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Monteriggioni: Relais Castel Bigozzi

Strada di Bigozzi, 13-Localitè Strove, Phone: 0577.30.00.00 ; Fax: 0577.30.00.01
www.icastelli.net/relaiscastelbigozzi.htm

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Reviewed by: Wendy & Rob from CA, review #495

When: 2001, 2002, 2003

A wonderful 5 star farmhouse surrounded by fields and hills, just minutes away from Siena and San Gimignano. Wonderful.

We have stayed in Castel Bigozzi three years in a row, with our reservations already made for October 2004, making it four trips there.

They offer thirteen flats in the main part of the castle and three in the annexes. They have two and three-room flats all with whirlpool bath or shower. There are TV's with satellite, safes in the rooms, and according to the brochure nine of the flats have air conditioning. There are telephones in all rooms. They offer a conference room, too.

The two girls who run this property, Silvia and Stephania, are so nice and helpful. They set up a traditional breakfast buffet each morning around 8:30am, which is an additional 10€ pp, I believe. The breakfast consists of fresh blood orange juice, regular orange juice and apple juice. Various cereals and fruit. They always have yogurt; I prefer the banana. They have sliced salami of various types and wedges of local cheeses. They always have fresh cornetti or croissants. They will fix you either 'American' coffee or cappuccino, and tea is available. Aqua naturale or frizzante. A terrific way to start the day.

The breakfast room is a bright and lively room with checked table cloths and lovely place settings on the tables, and is just off of our apartment #5. We prefer to eat our breakfast each morning on our large terrace, which looks out onto the fields and hills facing Casole and a few other hill towns. If you walk around to the other side of the property you can see everything from San Gimignano to Colle, Poggibonsi and as far as Castelina in Chianti.

Our apartment has french doors from both the 'sitting/dining/kitchen' room and the bedroom. The sitting/dining/kitchen area also has the tv, safe and sofa that opens to a bed. The bedroom has a large armoire and table with chair, bedside tables with lamps and a comfortable bed. (I think it is a queen size, but Rob thinks it is only a double.) But either way, we had room.

The bathroom has two sinks, one in the hallway leading into the bathroom, and another sink in the area with the toilet and bidet. Ours was a shower with lots of jets and a seat. Though this is one of those showers with the tricky doors you have to close one then the other and not the other way around. Good water pressure! This is really important to us, I have long-to-my-waist hair and Rob has a full thick head of hair.

The castello floors are stone tiles and the ceilings are crossbeamed holding up tiles. The exterior walls are all stone, interior walls are finished white. A really beautiful place to hang up your coat and hat.

The only thing in the negative about Bigozzi, might be the soundproofing isn't very good. So in the morning we can hear whoever is setting up breakfast and we can hear whoever is above us.

Check in is 3PM until 8PM. Somebody is in the office until 10PM, then they go home. Everybody staying there has a key to the front door and everybody is asked to lock said door after they return for the night. As of this past year they have hired security that comes on duty at midnight and stays until 6AM or so. He does rounds all night long. (It was strange for us this year; we didn't know they had hired security and at around 5:30AM I heard somebody turn the TV on that is out in the sitting area and I was worried we hadn't locked the front door when we came in the previous night. I went and checked and the door was locked so I went back to bed. Later we were informed about security. Phew, we had locked up!) As it turned out we were the only people staying at the Bigozzi that night, so we had the place to ourselves, along with Mr. Watchman.

Okay, pricing: the apartment we take is usually 219€ including breakfast. I know they have deals,(sshhhh- we will be paying less in Oct. and definitely paid less on our past visits.) Check their website for SPECIALS! And to see their other properties.

There is a large, lovely pool flush with the lawn, that includes everything from grass to clover. There is a Jacuzzi and the views again are wonderful. In October the pool is not heated, but kept crystal clean and inviting if you don't mind cooooool. We like to take a glass of wine out at sunset and sit in the clover. An exquisite time of day there.

We can't recommend Castel Bigozzi more!!!! Everything about it works. 1) The building is so warm, inviting and beautiful. And in perfect condition. And very clean! 2) The people who work there clearly love where they are, because they are soooo kind, warm, friendly and helpful. 3) The location is ideal to visit other Tuscan cities - Siena and Castelina-in-Chianti are both a 20 minute drive away, Monteriggioni-in your back yard, Volterra-an hour or a bit more drive, San Galgano-better part of an hour, Montalcino is an hour drive as is Florence, and San Gimignano is about 30 minutes away. 4) Restaurants: Bar D'Orso minutes away, Casalta at the bottom of the 'white' road from the hotel. Volpaia 45 minutes, Castelina (check Dean's restaurant list on SlowTrav) - all are only about 20 to 30 minutes drive away. PERFECT! :-) PERFECT! :-) PERFECT :-)

So, can I write or say more? I am sure I can, you might want to check our 2003 Trip Report on Slow Travel or you can always ask on the SlowTalk message board. CinCin

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

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