Past bookings: 13 bookings

Response rate: 100%

Response time: within 9 hours

Last logged in: a month ago

Average rating from 11 reviews

13 Properties

11 Reviews

RENTAL PERIOD: 11th - 25th August 2018 [inclusive]. We rented Casa Usignoli for the above period. Our party comprised of eleven [11] people. The following general and specific comments / observations relate to our party’s pre-arrival experiences and those during our stay, with; • the Booking Agency [Clickstay], • the sub Agent? – Terry, • Giusi [the Caretaker] and • Cristina [the Property Owner]. [A] FROM POINT OF BOOKING UNTIL OUR ARRIVAL AT THE VILLA [i] The initial booking was made online [via Clickstay Website]. This was fairly straight forward, although we were only able to declare six [6] of our party on the Booking Form, whereas our party comprised of eleven [11] persons. However, we subsequently advised Clickstay of the exact number in our party via their Website, and repeatedly provided this information on a number of occasions, together with supplying details of our estimated arrival times. We later learnt that this information was never forwarded on to the Property Owner / other interested parties. [iii] We also supplied Terry [sub Agent] of the full details of the composition of our party, including our estimated arrival times. We understand that this information was never passed on to the relevant people. [iv] Observation - All relevant data to be forwarded to the necessary personnel, prior to Renters arrival, without fail. [v] A post code [zip code] for the designated meeting point would have been helpful. Also, a sign from the local road to the property would have been useful. [B] UPON ARRIVAL AT CAMPO GRANDE [SANTA CRISTINA] AND CASA USIGNOLI We met with Giusi, at Campo Grande who escorted us to Casa Usignoli. Guisi requested details of the dates of birth of each member in our party [legal requirement in Italy]. WHY, IF THIS WAS A LEGAL REQUIREMENT, DIDN’T THE AGENT ASK FOR THIS INFORMATION, IN ADVANCE OF OUR ARRIVAL? The last thing anyone wants after a long journey is to deal with a request for personal data which could have been made months in advance! We were asked to pay the sum of Euros 75.00 for cleaning. This we paid, although we were unaware that this charge was payable locally. I have checked the Property Rental Details and find no such reference to this charge! Giusi then explained all of the usual things that one would expect upon arrival at a rental property, including an instruction to “rinse” the dishes and cutlery, prior to using the dishwasher. This we found odd, as it suggested the dishwasher was not functioning correctly. Action taken by us to rectify the dishwasher performance - • we removed and cleaned the filters, • we refilled the salt chamber [empty upon arrival], • we refilled the rinse aid dispenser [empty upon arrival]. The above action provided an instant solution and the dishwasher worked perfectly throughout our stay, without the need to rinse everything prior to use. Recommendation – Repeating this action ahead of each rental would ensure the correct operation of the dishwasher, it would also prolong the dishwashers working life. We were also instructed to take the umbrellas down [situated on the terrace] in the event of inclement weather. See comments relating to umbrella, later in this Review. [C] GENERAL OBSERVATIONS - • Fridge / freezer was turned off and the doors left open upon our arrival. Surely the fridge and freezer should have been ready for use … especially as we were advised to bring essentials with us. Ice making facility required - either integral within the fridge or with the use of ice trays, In our opinion the size of the fridge / freezer, was inadequate for a property of this size and number of people it could accommodate, • Tea towels [for drying dishes] - there were no tea towels at the property, we therefore had to purchase some locally for our use. Surely, we should have been advised to bring our own, prior to arrival. • The following kitchen items/utensils should be part of the Property Inventory: [i] rolling pin and pizza cutting wheel, [ii] more oven baking tins / trays [foil trays would be adequate], [iii] oven gloves or mittens, [iv] tea towels, [v] additional cutlery to be provided, [vi] additional trays [for carrying items] to be provided, trays are useful when transporting items down to the terrace and BBQ area. Upon our arrival there was only one tray at the property, this was damaged, and dangerous. We therefore consigned it to the rubbish bin. Surely a number of trays should have been provided within the inventory. [vii] Kettle [for boiling water to make hot drinks]. Boiling water in a saucepan on the stove is dangerous. Surely a kettle should be part of the property inventory. [viii] Mosquito’s and bug’s … we expect to find these in a rural region, and understand this year was exceptionally bad, however we would expect the property to have screens at each window [especially the bedrooms] or at least mosquito nets and plug-in devices, to deal with these little critters !!! [ix] Underwater pool light not working, throughout the duration of our stay, [x] Pool filtration system failed during our stay, however the fault was rectified within a couple of days, [D] OTHER COMMENTS Point 1 – Insurance Breakage Waiver I was charged Euros 75.00 by Guisi, upon our arrival. Furthermore, during our stay an Umbrella was damaged beyond repair. I was sitting by the Umbrella, when a gust of wind lifted the fabric of the Umbrella from frame. There was no wind to speak at the time of the incident. However, I was requested to pay for the resulting damage as we were departing from Casa Usignoli [by the Owner]. Cristina mentioned something about Insurance, but as we were about to leave I paid her cash for the umbrella damage [Euros 45.00]. Point 2 - Steps leading up from the terrace area to the Villa door Nowhere in any of the information provided for this property did it state how many steps there were up to the Villa entrance. Whilst it didn’t provide to many problems for ourselves, it could be an issue for others whom may have restricted mobility, or even someone having small children with a buggy / pushchair to negotiate the steps. WE SUGGEST A WARNING TO FUTURE RENTERS WOULD BE HELPFUL. [E] CONCLUSION Whilst the above comments may appear long winded, they in no way detracted from our stay at Casa Usignoli. Our whole party very much enjoyed staying at the Villa and using the facilities it offered. The Pool, BBQ and Pizza Oven were all great hit with everyone. Thank you for allowing us to stay in your wonderful rustic Villa, in the most amazing surroundings. The “star gazing” on clear nights was amazing, with many “shooting stars” spotted. Thanks again. The main issues we had, have subsequently been fully addressed / dealt with to the Renters satisfaction. Malcolm, Valerie, Chris, Karen, Sarah, Scott, Ansel, Florence, Constance, Clara and Eliza [the little Cinghiale].

Large Group from Witham, United Kingdom

This is a stunning villa which has been beautifully restored. It has an amazing view and felt very secluded and relaxing. Lovely kitchen, place to eat outside and of course the private pool which we used all day long! We loved the downstairs bedroom which overlooked the pool - there are lavender bushes outside and the smell wafted in through the night which was devine. The roll top bath on the top floor is also a stunning feature. We didn’t venture out very much as it is quite far from the big sights but we enjoyed just staying local. One thing that could improve it would be some board games to keep the kids entertained when they are out the sun. Also, a decent BBQ would be a good addition - although we were happy enough using the kitchen. Beautiful place! We loved it!

Family from Morden, United Kingdom

We booked this property in May 2015 for a weeks holiday in August 2015. Upon arrival at the preset meeting point we were told by the agent, that there was a problem with the property - a hornets nest - and that we would not be able to use the property. The first alternative property he placed us in was totally unsuitable. We were a party of four adults, a toddler and two large dogs and we had wanted somewhere quiet, remote and away from it all. The property offered was a quarter-detached, right on a busy road and with noisy neighbours. It had a swimming pool but there the similarities ended. The pool incidentally was totally overlooked and about 30 metres from the road. After much complaining on our part we were moved to a third property that was just about acceptable and allowed to use the above swimming pool - even though this meant a 20 minute drive in each direction and more aggravation. However, not being the trusting sort, we visited Casa Serena and far from finding a lot of hornets we discovered two charming people from Hanover in Germany in occupation. Clearly there had been a double-booking and it seems that there is a complete breakdown in communication between the owner and his agent. So the moral of this tale is that if you are considering this property do not trust anything you are told by the agent or by the owner who, incidentally, did not even have the grace to apologise to us.

Family from Charsfield, United Kingdom

Reply from Tuscancharm

I appreciate your comments - And to offer a simple response "I am sincerely sorry". - I am disappointed that your family holiday was not as good as "I would have wanted it to be" . I realize that as agent - I have to take full responsibility - and I do just that. However, I would stress that from realizing your total disappointment in the accommodation offered, I did try many times to converse with you and,- eventually we were able to do so - when I arranged the alternative accommodation. I realise too that despite both the alternative properties being larger and offering greater space, that they were not what you had planned. Good Communication between owners and agents is so important. On this occasion, it has failed. I am disappointed not to have achieved the high standard of service - which I have always strived to offer our guests and, once again offer our apologies and, very best wishes

The roads to the villa are a far cry from S. Carolina roads. 22 switchbacks in 5 miles! Then a dusty road of .7 miles to the driveway entrance. The unit was pretty much as advertised except for the listing of appliances. There was no microwave or TV. The clothes drier was a drying rack and not an electric or gas drier as expected. The outside step lighting was missing at least 3 lights (burned out) and the bathroom lighting was so dim that it was nearly impossible to put in contacts, shave, or apply makeup. I think the attempt to save energy was taken too far. BUT overall we enjoyed living the Tuscan Farmhouse lifestyle!

Friends from Ninety Six, USA

Rob

A really lovely place and stunning surrounds. it is very peaceful and a totally relaxing setting - especially the pool. If you are looking for somewhere stunning to get away from it all and just relax quietly this is the place for you. We also found it accessible for groceries, (small simple Italian village shop and bar about 2 km), but also not too far for sightseeing the small hilltowns and as =well as an easy day trip bty train to Florence. This property exceeded our expectations, and the owner was warm and hospitable. We would certainly return when we next visit Italy, and if, like us, this is your first time you will not be disappointed.

From Ajax

Sabrina

My husband and I stayed at my favorite Tuscan Villa Copa . When we drove up the mountain to the villa, our ears popped. The view from the front stoop is so breathtaking, the only place I could compare it to is the terrain and beauty of Oahu. It was the most relaxing, simple yet decadent vacation I have ever had. We slept so good we had a hard time getting out of bed because the mountain air was so tranquil. I have never enjoyed food and wine like I did in Tuscany. The picci and homemade wine made by the "grandma" at the local restaurant was cheap, delicious and charming. Fabulous shopping is a train ride away in Florence. For a truly special"getaway"I highly recommend visiting Castiglion Fiorentino!

From Broxbourne