Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2453: Castello di Lamole, Il Solatio
apartments on an estate in Lamole, near Greve, Tuscany Chianti
oct.19-23 2006, 5 nights
The castle is located on a hillside about nine miles outside Greve in Chianti. The drive from Greve is up a pretty winding road with beautiful vistas of the surrounding hills.
You could walk up the hill about 15 minutes to a very good restaurant in the tiny village of Lamole. They also had a few deli items you could purchase to go - otherwise the closest grocery or store of any kind would be in Greve.
The castle has several apartments of varying size and layout. Our rental was the Il Solatio - listed on the website as 2+2.
This particular apartment has a small patio out the door and around the corner. It is somewhat private; it adjoins the seating area for another apartment. There is a pool on the property but we didn't have a chance to use it due to the weather.
The apartment was just okay cleanliness and amenity-wise. The tiny downstairs kitchen/living room was too small to even incorporate seating other than the small kitchen table and chairs. The only other seating was two lawn chairs folded up against the wall. These had to be folded up to get in and out the door. There is a non-functioning fireplace/hearth holding two pillows. You could maybe sit on these on the stone hearth but it wouldn't be comfortable and the pillows were really, really dirty - stained with crusty, dried - what I assumed was food. The kitchen walls were also splattered with food. Not very inviting.
The bathroom was nice with a large shower. There was no toilet paper; we had to ask for it and it arrived after eight hours after we already bought our own. The beds were comfortable and the bedrooms, especially the master, were quite large. There were no pillowcases and the bed in the second bedroom was totally unmade, just a bare mattress and box spring. We made up the bed with sheets that we found. The pillowcases were delivered on the second night left outside our door with the toilet paper.
The kitchen was okay for minimal cooking. No oven. No pantry items like pepper, oil, tea etc. Not even matches to light the stove. A minor inconvenience but we didn't have any with us so were unable to use the stove the first night as we planned.
Problems or Bonuses
The service at this rental was extremely bad. On the evening that we arrived it was dark and raining and as we pulled in to the driveway of the castle it looked dark. We stopped next to the restaurant and my partner walked up the drive to find the office. There was no one there. We walked around trying to find anyone to help us. Eventually a man, who turned out to be the restaurant manager, came out and told us to move our car. We explained that we were there to check in and he said Ricardo, the owner, was not there. He said he would get our key from the office while we moved our car back out across the road.
When we returned he gave us our key and asked for our passports. He said Ricardo would be there by 10 in the morning the next day. We then let ourselves in to the apartment and discovered that it had only one bedroom and not the two that we booked. We walked back to the restaurant and asked to talk to the manager. He said there was nothing he could do about it as he was just the restaurant manager and we would have to take it up with Ricardo.
The next morning we changed our plans and waited around for Ricardo. He didn't show. Restaurant manager still had our passports. We decided to leave and come back. We came back at 4pm and still no Ricardo. Restaurant manager avoided us until we demanded to see him. He was angry and wanted to know exactly what the problem was. We explained the bedroom situation again. He was mad and said it wasn't his job to deal with. He said Ricardo and his wife were rarely there and in fact hadn't been there in FIVE days. This was later confirmed by other guests who were demanding there passports back after being without them for days. We asked for our passports back immediately as we were contemplating leaving. At this point he said he would call Ricardo and he would be there in 45 minutes.
We went to our apartment to wait and five minutes later the restaurant manager and a chef arrived at our door with a key. The chef said he thought he knew the problem. He went upstairs and unlocked an adjoining door to another bedroom. We thanked him and waited to hear from Ricardo. Again - a no show.
The NEXT AFTERNOON we finally found Ricardo in the office. We got our passports back. He wanted us to settle our bill as so far we had only paid a deposit as there had been no one there for three days. He offered no apology and we ended settling for a half payment for the first night.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would not stay here again. This is a very poorly run enterprise. We stayed at many other great apartments in Italy and saw many other good options in this area.
Things to do in this area
The restaurant in Lamole was fantastic. We loved the food and the staff was the best of anyplace on our trip.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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