O.K. so you are not coming to the rolling hills of Tuscany for it's great internet service. But it is 2017 and there is no sound reason why wi-fi shouldn't be at least passable and available unlimited and at all times. The person I was with had a bit better luck then me, but he wakes up at like 5 or 6 AM and I sure as hell am not going to do that on vacation just to get some decent internet time in. So the wifi is one of the main reasons why i didn't give the 5 star rating. I hope they do something about this in the future, because I have read other reviews complaining about this.
The view is spectacular. One morning the sheep were being herded and it was a lovely sight to hear their bells clanging and to see only them for miles and miles. That be said the location is a bit remote. If you haven't rented a car this is not where you want to stay. At least not if you want to explore the area. The village of Scansano is pleasant enough. A typical smaller Tuscan village. I'd be curious to know why David Leavitt chose it.
Matteo our host is a great representative of the family business. He's great at selling the wine. Every type we tried was excellent. And he also suggested a couple things we could do in town both of which were great. One was an Enoteca where we could purchase the wines and oils we had tried at the Casale. Another one a characteristic place that sells cheese and cold cuts. It had a very cool place to eat a simple meal downstairs in the cantina. We missed one of our included lunch meals by going there and we were satisfied.
Ironically our package came with what was called a "light lunch" but we actually could have whatever we wanted. The first two days we didn't even go and ate lunch outside the area. The last two days we had lunch there and were very happy we did since we could ask for things that we had had at dinner and really enjoyed.
Our package also included use of the beauty farm facilities, sauna in a cave, Finnish sauna and a 25 minute massage, and a whirlpool. None of these things were much of a great experience for the typical person who has had great massages or has taken saunas before. The masseur in fact works alone and is very over-booked so it's not easy to get the appointment when you want it. I guess you could contact and book right after you reserve. But who does that? I have no idea about the quality of all the treatments, but come on the same woman doing everything? If she's giving a facial she can't give a massage, and vice versa.
The pool is nice. But there are too many kids around it to consider it a relaxing part of the trip. It's also a really long haul down the hill. The setting is pretty but again it's just a basic swimming pool with a pool bar that has limited hours. I heard that you need tokens for the whirlpool there but we didn't inquire.
Some people were on equestrian or bike riding vacations. So perhaps for them basing their trips more around the Casale was suitable. But we wanted to go places and do things during the day. Saturnia and it's fabulous thermal baths are close by. Also some very beautiful beaches and the posh port towns which have connections to lovely islands.
Hands down it was all about the dinner. We absolutely loved our four course meals. We also were glad that the menu was the same all four nights. That way we got to try a few things and revisit our favorite ones again. It was nice to stumble back to the room a little tipsy and know we could just turn in cause there wasn't much of anything to go out for anyway
The appetizer we really enjoyed the most was Insalatina pere e parmigiana and filet di cinghiale con crostini. A few of the others were just basic. Something you could find on any Italian menu so they didn't appeal to us.
We both loved the Pappardelle al Cinghiale the most as our first dish. I wanted to try the authentic Tuscan type stews and soups I've heard so much about. They were good and rustic but they aren't what I'm going to remember from having come here.
I will remember the Cinghiale second dish with the fabulous polenta and my friend raved about the Bio Galletto. But I'm not ordering chicken at a Michelin rated restaurant. I'm far more curious about other things. The tagliata was delicious, very high quality beef.
The deserts were good. But they weren't spectacular. I ate them because they were included. But none were especially interesting or enticing to a foody.
The breakfast buffet was solid. You could choose from five or six different cakes or pies. There was some cold cuts and cheese and fruit. A fresh yogurt section and make your own Espresso machine. There was also a more commercial coffee machine that made decent Cappuccino and other coffee and tea drinks. There was a toaster for the bread that you sliced yourself but it didn't work that well. I would put the bread through twice and then just give up. There was also a machine that had several fresh juices served. I definitely overdid it on the breakfast. So it wasn't a high point for me. I would have preferred less selection but more delicious things.
All in all we had a lovely time and ate so well. The staff was kind and helpful. I would suggest a visit here to anyone who was exploring this part of Tuscany. But I do think that perhaps other parts of Tuscany are a bit more interesting. It sort of depends on what you're looking for.
One other thing we didn't care for was the balcony. It's connected to the room right next door. So you'd go out on the balcony and other people would be out there too. Just our luck the French family staying next door were always out there. So we mostly didn't use it cause we didn't like feeling observed. I think that spending a little money on a renovation would remove this issue. This is probably the other reason that I didn't give the Casale a 5 star review. Again a little thing that wouldn't take much to change but that would be a good idea to do so.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Embedded in a fascinating countryside and close to the old village of Maremma, you will be guest of the four star Resort Antico Casale di Scansano, which emerged from the restoration of an ancient farm, in Tuscany. In the hotel, the spa is based on the oriental ideal of harmony between body and mind. You can discover the secrets of Maremman cuisine (the resort offers also cookery course), while enjoying an unforgettable horseback riding adventure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Antico Casale Di Scansano