While cruising through summer in London, I am remembering some of my warm travels from previous months. As you know I visited Cortona back in the end of May and I absolutely loved the city. I stayed in Palazzo Tommasi. I have long wondered if I should write this post, as I have such mixed feelings about this stay. It is primarily a confusion as to what it says on the tin and what it actually was. I feel my whole, Florence and the surroundings hotel experiences, were a bit mismatched but I owe to share it with you guys.
I booked the ‘hotel’ on booking.com – it was identified as a 5 star hotel. Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Cortona and the taxi dropped me off in front of someone’s house. It was one of the weirdest experiences in my life. I checked the door and it says ‘Palazzo Tommasi’ 2nd floor. So I drag my suitcase to the 2nd floor where an old lady and 2 kids open the door speaking Italian and do not want to let me in. Although they say, this is Palazzo Tommasi. I am getting annoyed but most of all I am confused. I have just paid £324 for a night’s stay in a 5 * hotel in the heart of Cortona, and I am standing in the middle of some weird, surreal experience unfolding in front of me.
A lady came somewhere from the back rooms and welcomed me in, hushed the kids away and started walking me to the ‘Suite’. I was honestly, weird-ed out all together and could not really conversate much. After being given a massive key (vintage for real) I was left to explore my habitat. There are only 2 Suites in the house, so a maximum of 4 guests. The room was cool but not anything close to a 5 star, £324 a night cool – where is room service, the bell boy asking me if I wanted my bags unpacked, the mini bar and the amenities coming together with a 5* purchase? I am not being spoiled, I just value what I spend my money on.
This is what I thought about the Suite:
The bathroom was amazing. Everything screamed history, the details were fabulous and everything was solid marble and granite. I loved taking a bath, with a statue, there is always a first.
The bed itself was OK, not too crazy about it, it was possibly a little bit too vintage for my style. The sitting area was pretty cool and I absolutely loved the light there.
I feel, I have taken some of my all time favourite images in this suite. This makes it an even more bizarre experience for me.
The Wi-Fi worked throughout and it worked well, so 5* for that.
I did not get any breakfast, as I was not going to pay another 30 Eur on top. I just took photos of the table set up.
The overall house:
This one is a personal note but I found the house slightly creepy. I consider myself to be a spiritual person and being in a house, full of black candles and a room full of African fertility statues and voodoo dolls, creeped me out. First of all, this has nothing to do with Italian culture or the Reneissance, as the property tries to position its artefacts. Second, I think this is a particular style that should be described in the description online. Again, this is a personal thing, some people might find it interesting but for me this is a big ‘No,no’.
There was a dog in there, I absolutely loved it but if you are allergic or something it might have been an issue.
I think, this is a perfect example of mis-matched expectations. If I was booking an AirBnB, I would not book such an experience but at least I will be aware I am booking a private home. However, I booked a 5 star hotel and I was not expecting to be staying in someone’s house. Also, I am sorry but the price was insane for the product. I am not trying to say that there wasn’t a lot of effort that went into creating this house, however there is a certain level of service expectations if you are paying that much money per night. To start with, I do not expect to be greeted by kids and an elderly lady not letting me come in 😉
I am still awaiting booking.com’s feedback on why was this property tagged as a ‘hotel’ on their website.