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Greve in Chianti: Albergo del Chianti

Piazza Matteotti

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Reviewed by: HGHSPL from CO, review #796

When: July 2004

Mixed experience at this hotel. Great location, but noisy at night and barely functioning air conditioning. {3 star}

Our experience at this 3-star hotel was mixed, but overall I would not be able to whole-heartedly recommend it. Still, we had a wonderful time during our stay.

We paid more for a room with air-conditioning, but found on our first day that the air-conditioning in our top floor triple room was not working well at all. It was barely cooling the area near the unit. We waited a few hours to make sure this was the case and then had the manager come up to look at it. He offered 2 or 3 different excuses for why it wasn't working and then said we didn't really need it because it cooled off at night.

It was very hot on these several days and although it probably did cool off at night, it was never comfortable to sleep with only the air-conditioning. The manager begrudgingly offered his office fan, which we accepted. This did help.

Our room was rather interesting; larger than we expected, with a loft area with two twin beds for our 17-year old daughter. Needless to say, it was even warmer up there, but there was a fan provided for the loft. The room was not really dirty, but not particularly clean, either.

The next morning, the manager did offer to show us another room, which we did go see. It was very small and our daughter would have needed to sleep on a chair that folded out into a small, uncomfortable-looking cot. This room was also not very cool, so we opted to stay in the larger room we already had. While we stayed here, we slept with the windows open and the fans running.

The piazza in Greve is very charming and looking out onto it with two windows was an experience both positive and negative. Since we had the windows open at night, the noise (and heat) did keep us from sleeping well. But it was charming noise! The town clock chimed every hour on the hour- including midnight of course! People were enjoying themselves into the wee hours at the several outdoor trattorie and children enjoyed playing soccer in the piazza by the statue until 11pm or midnight several nights. We are "early to bed" kind of people and planned to get up and get going each morning, so this did cause us to be a little draggy.

On the plus side, the pool area is well-cared for and very nice. There were tables around the pool and we got into a routine of returning in mid-afternoon from our Tuscan forays and each going to a different shop for wine, cheese, etc... for our afternoon break. The manager did fuss at my husband one afternoon for leaving crumbs on one of the tables. This seemed rude and unreasonable to me as we didn't really leave a mess. It's not like they were offering food at those times where we could have ordered from them, so I'm not sure what the problem was there.

Also on the plus side, the breakfast was pretty good and they had a very funny bird that made interesting noises periodically (a cat's meow, dive bomber noise, rather sneaky little "hey" sounds). We could still hear that bird in our heads for several days after we came home! A plus and negative: one morning after a fairly miserable night, I woke up early due to the noise (and I think smells) from a bakery that was almost directly under us. Rather than just stay there and be miserable, I got up and wandered the streets ... waiting for that bakery to open. That was fun - I got coffee at a cafe nearby and ate my pastry and bought bread for snacking later. I will treasure the memory of that solitary morning so I don't begrudge the night or the noise, really.

So as with many things in life, this was a "mixed bag", but overall was overpriced for what it was. I might stay there again, though, just for the sentiment. I believe we paid around 145 per night, which did include breakfast.

I just visited their website and they say there is a minibar in each room. We did not have one and neither did the other room we saw. Also - the television was broken. We certainly didn't care, but it is one of the amenities they claim.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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