Quality has a price! Services have a price!

January 13, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Hotel, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on Quality has a price! Services have a price!

Chianti Villa le Barone An infinity heated pool with a view

Whenever we purchase a good or a service we all have an eye on the sales price. Normal! Hotel reservations are no exception to this, but we believe that sometimes things are getting out of hand!

We are seeing more and more often hotel offers from Online Tourism Agencies (OTA’s) highlighting just the price per day or the discount rate rather than comfort, amenities, location, services rendered, food quality, … to the point that we are asking ourselves: are potential Guests buying price or are they buying what makes for a successful holiday, that is quality and services?

At Villa le Barone we have chosen a conservatively clear view: do not make compromises with “quality, beauty and comfort” and establish prices which will enable us to carry on investing for continued “quality, beauty and comfort” over the years! Do we need a special communication strategy? Do we need branding effort? Do we need strategic planning? Should we go OTA crazy? … what we need, really, is to continue making our Guests happy by welcoming them in a warm, authentic Tuscan atmosphere, offering them modern comfort in a beauteous internal and external setting and surrounding them with an attentive, not over present service.

Villa le Barone Chianti an historic Villa

Should we remind that all rooms are different, with period furniture and fresh fabrics from renowned manufacturers and that they are equipped with mini bar, air conditioning, Wi Fi and internet connection, safe, SAT TV (on free of charge request)?

Should we repeat that we are surrounded by several acres of land and rose and olive tree planted gardens where a heated, salt water, infinity pool in travertine marble as well as a smaller one to sunbathe in are a continuous temptation?

Tennis court, ping pong table, fitness centre and fitness trail are there just in case you might want to work up a very special appetite for evening dinner where three courses of different Tuscan specialties, often cooked with our own staple products, are served every night together with local Chianti wines.

Need a soft drink while at the pool? Need a whiskey before dinner? Need a Grappa after dinner? … two honor bars make you feel really at home while you pour yourself what makes you happy.

Would you really rather have a 47.79$ discount … or all of the above packaged with the friendly smile of the ladies at the Reception?
It’s for you to choose!

Cut flowers from our garden at Villa le Barone in Chianti

October 7, 2017  |  Hotel  |  Comments Off on Cut flowers from our garden at Villa le Barone in Chianti
Bouquet to welcome guests with flowers  from Villa le Barone's  cutting garden

Bouquet to welcome guests with flowers from Villa le Barone’s
cutting garden

Bouquets of cut flowers from our garden are welcoming our guests in the lounges, the reception, the restaurant and also in the bedrooms! This is part of the charm of Villa le Barone!

Making these bouquets is not easy, but it is a gift that Amira has. And in addition these are bouquets composed with flowers of our cutting garden and are of course different according to the seasons!  In general, Amira chooses, to compose her bouquets, one, two or three kinds of flowers, with colors that harmonize with each other. Currently she has mixes the cosmos, that has so many shades of violets and purple, with the yellow of the rudbeckia. She also uses the dahlias of different types and colors, pompon, single, decorative…, now in full bloom. In the spring we will pick up the tulips, then the roses! In summer we will have gladioli and sunflowers!

Choosing cosmos for guests in the cutting garden Villa le Barone Chianti

Choosing cosmos for guests in the cutting garden Villa le Barone Chianti

But flowers are not enough to make a bouquet. Then foliage, with or without berries, is added to the bouquet … This foliage brings out the beauty of the flowers. Currently, it is the Viburnum tinum with its black berries which is mainly used. In spring it will be the same, but in bloom! Of course the choice of vase is important to stage the cut flowers bouquet, and we have a whole series of different vases to use depending on the size of the bouquets. All flowers come from our cutting garden that we cultivate with passion … and that our hosts can visit if they wish.  At the restaurant it is Giulia who makes the bouquets and the centers of tables, and we will present them to you in another article!

Organic food in Tuscany

August 26, 2017  |  Food & Wine, Hotel  |  Comments Off on Organic food in Tuscany
Jujube fruits at Villa le Barone Panzano in Chianti

Jujube fruits at Villa le Barone Panzano in Chianti

Do you wish to taste organic food and seasonal food in Tuscany? At Villa le Barone we serve organic food, with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables: in early spring, we had the cherries. In summer, we have made our jam with the apricots and the plums produced in Villa le Barone.

Soon the quinces will be mature and we will make the jelly!

Did you know that in Greek mythology, the “golden apple” Paris gave to the goddess Aphrodite (in return for the love of Helen, ‘the most beautiful woman in the world ‘) and which sparked the Trojan War, is thought to be a quince, and not an apple? We have brought back from our organic farm the savory “beefsteak tomatoes” (cuore di bue), as well as the delectable “Muscat Hambourg” grape, a black grape known for its sweet flavor, its smooth texture and musky taste. It also makes exquisite pies!

Soon we will be able to crop the white grape “Dattier de Beyrouth”. There are still some peaches with which we are making our own sherbets. Figs are beginning to ripen… and some guests like to pick them up on the tree! In our orchard, we also have hazels, medlar, kakis, and ”jujube”, a very ancient shrub tree coming from south Asia, with thorny branches, that produces fruits looking similar to an olive pit! And we have, in our farm as well as in Villa le Barone, many olive trees, allowing us to produce an extra virgin olive oil that benefit from the ecolabel “Agriqualità”.

In Villa le Barone’s vegetable garden we have some salads, kale to make the delicious “ribolitta”, beautiful pumpkins, and all the aromatic herbs necessary for cooking: various species of sage, rosemary, thyme, laurel… The organic food served in our restaurant is genuine and delicious! It is “slow food”!

The long history of sun umbrellas

August 19, 2017  |  Culture and Art, Hotel  |  Comments Off on The long history of sun umbrellas
Infinity pool with sun umbrellas at Villa le Barone Tuscany

Infinity pool with sun umbrellas at Villa le Barone Tuscany

Sun umbrellas, which you find today by the swimming pools, terraces or gardens have a long history.

Sign of high rank and honor, they were reserved for the use of great personages. On Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian and Indian sculptures and paintings, domestic servants protect their sovereign from the sun with an umbrella. In Assyria, only the king had the right to possess one. It was in the 16th century that Catherine de Medicis introduced in France the sun umbrella as a symbol of femininity. At the King of France’s court, when walking in the gardens, the courtesans protect themselves from the sun with their sun umbrellas. Keeping a fair complexion is a sign of wealth and superiority. In 1820, the wave of sea baths was reserved for a handful of privileged people. Young ladies had to keep a complexion of porcelain, and were hiding under large umbrellas, as can be seen in many impressionist paintings.

Sun umbrellas welcoming guests at Villa le Barone Tuscany

Sun umbrellas welcoming guests at Villa le Barone Tuscany

Only in the middle of the 20th century, when the paid holidays are established and sea baths democratized, sun umbrellas are invading the beaches and become more affordable. Usually with white and blue stripes and fringes, they are bought in drugstore or in shops selling beach articles. Today the manufacture of umbrellas has become industrialized, although in Italy there are still many artisans who produce them. At Villa le Barone, the yellow umbrellas on the terrace in front of the entrance are our signature and welcome Villa le Barone’s guests. Then can afterwards relax by our infinity pool and admire the Chianti magnificent landscape under the shade of traditional white and blue or large unbleached umbrellas.

Green facades and green walls in Chianti

August 4, 2017  |  Chianti Holidays, Hotel  |  Comments Off on Green facades and green walls in Chianti
Green wall and Terrace at Villa le Barone

Green wall and Terrace at Villa le Barone

Green facades and green walls are trendy … and Villa le Barone follows this trend with its green facade of jasmine and Virginia creeper. It gives charm to our historic Villa, but it has also many advantages: it provides insulation, it changes with the seasons, it hosts birds and butterflies…

Many architects are now designing green buildings with green walls, green facades… Certainly at our Villa we cannot compete with them, but we have a beautiful green façade that welcomes guests, accentuating the green side of our hotel! The “Granaio” or the “Garden house”, parts of the Villa, are also covered with Virginia creeper and jasmine. And these green walls are not only aesthetic, they help insulate the Villa, preserving from the heat, therefore contributing to energy savings and furthermore absorbing greenhouses gases! They also change color with the seasons, from the light spring green to the dark summer green to the flamboyant red in autumn. In spring, the fragrance of the jasmine is a delight. And green facades also bring a soothing note: green walls allow to hear the sound of the wind in the leaves, the song of the birds, and to see the butterflies twirling… The quietness of the terrace in front of the green facade is only disturbed by the gurgle of the fountain.