main Pitiana Villa which is the converted main building (essentially a castle) of a former olive press or vineyard. We will return, hopefully every year. The experience is very slow and peaceful. Pitiana includes extensive grounds with a fairly long internal roads and walks that did not seem discovered by most guests. This includes a flower walled path downhill to a second set of buildings.

Their website features the outdoor ping pong table - it is hard to appreciate how nice this is until you have played several hours under the shade. We visited several other villas where friends were staying for a wedding - we were very happy that we had chosen Pitiana as its sweeping views of the valley really help you relax. Our only regret is that we had numerous social obligations to leave the grounds.

Every meal at Pitiana was excellent as was the wine.

If you visit in the summer pack your bathing suit.

If you are going to be out late take your key with you.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank loosingpatience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2008

My husband and I started our Italian honeymoon at Villa Pitiana for 3 nights. Even with our car rental's GPS, it was very hard to find. So my advice is to be better prepared with directions, unlike us! This hotel is located about 20 miles from Florence, and to get there, you must take a road with many twists and turns. When you arrive, you will see it is very unique in its old-fashioned charm. There is a beauty there that you don't find with most hotels. It is surrounded by mountains in varying shades of browns. There are cobblestone paths, wrought iron gates and a beautiful terrace as well as garden areas. The pool area is lovely also. You could take an hour exploring the property and taking gorgeous pictures. The room looks something like a bedroom would, but the bathroom was more modern, beautiful and pretty large. If you want a hotel with many things to do around you (in terms of entertainment), this may not be the best place for you. There is a small town area 2 miles away with a pizza place, cafe and deli shop, but that's about it! As stated above, it is a half hour drive to Florence. It is about a 45 minute drive to San Gimignano, and it is at least a 40 minute drive to Chianti (vineyards). All but one girl (the youngest out of everyone we saw) at the front desk were very helpful. When we asked about restaurants, she told us they were all closed, and only the one pizzeria in the tiny town was open. The next day, when there was another woman at the desk, we learned that was not true. This woman gave us a list of 15 restaurants in the area. It was as if the other girl could not be bothered to help us. The hotel restaurant was delicious for dinner. Very fancy menu. As for their buffet breakfast, it was very weak, as there were no warm dishes. Yogurt, cheese, breads, fruit and pastries. It was the worst out of the 3 hotels we stayed in on our honeymoon.
All in all, Villa Pitiana was a pleasant experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you are looking for your standard Hilton, this is not the place for you. But if you want an older, charming stay, check it out. Also, look at the pictures for more detail.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank ny7chic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2008

Villa Pitiana was the third of four stops for our group on a custom tour from Provence to Tuscany. As the title implies, it was a welcome change of pace from our "regular" hotels. The ancient structure, with its high-ceilinged rooms, inlaid stone floors and magnificent main staircase takes you in and wraps you up in old world grace. Large windows open to beautiful views of the valley far below or onto quiet courtyards. The villa is superbly maintained and has had very modern bathroom upgrades.

Service is also at a high modern standard. Reception staff were cheerful and helpful, as were bartenders in the well stocked bar. Plenty of English is spoken so we lazy monolinguists had no problem communicating. High speed internet connections are available in a room just off the lobby (how do you call an ancient sitting room a lobby?)

Dining at Villa Pitiana was also a treat. Great local food...wonderfully prepared...and at a fair price. The private labelled red wine was a nice addition to dinner (and good enough to take a few bottles home :)

The swimming pool and maniucured grounds helped complete the impression that we were not statying at a hotel, but at the private mansion of a good friend.

I recommend Villa Pitiana to any one who can appreciate a respite from the hectic pace of travel and typical noisy hotel. Close to Firenze, Siena, San Gimignano and more, but just far enough off the beaten path to enjoy the serenity of the countryside.

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Thank TravelForArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Pitiana

Address: Via Provinciale Tosi 7, 50066 Donnini, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Donnini
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Donnini
Price Range: $80 - $226 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Pitiana 4*
Number of rooms: 59
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated at 430m above sea level; surrounded by olive groves of Valdarno & centuries-old trees of the Vallombrosa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Pitiana Hotel Donnini
Pitiana Hotel Donnini
Villa Pitiana Donnini, Italy - Tuscany

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