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Review of La Bandita

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La Bandita
Ranked #10 of 33 Pienza B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 24, 2013

We stayed 5 days in Sept 2013 as part of a driving tour of Italy. For us the pluses at La Bandita considerably outweighed the minuses and we'd recommend it. First the pluses: lovely hilltop setting in the unspoiled Val d'Orcia, excellent local recommendations, thoughtful personal service by a team of locals, sociable 'house party' drinks and dining, good quality 40euro dinners and well-priced choice of wines (extra), nice pool for a hot day, free laundry and soft drinks so nobody feels nickel and dimed. Didn't meet the owner but he clearly knows how to run a tight ship-there's a sister hotel in Pienza we didn't stay in (not sure Pienza would hold my attention for more than a long afternoon). Meals at Rosselino (Pienza), Leccio (nr Montalcino) and Porta (Montechiello) are all the real deal, superb and authentic and a highlight. La Bandita really has great local knowledge, don't underestimate its benefit.
Two downsides, we thought. The road up and down, winding through beautiful scenery is a joke. This hotel (though really a fancy B&B) is clearly doing well - time to invest some proceeds not in other hotel set ups nearby but the driveway. One US couple spent all day waiting for il mechanico to turn up when we were there to sort out some sort of broken axle or blown tyre --really predictable. We felt lucky not to suffer this. This is really 4wd territory or be prepared to damage the tyres on your car or rental.
We booked relatively late and were warned we'd have the last, least fancy room - a double upstairs, number 5. It was 250 euro at the time.Other rooms rise inexorably towards 400euro a night (we didn't view them). Unfortunately we are room people when it comes to hotels and like to be wowed just a little. I read in a coffee table book that thought had gone into creating a design of simplicity etc at Bandita. We rather felt the budget had run out when it came to furnishings, as the room was too spartan (fine for the beach wrong for the hills where a little rusticity would do better, same too downstairs), but no bedside lights(?), no rugs or floor covers, not even an armchair of some sort to drop into, weary from frescos and gelato, no minibar/fridge, no radio/music player or tv (which could all be laudable depending on your view). The look was just too Ikea for us, with a strong hint of youth hostel if not for the wonderful location and not enough to really merit the price tag. The bathroom shower was excellent however, and granted you don't come to Tuscany to sit in the room and the pricier rooms may be better (but they'd need to be). I think the owners should fix the underwhelming room design when they revamp and improve the road then this would be an unhesitating 5 star stay up in the hills, amidst the rolling clouds, long grasses and cypruses, with conviviality and personalised service.

Room Tip: Skip room 5
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank dwh23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 - 48 of 174 reviews

Reviewed September 19, 2013

The first stop on our honeymoon, simply fabulous. Service excellent, friendly and very accommodating. Room ideal, massive shower and very comfy bed. Plus air con which was nice to have. Idyllic setting, expansive views. Lovely little pool. Little fridges everywhere, ideal as didn't want to move from the lawn around the pool. They have an on site chef, food is very tasty and of a high standard. Only one negative - it's miles from anywhere, not possible to walk to a local restaurant. Overall a luxurious country retreat, we wish we could have afforded to stay longer!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank Holsworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

It's been a year since we stayed at La Bandita and not a day has gone by that I have not wished I was back there. Maybe its the photo I blew up to hang on the wall, maybe its the craving for Davids amazing food, or it could be I want the attention and love the staff shared, and of course, it is the view, the comfort, the whole experience. We travel a lot; we own a rental property in the CA wine country, and we pay attention to the visual details of a structure and its property as much as the hospitality it contains.We heard about this place after our Tuscany Tour was planned, but we added a day, changed our flight, just to see this mysterious farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness we did. I have yet to stay anywhere that tops La Bandita. From the drive up the hill to the dreaded goodbyes at check out, we had moment after photo worthy moment of bliss. If you want peace, this is your place. If you want to make or bring friends, this is your place. If its great food or advice on traveling around Tuscany, go here. It truly has it all. I felt cleansed by the air, the food, the incredible shower and soft bed, and the goodness of the people. This is a model all hotels should follow! We just heard about the newest property and will add time to our upcoming trip to Venice just to be able to experience it. We welcome any questions about this property or Tuscany.

Room Tip: A room with a view....which it seems applies to ALL of them! If you want more privacy, there is a se...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank CameraOn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We visited at Christmas, and will never forget it. The location was idyllic and the rooms were luxurious. The meals, however, were by far my favorite part. The chef pulls anyone interested into the open kitchen, and we watched fantastic meals come together step-by-step. I loved it!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank RebaPope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Blissful burnished hills, crested with elegant quiffs of cypress. Tiny villages that, over endless time, have become as one with the peaks on which they perch. In the air, a whisper of marjoram and woody-sweet eucalyptus - and all is anointed in a shimmering golden light. Later, in the saffron of the setting sun, swallows dart home, the earth gently exhales and the sheep float on the hillside, like contented thoughts. Truly, this is heaven. And perfect in every respect.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Neil J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

What a magical spot and a wonderful place, I just wish we could have had longer there. The drive certainly made you glad to arrive and I'm not sure I would want to stay there with a mind to do lots of sightseeing but rather to just enjoy the outside spaces, the silence and the extensive views. One night was definitely not enough. We thoroughly enjoyed the communal dinner and the opportunity to meet others with great food and wine. Sharing laughs around the fire pit after was great fun. This is a very unusual spot and an excellent restoration. Perfect for us, a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. Paula looked after us beautifully also, thank you Paula!

Room Tip: We had a ground floor room not far from the living room and had no noise issues and a beautiful outs...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank VandBoys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

John has created an amazing experience, from the group dinners where you make lasting friendships, to the Ortiga bath soaps, to the blend of high-end moderism against the ancient hills. The suggestions are perfect. The rooms glorious. The pool perfect. A can't-miss expeience.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Peter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Bandita

Address: Localita Podere Lucia 14, 53026, Pienza, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Pienza
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 33 B&Bs / Inns in Pienza
Price Range: $374 - $384 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — La Bandita 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stylish 8-room country retreat in the beautiful Tuscany countryside. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Bandita Hotel Pienza

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