Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 633: Summer In Italy, Villa Ferdinando
sleeps 6, Campania
6/27-7/5/03, 1 week
Here is the review I sent to the people at Summer in Italy-verbatim Dear Luca-
I am writing to you at your request about our disappointing experience with Villa Ferdinando actually called Villa Svizzera by the Parco di Principi Hotel. I have rented villas in Italy for the last four summers and never have been disappointed .. until now. Unfortunately I had also recommended this place to some friends who spent a week there before us and they were equally as disappointed. I feel this property is tremendously overpriced for the state the villa (gatehouse) is in and where it is located. There are five reasons I say this.
First, the location. The gatehouse is located on a very noisy street and it is vitually impossible to get to sleep until 2 am and the noise begins again at 5 a.m.
There is no view/ambiance around the house. One side faces a noisy street so you keep the windows closed. The other side faces a parking lot next to construction debris (the hotel deposits its tiles and other debris next to this house.) While it is true you have access to the Hotel property which is quite beautiful, you need to walk to it. None of the feel carries over to this place. It's parking lot, noisy street or construction debris.
Second, the gatehouse is in a state of disrepair. There are cracks in the walls, the paint is peeling on the walls--especially in the kitchen where you spend most of your time because that is the only room where there the air conditioning really works ( there are only two AC units anyway- the kitchen and the Master BR-- which is insufficient to cool the upstairs). Our friends the week before us were left without a functioning AC at all for several days- we at least had one unit that worked. Our friends had plumbing problems the week before-- and when we arrived the kitchen sink was still not draining.
Third, the unit itself is not well maintained. When our friends arrived the sheets had not been changed. When we arrived, the toilet had not been brushed, and the floors not mopped--very dusty place.
Fourth, the unit itself lacks any charm-- inside or outside. There are furniture remnants from the hotel (laminate) that are falling apart together with antiques. Besides the fact you have to keep the place dark to keep out the noise and eliminate the view of the parkinglot and debris- the interior has no redeeming charm. I have stayed in places that had simple, casual furniture and needed to be boarded up to keep out the heat, but there was always some charm- whether it was the outdoor terrazza, the indoor decorations or a view-- this has none.
Fifth, the managers of the property are clearly not interested in keeping the "villa" residents happy. Upon arrival there are no instructions about the villa, or what you can and can't do on the hotel property. When we made them aware of the problems with the AC and the plumbing they did come quickly and resolve the problem within the day-- but they clearly were more annoyed than concerned. We told the manager that we were disappointed-- his response was that you are the only people I've ever heard that from. We told him that was actually not true as we had friends that had stayed the week before and were frustrated as well. His response was well sometimes you just don't get what you want in life. While that may be true in general that is not how you deal with customers in any country-- especially at the prices for this place. While some of the people at the desk were helpful--- one got the sense overall that we were low priority--especially from the management.
The redeeming factors: The Hotel property, the pool and the terrace are beautiful and we did enjoy those-- after a short walk--only a pity the management would not let us enjoy a picnic there--NO FOOD other than hotel. Sorrento and the entire Amalfi coast is marvelous-- and we plan to return, however, the next time I will steer clear of this place.
So Luca, I know this is not the review you were looking for, but I need to tell you that I will discourage my friends (and others on Slowtrav.com) from this property and perhaps from your company's services-- I am wary of the quality of your other properties at this point. I do think that when your company got a call from us on a Sunday morning telling you how disappointed we were--and that things were not working-- that you should have done more than send in an "agnostic and rude" manager. At the very least, you should have called us back a day or two later to make sure things were resolved. Your website leads one to believe that you take pride in your placements-- our experience was different.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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