BEL SORRISO, HAMLET MONTEFIENALI, TUSCANY
This vacation was a special 40th wedding anniversary trip planned extensively for 2 years. Tuscany was WONDERFUL. Montefienali Hamlet was not as wonderful in many ways.
House was comfortable and well equipped except for a couple of items.
Authentic decor for a rustic Italian experience. Lot's of room for four.
Private patio, not overlooked at all.
Grounds were well maintained and very clean. Pool was beautiful though too cold when we were there in September/08.
Great place for a secluded get-away, peaceful and very quiet.
Saw lots of wildlife on the trip from the road to the Hamlet at night
HOTEL; This was the biggest disappointment of all. We chose this place because there was a functioning Hotel on site. We saw it as a ‘fall-back if we wanted to stay home and have a meal or a drink. IT WAS CLOSED. One of the web sites that advertise this property, states;
The on site Relais Villa Albizi hotel open from 1st April to 31st October. From 1st June until 30th September the hotel offers a restaurant open for lunch and dinner with a children's menu included, wine tasting events, cookery courses and a relax centre with sauna, massage and a hydro-massage, poolside bar service and a kitchen 'take away' service for guests who prefer to dine in the comfort of their own villa.[ www.to-tuscany.ca]
This is at best a ‘pipe dream’ and at worst a lie, The owner of Bel Sorriso told us when we arrived on September 13th 08 that the hotel was not open for lunch because it was the end of the season and that we should check to see when they were open for dinner, in truth the hotel was closed and the only person there was a woman who came in for a few hours each day to do paperwork. We also talked to the owners of one of the other houses who told us that the hotel had never really taken off and had been closed for some time. They have never had cooking classes, ever.
We found the hamlet to be very very isolated, it was 20 minutes up a mountain to the nearest paved road, and anyone with a time-sensitive health issue should think twice about staying here - it would be impossible to get an ambulance to the hamlet quickly
There are problems with the water supply. We lost water completely 3 times and lost hot water 2 or 3 more times.
No drip/electric coffee maker but there is a very small stove-top espresso maker (find out how to use one!)
No electric toaster
No coat hangers (but we left 30, so that shouldn't be a problem in future)