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“A step out of time”
Review of Borgo Pretale

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Borgo Pretale
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Sovicille
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A step out of time”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

This was our third trip to Borgo Pretale, but the first in 10 years, and we wondered how it had held up. Perhaps it was a silly concern, as the buildings date from the 13th century! But it was much as we remembered it. We started to decompress on the familiar winding drive to the top of the hill through the woods---a step out of time. The car park is discreetly tucked away out of sight, but just a few yards from the hotel, and so does not interfere with the illusion that we were seeing Borgo Pretale as people have for so many centuries.

The tower room was just as we remembered it, with a big bathroom, comfortable, elegant bedroom, and an enormous living room shared by the two rooms on the tower's top floor. It offers three-sided views over the countryside, with nary a road or building in sight---just acres of fields, vineyards and woods. It is a hike up the stairs, however, so if you are faint of heart or limb, you may want to choose a lower floor or one of the cottages.

The staff were delightful, especially Davide on the desk and Sonia and Jane in the restaurant. If there has been any slippage, it's in the restaurant. Breakfast is still that peculiar Italian assortment of fruit, pastries, salami, cheese and cereals--we find that in most places. When it's warm enough, breakfast is served on the patio overlooking miles of hills, valleys and distant mountains. Lunch was not served in September, which surprised us, but was not a huge inconvenience as we were usually out and about during the day. And there's always the Jolly Cafe in Sovicille, about 15 minutes away.

Dinners were quite good, but not as exceptional as I remembered from earlier visits. One can, however, now order a la carte, rather than the half-board three full courses Borgo Pretale exclusively offered 10 years ago. (That is still available at Euros 32 per night, I think, if you let them know when booking.) As we often had pretty substantial lunches elsewhere, the option to have a lighter dinner was welcome.

The pool is beautiful and, like the car park, hidden among the trees so that it doesn't interfere with the medieval feel of this little cluster of buildings. Tennis and bacci ball courts, as well as a gym, are also available. In every direction there are fig trees, lavender, olive trees and rolling hillsides to delight the eyes. And, in the case of the fig trees, the palate.

We took day trips to the myriad hill towns in this part of Tuscany--most are within an hour's drive. Siena is just 25 minutes away, Monteriggioni a few minutes north, San Gimignano and Volterra off to the west. Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Asciano and others are of similar distances.

Borgo Pretale offers excellent value, especially if you stay a week or more, as we did. It was not our goal to see every single sight in Tuscany, and we made no attempt to do so. Instead, we took each day as it came, infusing it with as much or little ambition as we felt after breakfast. One day we simply moved from the gardens to the pool to the living room upstairs--and read our books.

We can highly recommend this lovely hidden gem.

Room Tip: The tower rooms are more elegant and atmospheric, but the cottages have their own rustic charm--and...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JKFinNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorgoPretale, Direttore at Borgo Pretale, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review. We are very lucky to work with people that appreciate a place like our hotel, full of history, character and with a strategic position to visit the beautiful surroundings.

We are happy to read you find the rooms as beautiful as you remembered from you last trip, if not better. Thank you also for the appreciation of our staff: Davide, Sonia, Jane and all of us remember you with pleaseure and look forward to seeing you next year!

Best Regards

Antonella Haberling Licata
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We went here and fell in love with this place. Really good food, excellent service, nice swimming pool and awesome views over Tuscany. We really recommend this beautiful place if you´re in the area. We went here instead of staying in Siena.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sebastian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
1 review
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Once a Year Tuscany, once a year Borgo Pretale since year 2001. Beautiful location, amazing rustic buildings on the top of the hill, the most friendly and professional people makes us always feel like in home! The real luxury of the hotel are the wonderful mentality of the people, the original Tuscany food, the great appreciation of the ancient buildings, and the timeless surroundings!
Thank you for the great hospitality! Thank you for the wonderful time! Thank you for always giving us such comfortable feeling "simply like in home"! See you soon, we can't leave "our home" so long time away!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Lu Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
150 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I loved the location, the reception was so friendly and couldn't be more accomodating. Yes of course the room was dark, but the beauty of the hills, the gardens, the view, the sound of birds singing, nature all around was simply beautiful, I will definitely return with my husband as I went alone due to work. You must go and visit, it is truly a magical beautiful place without all the luxury, this was just simple and amazing. Thank you for making me feel so welcome......

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Natalia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Level Contributor
88 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

This B&B has the feel of being in the country, but is truly only 25-30 min. from Siena Be prepared to drive the last 2 miles on a dirt road. It is in a beautiful setting and was very quiet. The room we had (#25) was spacious but very dark. You had to use a flashlight to get clothes out of the wardrobe. The bathroom was small but adequate and modern. We were dismayed to find that Italy does not allow people to run their heat after May 1 (or so we were told). Our room was very cold the first night and we were given a space heater that was very loud. The unit had a full kitchen, however I am not sure if anything but the fridge worked. There were no kitchen utensils available. The grounds had hiking trails, tennis, archery, and a pool. The staff was very nice. The only exception was an older lady (who I would guess is the owner). Everyone else dressed very professionally. She did not. She was not helpful or friendly. She needs to let the staff handle her guests if she is truly the owner. All in all it is a place I would recommend.

Room Tip: You might ask for a room with a lot of light
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank drose007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
1,054 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 845 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2013

The Borgo Pretale left us feeling ambivalent about our visit. As the name implies, it was once a fortress. Other than the building shape and construction, there are few indications of its past use. We were very impressed with many features and disappointed with others. Let me start with the positives and work from there.

Positives:
• It is situated over a mile up a partially paved road through field and forest. The buildings sit majestically on the peaceful and calm hillside.
• The grounds are well maintained yet still rustic. The various buildings give the authentic look of a small village surrounding a fortress.
• The appearance of our room was quite nice. It accommodated three people, although we were two. There was an upper balcony with a bed and table. The room blended massive timbers and old furniture with mid 20th Century utilities.
• Toiletries were appropriate to the 4-Star rating.
• There are many gardens, sun terraces and outdoor activities.

Neutral Comments:
• The breakfast is adequate, but with nothing special. One morning the cappuccino was awful. The next morning it was OK.
• You do not expect to have good internet connections in a building with thick stone walls. The management is clear that the Internet might not work in every room and they provide a room behind Reception for connectivity. We could not get the Internet to work in our room on the first day. On the second through fourth days it worked fine.

Negatives:
• The parking area is in a forest a short walk over an uneven, unpaved road. It rained every day and muddy shoes were a constant problem.
• We ate our first dinner in the restaurant and were disappointed with the food preparation. Were this a restaurant review, I would have given it 2.5 Points. The wine list was the highlight. Service was standard. Portion sizes were generous, but the preparation was uninspired and the pork was tough. We did not eat there again.
• The bathroom was Mid 20th Century, with an old tub, sink, bidet and toilet. The bathroom floor flooded after each shower or bath. At first we thought the flood was our fault. But in 3 days of observation, it became clear that the plumbing leaked.
• The bathroom fan was so loud that it could not be used if someone was sleeping in the adjoining room. The fan had also not been cleaned in quite some time, which often leads to the deterioration of the fan bearings. That might have been the initial cause of the noise.
• Bring your own light bulbs as those provided in the bathroom and at the bedsides are woefully inadequate.
• The “Services and Facilities” Guide suggests, “Should any reason for dissatisfaction arise, please contact immediately the Reception desk (sic) or the Management. We all at Borgo Pretale shall do our best to make your holiday a memorable one.” I guess that means it will be memorable that nothing was ever done to correct the last two problems above. The Manager at the Reception desk showed surprise, but could not or did not do anything to fix the problems; nor, did she ever offer an explanation as to why. However, on our last day there was a gentleman at the Reception desk who took an interest and was ready to have the maintenance man accompany me to the room to address all the problems. Unfortunately, we had already checked out and were leaving.

I am sorry to write such a negative review of such a lovely facility. Just prior to our visit, we stayed at another historic building where the staff worked very hard to make everything as perfect as humanly possible. The Management could have and should have done so here too.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 201. The lving area was nice, as was the view. If the toilet issues have been re...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DonPaulo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BorgoPretale, Direttore at Borgo Pretale, responded to this review, June 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

thank you for the time that you spent to write your review.
Every comment is really important to help us to improve our services.
We are glad that you liked the location of our hotel with his authenticity, our rooms that reflect the history of the place and the nature that surrounds Borgo Pretale.
We are sorry that you did not like our restaurants that is usually appreciated, especially from our Italian guests.
About the poor light in the bathroom we are really sorry if we didn’t solve immediately the small problem you told at the reception, but our maintenance service was involved in a lot of extraordinary maintenance due to the very bad weather conditions we have had during these days.
Please apologize and hoping to welcoming you again at Borgo Pretale, we remain yours sincerely,

Antonella Haberling
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bratislava, Slovakia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Borgo Pretale is the place where you can travel back in time!

We rent an apartment for 4 nights. The suit was lovely and just perfect. The houses are made of stone, outside there are wooden blinds in front of the windows and doors, there is also a private little terrace in front of each apartment.

The rooms are comfortable with vintage furniture, on the windows are lovely flowered curtains which gives a pleasant and warm feeling. The rooms are very clean and the staff is kind and helpful.

The food is excellent and also they have good wines. Wines are quite overpriced.

The location is also good: it is situated in the middle of the nature on a hill in the Heart of Tuscany quite close to Siena. It is a peaceful place where is a pleasure to get back at the end of the journeys.

I highly recommend this place! It was far the best accommodation in Tuscany during more than 1 week of travel there.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kalota k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Borgo Pretale

Property: Borgo Pretale
Address: Localita Borgo Pretale SNC, 53018, Sovicille, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Sovicille
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Sovicille
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Borgo Pretale 4*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Borgo Pretale is a heavenly retreat in the lush green hills of Siena.34 rooms located both in the XIIc. Tower and in the lovely cottages spread in the 2h garden.Restaurant with tuscan specialities and terrace with breathtaking view over the valley. Sporting activities: Tennis court, gym with sauna, archery, trekking, mountain biking and swimming poolConference room -ideal location for team building and outdoor training.Wedding and banqueting facilities.Open seasonly from April to October ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Borgo Pretale Sovicille
Borgo Pretale Hotel Sovicille
Borgo Pretale Italy/Sovicille, Tuscany

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