We just returned from a three nights stay at La Contea, and we do feel the rave reviews are a bit over the top. For instance, we had prebooked the room some weeks back, and were suprised to learn that the room was a bit of a walk from La Contea itself. They have a winery, and our room was above the winery. Apart from much too hard beds there was nothing wrong with the room (it had a balcony with a spectacular panorama), and the already (mentioned by others) fruit basket was there too (although the fruit had seen better days). We booked at the Contea because we wanted a room in the center of Neive, but noone ever told us that our accomodation would be a steep 5-10 minutes walk from there. Older people would in fact find the walk troublesome; they should of course routinely inform guests of this.
We never dined at the restaurant; who would dare after having read the reviews, I am refering to the owner who seems to have a tendency to give people a hard time if they don't play by his pipe. We did have breakfast however, so we saw the restaurant. The choice was not very impressive, but then again you probably can't expect much more from a country without breakfast traditions. Someone evidently put a lot of work into decorating the restaurant, but that was decades ago, and the cobwebs in the ceiling tell the tale of little or no cleaning and overdue maintenance.
The web site should inform travelers of the annex with the climb. There is no air conditioning in the annex. This was no problem for us since there's no need for it in October, but be warned if you are thinking of booking during the summer.
Contea has a nice wine shop with a very friendly young lady. She was easy to extract a smile from, somehow you get the feeling the don't smile much at the Contea itself (check out the Youtube videos and you will know what I am refering to).
Neive itself is a very charming little town the can be recommended, although staying in La Morra or Barolo would be more smack in the middle of things. Piemonte is absolutely wonderful and cannot be recommended strongly enough!
We were given a bottle of La Contea wine when we left, of course an appreciated gesture.