Location: “+”: the house is located in Ligurian mountains, in the forest, 25km from Levanto (the closest beach), away from holiday crowds; 2 km away from Sesta Godano, a small village with restaurants, supermarket, pharmacy, petrol station. “-”: half an hour drive to the beach, 45 mins to a nicer beach in Bonassola.
Territory: “+”: very green, very clean, lots of place to run around - great for kids; lots of trees and shadow, really nice in summer.
Animals: “+”: the owners have some sort of a "horse hotel" as they describe it, so horses are treated very well there, this is obvious right away, our kids loved feeding them with hay. “-”: As for all the other animals, however, we felt very sorry for them: poor pig so obese it can hardly move, dog who is locked in a horse stable most of the time, rabbits in a dirty cage. I can't say out kids enjoyed any of this, neither did we.
Day of arrival: “+”: the apartment was very clean; “-”: the couch and duvets, as well as dishes in the kitchen cupboards had very strong “used” smell, not very pleasant. Check-in is officially at 16.30, but we were driving from Como that day, so arrived much earlier, already at 13.30. Dania, the lady who is supposedly in charge of the customer service, was cleaning our apartment and told us we had to wait. She was finished in approx 1 hour and started cleaning another apartment, but still didn't let us in. The pool was closed for a private party that day (no one had warned us about it) and she didn't know where the way to the river was, so we had to wait outside the whole time, with our cat in his travel box and 3 small kids. At 4PM and told us we had to come to the office with her (100m) and bring our passports. In her office she scanned the passports, filled in the contracts (30mins) and then all we had to do was just sign them. I thought it was a bit funny especially because we have 3 small children with us, to let us wait so long and than come there with her, wait again, and only after that were we allowed to finally go inside. By that time the lady seemed very tired, plus other guests arrived, so all the explanations were very short and basically outside because she seemed like she really wanted to leave.
The pool party started in the evening, with dozens of cars driving back and forth, many people walking by, loud music until late in the night. Was a big disappointment not to be able to have proper rest after a 2-day-journey. Both our agent and the owners offered no compensation but instead offered us to leave that same day if we wanted.
Owners: “-”: nowhere to be seen, no one ever came by to say hello, we were under the impression that no one really cares about anything but horses there. We saw Dania a couple of times washing a horse, but her level of English didn't allow us to ask any of the questions that we had. We had had a very different experience during our numerous previous holidays in Black Forest in Germany, so maybe this is normal in Italy, hard for us to judge.
Pool: “+”: open 10AM-12.30PM, 2.30PM-6.30PM, always with a lifeguard, very clean, with lying chairs. “-”: almost no shadow, the small pool closed (for many years already as it turns out - the photos were misleading).
Apartment: “+”: very big, quite modern, felt very spacious for a family of 5. “-”: no privacy, people can look in all the windows, including living room, bedrooms & bathroom, most of which can’t be closed with shutters. It’s located sort of in the middle of all the other holiday apartments (there are 4 total, plus another one for staff), so there are people around all the time, and lots and lots of cars (horse owners?) coming and going non-stop, including trucks and horse trailers. Big plus: mosquito nets everywhere. The kitchen is quite equipped, but not very thought-through (no oven, microwave with different plug and no adaptor, no kitchen towels, only 3 wine glasses, no shots (Limoncello from an espresso cup doesn’t taste the same :-) ) etc.
Bbq: “+”: very nice area behind the house with 2 covered tables, free wood and a big grill. “-”: mosquitos&flies.
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