Monday, May 29, 2006

"La Preghiera - Simply the best"


"La Preghiera - Simply the Best"
May 15, 2006: Jeff Rayner, a TripAdvisor Member, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

"As the title suggests - Le Preghiera Luxury Bed & Breakfast is the very best accommodation we have ever experienced in our many years of traveling. We take at least one 2-3 week trip each year to Europe and, as a result, have experienced a wide range of accommodations. We have stayed in everything from 2-star hotels, to basic level B&Bs, to 5-Star hotels and lodges, but have never experienced luxury and service the way we did at La Preghiera.
Situated in the exceptionally beautiful and still very rural province of Umbria - about two and a half hours north of Roma, and easily accessible via train or car - La Preghiera'a literal translation is "the prayer". As that might suggest - La Preghiera is an 800 year old former monastery that has been lovingly and amazingly restored by it's owners John and Liliana Tunstill. Many of the original sections of the three buildings that make up La Preghiera are still visible and this provides a genuine feel for the architecture and building styles of that era.
The restoration, however, was undertaken with the idea that today's travelers desire all the conveniences that are found in modern, urban hotels. On this point, La Preghiera will definitely not disappoint. Each room is the epitome of luxury and modern convenience. Each room has a luxurious bathroom, with marble shower and all the amenities that one needs. The beds are fantastic! The most comfortable we have ever experienced.
The remainder of the main house, outside the bedrooms, is also fantastic! The common areas are very well appointed, yet so comfortable and relaxing that you sometimes wonder if you're back at home. If you want to have a great afternoon nap - try the couches in front of the huge fireplace in the sitting room. I slept there at least once each of the seven days we were at Le Preghiera.
The breakfast that is provided each morning is amazing! Comprised of locally grown or raised produce, cheeses, meats and baked goods - we had a distinctly different offering each morning for seven mornings. And the cafe con latte is wonderful!
Having said all of the above relative to the facilities, food, etc. - what really sets La Preghiera apart from anywhere that we have stayed is the people who run it. John and Liliana are the most accommodating, the most gracious hosts you could imagine. They're two of the best people we've ever met while traveling. Sally Ann manages the day-to-day operations and, again, she is the epitome of service. Sally Ann went out of her way to ensure that we had everything we needed to have the most enjoyable time while at La Preghiera. She arranged wine and cheese making tours for us, assisted with suggestions and reservations with a number of restaurants in the area and was always available when we had questions or needed directions. Sally Ann came with us on the wine tour that she arranged just to make sure the tour was up to La Preghiera standards. There is so much to do in the area surrounding Calzolaro that you'll be hard-pressed to get to everything. Do, however, make sure you get to the hillside town of Gubbio. It's amazing! The Roman Amphitheatre, the Church of Saint Ubaldo on the mountain and the rest of the town must to be seen to be appreciated.
The remainder of the staff at La Preghiera are also amazing! They all, in a very genuine manner, love what they do and what they do best is take care of their guests. I could go on and on about the many other attributes of La Preghiera, but the best way to experience them is to go there yourself. You will not be disappointed. And, if you do get there, ask John for a tour of the Toy Soldier Museum - it's phenomenal! We are planning to return again next year as we feel we have not only experienced exceptional luxury and service, but we have made new friends as well."