Having read through some earlier Tripadvisor reviews, which were less than complimentary about certain aspects of Castel Monastero, we arrived with some slight trepidations. Things weren't looking brilliant when we were shown to our suite, which was already 'occupied' by a busy stream of ants (well, the Castel is in the countryside, and maybe they had a prior reservation!). The alternative that we were shown didn't do it for us either, but THEN ...... the wonderful Graziella took charge, and found us what must rank as one of the most delightful rooms that we have stayed in. After this little hiccup everything went fantastically well.
Our first day was spent watching the amazing madness, pageantry and passion that is the Palio in Siena. The Castel team hosted a marvellous day, providing all the background info and a brilliant viewing location. Three days later we were treated to a cookery masterclass with Gordon Ramsay, and an alfresco evening Chefs' Table (there were 3 chefs (including GR again), each demonstrating the preparation of one course. Great food, great setting, great company.
The Palio and Gordon Ramsay were 'specials' arranged through the Leading Hotels of the World's Leaders Club, so maybe those 2 events could have somewhat distorted the Castel experience. However, ignoring the special events, what remains is still a fabulous destination. The whole tone of the Castel is set by special people like Graziella and her team, who make guests feel incredibly welcome from the moment they arrive. Roberta, who manages the Spa, is a delight, and the treatments (my good lady informs me) were excellent. She is more than tempted to return for one of the Spa breaks that Castel Monastero offer, and I might even go with her!!
As with every great hotel, there are a few things that could do with some 'fine tuning': some more pasta dishes and salads should be available at La Cantina to give guests far more choice if they want a light lunch or dinner; please get a spare set of cushions for the outside bar chairs and couches. These are currently regularly 'anointed' by the resident swallows (or are they house martins or swifts?), and a spare set of cushions would give guests, lets say, more choice of where to sit. So, two mini-gripes/observations in 5 days isn't bad.
Even if I don't pluck up the courage to go on one of the Spa breaks, I will definitely be back.
PS The best room at the Castel is.......... go find out for yourself!!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- While painters are born, travellers are made and no land has aroused the curiosity, the enthusiasm and the culture of entire generations more than Tuscany. Certainly, not all of them have had the luck to begin their journey in the enchantment of Castel Monastero. In fact a few kilometres from our village, along roads of pure delight, can be found masterpieces of art and of the highest culinary tradition.Every day, a discovery. Every day a different itinerary passing through unspoiled scenery. Every day, on your return, a massage and a candle-lit dinner. And together, over a romantic meal for two or with your friends, you will recall the frescoes of Piero della Francesca and the perfect walls of Monteriggioni, the Renaissance utopia of Pienza and the gastronomic glory of Castellina in Chianti. And again, to surprise you, there’ll be a sunset over Pitigliano and a stroll around the Etruscan necropolises of Sovana. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Castel Monastero Hotel Castelnuovo Berardenga
- Castel Monastero Italy/Castelnuovo Berardenga, Province Of Siena