This is the fanciest place I've ever stayed at, with my husband in some kind of comedy at the time, or it started out as such. (Wonderful evening indeed, including the pizza at a local bowling alley. But, so nice to see the sun set from the longest balcony in Toscana.)
I should explain. 1st trip to Italy. Basic budget stuff by ourselves. As it happened, we were lucky. The one star place I picked in Rome was charming, sort of funky, now a 3 star, with habitues from the FAO, so the lobby and breakfast room were very interesting re occupants. But never mind that, I want to talk about the place in Sesto Fiorentino outside of Firenze, near of couple of rather good gardens. I picked it to check out from our small american express guide book, still a good guidebook to Tuscany, if outdated by two decades now. It was some old castle listed as moderate in price.
We walked in and nearly ran out. But they saw us, greeted us.
My italian, never good, was better than my husband's, so I started in. But of course the woman spoke english. (I;m guessing now, perhaps the owner, or perhaps not.) I asked the room rate. I think it was $250. a night, and this was in '88. That was approximately 4 times our extreme max. (We travelled for a month, often at much lower room rates than that max.) Neither of us answered, busy as we were trying to figure out what to say. The woman said, well, we are just opening for the season, or maybe I surmised that. You may have a room for $150. We looked at each other. Then she said, without breakfast, $125. We looked at each other again, I turned to the woman and said that will be fine. (We got the matrimonial suite, lordie, angels apparently holding the chandelier in place...)
That entrance hallway shown in the photos on the link is what made me want to turn around and run...
The prices listed on the site don't seem that bad, in relative terms re some of the stratospheric amounts some hotels charge. (just saw about one in Abu Dhabi with a top of $12,000. a day.) Quite a place. I'd stay there again in a minute, and would have dinner there the next time.