Small, friendly English family-run B&B in a gorgeous old hilltop village house. Two clean and comfortable guestrooms with en-suite shower rooms, coffee, tea and biscuits and free WI-FI. Sunny terrace, lawned garden, private car parking and locked garage for motorbikes and bikes. The tranquil village sits high above Bagni di Lucca, with its thermal spa and health resorts, bars, restaurants, shops and sports facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, canoeing and horse riding. Walking is very popular, both around the villages and in the wider area, with designated marked trails and paths, one starting from outside our gate. Golden sandy beaches on The Riviera, fantastic gorges cut into marble mountains and the high, spectacular Apennine mountains are only an hour's drive. Beautiful places including Florence, Pisa, Sienna and the Cinque Terre are all easy to reach for fantastic days out.
3.2 on November 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.
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 on September 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.
Two bright, spacious non-smoking double rooms, the Blue room has a kingsize bed or twin beds and the Red Room has a double. Simply decorated and comfortably furnished with en-suite bathrooms with shower, quality towels, complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Firm mattresses and quality British bedlinen for a good night's sleep. 2 fold-out single beds and cot, free for the under-10s, a little extra for 11-16s and adults. Please ask about using both rooms, extra beds, no breakfasts, etc.
Nightly Rate: EUR 55 - EUR 60
Mountain-top village, Countryside, Mountains, Village, Wine country
Pisa, Italy (PSA-G. Galilei) 40 miles
From Bagni di Lucca drive north on SS12 road and after 2km turn right up hill at our yellow sign to Brandeglio. We are 50 yards from piazza. Park in private our driveway.
Antique Shopping, Art Galleries, Beach, Concert venue, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Live Music, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Ocean, Health Spa complex - discounted rates, Cycle routes, Walking routes, Extreme downhill biking, Para-gliding, quad bikes., Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Ruins, Ski area, Vineyard, Winery
Private Home Bed and Breakfast, Bed and Breakfast, Country Inn, Historic Inn, Villa
BBQ grill, CD player, Computer, Copier, DVD Player, Desk, Fax Machine, Fireplace, Internet Service, Parking, Radio, Satellite/Cable TV, TV, Telephone, Washer/dryer , Floor-standing cooling fans, Discount at Thermal Spa in Bagni di Lucca, Free WI-FI
Amenities Basket, Coffee/Tea facilities, In-room internet, Hairdryer, Wi-Fi
Bicycle rental, Bicycle riding trails, Bird watching, Downhill Skiing, Hiking trails, Horseback riding, Mountain Bike trails, Hill walking, Wild animal watching, Extreme downhill biking, Public swimming pools in Bagni di Lucca, Sight-seeing, Swimming, Tennis courts, Tennis racket rental
Adrian and Louise McCrae-Bell
We came to Tuscany from the New Forest in England in 2007 to set up and operate a new Bed and Breakfast with British standards of service and facilities, whilst enjoying the Italian lifestyle and of course.... the weather!