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Castel Monastero
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All reviewsla cantinagordon ramsey restaurantwine cellartuscan countrysidethe hotel managerrooms are beautifulspa experienceconverted monasterygreat propertyour honeymoonservice was top notchjunior suiteeach morningsmall groupspent daysexplore tuscanyour night stay
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Reviewed August 17, 2013 via mobile

We don't normally write reviews but we felt compelled to do so for this property. We chose this property for our honeymoon. This is our feedback:

The story:

On arrival we were given a room that faced the road and parking lot outside the complex. The room itself was large and nice but the location was simply a non-starter, it felt like the old garage but converted. We booked the place through a travel agency and specifically asked them to inform the hotel this was for a special occasion. We pre-paid about CAN$550 per night and for that price, we were not impressed. After some long discussions, the front desk manager (very nice and charming) tried to accommodate us by showing us three options in which 2 were upgrades. After 24 hours of travel non-stop and being exhausted, we opted to pay an extra CAN$225 dollars a night, the non upgrade room was simply not what we were looking for - very average. After prompting, the manager did include the spa amenities as part of the upgrade (access fee are over CAN$100 a day) but since we weren't in Tuscany for the spa we barely used it (but it is a amazing spa).

On the same night, after finally getting the room, we ordered a dish through room service. They added a CAN$30 dollar fee for bringing a plate of pasta to our room. The cost of the fee was more than our meal (excluding bottle of wine). Being active travelers, this is the only place that we ever stayed with this fee. On top of it, they won't give you an iron and force you to use their services which range from 10 dollars and up per item. (we later learn this is a rule in Italy, but there should be other arrangements possible - traveling your cloths always need ironing, we calculated to iron all the cloths we wanted to wear during the 7 day stay at this hotel would be around CAN$500).

The next day we ordered a taxi to go to a town. We ordered it at noon. We asked it be there at 1:30 PM. We arrived at reception on time and there was no taxi. After some research and waiting in lobby, they informed us that the taxi could take a while as it came all the way from Siena. Since the trip is only 20 minutes we didn't expect this and should have been informed. We waited until 2:45 PM for the taxi.

The housekeeping is average. The toilets here are very "powerful" and "splash" a lot - toilet water gets out when you flush it (we don't mean just a bit, we mean a lot). We noticed that the marks left by this on the floor were not cleaned from one day to the next. They did not refill shampoo and other items each day. The shower rarely produced warm enough water (weirdly enough the bath had hot water). Given how much we were paying per night, this was quite surprising. However, we came home to all of our cloths folded on the bench. Interesting choice of priorities.

We stayed here 7 nights and each day it was the same breakfast. For a place that tries to look like a five star hotel, it really isn't. It was standard breakfast. There were no options for making items such as omlettes etc. However, the morning staff (Fressanca) and most restaurant staff are very nice and charming.

The food at the restaurants is good. You should know that the Gordon Ramsey restaurant does not have many Italian options. We were not impressed with the service at the Tuscan restaurant by the restaurant manager. The hotel and restaurant accommodates celebrities and the elite. We didn't realize that when we booked. Even though we both are doing well in our careers, if you are not perceived as the elite, they make you feel it. For example, we made a reservation at this restaurant. When we arrived there were two seats available. One was the worst seat in the place and the other was in a quiet nice place. Since it was meant to be romantic evening we asked for the quiet spot. We were seated there initially. After five minutes, the restaurant manger came running over to tell us the worst seat was for us. The seat we were in was for someone else. We felt embarrassed amongst other guests to be escorted to the other seat. We observed that the seat we were removed from was vacant for over an hour. Eventually a couple arrived who got a lot of attention-we figure someone important to them. They tried to make it up by giving us some sparkling wine but by then the damage was done. We weren't important and neither was our celebration. The hotel did nothing to make us feel special. They just made a lot of money off of us.

In our view. this is a great place for people who have significant monetary resources looking for a good location, good food but average service. We noticed that the hotel staff respond to the comments of reviewers on this site. However, if you look at the common feedback by travelers, very little has changed. In summary, we will not be recommending this place to our friends. This place is far from a five star but has enormous potential if it changes its rules, policies and service.

  • Stayed: August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank 2cents2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enzo V, Direttore at Castel Monastero, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

firstly, I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to post your review and for your invaluable feedback regarding your recent stay at Castel Monastero. The feedbacks we receive are very important to us and help us ensure that we continuously deliver the excellent standards which we are renowned for.

We sincerely apologise that on this occasion the hotel did not meet your expectations and that it not live up to the usual excellent standards we consistently strive to provide. Please rest assured that I have personally investigated the matter and proper action has been taken in order to correct the letdown of service as well as avoid any further recurrence.

I do hope that this incident will not deter you from visiting our property in the future, giving us the opportunity to recover and show you that we are indeed a hotel with a high standard of service.

Please kindly contact me directly and I will be pleased to ensure that you have the service you expect from our hotel.

Yours sincerely,

Enzo Volpintesta
Hotel Manager
Castel Monastero

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013 via mobile

We spent 5 day in this hotel and it was almost perfect! You do have to have at least 1 dinner at Contrada Gordon Ramsey, the food will be beyond any expectation! The rooms are nice and large, the pools are great and the SPA is not so bad either, although a bit too expensive. La Cantina is also very nice, with the most delightful papa al pomodoro. It is a bad thing that they did not invest more in concierge services - in 5 days they could not manage to book a visit at a wine cellar (in the middle of Tuscany!) and they don't know any agroturism in the area to recommend for a local flavor lunch (or won't). Not sure they have a concierge at all...

  • Stayed: August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MadaNea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enzo V, Direttore at Castel Monastero, responded to this reviewResponded November 4, 2013

Dear MadaNea,
we are glad that your stay here at Castel Monastero, has met your expectations from all points of view, from the rooms to the spa, enjoying even the dishes in our restaurants.
While waiting to be able to give you more pleasant moments of relaxation, we would like to thank you for the sincere and valuable comments left on Trip Advisor. An affectionate greeting and see you soon.

Warm regards

Enzo Volpintesta
Hotel Manager
Castel Monastero

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Stayed here with friends to celebrate a joint birthday at the end of July and very much enjoyed it. It has two restaurants, the top 'Contrada' restaurant has an association with Gordon Ramsay but no star rating but it won't be long in getting one. The food was superb. The other, 'The Cantina' offered more local Tuscan fare just a couple of notches down from 'The Contrada'. The accommodation is sumptuous and spacious and at close to €500 per night it should be. There's a very comprehensive (and very expensive) spa facility in a separate block over by the pool complex. Three pools, one a more of a paddling pool for the kiddies but it was here the 5 star level vanished. The pool facility was very badly attended. No real pool bar facility, few people around, minimal availability of shade umbrellas and no-one to reposition them as the sun moved round. For the want of a few extra staff and an attentive manager the hotel fails to reach the usual standard associated with Leading Hotels of the World.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank superjock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enzo V, Direttore at Castel Monastero, responded to this reviewResponded November 4, 2013

Dear Superjock,

firstly, I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to post your review and for your invaluable feedback regarding your recent stay at Castel Monastero. The feedbacks we receive are very important to us and help us ensure that we continuously deliver the excellent standards which we are renowned for. We sincerely apologise that on this occasion the hotel did not meet your expectations and that it not live up to the usual excellent standards we consistently strive to provide. Please rest assured that I have personally investigated the matter and proper action has been taken in order to correct the letdown of service as well as avoid any further recurrence.

I do hope that this incident will not deter you from visiting our property in the future, giving us the opportunity to recover and show you that we are indeed a hotel with a high standard of service.

Please kindly contact me directly and I will be pleased to ensure that you have the service you expect from our hotel.

Warm regards

Enzo Volpintesta
Hotel Manager
Castel Monastero

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We staid at Castel Monastero as a family with a baby in June 2013. Overall, we very much liked the ambiance of the beautifully restored old monastery. Also, we enjoyed the food in the two restaurants. Overall though, we felt the experience was a bit of a let down.

Some examples:
1) Room rates are comparable to similar quality hotels in Tuscany (we paid 550 EUR per night for a Junior Suite). However, it feels like the hotel tries to nickel and dime guests on everything else. The room service charge is 20 EUR. Entry to the spa when not booking a treatment is 40 EUR per person.
2) We had a few less than stellar experiences with the service. For example, the general manager personally carried our suitcases to the room and welcomed us. Nice touch - but part of our luggage got left in the car, and we then had to collect the remaining pieces ourselves. After two nights, we asked to move to a larger room, as the deluxe room we had booked felt small and the neighbours were very noisy. The hotel accomodated that against a reasonable upgrade fee. So far, so good. However, they apparrently damaged the baby bed when carrying it from one room to the other, and we had to call reception to get it fixed. Also, the new room was missing a water boiler (which we needed to prepare the baby food). So we had to call reception to bring one. The one they brought caused a short circuit and the lights went out in the room. After a bit of forth and back and a couple of trips down to reception it was finally fixed. What was quite shocking though was the attitude of the lady at reception - not a single apology for the inconvenience, instead she was insinuating in a quite rude way that we were seemingly to stupid to operate a water boiler.
Apart from these incidents service was generally fine to very good (especially at breakfast, and housekeeping) but also not spectacular. For example, on departure, they collected our luggage from the room and stowed it in our car, as would be standard for a hotel at this price point. At the hotel where we staid previously, they did the same - and cleaned the car, and put two bottles of cold water, and some local pastries, and a handwritten "have a safe trip" note into the car.
3) The menu in the Cantina restaurant, the less formal one of the two they have, while being very nice, was also very limited. There were I think only 3 main courses, no daily specials, and the menu did not change while we were staying.
4) Street prostitutes are lining the main road going by near the hotel. I understand this is beyond the control of the hotel as it is a public road, and of course not happening on the hotel premises. It was not at all threatening - we were primarily surprised to see this in the Italian countryside, but we also felt it was slightly offputting.

In summary, I would say the hotel pretends slightly more than it delivers - member of the Leading Hotels of the World, a Gordon Ramsay branded gourmet restaurant, a spa supervised by a celebrity physician, a super-professional web site. That creates very high expectations, but we found the other places where we staid at during our Tuscany trip offered more genuine warmth, and more professionalism - and less pretentiousness.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Guerteltier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enzo V, Direttore at Castel Monastero, responded to this reviewResponded November 4, 2013

Dear Guerteltier ,
firstly, I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to post your review and for your invaluable feedback regarding your recent stay at Castel Monastero. The feedbacks we receive are very important to us and help us ensure that we continuously deliver the excellent standards which we are renowned for. We sincerely apologise that on this occasion the hotel did not meet your expectations and that it not live up to the usual excellent standards we consistently strive to provide. Please rest assured that I have personally investigated the matter and proper action has been taken in order to correct the letdown of service as well as avoid any further recurrence. I do hope that this incident will not deter you from visiting our property in the future, giving us the opportunity to recover and show you that we are indeed a hotel with a high standard of service.
Please kindly contact me directly and I will be pleased to ensure that you have the service you expect from our hotel.

Warm regards,

Enzo Volpintesta
Hotel Manager
Castel Monastero

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2013

We spent 3 nights in this wonderful hotel near Siena. It's only 15' from Siena center and it's located in an old monastery surrounded by vineyards and lavender.
The place is marvelous and peaceful.
Staff is very helpful, and Enzo the General Manager is always ready to help (He recommended us a great restaurant nearby called la Bottega del 30).
Our room was beautiful, very calm, very clean and with a very nice bathroom.
The hotel provides all the amenities you can expect.
The's 2 restaurant in the hotel, La Cantina is a typical Tuscan restaurant and la Contrada is a Gordon Ramsey gourmet restaurant. It's good but we preferred La Cantina, more relaxed and really great local food.
There's 3 outdoor pools (and one indoor) which are great looking and really welcome after a day in Siena in August.

We really enjoyed our stay and we look forward to returning in Castel Monastero.

Enzo, thanks to you and your staff for the great experience we had.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank pdardel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enzo V, Direttore at Castel Monastero, responded to this reviewResponded October 14, 2013

Dear Mr. PDardel,
we are glad that your stay here at Castel Monastero, has met your expectations from all points of view, from the rooms to the spa, enjoying even the dishes in our restaurants.
While waiting to be able to give you more pleasant moments of relaxation, we would like to thank you for the sincere and valuable comments left on Trip Advisor. An affectionate greeting and see you soon.

Enzo Volpintesta
Hotel Manager
Castel Monastero

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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