We have just returned from Tuscany and four nights at Albergo Villa Marta. We got married last year in Tuscany and decided to spend our first anniversary back there. The villa is beautiful and the scenery is stunning, although we saw very little of the surrounding areas, because, the villa was so lovely that it was hard to drag ourselves away from the luxurious pool area and the peace and tranquility of the villa.
We ate at the restaurant twice and the food was simple, unpretentious, delicious tuscan cusine. The tables were set out in the gardens with the hills as a backdrop - we could not have asked for a more romantic setting for our special occasion. The staff are also very helpful, pleasant and discreet. The rooms are elegant and they have kept the original character despite the recent restoration.
Although this was a fabulous place to stay in summer, I can imagine it would also be a wonderful hideaway for a winter break. We can't wait to return!
What a discovery!
We spent 2 nights at Albergo Villa Marta with our friends, Albany, who had been extolling its virtues to us over the last year. We have come to know Tuscany quite well recently but we have certainly now discovered the best location for any future holidays in the region. Villa Marta was everything that we hoped it would be; tranquil, elegant, beautifully furnished and with a strong personal touch from the charming owners. It is set in its own lovely grounds in a haven of calm tranquility and yet less than 10 minutes by taxi to Lucca and little more than 20 minutes to Pisa. Our only regret was having so little time at the hotel to appreciate all that it offers to travellers looking to unwind from the pace of daily life. We would strongly recommend Villa Marta and will be sure to use it again as our main base for exploring the region. Outstanding.
Beyond our Expectations
We stayed at Albergo Villa Marta for 4 nights at the end of July. We had two rooms: one for my husband and myself and one for our three teenage daughters. We booked based on feedback from Trip Advisor reviews and we were not disappointed!
The rooms we stayed in were spacious and the bathrooms were large as well. The staff could not have been more helpful, the food was very good (breakfast is included and we ate lunch there one day), the pool was perfect and the setting is peaceful. I would agree that a car is almost a necessity if you want to travel around. It is also a bit difficult to find based on the directions (in our case in the dark) but once we arrived it didn't matter anymore! Very close to Lucca and Pisa and they recommended some very good restaurants. The hotel only has 11 rooms which is part of its charm - one almost wishes it would remain undiscovered!
Charming Inn, Gracious Host
After an exhausting flight from the States and a meandering drive through beautiful moutains we arrived at Albergo Villa Marta. The directions we received were very easy to follow. The hotel was splendid! We were greeted by our charming host who recognized how tired we were; he fixed us a quick lunch of Tuscan fare then guided us to our room. The room was nicely appointed with a comfortable bed and all the basics we would expect. After a nap and an invigorating shower (note: wonderful bathroom) we felt ready to explore the walled city of Lucca, a short drive away.
The downstairs was transformed into a beautiful dining area with a comfortable sitting room for after dinner drinks. We enjoyed dinner sitting outside sipping aromatic wines which complimented the menu selections we had chosen. Post dinner we joined other guests in the sitting room to share our travel adventures.
Breakfast was a nice spread of traditional tuscan meats and cheeses; also eggs, cereals, juices, pastries, bread and fruits.
The tomatoes were so fresh they tasted like "summertime"! While we could have lingered over coffee sitting in the sun by the pool we chose to set out to see Pisa, another nearby city.
Our only regret was that we didn't stay the entire trip at the Hotel. Sadly, we departed for another location in southern Tuscany for the remainder of the trip. We look forward to the day when we can return to this beautiful villa.
A Gem Near Lucca
Date: August 8, 2006
Reviewer: A TripAdvisor Member, St. Louis MO, USA
We just returned from our one week stay at Albergo Villa Marta, and had to drop a line that the accomodations,service, and food are all magnificent.
I found Tuscany to be enchanting, much of it because of the gorgious villas throughout the region. This hotel gave us the Villa experience. Authentic exposed beam and tile ceilings, stone and tile floors, terraced landscaping with rugged stone walls, villa chapel, cut stone bordered pool, view of surrounding mountains. You can't take a bad picture of the place unless you include "we mere mortals" in the photo.
We had dinner at the hotel twice - make reservations earlier in the day - and it was as good as any place in the region that we visited, which is to say excellent.
The manager, Andrea, has an innate sense of what his guests require and directs his staff, that is courteous and efficient, effectively.
A few things we learned while in Lucca:
We flew in and out of Florence, but Pisa is much closer and has a larger and more reliable airport. The train to Florence is easier than using your car as it drops you off in city center, and the staff did a great job of informing us as to the train schedule and how to buy tickets from the automatic machines, they also secured reservations to the Acadamia and Uffizzi to save us time while in Florence.
The road down the mountain to Pisa (SS 12) is a beautiful drive and has a long tree lined stretch at the base, as well as ancient ruins to distract you as you negotiate the switchbacks. We ran in to very little traffic other than the last few city blocks from that direction. Again the staff gives great directions on how to get around.
Lucca itself has many information centers, but by the end of the week they were running out of their free maps which were quite helpful . Rent the bikes for a few hours of excercise on the road around the city on top of the magnificent walls or when you get tired of wallking through the streets along the main shopping streets, or hopping from piatza to piatza . On Wednesdays the old ampitheater turns into a market. We missed this and was told it was worthwhile.
Overall the hotel is great and is situated next to a remarkable town that is more relaxing than Florence or Pisa
We loved this place!
We loved the Villa Marta. Quiet, charming, good food and friendly people. I concur with the other reviewers about the attributes of this place - a great value and excellent time.
Charming,quite and relaxing
We spend 3 nights at the villa Marta as a starting point for a month long trip around Italy at the beginning of august,booked randomly on the net and mainly due to the good reviews and frankly we were not disappointed.
The Hotel or i should say this lovely restored Tuscan style villa is set off a main road tucked away in the middle of a lovely vignard at the end of a rather narrow and winding road roughly 5 to 6 km from Lucca...so a car is essential for moving around although the hotel will arrange any form of transport if you require including bycicles.The grounds are rather stunning and the gardens are really a pleasure to look at especially the swwimming pool area where many hours of peace and quite can be found ,being also properly looked after by some professional, attentive and unintrusive staff.
The rooms are beautifully restored and our in particular was rather spacious located on the first floor with a very large bathroom and a very powerfull shower and probably one of the best ( we did see 4 before choosing....which is rather unusual in this time and age ...good marks for that ! ) as it was on the corner of the building and kind away from everything.Some of the rooms have direct access to the main garden which also is part of the restaurant/breakfast area outside but perhaps is not the best place to be as there could be quite a lot of noise and also the door to your room is the only access and window at the same time so privacy is out of a question.The rest of the main areas are really nicely decorated and a lot of attention to details has been put in to it.
Breakfast is served outside and frankly the standard and quality of food served is particularly good and nothing is too much for the staff if you ask .We did not have the pleasure of eating in the restaurant as it needs to be booked in the morning being only open in the evening ( ...not really sure at 8 am what i would like to do for dinner...but i guess some people are a tad more organized than we are..so not a bad things ) but we heard to be of high standard...never than less do not hesitate to ask for reccomandation as the staff will book for you restaurants in Lucca well off the tourist trail and some they reccomended were truly awesome.But if you feel lazy there is a reasonably priced good restaurant , a short walk from the hotel.
For the rest enjoy the rather peacefull location and if your leg feel up yo it there are some truly amazing walks to do.
Lucca and Pisa ( only 12 km away ) are worth a visit and the road that take you to Pisa is truly spectacular.Lucca has plenty to offer and it is a rather smart and classy town best enjoyed late evening
The Staff at the hotel deserve to be praised for their professionalism and friendliness
Return Visit As Good As The First
My husband and I were lucky enough to pay a return visit to the Villa Marta in September a year after our first .
It was as good if not better than before and I can only endorse the comments of previous reviewers.
The delightful owners and staff ,the relaxing and yet luxurious ambience made us wish that we could have stayed longer than three days.
I had recommended it to colleagues from work who stayed there with their three children in August and had a wonderful time.
We are hoping to return in March with friends and are looking forward to it.
Congratulations to Alessandro and Alessia- you have created a wonderful place to stay.
A very disappointing stay
We arrived very tired after a long drive and had to stand waiting whilst another couple registered then it was our turn to sit at a large desk on the other side from the receptionist (owner? she never introduced herself) to register. It was a bit like an interview! Then we were shown to our room which was supposed to be "de luxe" but was actually quite small although with a huge, very nice bathroom. Having booked dinner we showered quickly and went for dinner, not bothering to put our personal possessions away and were rather put out to find someone had been in and emptied the waste basket in our absence. There was no warning of this and there was no need for a bed turn down as we had done it ourselves already. For peace of mind and to avoid unpleasantness, I would advise guests to always put their valuables away securely as with any hotel. Dinner was quite good but we were never shown the lounge area which other reviewers mention. Bedtime was the worst as the bed was incredibly hard and we were uncomfortably hot so slept very badly. Next morning I discovered why - there was a rubber drawsheet like in a hospital, topped by a polypropylene mattress cover under the sheets! I cannot believe this was done as there are much better mattress protectors available. Is it even necessary in view of the type of clientele? It's certainly insulting. The sheets also smelled very strongly of bleach. Breakfast was OK but nothing special. We had to hurry to settle our bill, with a flight to catch, and couldn't get anyone to answer the bell before breakfast. After breakfast the person who answered it was the waiter from the previous evening and was clearly not interested when I told him the bed was too hard and the covering uncomfortably hot and unpleasant. This place was a big disappointment.