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James Benfield

Member since: 2008
Speaks: english, french, german, italian

CLUB MONTECCHIO - all inclusive rates; 2 lux villas, lge pool,views, wine estate - Il Prato

90 Reviews
Bedrooms 2
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 5 - 7 nights

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Siena Area Villa Rental Photos and Description

Villa on wine estate w 2 Lux homes,lge pool,housekeeper,housewine,cocktails,wifi


Mainly because this area has so much to offer that we hope guests will want to visit more than once. But also because what we offer is much more than a conventional 'self catering' rental.

Our 'FULLY INCLUSIVE' weekly RATES cover: a generous WELCOME HAMPER of speciality foods & wines from top quality local suppliers(more than enough for the first weekend's catering needs), PLUS as much mFREE Montecchio HOUSE WINE as you wish, throughout your stay. Our FREE COCKTAIL BAR of branded spirits and local liqueurs such as Limoncello is also kept stocked throughout your stay.

Our CONCIERGE SERVICE is provided by local boutique hoteliers, who help with everything from booking the best restaurants, to fixing a cookery class or even a massage, onsite at Montecchio!

ALL ENERGY COSTS are included - very expensive in Italy! ; all linens & towels are included(inc pool) with cleaning and change of linens every 3-4 days, and at end of stay; we provide a continuous supply of Fragonard bathroom toiletries and daily consumables (everything from dishwasher tablets to Montecchio's own Olive Oil!).

Baby Cots/Cribs with linens, and High chairs are available free of charge, where required.

Indoor & Outdoor Games, as well as Pool Toys for the Large Pool (19m x 6m , shared, open 01/05-31/09); DVD, Video & CD libraries offering a wide choice; FREE WiFi in all houses.

The result, we think, is 2 Comfortable Vacation Villas, that really feel like 'Home From Home', from the moment that you walk through the front door. We hope that you will be tempted to come and judge for yourselves!

CLUB MONTECCHIO is located centrally in Tuscany, within easy reach of the main 'must see' destinations of Siena(20mins drive), Florence, San Gimignano, Arezzo, Cortona, Montepulciano and Montalcino(all around an hour). Further afield, but still easily accessed by autotstrada/highway are Pisa, Perugia, Orvieto, Bologna and even Rome.

What's more the Chianti Way(Chiantigiana) runs right past the Villa Arceno estate's front door, leading up into the Chianti, and all it's famous wineries(Felsina, San Felice, Brolio, Capannelle, Badia e Coltibuono, Castello di Ama etc), picturesque towns such as Gaiole, Radda, Panzano, Greve etc.

But there is no need to roam afar, as Montecchio is surrounded by many beautiful and historic hillside villages, all worth visiting, and usually with bars and good restaurants.

More Details

Details for Il Prato 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4, 2 Bathrooms

A spacious Two Bedroom north-facing house with spectacular views across the Chianti hills and the hilltop village of Montebenichi. Sleeps 4. *Large wrought iron four-poster Double with en suite full bathroom(shower over bath). *Twin with iron bedsteads and en suite full shower room *Ground floor lounge through to kitchen-dining room,with Tuscan style kitchen *Sofa bed in lounge(use to be agreed in advance; supplement charged) *Utility room with washing machine,ironing board & safe *Terrace has natural shade for much of the day *Hammock under trees in privacy of garden
  • Events Allowed
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • not suitable for children
  • pets considered
James Benfield (Owner)
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english, french, german, italian

About James Benfield

Montecchio is home in Tuscany to James and Penny Benfield, where we spend half of the year, and which we enjoy sharing with guests.

We had the great good fortune to 'fall over' the best spot on the highest point of the beautiful Villa Arceno wine estate, when contemplating the right place for a vacation home. After 30 years of living in Central London, and spoilt by a jet set corporate lifestyle with lots of travel, we needed something exceptional, in a beautiful setting, away from the developed centres of tourism.

James Benfield purchased this villa in 1998

Why James Benfield chose Siena Area

Because it's a 'little piece of paradise' :

- off the tourist track,

- in a stunning location on a hilltop, with breathtaking 360 degree views of the Chianti hills,

- in the countryside, but surrounded by picturesque villages, and just 20 minutes from the Renaissance gem of Siena,

- close to major roads, giving fast and easy access to Florence, San Gimignano, Perugia, Orvieto, and many more 'must see' places,

- and most important for 'foodies', the area offers a wealth of good restaurants & quality wineries.

What makes this villa unique

HOME FROM HOME with 5 star standards of comfort and luxury.

Because we controlled the renovation of the large Tuscan farmhouse from the very beginning, we were able to develop the property with the emphasis on privacy. As a result, Montecchio is made up of PROPER HOUSES, and NOT APARTMENTS, as would be the norm in Italy. Each house has a separate outlook, private garden, and segregated parking pergola.

Both rental houses were designed and furnished in the same style as our own place, filled with pieces of art & furniture from our own collections, and the kitchens equipped to professional standards.

The result, we think, is two comfortable Vacation Villas, that feel like 'Home from Home', from the moment that you walk through the front door.

All this plus the owners' in-depth knowledge of the area, and it's amenities, with the 'inside track' on everything on which local retaurants are 'hot' currently, to where to park safely & legally in Florence|!


based on 90 traveler reviews

Il Prato
average rating of 5.0 based on 90 reviews

Il Prato - even better than a home from home!

  • 5 of 5

This is our second time at Montecchio and again it was a total treat. We had our three small children in tow and they were accommodated for and loved the pool and large garden to run around in. The location is stunning and James and Penny deliver an amazingly high standard of service. The welcome hamper on arrival is more like a fully stocked fridge and store cupboard! The free wine every day is a treat and the finishes in the villa are all to a ridiculously high standard - Emma Bridgewater crockery! The housekeeper is on hand daily and there was nothing we wanted for.

We love Montecchio and the surrounding area. The local towns are lovely and I could not recommend a week here more highly! Already recommended to friends and I have no doubt we will be back again.

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautiful and peaceful

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful visit in a tastefully decorated and immaculate Tuscan villa. It was everything we had hoped for and more. The welcome basket included tasty Italian delicacies and there was a cold bottle of Prosecco waiting for us in the fridge! Linens and towels were changed midweek, toys were brought for our youngest and there really was as much wine as you could drink. Follow the suggestions for restaurants - we did and were not disappointed. I highly recommend Club Montecchio.

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: It is still a joy when guests recognise the "extras" that we provide, as we believe strongly that there are people who appreciate "value" over just "price". That is why we provide our huge Welcome Hamper on arival, and stock our villas with all imaginable staples(toilet paper and bathroom toiletries, through to wood and matches for fireplaces), so that guests do not have to go shopping immediately on arrival, rather they can enjoy the free housewine and prosecco! We also provide free Concierge to help guest pre-plan their tours, cookery classes etc, and once again, they can just enjoy their time in our special place. Thank you Cree, for noticing!
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Beautiful and Relaxing Montecchio

  • 5 of 5

We cannot thank James and Penny Benfield, and their staff, for making our stay here nothing short of spectacular. Their attention to detail is beyond comparison to any 5 star resorts that I have visited in the past. The wines and fine foods that are provided to you upon arrival are delicious and true examples of local Italian delicacies. Throughout our stay Christine, who oversees the day to day operations, was there to make sure we had everything we needed. The location and setting are ideal with the villa being surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, as well as close proximity to other Tuscan cities and attractions. I would very highly recommend Club Montecchio to anyone wishing to experience a truly wonderful Tuscan vacation. You will be definitely planning a return trip to this Tuscan gem.

  • Submitted: Jun 30, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: This was Bruce and wife's second visit to Club Montecchio, and they are gracious and considerate guests, as can be seen in this generous review. We do try hard on the details, as well as sourcing the best of local foods for our huge Welcome Hamper, and wine for the unlimited supplies of vino della casa. Cristina, our housekeeper of 13 years standing, is onsite daily, does an amazing job and really does run the place, whiost Rita, our Concierge can arrange everything from restaurant bookings, to tickets for the Palio. Come back soon Bruce.
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Amazing place, great location and awesome owners!

  • 5 of 5

I went ti Italy with a group of friends and we were looking for a home base in Tuscany. This place is awesome! The location is convenient to all of the major hill towns and Siena, but tucked away in the rolling hills of olive trees and vineyards.

The villa was excellent! We spent the first two days in the villa without leaving except to go to the town to get groceries. The rooms are large and the comfortable, and the beds were very comfortable. The patio area was a great place to spend the evenings drinking wine and having dinner.

They helped us organize a chef to come in and give us a cooking class. Andrea and his wife were so much fun and we thoroughly enjoyed both their company and the food we made. He is very passionate about ingredients flavors and it showed in the end result.

We also arranged for dinner at Bottega del 30, which if you are a foodie I highly recommend. It is only a few kilometers away and the food was the best meal we had on our trip.

The last arrangement we made was for a wine tour. We did have a problem with one arrangement as the gal assisting us in making our arrangement did not tell the wine tour driver that we had purchased tickets to tour the Barone Ricasole castle and wine tour. I thought he knew and we missed the start of the tour and it was non-refundable. The only rude people we encountered in all of Italy were at this winery, so I would recommend just using the driver and letting them pick the wineries. The restaurant our driver chose was excellent and so were the other two wineries. We all bought wine from them and had it shipped home.

  • Submitted: Jun 29, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: This group of ladies were a joy to work with, and they really understood the "country house" club concept that we try to provide. As can be read they made good use of our complimentary Concierge in arranging restaurant bookings, our regular visiting chef, Andrea, and wine tours. I wasn't aware of the slip-up at Brolio, amd will be in touch to offer to refund the price of the tour tickets(and offer lots of additional Prosecco for a return visit!!); thankfully our regular driver managed to recver the situation! This generous review(especially so in the circumstances!) does highlight the special location that we enjoy, both on the awrsomely beautiful Villa Arceno wine estate, and in the centre of the Chianti hils, with their many pistueresque and historic hill towns(Radda, Gaiole, San Gusme etc). Plus as is highlighted by the Bottega del 30 review, we really are in foodie heaven - there are 3 other excellent restaurants in Villa a Sesta, where Bottega is situated!
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Very special piece of heaven!

  • 5 of 5

From the first contact emails with James Benfield (owner) and Rita Mancini (consierge) to the last farewell by housekeeper Cristina everything was wonderful!

A stay and a property to remember:

- The welcome package (incl. stocked refrigerator) was exactly that: extremely appreciated.

- The house (il Prato) was furnished and equipped with all you could wish for and more. (Leave your towels and hair dryer at home!)

- The pool is beautifully situated with great views.

- The homemade restaurant and shop guide (collection of business cards with personalized comments and recommendations) was a great source of reference. (We can add one more, see below)

- For a bike tour we can highly recommend "Chianti bicycles" in Castelnuovo B. Call first to set up a time to meet owner at the store and enjoy his knowledge. Tip: get an ebike! You WILL wish you hand one very soon on your trip.

- You don't need to bring any literature/travel guides about the area - the bookshelf is filled with guides and maps.

- Perfect location for day trips!

Our group size was two little kids (3 and 5) and three adults and we fitted perfectly into Il Prato with one kids in master bedroom in cod and the other sharing the 2nd bedroom with grandma.

We can highly recommend Club Montecchio.

  • Submitted: Jun 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Greta and family have been generous in recognising the many "extras" that we provide as part of our offer; those things that we hope set us apart, as part of our "Club" concept, and make us good value for the rates that we set. From the very first contact, our Concierge service can help with pre-booking tours and restaurants, and our top quality house wine and free cocktail bar await arrivals. These are the things that we personally associate with the best Country House hotels, which we seek to emulate.
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Expect the unexpected in excellence.....A cut above!

  • 5 of 5

What do you look for when you travel? Comfort, a break from the ordinary, a chance to treat yourself to a few luxurious moments? What do you expect from your 'home away from home'? Exceptional service, cleanliness, location.

From the moment I contacted James Benfield regarding the booking, responses were immediate and with a good deal of helpful information.

I was looking for a strategic but peaceful place from which to discover the delights of Tuscany. Just as important is how Montecchio is run like a 'club' with continuing on-line and in-house support.

The Welcome Hamper is exceptional and absolutely complete in every way. After a long day of travel from Rome trying to navigate the infamous Italian roads, we arrived to a selection of fine foods and drinks that covered everything we could need for dinner....and then some. You can't explain how much this is appreciated when you don't have to navigate the local village for food when you arrive.

Attention to detail is brilliant and cannot be exaggerated.

The kitchen is fully stocked; nothing has been overlooked. The living room has comfortable tasteful furniture and accompanied by books, movies and maps. Wood for the fireplace is replenished as needed.

Especially helpful was the map and parking garage details for our trip to Firenze; this along with the invaluable GPS in the rental car and the amazing ability of my son to drive Italian style on the narrow, windy, mountainous hairpin roads.

The bedrooms are elegant with extremely comfortable beds, fresh crisp linens and thick plush towels.

Rita arranged tickets for the Uffizi and Academie. I would strongly suggest you avail yourself of this service as many attractions book up quickly. Christina did a great job with our mid-week bed and towel change and refreshing our wine each day. What a delight to place your wine bottles outside the door each morning to return home to new ones for your sipping pleasure after a long day of sightseeing. Montecchio wine is fine indeed.

Sunshine favored us one day for a beautiful walk along the iconic cypress lined road. Sunrises are spectacular over the Tuscan valley. We laughed, we rested, we ate, we adventured all from the comforts of our 'home away from home'.

The only disappointment, we did not have a chance to meet James and Penny.

Thank You for sharing this piece of paradise and hope one day our paths will cross. I recommend this home whole-heartedly to would-be future guests.

Martha, Ottawa, Canada

  • Submitted: Jun 1, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are humbled by your generous and fulsome review; thank you Martha, from the bottom of my heart! I can honestly say that I do not think, that any previous guest has quite captured the essence of what we were trying to express, when we decide to call it a "club"..........but you did! And all that in our absence! We are so very fortunate with Cristina and Rita, and we know it!
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Nearest Airport
100 Kilometres
Florence and Pisa
Nearest Barpub
2 Kilometres
Sira & Remino in San Gusme
Nearest Ferry
165 Kilometres
Nearest Golf
35 Kilometres
La Bagnaia in Val di Chiana
Nearest Train
20 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
7 Kilometres
Siena - Arezzo H'way- Castelnuovo Berardenga exit
Nearest Restaurant
2 Kilometres
La Porta del Chianti in San Gusme for fish
Nearest Ski
145 Kilometres
Nearest Beach
100 Kilometres
Punta Ala and Castiglione del Pesacaia
Car: necessary

In the heart of Tuscany, Casale Montecchio, which houses Club Montecchio, is set in the historic Villa Arceno estate,to the north of the town of Castelnuovo Berardenga,at the southern end of the Chianti Classico wine region.The estate is 20 minutes drive from Siena,and 7km north of the Siena-Arezzo road.

The Villa is within easy reach of the historic cultural centres of Siena,Florence(1hr) & Arezzo(3/4hr),and is surrounded by famous name Chianti wineries(Brolio,Felsina,San Felice).

Castelnuovo Berardenga offers comprehensive food shopping,several restaurants,banks and other local services.Surrounding hilltop villages,San Gusme,Villa a Sesta and Montebenichi offer additional restaurants and bars.

Other Activities: Go Karting

Golf: Florence Golf Club Ugolino(1 hr drive) - open to non members.


Rates & Availability

Castelnuovo Berardenga Villa Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
High Season
Jun 18 2016 - Sep 2 2016
7 night minimum stay
Mid Season
Sep 3 2016 - Sep 23 2016
7 night minimum stay
Sep 24 2016 - Oct 28 2016
5 night minimum stay
Low Season
Oct 29 2016 - Dec 9 2016
5 night minimum stay
Low Season
Jan 14 2017 - Apr 21 2017
5 night minimum stay
Spring Season
Apr 22 2017 - May 12 2017
5 night minimum stay
Mid Season
May 13 2017 - Jun 16 2017
5 night minimum stay
High Season
Jun 17 2017 - Sep 1 2017
7 night minimum stay
Mid Season
Sep 2 2017 - Sep 22 2017
7 night minimum stay
Autumn Season
Sep 23 2017 - Oct 27 2017
5 night minimum stay
Low Season
Oct 28 2017 - Dec 15 2017
5 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable damage deposit $558

Wkly rates include luxury Welcome Hamper, free Cocktail Bar + Montecchio Housewine & Olive Oil throughout stay,ALL energy costs (inc logs & charcoal), all linens(inc pool towels), daily consumables, Fragonard bathroom toiletries throughout, clean & change of linens every 3-4 days, 5 star Concierge service by local hoteliers, free WiFi.

Daily rates exclude Welcome Hamper(100 euro supplement).

Saturday to Saturday bookings requested during peak season(July to mid September).

Security deposit preferred by personal check(which are destroyed post departure); inspections are carried out as part of pre-arrival cleaning procedures. Cash deposits are returned within 2 weeks of departure.

We accept children over 12 years of age.

Well behaved dogs welcome if preadvised!

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Siena Area Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa (terraced)
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 110 m²
Location Type:
  • Mountain
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Luxury
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Bottled Water
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Computer Available ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • PC
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Safe
  • Shampoo
  • Sofa Bed
  • Sunbed
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , bidet
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , bidet
  • Bath robes/dressing gowns supplied. All bathrooms are kept stocked with Fragonard toiletries throughout stay. Pool towels supplied.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single , May be made-up as Double
  • Bedrooms are tastefully furnished with antique and local country furniture,and have ceiling( fans very effective if needed at the height of the summer). Both bedrooms have spectacular views across the garden's olive trees, estate woodlands towards the Chianti hills and the picturesque hilltop village of Montebenichi. Infant cot & linens available at no charge,with prior booking.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Toys ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Patio
  • Tennis ...
  • Terrace
  • 4 garden chairs
  • 4 beach chairs
  • Events Allowed
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • not suitable for children ...
  • pets considered ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Outdoor Pool
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Housekeeper
  • Massage
  • Private Chef
  • Staff
  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • forests
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • swimming
  • tennis
Luxury 'welcome hamper' of top quality local specialty food & wines supplied for week long bookings, complimentary cocktail tray, Montecchio house wine & olive oil throughout stay,all energy costs included(inc logs for fires and charcoal for BBQ) plus most consumables supplied(washing powder, dishwasher tablets etc). Fragonard bathroom toiletries and most daily consumables supplied throughout stay, cleaning & change of linens every 3-4 days. Nespresso machine with free capsules throughout stay. Complimentary concierge service provided by local hoteliers, to help with booking restaurants, wine tours etc. Generously equipped and furnished inside and out, to allow guests to entertain friends & visitors. The private garden has ample provision of garden furniture, sun loungers and outdoor mattresses, as well as a hammock in the trees. The Villa's Outdoor Games include a selection of games such as badminton, skittles, boules etc.

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