Date of holiday 1st – 15th July 2006
Let me first explain what type of holiday my family and I like, then I will explain the accommodation and lastly I will tell you of our experience of the Villa Olivo in Bardolino Italy (Lake Garda)
We are a family of 2 adults and three boys aged 9, 12 and 14. Our holidays are very simple, we go to an apartment, relax, enjoy the food, swim in the pool and soak up the sun, and that is it. (Sounds boring, but after a long hard working year it is just what the doctor ordered). That is what we wanted from this holiday as well.
The Villa Olivo consists of two types of accommodation: self-catering and a hotel which offers bed and breakfast. Those in the apartments could avail of the breakfast at a cost of 8 euros per person. (But after seeing what was being bought in the local Lidl for breakfast we were put off from having any during our 2-week stay). The grounds around the accommodation are well kept and have good quality olive trees, palm trees and grape vines. In the grounds there are two swimming pools: one 20 metres by 10 metres, and goes from shallow to about 2.5 metres, the other is a children’s pool and is shallow, about 0.3 of a metre. There are 40 beds around the pool.
We choose the Villa Olivo as it offered us the accommodation we wanted, which was a single apartment. In actual fact the apartment consisted of 4 rooms and two balconies. The main room was large and included the kitchen and living area; there were two good-sized bedrooms and a small bathroom. (The toilet was in front of a window and open viewing to the whole world, this was of some concern to all of us). The kitchen area had good facilities, cooker, oven, fridge and all the cups, saucers, pots and pans etc. The beds were fine and in well equipped rooms. There was no air conditioning.
We booked this accommodation through Inghams (what I am about to explain has nothing to do with this company as we have travelled very successfully with them for the past 8 years and will continue to do so in the future). On arrival at the Villa Olivo we were met by one of the owners, a woman who spoke virtually no English, we signed the forms, handed over our passports, 150-euro deposit and were shown to our room.
1The Sofa Bed: This is where we encountered our first problem: - The room was advertised as having a pull out sofa bed in the lounge area, which it didn’t, and as there were 5 of us this was a problem. The owner offered to make up the sofa into a bed and as our youngest is only 9 he was able to sleep on this for the two weeks. We later discovered that the sofa was in actual fact a broken sofa bed and was held together with cable ties.
2The fridge: The Fridge in the apartment was old and not working at the level it was set at, so I turned it up, went out and bought some food and stocked it up. The next day when we came back to the apartment for lunch I noticed that the fridge had been turned down and no one in our party did it. The Inghams rep came in to see us to see if we had settled in and mentioned that the owner had turned the fridge down as it freezes easily. Over the next few days we would turn the fridge up and some one would come in during the day and turn it down.
3Mysterious visitor: During the day someone would be in our apartment and there would be nothing done, we got the impression that the owner was just in to check out what we had in the apartment. This gave us cause for concern and we were unable to leave anything out for fear of what might happen to it.
4Dirty swimming pool: During the first few days the boys said that the pool was dirty and I did not notice, as the owner seemed to clean it. As the holiday progressed I began to notice a ring of dirt around the pool. From the beginning of the second week this was very noticeable. One of the boys was not able to go into the pool on the last two days as he acquired an ear infection; on the last day another one of the boys had a similar ear infection. When we got home both boys were taken to the doctor and he confirmed the infection.
5The Bins: Around the pool area there were a number of bins which were not emptied and by the time we were leaving the apartment one bin at the pool had a number of dirty nappies in it.
6Visitors: We had visitors from home up one day for lunch and within 2 minutes of them arriving the owner was up and she demanded that they left. I had to contact the rep and she phoned the owner to explain that the friends were only up for lunch. This was mighty embarrassing for us and made us feel very uncomfortable.
7Badminton: The accommodation offered NO entertainment during the day and our boys bought badminton rackets and this was their entertainment for some part of the day. The owner on more they one occasion moved them away from their location and indicated that they were making too much noise, as other people were sleeping.
8Noisy neighbours: Our boys were not allowed to make a noise playing a game of badminton, but the non English speaking neighbours (and they were not Italian) were allowed to make lots of noise and have their visitors in their rooms until very late at night.
9Checking out: When we checked in we were charged 150 euro as a returnable deposit, this is normal. On the checkout day the owner came to our apartment with another woman and went through every cupboard to make sure everything was in place. We had the place really clean, with all the sheets and towels stacked neatly, all the dishes cleaned and put away and the floor brushed. The owner charged us 50 euro for cleaning and 20 euro for use of the towels. In the brochure we were to be charged for a change of towels, which we did not get and there was no mention of the charge for cleaning. We paid this 50-euro; in fact we just did not receive the money back. When the rep picked us up, we explained what had happened and showed her the brochure. She went to speak to the owner and after about 10 minutes, she arrived back on the bus and gave us 30 euros back and. She explained that we should not have been charged this.
This is our experience of this accommodation and one which we will NEVER have to experience again as we will NEVER be back.
We got the impression of being treated as second-class citizens and I think it is for a number of reasons.
1:Because we spoke English
2:Because we were staying in the apartments and not the hotel.
3:Because we had children.
If you are thinking of staying at this accommodation please consider this report.
All the best.
- Also Known As:
- Olivo Hotel Bardolino
- Hotel Villa Olivo Bardolino, Lake Garda, Italy
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Bardolino Hotel Villa OlivoJust few steps from the lakeside and the centre of Bardolino, one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Verona shore of Lake Garda, you will find our Hotel Villa Olivo: wonderfully surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, in a very sunny and peaceful position. The building is well integrated into the landscape, embraced by 5000 m² of beautiful gardens and enriched by colourful plants and flowers as well as a picturesque little pond.Our rooms are cosy and very spacious and the dependance is completely independent. All of our accommodations are equipped with any comfort which will make your stay even more pleasant. On the ground floor there is nice breakfast room featuring a wonderful view on the garden. There are also a bar and the terrace where to enjoy a little snack a nice garden and the swimming pools for some relaxing moments. Common spaces are also provided with a Wi-Fi internet connection.You can park your car on the huge, covered parking area with video-surveillance and maybe take the chance and take advantage of out bike rental service for a nice tour around the lake. Enjoy the Garda Lake shores, the biggest Italian lake, or maybe the hilly inland, passing through vineyards and orchards, discovering ancient villages and stories telling you everything about these places. ... more less
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