We love welcoming Australians at Siena House !
Our Australian guests have often been ‘on the travel’ for weeks on end, by the time they get to us – they’re typically happy to land at an oasis of relax – and a garden full of veggies and salad !
‘…..spent hours pouring over paces to stay so the pressure was on as we headed for our first stop – Siena House in the hills of Tuscany.
This review was written by Jess and Jamie following their honeymoon ‘world tour’.. it is the most awesome review and we had to include it our our website…
It did not disappoint. In fact it was pretty much the coolest, nicest, chicest place we have ever stayed – probably even beats the Grand Hyatt for coolness! It was a bit tricky to find (as are most things in Italy), but once we pulled into the driveway, we sensed it was something special. None of us bar Catherine had seen any pictures so we had no idea what we were in for, just that it was really only possible to get to with a car. Amanda, one half of the ownership team, opened the gate for us & met us with warm English hospitality. As we introduced ourselves, she bustled us into the massive two-story house & our jaws hit the floor. The whole downstairs was decked out in cutting edge style – none of the smaltzy Tuscan hills decor – this was modern & by the look of it, very, very expensive. Amanda gave us all glasses of champagne as she excused herself to deal with some other tourists who had just arrived – hilariously, they were staying here in two nights time, but the husband hadn’t booked anywhere for the next two nights, so they stopped in here to see if Amanda could recommend anywhere. She not only did that, but booked their accommodation, gave them a GPS with everything near by marked on it & organised dinner reservations for them, all while we were chatting away! She eventually showed us upstairs to our rooms and we must have looked like country bumkins with our mouths hanging agape while she showed us through the two suites that would be home for the next two nights. This place was swish. Stark designed toilets, massive marble bathrooms, plush kingsize beds, the softest towels (king size of course) & bathrobes – Barry & Catherine had a lounge room, gorgeous bathroom with a bath that overlooked the rolling valleys beyond & a massive bed. Every minute thing you could think of had been covered – from giant beach towels to use by the pool (nowhere EVER gives you beach towels, you always have to use your bathroom towels or your own towel) to free, oh yes peeps, you heard me F.R.E.E alcohol – and good stuff too, not hokey VB style beer & Vino, top quality booze for our consumption. I told you this place was money….or perhaps they weren’t used to Aussies as guests….
The other gem was a little outdoor kitchen that they had newly installed & didn’t want publicised (so you didn’t read about it here) as “self caters are a different type of guest” not too sure what that meant, but we were naive enough not to care! We asked where the nearest supermarket was so we could get some cheese & dip etc & instead of giving us directions, Amanda just gave us a GPS that was programmed directly to the nearest supermarekto – gold! We stocked up & headed back to Siena House, each of us secretly hoping the others didn’t want to go out again so we could hang out at the plushest place we’ve ever been! As we hadn’t seen each other in a while and probably coz there was free booze, we ended up whiling away the rest of the afternoon watching the sunset over the grape vines, sipping beers & vino, eating cheese & catching up on all our adventures – heaven on a stick. After a bit, Malvin – Amanda’s husband came home & strolled over to introduce himself. He told us a bit more about his hunt to find the place & battle to renovate it their own way (it reminded me of something out of Grand Designs – just gorgeous!). Too tipsy to drive, we decided to be ‘those’ type of guests & Jamie whipped up a mean spag bol & we ate it in the cosy little outdoor kitchen.
The next day we got a great sleep in as breakky wasn’t served till 9am. After fruit salad & coffees, came smoked salmon scrambled eggs on homemade bread with fresh apple juice. Another coffee later we figured we probably should venture out into the Tuscan country side, so we reluctantly got ourselves sorted & after another GPS from Amanda, programmed with the best spots to see in the area (and including the best parking places!) & several lunch recommendations, we set off to explore Multipuciano & Pienza. They were both really pretty old walled towns & we wandered around them, eventually stopping for lunch (wild boar ragu for moi!) & gelato before heading back to Siena House mid afternoon for more ‘rest’. Really, it was just such a gorgeous place that anywhere else – even the Tuscan countryside – paled in comparison! I raided the piles of magazines & took to our schmick bed to nap, Jamie & Barry headed poolside to read & Catherine retired to her suite to also attempt to nap. Once more, the afternoon turned into evening & before we knew it we had once again consumed too much to drive & found ourselves in the little kitchen, making a cheese platter & finishing off last nights bolognese. I thought Roccastarda was relaxing – but this place took it to the next level! It was handy to just hang out and rest a bit more actually as I felt like I was getting a cold. You know that stuffy tired feeling, where you’re not even hungry, but it’s not a full-blown cold so you don’t need isolation & bed rest? I had that. I think it was because we had finally stopped, we weren’t going at a million miles an hour, we weren’t seeing awesome thing after awesome thing, we were just chilling in the countryside. It probably makes for a boring blog post actually – oh well, at least you can look at Jamie’s pretty pictures!
The day we left, I thought we were going to have to rugby tackle Catherine into the car to drag her away! After another awesome breakky – a Malvin cooked one this time, so fruit salad & coffee, then soft gooey chocolate brownies (see – it was heaven, dessert for breakfast!), then local made ricotta & honey on home-made bread, we packed up Porky the Peugeot, convinced Catherine that she should come with us & not camp out in Siena House for another week & hit the road to Florence. If you are ever in Tuscany, stop by Siena House, you will not regret it. I’ve never stayed at a place that was so lusciously decorated, and the attention to detail was second to none, they had thought of everything & it definitely made our stay extreeeeemly pleasant!
In fact it was pretty much the coolest, nicest, chicest place we have ever stayed….’