we stayed for a week in july 2013 - had a lovely time and would definitely recommend the apartments (subject to some provisos mentioned below)
overall: lovely apartments, stunning view over the lake from (I think) all the apartments and the pool, very helpful staff and good communication in the lead up to the trip; a lovely pool (though no shallow end so might not suit everyone); and very peaceful though only a few yards to a variety of good bars and restaurants
arrival: keys have to be collected from a separate location (about 5 mins walk away...though uphill on the way back...v hot in the afternoon). there is a car port beyond the pool and electronically controlled gates to the apartment complex. it's a one way road to get to the entrance (we managed to miss the sign) and if you find yourself in the village centre, you have gone too far
apartment: we were in apt 4 (il pavone) with a garden, large shaded patio and a barbecue set back a bit from the pool - very much enjoyed this location and it still had a lovely view though if going again we might choose the other garden apartment which directly overlooked the pool and looked like it had a bit more privacy and a more open aspect.
it was spacious, comfortable and well equipped. it will not perhaps be as bright as in the apartments with balconies (due to the shaded verandah). in particular, we found it a little dark at the back (bathroom and kids' room) as these had only narrow windows at almost ceiling height which let in v little light (and looked out at foot height on the busy street outside so we didn't like having them open). overall this didn't really bother us but if you really like having bright sunny rooms, it might be best to choose a different apartment in the complex. some have commented on the wifi but we found it worked fine.
the aircon was ok but could have been a little cooler for our Scottish blood!
although there is "satellite tv", there were only a couple of news channels in english when we stayed (and we had to get someone from reception to come and find them for us). he said they were looking at how they might be able to upgrade this so things might have changed by now - if mainlining disney/cbeebies might be an important component of your stay, check in advance ;-)
pool: the setting for the pool is stunning - the gardens are beautiful and as you will see from the photos, there is an amazing view over the lake. it is very very peaceful as a location but that might not suit everyone. there was a real mix of age groups and nationalities in the complex when we stayed and it might be a bit quiet at times for some
the main thing we had not realised (don't think it was advertised at the time and it didn't occur to us to ask) is that there is no shallow end - the pool is about 1.6 m deep throughout. an average kid could probably not stand up in the pool til they were about 10. ours are good swimmers so we didn't physically have to be in the pool all the time but if you have younger kids, you would need to bear this in mind. you are also not allowed to take inflatables / toys / balls etc into the pool so kids may need to be more actively entertained!
whilst the peace and quiet is lovely in some ways, it can also be a bit daunting if you have kids (who will inevitably produce noise when combined with water!).
when we arrived, it just so happened that most of the guests at the pool were adults or teenagers sun bathing and it was deathly quiet. it made us feel very self conscious being the only family trying to enjoy playing with the kids without disturbing those who were (quite rightly) trying to enjoy a peaceful time. maybe that was in our heads - we never got any dirty looks and are not particularly noisy anyway - but we felt this was worth mentioning in case you are looking for a full on "anything goes" type family pool (which this is not). in fact, there were other families there but there was a really variety of people overall
having said that, when we had settled in after the first day or two, we got used to it and timed our visits better - in fact, we often had the pool to ourselves (or almost) particularly in the morning and early evening so we actually really enjoyed the pool in the end and it really is a gorgeous setting. our comments on the pool should be taken as observations rather than criticisms!
staff: staff were lovely and v helpful - when we reported a couple of small things in the apartment, they were sorted pretty much immediately
location: as other reviewers have said, corte ferrari is located in the middle of moniga and it is rather magical in that on the poolside, there is literally no traffic noise and it feels like the middle of the countryside. however, take the back door out of the complex and you will find yourself in a busy,narrow one way street which takes you to the centre of moniga about 50 yards to the right.
in the opposite direction, it is about 15 mins walk down to the lake side where there are a few restaurants but we only did it once as it's a steep hill all the way back and was hard going in the heat.
there is a decent selection of bars and restaurants in the centre of moniga just outside the back door and a lovely ice cream shop (nicely shabby chic!) though the main road runs through the centre so it is not particularly peaceful. it's not a hotspot either so if you are looking for a really active nightlife, it's not the place for you.
we ate pretty well wherever we went and pizza and pasta in particular are generally really good / good value. there was a vintage market one night we were there but not sure if that was a regular thing or not.
moniga is a decent location to visit other places by car - salo was lovely - though there is a v limited ferry service so I wouldn't choose it as a location if you were hoping to do lots of ferry hopping
lake garda as a whole was a fantastic destination - we stayed in 4 different places in the south and west and had a fabulous holiday overall. it was very hot though summer 2013 was probably hotter than normal everywhere
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our charming residence, lies in Moniga on lake Garda' s shores, is made by 14 apartments (1, 2 or luxury 3 bedrooms) with garden or balcony.We are perfectly located, with the town centre and its bars, restaurants, pizzerias and shops only a 1 min walk away.5 mins walk are the shores of Lake Garda where you will find lakeside restaurants, pizzerias, bars, ice-cream parlours, ferries to go all over Lake Garda, boat hire and scooter hire. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Corte Ferrari Lake Garda/Moniga Del Garda