Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 49: Hideaways International, Villa Ambron
apartment in house, Florence
1998, 1 week
In 1998, my wife, 15-month old son, my parents, and I rented a 3-bedroom apartment in a property named "Villa Ambron" through Hideaways. The apartment was in the hills overlooking Florence. The location was the best part of an overall good rental experience for two reasons: - The apartment was on the Oltrarno side of Florence. It was close enough to walk into Florence (about 20 minutes to the Ponte Vecchio) yet far enough away to make keeping a car convenient. - The view from the apartment was absolutely breathtaking. We were high enough up in the hills to provide a sweeping panorama of the entire city. I could not walk past any of the windows, especially at night, without stopping to marvel at my favorite city in Europe laying before me. Each night, after long days of sight-seeing, we would sit out on the huge terrace, eating dinner, and watching the sun set over Florence while the baby worked off the energy that accumulated from being in a stroller most of the day. That was wonderful.
The apartment at Villa Ambron consisted of three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, and large, fully equipped kitchen. The furnishings were a little on the worn side but still comfortable. The cost of the apartment was $1300 for the week. This includes a $50 (I think) membership fee to Hideaways, Int'l.
Our overall experience with Hideaways was very good. One thing I especially liked was their brochure which rated each property based on Location, Access Roads, Interiors, Exteriors, and one other criteria which I can't think of at the moment. From my experience these ratings were very accurate.
The only improvements I can think of offhand would be the upgrading of some furniture and the addition of a swimming pool. The grounds are certainly large enough for a pool but the grade of the land might make it a difficult and expensive proposition.
Pauline asks: The Villa Ambron sounds like a fabulous location. Was it a house on its own or an apartment? Was it in a rural area or surrounded by houses? Did it have some property surrounding it? Even with the worn furnishings, would you rent it again?
Villa Ambron is a fairly large house/villa split into three apartments: the owners, the one we rented, and a one bedroom. The area was not rural in that you could easily walk to a store/cafe/etc. Although there were a number of other houses in the vicinity, you did not feel surrounded. There was a good deal of property surrounding the villa - a couple of acres, I would guess - and one other house on the property. I would rent this apartment again but only if we travel when the weather was cooler, especially now that we are traveling with children. If we travel during the summer months a pool will be a requirement.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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