Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2297: Le Maribelle, Le Maribelle 3
2bed/2bath apartment in Monticchiello, Tuscany South
April 2006, 3 days
Le Maribelle is located in the small, quaint town of Monticchiello. The location of the apartment was near the center of town, but the town is so small everything could be considered near the center of town. The apartment was in a building with other apartments (1-2) that I believe were occupied by residents of the town, not other tourists.
Because the town is so small it was easy to walk (5-10 minutes) to the nearby restaurants (all 2 of them) and the small grocery store, just on the outskirts of the town walls.
According to the owner, the building was an old stable for livestock. It definitely has an "old" feel about it. Le Maribelle is a complex made up of three units, Le Maribelle 1, Le Maribelle 2 and Le Maribelle 3. Furthermore, Le Maribelle 3 breaks down into two units, Maribelle 1, a one bedroom apartment on the first floor, and Maribelle 2, a second bedroom and bathroom (no kitchen or living area) on the ground floor that can be added onto Maribelle 1, making the combined unit of Le Maribelle 3 a two bedroom apartment. You could not hear anything between the apratments, though, on a few mornings you could hear the rooster crowing or the townspeople getting up and going about their business.
There was a nice, private, outside sitting area with Maribelle 1. Maribelle 2 did not have an outside area. There was no pool.
The furnishings were adequate and expected for the price. It was very clean. Plenty of towels and blankets.
Maribelle 1 does not have a living room as the description says on the website. The "living room" is the kitchen table (table and four chairs)and was crowded with five people. There is a satellite TV in the kitchen.
The beds were comfortable. Maribelle 1 has a nice queen size bed on the 2nd floor. The owner assured us we could fit three people in Maribelle 1 by putting a bed in the living room (aka kitchen). Needless to say, once the bed was added you could barely move in the kitchen. This "bed" was extremely uncomfortable and provide no privacy for the person who had to sleep there.
Maribelle 2 had a modern shower, but was essentially in the bedroom (no separation/privacy). Maribelle 1 had a small bathroom with a very small European style bathtub, no shower. Because the bathtub was under the staircase, it was difficult to stand straight up.
The kitchen was nice, and had plenty of pots, pans, coffee maker. Because of its small size (and being overcrowded when all five of us were there at the same time) we did not cook any meals.
Problems or Bonuses
The major surprise was the lack of the living room in Maribelle 1. It cannot accommodate three people in any way. Maribelle 2 was private but very dark, very little natural light, great for sleeping though.
The owner, Barbara was very nice, though a business woman. We were originally scheduled to stay in Le Maribelle 1, a two bedroom apartment, but she moved us to Le Maribelle 3 upon arrival.
The names of the apartments are confusing. There are: Le Maribelle 1, Le Maribelle 2 and Le Maribelle 3 (which consists of 2 rooms, Maribelle 1 and Maribelle 2).
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner, Barbara, was friendly and spoke very good English. We corresponded with her via e-mail and she was very good about giving directions. We stayed for three days in April and paid approximately 300 Euros for Le Maribelle 3 (both Maribelle 1 and Maribelle 2).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again if I stayed in Le Maribelle 1 or 2, but not Le Maribelle 3. It was clean and for the price, it can't be beat. We were out and about for most of our three days there, so the lack of a living room only became an issue in the evenings after dinner when some of us wanted to sit and chit chat while the person whose bed was in the kitchen wanted to go to sleep.
Things to do in this area
There was a wonderful Osteria at the front called La Porta (I believe that's the name). It was nice to stop in for coffee in the morning or for a wonderful Tuscan meal in the evenings.
Monticchiello has such an authentic feel, with very few tourists. We will certainly return to this tiny town. It was an easy drive to Pienza, Montipulciano and Montalcino.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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