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Reviewed May 30, 2018

Locanda Abbazia di Valserena - CSAC

Stayed here twice, once in April en-route to Ancona and then Greece, and again on the return trip.

The best place to be when stuck between a rock and a hard place is somewhere in between the rock and hard place and this was one of those places with massive potential let down by underinvestment and overworked and tired staff.

The front line staff, were and are fantastic. Polite, informative and good humoured. The food is not that clever and seems to be restricted to a range of Pasta, cheeses, and various hams. There is no menu (this may have changed now) and we were given a verbal list of Pasta this, Pasta that, Pasta left, right centre and somewhere in between. Maybe we were unlucky but the Pasta was not that good. Our host however and his female assistant were truly skilled at making a rather bland offering of boring foodstuffs appear secondary to the beautiful surroundings of this magnificent old range of buildings, and the peacefulness of the location, albeit also being a place of learning for students and the odd encounter with male bravado student buffoonery and a few teenage faces full of angst and ‘no one understands just how cool I am’ expressions, ‘twas ever thus. The students seem to evaporate as the evening ensues and both our stays were peaceful and quiet – a big bonus when you’re tired from a long drive.

Indeed, this hostelry is located in a very quiet location and very conveniently from the motorway network for those en-route to their end destinations. Parking is private and safe but the car park is quite a way from the rooms so be prepared for a mini-hike before you reach the entrance to the bedroom areas of the hostelry.

The rooms are supposed to be austere I think, all part of the experience. There is now bedside lighting, a new addition, and also a kettle, another new addition. The showers are on the small side and cramped but the water is hot and the shower does the job. Our first visit was fine, we faced the rear of the building and the room was clean and the bed comfortable and king size double beds rather than standard doubles. It was on our second visit that we were truly disappointed with our room, in fact the whole bedroom building block smelt badly of damp and drains. We opened all the windows and propped open our door to enable some circulation of air, but sadly the smell prevailed and was rife throughout the whole building. The owners/caretakers/managers were obviously aware of this problem as the security door on the ground floor was wedged open to allow some air circulation – it did not help the problem.

Assuming this was a temporary issue, I would still recommend a stay at this beautiful venue for many reasons, but the owners/trustees need to be aware that their staff are in my opinion unreasonably stretched, and the bedrooms need to be at the very least, free of unpleasant aromas.

Room Tip: Check in advance if they have a private event during your stay as this might block your access to the on site restaurant.
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Andreasofmayfair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 19, 2018

The grounds are beautiful, and the rooms are generous and very clean, but what really stood out was the great service. We arrived in the late afternoon as it was starting to rain and were greeted warmly in the restaurant, then escorted to our rooms. Our family members had booked a suite, and their room was HUGE, including a crib nook, and large sitting room, 2 sleeping rooms, and a bathroom. Our room was also generous, with great views.

When we arrived, they were just wrapping up a birthday party in the restaurant, and we'd decided to stop for a glass of wine. The hosts were more than generous, sharing the extra catering from the party at no charge to go with our wine. We had dinner the first night in the restaurant, and ordered 4 different pasta dishes, each just as delicious as the next.

The restaurant is closed Monday nights, but we'd picked up provisions in town and on our tasting tour, and there was a refrigerator and plenty of space in the suite room to sit around and picnic.

The hosts were particularly helpful with re-heating baby food, providing a high chair at eat meal and generally checking our satisfaction throughout our 2-night stay. Would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank dzinermer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 15, 2017 via mobile

We booked it not knowing what we were doing. So glad we did. The signs from the roads are non existent. Once we figured it out at dark, we LOVED it. The bar and bartender were exceptional. We had the best Gin Mare and Italian tonics!. The rooms were spartan as they should be. GO YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED. Very unique experience

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank sandiebig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 20, 2017

We stayed one evening on our two week trek through Italy and found the place to be very quiet and peaceful. It has a lot of history behind it and some interesting art on display, The rooms (refurbished monk's quarters) were unique and sizeable. The rooms were also very clean and well maintained. Breakfast was included and it provided a great start to our day. We were very pleased we made it our Parma lodging choice.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank zimmys57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 13, 2016 via mobile

If you love looking at art you must stay here. This is a really unusual, beautiful 1-2 night stay. The Abbey consists of the lodging and a magnificent modern art museum. I loved it. I think the museum might be free on Fridays. It is in the middle of farming fields and an industrial area but once you are inside the actual complex you do not feel the industry around you. It is about a 10-15 drive into Parma. My husband and I spent two days going to magnificent castles in the area -- the city of Parma was not appealing to us. The man running the Abbey (I do not remember his name) and the restaurant is wonderful!!!! Like the other reviews, I had the feeling he does everything. We had dinner there one night and it was very very good. Your other choice is to drive into Parma, figure out parking and a restaurant. Breakfast is fine. The hotel room itself was very bare. It was comfortable but not warm and cozy at all. Temperature was fine inside the room but it felt like a room in a museum, except for being a museum, we thought it could have better art on the walls, bedside lamps (there are none and lighting was not that pleasant), maybe a coffee/tea machine, nicer linen. I am really happy we got to experience this rather than staying in a hotel inside the city of Parma, which it turned out, I didn't care for very much.

Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank ebbravo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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