Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1612: Rentvillas, Baleno
1bed/2bath apartment in Positano, Campania
2005, 7 days
This villa is located in Positano. Positano is a stuningly beautiful and well known beach town (and fishing village) on the Amalfi Coast.
While the town is actually quite small, the villa itself is located on what you might call the "quiet" end of town. For us, this was actually a selling point. Away from the busy downtown area yet easily accessible via a pleasant and scenic walk or by clean, friendly, (and cheap) local bus.
There are a few flights of stairs to climb from the street to the front door. I know some people might see this as an issue, but it certinly was not for my wife and I. I honestly enjoyed the stairs ... a subtle way to get your blood pumping and stretch your legs ... and you might find you need it with all the great food and down time on the beach!
Yes, and this was important for us. We love to cook and there was a small local grocer on the main road below the villa. While not very fancy, we found the quality and price of this quaint small grocer excellent. Fruit, cheese, wine, eggs, bread, etc. were all great.
I would highly recommend our usual routine which was: Stop by the grocer for some fresh fruit, cheese and wine on the way back from the beach for an early evening refreshment on the terrace of the villa. Enjoy the scene of boats going by, the comings and goings at the bus stop far below, watch the gardener across the valley tend to his plants, breathe in the fresh air and take your time freshening up and getting ready for dinner!
The villa is one of a few in this building, but so separate from the others you might not even notice this and it certainly felt like a stand alone.
Let me preface the detailed description of the layout by saying this villa is awesome. It was perfectly sized for a couple (but it could accommodate more with the pull out couch in the living room).
It was not luxurious in a Four Seasons sort of way, but had a simple homey elegance. It felt like we were staying at a favorite uncle's summer house. We really felt comfortable and at home almost instantly. I would stongly suggest looking at the photos and descriptions on www.rentvillas.com as it well represents the villa.
If you were to draw this unit, from an overhead perspective, it would be three parallel rectangles. From left to right the rectangles would be: the terrace, the rooms, and a hall. The main entrance opens into the rectangle on the far right, which is the main hall that stretches the length of the unit. As you walk down the hall, all of the rooms are to your left, and all of them have access to the terrace. So, when you open the front door, you are looking down the hall. Walking in, the kitchen is on your left, and you can see the terrace, mountain side, and a bit of the sea. Walk a few more steps and look left and you are looking into the living room ... again the terrace and outdoors are visible on the other side of the room. A few more steps down the hall and you'll be looking into the bedroom, and again the view and access to the terrace. There is a small bathroom on the right at the end of the hall and another bath in the master bedroom.
All of this rooms are clean, well maintained, and quite comfortable.
The private terrace of this unit is one of its best features. Generously sized (again we were a couple, but it could easily accommodate a small family) and with great views of the water, passing boats, lush mountainside and other villas across and below.
The hairpin turn of the road far below near the Hotel Posa Posa was a source of endless people watching entertainment. The comings and goings of tourists and locals, deliverymen, the local bus, and fearless scooter drivers. You could definitely hear the traffic, but it's quite far below, and I would say it never was loud enough to be a bother.
We spent long hours sitting out on the terrace at this villa, reading, eating, drinking, and generally enjoying the views.
Yes, everything was clean and in good shape.
Really the only fault I had with the entire experience, albeit minor, was that I would have preferred a single matress bed in the master bedroom.(it is a california king (?) meaning two beds pushed together).
I'll preface this section by saying that my wife and I are gourmet cooks and have spent more money on our kitchen stove than most people spend on their first car. While this kitchen is modern and well appointed, it is not a luxury or highend kitchen, and we loved it. Again, we felt like we were staying at a benign relative's summer home, and things like the mismatched china and flatware only added to this positive vibe.
Problems or Bonuses
While we loved having a washing machine in the villa, I must say I had a good laugh finding my wife with her English-Italian dictionary in hand trying to figure out what the various setting meant. No surprises here, the villa was accuarately represented by Rentvillas.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Rentvillas.com was excellent. Suzanne and her collegues were efficient and professional and took great care in ensuring our needs were understood and met. I was initially drawn to the clean functionality of their website, but plan to use them again due to their personalized service.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I would absolutely stay in this villa again. I enjoyed everything about it and the town.
Things to do in this area
Two of the best restaurants we ate at were in Montepertusco (a small town high above Positano). From the villa you would need to take the bus into the center of town to connect to the bus to Montepertusco (or take a cab) but this is easy to figure out, quick (and cheap) and scenic.
Il Ritrovo: The staff here could not have been friendlier or the food much better. A great value.
Donna Rosa: This is a little more pricy, but worth it. Again, the staff was excellent and the food even better. I am not a wine expert, and a the risk of sounding like a character in the movie Sideways, we had a bottle of wine from their reserve cellar that quite literally made my heart pound like I was on a first date.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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