Il Falconiere Review

Italy 2017: Introduction
Alitalia Business Class Chicago to Rome
Hotel Lungarno (Florence)
Around Florence
Dining in Florence
Il Falconerie (Cortona)
Around Cortona
Dining in Cortona
Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria
Around Rome
Dining in Rome
Alitalia Lounge Rome (FCO)
Lufthansa Business Class Rome to Munich
Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich
Lufthansa First Class Munich to Chicago
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Il Falconerie


Il Faloniere entrance sign

After an amazing time in Florence we were excited to arrive in our Tuscan resort, Il Falconiere.   We arrived via train and met our driver eventually who after a 15 minute drive arrived down the long driveway of Il Falconiere.


Relais & Chateaux placard at Il Falconiere entrance

We were dropped off right in front of the reception and our driver said he would take care of our bags.  The first thing I said when we got out of our black Mercedes van was “wow, it smells great out here”! You could smell the lovely flower and lilac permeating the property!

We were met by a lovely check-in associate who was very thorough and pleasant.  She asked if we would be having lunch with them as it started soon and would be happy to get us a table.  We were assigned a Deluxe Room very near the spa, pool and main dining facilities which was very convenient for us with our baby.  The walkways are all stone so a stroller doesn’t work very well here.


Il Falconiere front desk reception area

On display in the reception area was their full lineup of Baracchi wines which is the in-house winery owned by the Baracchi family which owns and runs the resort. This is their family estate and has been beautfully restored.


Il Falconiere gift shop wine selection

Near the entrance we noticed the “pet” falcon sitting on its perch in the afternoons. They do offer some sort of Falconry course/certification for a fee but we didn’t partake.


Il Falconiere’s falcon

We were given our room key and escorted to our room by the same lovely front desk agent. After a brief introduction to our room we were left on our own and our bags arrived a few minutes later.

Il Falconiere Deluxe Room

Our Deluxe Room was fair sized and very comfortable generally.  I would say the decor and condition of the room was slightly drab in my opinion.  It’s very “country” or “homey” feeling. Kind of like visiting your grandma’s country home spare bedroom.


Il Falconiere Deluxe Room

The bed was comfortable and there was a crib in the room already for our son although he managed to find his way in our bed most nights.


Il Falconiere Deluxe Room

The TV has pretty much all Italian channels as it was very hard finding an English channel but who cares about TV when you’re in a beautiful Tuscan escape.


Il Falconiere Deluxe Room

While it was nice to have a bathtub in our room it was literally in our bedroom.  A large silver colored tub that looked vintage or at least 50 years old.  Because it looked so tattered my son took showers during our stay.

Il Falconiere Deluxe Room

The bathroom had double sinks and a water closet off the sinks.


Il Falconiere bathroom


Il Falconiere bathroom double vanity


Il Falconiere bathroom


Il Falconiere water closet

There was also a fairly spacious shower with rain forest shower head and a hand held shower head. Shower pressure and temperature were ok. 


Il Falconiere shower


Il Falconiere Deluxe Room


Il Falconiere bathtub


Il Falconiere bath amenities

There was a coffee maker and bowl of fruit for us on the dresser.


Il Falconiere dresser and coffee maker with bowl of fruit


View out of back window


Il Falconiere room key


Il Falconiere spa menu and wine menu

The room had a traditional door and key and thus you had to actually lock the door with the metal key when coming and going.


Il Falconiere Deluxe Room 46 entrance door

Our room was directly outside the spa pool which was fine as the pool got very little usage. One of the things that truly amazed me and disappointed me was the amount of bees/wasps around the spa pool and the main pool!! The resort must have not been able to stop the bees getting water and thus they had total control of the water areas.


Il Falconiere spa entrance our room entrance was the door to the left

Overall the room was fine and well appointed. One issue was one of the two air conditioner units was making a loud pop noise every 20-30 minutes and really made it hard to sleep our first night. The next day after I alerted them they turned off the unit using the in-room circuit breakers.  The unit still made some noise but not as much and as frequent.  They did offer us another room in the main building but it was smaller and didn’t have a tub so we just stayed in our original room.

Full room walkthrough below:

 

Baracchi Winery and Vineyard

One early evening we decided to take the winery tour for 25 Euros each.


My son waiting to misbehave for our winery tour

Too bad our son wasn’t in the mood for a winery tour!  We started the tour in the air conditioned champagne cellar.


Entering the Baracchi Winery

The Baracchi Brut Rose is very popular and well awarded. The winemaster, the owner’s son is the one who showed us around and explained the details of the wine processes.


The Baracchi Brut Rose Champaign


The Baracchi Winery


The Baracchi Winery


Testing the pressure in the wines

We later went into the more traditional winery with the large vats of wine and many barrels of wine being aged in barrels.


Vat of the Baracchi Cortona Syrah


Barrels of wine inside the Baracchi Winery

After about 30 minutes we walked back to the front of the resort where tables were set up for us to try three of the wines.  Sadly half way through our tour my wife took our son back to the room so she didn’t get to try the wines that evening.


One lucky guest getting a lesson on how to Sabre the Champaign bottle

On another occasion we decided to just take a walk through the vineyards and get some nice photos of our son.  I cannot emphasize the beauty of this location.  Slightly elevated over the countryside so you get lovely views of the mountains in the far distance and the sunflower fields and the various vineyards.


Baracchi vinyeards


Our son enjoyed the Tuscan landscape


Baracchi vineyards with Cortona perched on the mountainside


Showing our son the young grapes


My wife getting a kiss in the vineyards


Taking our son for a ride through the vineyards


Cortona peeking through the vineyard

On the other side of the resort you can clearly see the city of Cortona up on the mountain side near Il Falconiere.


Grapes in the Baracchi Vineyard


My son showing me the grapes

Our son enjoyed looking at the grapes and we got some nice family photos.

 

Il Falconieire Pool

Very near our room was the main pool.  The pool was a good size and most days the pool was empty or there was only 1-2 other people at the pool while we were there.  Again as I mentioned earlier the bees and wasps have claimed the edges of the pool.  Once inside the pool you’re safe but near the borders they are all over the place.  On our last day one lady guest stepped on a bee while walking alongside the pool and was stung!


Me playing with my son in the Il Falconiere pool

I bring this up because I HATE bees!  I have never been stung partly because I stay away from them.  In this instance I couldn’t avoid them.  You just had to pick your moment and enter the pool.

Once inside the pool we had fun with our son.


My son and I in the Il Falconiere pool with Tuscan countryside in the background

After 30 minutes or so in the water my son was ready to relax 🙂


My son chilling in his lounge chair

Once in the pool I didn’t want to get out.  The water was pleasant the view was nice and plus I didn’t want to face the bees again.


Il Falconiere pool towel


Il Falconiere pool


Il Falconiere pool

There was no poolside attendant, if you wanted food or drink you had to walk over to the nearby phone and dial 9 for assistance.  We didn’t order anything as we usually swam after breakfast.  In our room were the pool towels but they did have more at the pool if you forgot or needed additional towels.


Il Falconiere pool bar service setup


Il Falconiere pool


Il Falconiere pool rules

We used the pool on two of our three days at Il Falconiere and enjoyed it (aside from the bees).

 

Il Falconiere Spa

As part of our stay and booking through our Virtuoso agent we had a $100 spa credit.  My wife was able to get a nice massage at the spa one evening.  When she arrived back in the room I asked how was the massage and she said was fine except she has never had someone massage her chest! LOL  I guess that is a thing in Europe or Italy after some research.


Il Falconiere spa pool

The spa had a nice pool that spanned inside and outside and was very cold and insect free on the inside. It was very peaceful and I never saw another soul in the spa during our stay except upon checkout I noticed a young couple hanging out.


Il Falconiere spa pool


Il Falconiere spa lounge chairs

Since the spa was deserted I peeked in all the rooms to check it out. I saw a few treatment rooms. I used the steam room and the sauna.  It was nice to have the place to myself.


Il Falconiere spa treatment room


Il Falconiere spa soaking room with fireplace


Il Falconiere spa treatment room


Il Falconiere Spa amenities


Il Falconiere spa entrance/lobby


Il Falconiere spa shower


Il Falconieire spa steam room


Il Falconiere spa sauna

Overall the spa is a nice place to get away and get some relaxation. They also offered some fresh lemon water and two types of teas complimentary.

Food and Beverage

The two main reasons to stay at Il Falconiere are location/setting and the food!  Wow the food was a star during our stay.  The lunch and dinners here are memorable!  The restaurant here is rated 1 Michelin star and for good reason.


Entrance to the Il Falconiere dining rooms


Il Falconiere sitting room

We had lunch at Il Falconiere shortly after arrival.  The setting is fairly formal but relaxed at the same time if that makes sense.


Downstairs indoor dining room


Downstairs indoor seating

We were offered a complimentary glass of champagne to start.  We then decided to have the 6 course prix fix vegetarian lunch option.


Il Falconiere menu


Il Falconiere lunch menu

We then decided to have some more champagne and very nice white wine with lunch.


Il Falconiere table setting


Amuse bouche

Course after course were some amazing flavorful dishes with unique combination of ingredients.


Beetroot soup with rice milk mousse, hazelnuts, corn waffle and popcorn

The zucchini blossoms were out of this world along with most of the meal.


Amazing stuffed zucchini blossoms


Pecorino cheese and mint ravioli with porcini mushroom soup

I couldn’t believe the vegetarian menu would be so flavorful and amazing.  Well worth the $85 Euros per person.


Vegetarian BBQ, bell pepper sausage, chickpea burger, grilled carrots and celery stalks


Peach tartare with Syrah jelly and hazelnut ice cream 


Dessert at Il Faloniere

Simply amazing meal and perhaps either my first or second favorite lunch of all time.


Amazing dessert at Il Falconiere

Breakfast was included in our room rate and we stopped in each morning. Generally we ate inside at the same table near the window.


Upstairs indoor seating at Il Falconiere

The buffet was good and had a decent amount of variety.  I would have liked to see some pancakes or waffles or something as an additional option.


Breakfast buffet at Il Falconiere


Breakfast buffet at Il Falconiere


Cappuccino at Il Falconiere

There is really just one hot item on the buffet which is the scrambled eggs which seem to be popular because it was alway running low or empty.  We were able to request eggs made to order however.


Breakfast at Il Falconiere

Overall the breakfast is good but not in the same league as the lunch or dinner we enjoyed at Il Falconiere.


Downstairs entrance podium

On our last night we decided to enjoy a superb dinner!  What a magical setting on the outdoor patio overlooking the Tuscan landscape. This is wonderful experience to watch the sunset and see day transform to night all while enjoying high quality wines and top notch food. 


Trying to entertain our son for our multi course dinner at Il Falconiere

This time we both went with the seven course dinner service and just ordered some basic pasta for our son.


Large table setup next to us with umbrellas to 


Pre-dinner photo with amazing Tuscan countryside as our backdrop 


Amazing setting for dinner at Il Falconiere 

Similar to lunch a long platter with various breads was delivered to start.


Different type of breads to start

Our seven course dinner was paired with a wine selection for several of the courses so we got to try a nice variety of the vineyards wine during this dinner.


Starting with a nice white wine


My wife and son at dinner with Cortona perched high on the mountain behind


Amuse bouche


Our son’s buttered noodles with cheese

As the food was delivered it was plated nicely and explained to us.  Each course was super flavorful and the wine combinations were excellent.


Flavored beef tartare with Tuscan spices on top of sweet and sour zucchini

When I took my first bite of the ox tongue I was floored!  It was the best, most memorable and flavorful dish I have EVER tasted! Wow!  I wished I would have ordered that every day.


Best thing I have ever eaten: The ox tongue


The most amazing ox tongue dish with tarry souchong tea & passion fruit sauce


Nice views of the moon over Cortona from our dinner table at Il Falconiere


Sauteed calf liver with apples

Even my son behaved during the long 2+ hour dinner and enjoyed his meal.


When asked where this meal ranked, This was my son’s response #1!


Ossobuco with zolfini beans and saffron scented marrow


Il Falconiere dessert


Il Falconiere dessert

Simply wonderful service, very formal and professional all around.  Every course was excellent.  I may start looking at more Relais & Chateaux properties as food is a big part of their philosophy in many properties.

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

No points were used for our stay.  We paid cash for our three nights. You can check the rates at their website for your dates. We booked through our Virtuoso travel agent.

A few minor issues but otherwise an overall nice stay and would love to return to Il Falconiere.

 

-PointsPinnacle


 

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