On a driving holiday we visited Residence Villa Miranda/Relais Santa Cristina a couple of years ago when we found it quite by accident, having loved our stay we returned in May 2013 to find it still as quaint and beautiful. This is a small family run business and you get a real sense of that, the rooms are neat and clean, a little dated/rustic perhaps but what is really special is the location with beautiful grounds, amazing views and a fabulous swimming pool.
Had we read tripadviser we would have been put off by previous comments, that is not to say they are untrue but just that our experiences have been really wonderful. There is so much character here and you have your own little piece of Tuscany whilst sipping your wine before heading into Radda for dinner ..... that’s after visiting local vineyards and an afternoon lazing by the pool.
We did not eat in the Villa Miranda restaurant so cannot comment on that but I believe this has now improved anyway.
I am reluctant to write more as this might make it harder for us to get a room next time we visit, which we will.
This was our second hotel stop during our 10 day honeymoon and this hotel was by far, the most authentic we stayed in. The owner, Miranda, does not speak any English (luckily for me, my husband is proficient in Italian). We chose to book a room in the newer portion of this hotel, the Relais Christina. We were given the equivalent of the honeymoon suite, with a private terrace overlooking the pool and the gorgeous Italian countryside. This was the best part of our room. The overall comfort of the room was lacking, however, with the bed too hard for our tastes, and the air conditioner did not seem to work. Dinner at the Restaurant Miranda was our favorite of the trip: the Ribbolita was unlike anything we had elsewhere (an almost thanksgiving stuffing loaded with extra vegetables and olive oil) and a delicious beefsteak Florentine. However, the website fails to mention that Miranda does not accept credit card--despite the need of a card to secure a reservation--so be sure to bring plenty of cash, or have ready access to the ATM in town. She also charged us extra for breakfast, which we were surprised about as, again, this was not mentioned on either the website or upon personally securing the room, although we ended up paying it in order to catch our bus on time.
This was truly an authentic stay with fantastic food, but the rooms were a little too rustic for our taste and wished the website had been a bit more accurate regarding the terms of our stay.
When we arrived at the hotel I thought we had the wrong place. All my e-mail correspondence with them was in English as was a telephone conversation to confirm my reservation. This was not the case when we arrived, but with my little Italian and lots of hand signals we were able to communicate a bit. The place is in an absolutely beatiful setting with beautiful buildings. However it is extremely run down and poorly maintained. As we were some of the only guests we got to see several rooms and picked the one at the top of a home because it was the only one without a musty smell. We did end up liking our room and seemed to have the run of the place to ourselves and really enjoyed the natural setting. We clearly asked the price but were surprised when we went to pay the bill that we were charged extra for breakfast, something that did not happen at any other hotel in Italy and Greece and something that was never indicated before we sat down to eat! Miranda did negotiate the breakfast price a bit, but we really had to be persistent to get this. I kind of have a hard time recommending this place unless you are comfortable with a lot of unpredictability and dust!