Satisfaction Very Good
Value Score No Data
Good For Solo
Toss Up In Tuscany
It is good IF one does not have to pay the RCI Half-Board of Euros 740 for two. The food is not worth it, and the exhorbitant price of wines that their restaurant charges is prohibitive. They even charge Euro 2 for a bottle of water, which is unheard of. On the other hand, the breakfast is nice and very comprehensive. In the past a 'continental' breakfast would include a cup of tea or coffee, a rosette bread with butter and jam and a biscotti. But nowadays, with lots of Americans coming in, the 'continental breakfast includes plenty of other things and can please almost all types of palates. They also charge Euro 8 for each time you use their laundry machine, and Euro 15 for internet use.
1) My suggestion for a more memorable/enjoyable holiday would be to remove the obligatory HALF-BOARD non-sense, 2) Allow guests to have tap-water free of charge, and 3) Reduce the price of wines served at the table to a more affordable level. Here in the Napa Valley of California a perfectly good quality wine is available for $8. So why not in Tuscany, which is famous for its wines.
Unique Quality: The uniqueness in this lies in the fact that its paddles attached to the Ciufenna river once drove a mill that ground wheat, maize, etc., and also for more than a decade a turbine to generate electricity for the town of Loro Ciufenna.
They change thesheets and towels once during mid-week which is normal for a 'residence', but there were lots of bed bugs in the foldable bed in the living/dining room. So if you are going buy a can of crawling insects spray from the hardware store in town.
The swimming pool and tennis courts are all very nice, but who want to go for a swim or play tennis when there are so many interesting places to see in Tuscany.
We would like to have given this joint 5 stars, but for the above 3 reasons, which sent our budget for this holiday way beyond our estimate We think it deserves only 3 stars at the most.
Directions: Exit at Valdarno on A1 Autostrada. Follow the sign for "Loro Ciufenna". Turn left AFTER the bridge on the river. Turn right into the parking area. See an archway with 1875 written on top, which is the entrance to the La Ferriera Residence.
Tuscany's worst unit and worst food
We spent a week at LaFerriera in Tuscany. We were forced to take the 1/2 board since we were with RCI. Not only was it outrageously expensive (over $1000 for the week) but the dinners were horrible. We were forced to BUY either bottle water or wine with the meals. We were not allowed to have tap water (perfectly safe). The food was awful. We had RAW (literally) beef appetizers one night. The pasta was so bland and undercooked that it was tough to chew. The meat dishes were small and bland. The desserts were ice cream, fruit, etc. with this expensive meal. The service was very slow and the maitre d' spent his time flirting with the single women and also belittling you if you didn't eat everything. We had asked to be excused from the 1/2 board and were told we had to participate while another RCI couple was told they didn't have to do the 1/2 board.
Our unit was sparcely furnished. The "sofa" was 2 mattresses on a platform which was uncomfortable to sit on. The only other seating were 4 cain chairs at the table. The TV was very tiny and only one for the entire unit. The shower was so small that you could bearly turn around and one of the shower doors was hanging. The lighting was so dim at night that you couldn't read. The bed was rock hard and the pillows were pancake flat. The outside stoop was thick with leaves after a storm and was not swept for 2 days so leaves were tracked into our unit. On towel exchange day the unit was NOT swept of these leaves. There were no kitchen towels, dishcloths, dish soap, hot pads, or paper towels so having a partial kitchen was useless. There was NO heat in the unit since it had been turned off on May 3rd. On May 9th and the rest of the week we needed heat at night. There were no luggage racks. There was no hairdryer. There were no activities. It was too cold to go swimming. They did offer resort transporation to Florence and other cities for outrageous prices and you had to have a minimum number of people going.
We would NEVER return and are sorry that we spent a week there this time.
Unique Quality: The swimming pool looked nice but it was too cold to go swimming. There was a waterfall which ran the mill in olden days, but all the mold from all the water triggered my asthma.
Directions: Hard to find resort in Loro Ciuffenna, Italy. It is in the Tuscany region of Italy.
Avoid at all costs
[The manager responded to a Trip Advisor review of 2 years ago and accused the reviewer of being economical with the truth ... but we experienced exactly the same problems in our stay recently ... so nothing has changed in 2 years and ***the manager was the one being economical with the truth***]
The catalogue of imperfections is huge (I will not even try to prioritise):
x) the food is truly poor and, at best, pretentious - frequently inedible
x) the food is seriously over priced (especially if staying through RCI)
x) *everything* (except, perhaps, breathing) costs extra (WiFi connectivity is ludicrously priced, swimming towels are only an option if you purchase from new (also at a ludicrous price))
x) the loo roll is rationed (!)
x) breakfast supposedly served until 10 am but was packed away *every* day by 09h20
x) the staff are downright rude if you arrive at breakfast after 09h30
x) the bathroom walls are covered in mould in the shower and were very mouldy behind the towel hooks
x) the furniture is sparse to the point of being ridiculous (one couch for accommodation for 4 people is the *least* of the complaints)
x) payment for half board was *required* on arrival (at 54 Euros per person per night!) when staying through RCI
x) zero (!!!) flexibility on what nights you wanted food and when you didn't
x) half board does not include *any* drinks at dinner (not even water on the table!)
x) the wine was woefully overpriced (and only 1 option per night!)
x) one night was a meal of fish-only courses (0 other options and the 'soup' at the start of the meal was disgusting)
x) one of the evening meals made 3 out of 4 members of our party ill (and that wasn't even the fish-only one)
x) sheets and towels are only changed once in a 1 week stay
x) the food was *never* hot (not once in a week!)
x) the restaurant is made up of plastic tables and chairs
x) the tables in the restaurant are covered in paper table cloths
Some stuff that seriously needs updating:
i) the 'safe' in the room was key-based ... so who knows who else has keys to the 'safe' (coded safes are available on the open market) ... and it was incredibly small
ii) the washing up facilities did not include any washing up liquid
iii) the TV was the size of a postage stamp
iv) the one sofa-bed in the room was truly uncomfortable as a seat ... woe-betide anyone trying to use it as a bed
v) the breakfast was alright, but is continental breakfast only (boiled eggs an added extra) ... as an Italian breakfast it is fine ... but nothing what you might expect of a 4-star place.
One of the staff members was as helpful as she could be (much to her credit) but in the terrible situation she was constantly put in she did an admirable job (including some hints as to local events and places to see, maps and details) ... but that all pales into utter insignificance in the light of the general mess that this place is.
Basically: coming back to our accommodation each night was a particular low-light of the week in Italy.
Unique Quality: The village itself is, indeed, nice.
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