3,2 sur novembre 15, 2010
This B&B, situated in the tiny mountain hamlet of Brandeglio, lies at the very top end of a single daunting road so twisty, steep, and narrow as to make passing an oncoming vehicle a test of both faith and will. The pint-sized hamlet of Brandeglio obviously holds charms for some, as a few other reviews prove. The buildings were mostly featureless white stucco, dulled with age and neglect. The Castagni d’Oro B&B has a neat, Cotswoldy appearance with fresh white walls throughout, handsome old stone tiles for flooring, beams in the ceiling, comfortably frumpy furniture, and two quite acceptable guest rooms upstairs. The breakfasts were OK but hardly distinctive, and the dinners felt minimal. At other places we stayed at, the food and wine kept coming and coming, and all of it was delicious. At Castagni d’Oro, you felt lucky to get a second glass of wine, and the entrees tasted like British pub food. But you’re pretty much stuck with dining there, for driving to and from the nearest town, Bagni di Lucca, feels dicey, especially at night. Adrian, ever affable, is very smart, well read, and articulate, with an informed opinion on everything. I found him a mine of useful information about all things Italian, and he speaks the language well, too, which can be really handy. But if you arrive tired, or if you’re not interested in learning all he has to teach you, he’ll exhaust you with his garrulousness, which is almost literally nonstop. You really don’t converse with Adrian; you simply listen to a monologue. Initially, this is charming. Eventually, though, it wears. Louise, his wife, is ever pleasant and ever conscientious, but she’s reduced to functionary status here, deferring at all times to her husband and generally offering nothing more than a perpetual, slightly dazed smile, no doubt matching my own. We stayed at Castagni d’Oro two nights—two more than perhaps we should have.
Réponse du propriétaire
It seems unfair to compare 2 rainy November nights in our budget B&B with, not mentioned in this review, over 3 sunny weeks in 5-star luxury B&Bs in Chianti with their own restaurants, farms, vineyards and olive groves - costing twice our rate. We were told everything was fine so were unaware of any problems or dislikes Italy is 75% mountains, most villages are up mountains so roads are twisty, steep and narrow. It’s geography Our 1650-built hamlet is not a pink Disney theme park, but a conservation area. By law the houses must remain unchanged We are happy our house, guestrooms and furniture impressed them, albeit frumpy whatever that means Ample breakfasts are included in the price unlike at their other B&Bs. So food and wine at the other B&Bs “kept coming and coming” presumably the bill kept growing and growing. Our meals are made fresh, drinks included at only 15 euro, half what they paid at their other B&Bs plus drinks. Guests can eat at the village bar, bring their own food or drive to the many restaurants and bars in Bagni di Lucca, just 15 minutes away As for speaking non-stop, it feels true as from arrival there was a constant barrage of questions to be answered. But unlike the other Italian B&Bs we are English so were able to answer the interminable questions. My wife was hardly spoken to so was able to get on with running the guesthouse. But I had to answer the next question and would also have had a dazed smile, if only I had the time Ours Budget B&B has the lowest tariff around but 5-star service for half the price is beyond even our capabilities. We offer more facilities than others like LCD TVs with British reception, kettles, coffee, private parking Told many times of their 3 fantastic weeks in luxury B&Bs with farms and restaurants, we appreciate if they expected 5-star luxury and found they had booked 2 nights at our budget priced B&B by mistake, it could be quite annoying especially in the rain
4,4 sur septembre 21, 2009
This B & B was a lovely surprise. The room we had was beautifully designed and decorated and had a tranquil view. The windey road leading to this hilltop was described in the write up and so we were prepared for it. We were served a Large continental breakfast with as much coffee and tea as required. Our hosts were very relaxed and friendly and even provided an evening meal when we requested one. As walkers we were also provided with a packed lunch when we asked. The local bar with its traditional Tuscan fare and wines was very enjoyable. We would have no hesitation in returning to Castagnie di Oro if we were to travel in this beautiful area again. Many thanks Louise and Adrian for such a lovely break.