I had been looking forward to staying at Marta's after reading the amazing reviews. Unfortunately it did not live up to expectations for us, but I am not sure that we experienced it at it's best and all other guests there seemed very happy.
The town is beautiful, surrounded by hills in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Marta's B&B is an impressive building and the shared areas are beautifully decorated. (I didn't see inside any of the other bedrooms.) Marta was very friendly and helpful to us and goes out of her way to make guests feel at home. Breakfast is good with an excellent selection.
Unfortunately our room was right at the top of the house, quite basic and extremely hot with no shutters - just curtains. When we arrived we were shown to our room by Marta's son who told us that the room is hot and his room was across the corridor from us. The area at the top of the house had 4 bedrooms leading off a square hallway and 2 bathrooms to share between the 4 rooms. This was complete shock to me as the website advertises en-suites and I NEVER book a B&B with shared bathrooms. I am extremely uncomfortable with these. The son assured us that the bathroom would be for our use only, but I dislike the lack of privacy in passing through public areas to get to a bathroom. In the bathroom were someone else's toothbrushes, shampoo and wet towels. The bathroom is actually a wet room which is poorly designed and makes the floor soaking wet around the toilet and basin. There is a glass scraper in the room for guests to scrape the floor after use - not much fun. We struggled to sleep because of the stiflingly hot room and the noise from a festival over the road. The house cat liked our room and was in there a lot. We like cats so this wasn't an issue for us. To make matters worse it turned out that there were guests in the room next to ours when we woke in the morning and they were sharing our bathroom. They actually walked in on my son in the toilet. This really ruined our experience of the guesthouse and I wouldn't choose to stay there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A beautiful liberty style villa converted into an elegant Guest House, restored with great care keeping the original style that it was built. The guest house is surrounded by a large garden, centred in the small old village of S. Maria del Giudice, just a few kilometres from Lucca and Pisa. The villa has all the comforts that tourists require with a private car park. All the rooms decorated with hand painted walls and ceilings and furnished in liberty style. They all have en -suite bathrooms, fan, satellite TV, internet. Some rooms have a large balcony furnished where guests can sit and admire the beautiful views. The garden is equipped with a sitting area where guests can relax after a day trip at the sea, the mountains or the nearby cultural cities. Tourists can pass evenings in the company of the owners or friends. Great care is taken by the owner in preparing breakfast with a selection of sweet and savoury dishes typical of the Lucca and Tuscan area. Breakfast is served in an elegant and sunny veranda or also in the garden. The owners are always present to help in anything the guests or give advice on places to visit. They will give guests the opportunity to become familiar with the surrounding area. "Questo e il segreto dell'ospitare. Far sentire i tuoi ospiti benvenuti e a casa propria" B.Hall Many people ask me why I have called the Guest House this name first of all it is my name and secondly but most important is that when the house was being modernized I promised myself that it would be called Marta's Guest House. In 1996 my husband and I with our young son Giorgio who at the time was two years old went on holiday to Indonesia. Strange as it may seem we found ourselves on a small island called Siladen on the Sulawesi Sea. The three of us had arrived there from a small port called Manado, on a small motor boat. Arriving there a charming women greeted us. We were so enthusiastic when we arrived there, seeing three small straw huts, with the beautiful clear calm sea and a coral reef and the fish arriving almost to the shore that we asked if we could stay a few days. The woman was very happy and showed us where we could sleep. Strange as it may seem her name was Marta and her rustic holiday resort was called Marta's Guest House. The small huts were not very comfortable but they had a small balcony with a magnificent view onto the sea. We had no electricity, telephone or running water but it was one of the best holidays we ever had. At night the sea and a small boat in the bay sparkled under the light of the moon...what a beautiful sight.... The bathroom was a small straw hut ...for a shower we had to use a bucket filled from an enormous water tank and throw it over ourselves, it was very hot so everything seemed fun. For our meals we could use Marta's kitchen with its simple old asian style stone coal cooker placed on the floor. I had to prepare baby food that my young son would like. The local women would help me smiling at how I prepared Giorgio's food that was so different from their traditional food. I was so happy and it almost felt as if I was at home. Some girls would bring me bananas, pineapples and biscuits and Marta the owner would prepare us grilled fresh fish with plain rice that even Giorgio could eat. The children from the small local village intrigued at a new child, would come and play with Giorgio. They invited him to come to their small school of only one class, they gave him a present of a hand made wooden boat that we stil family would stop and chat to us with their and our broken English, with hand gestures and affection we all were able to understand and communicate with each other... The departure from that beautiful place was very sad for us and them, all the small village came to the beach to say good bye to us also because we were the only foreigners. The pleasant memories of that visit made us always hope that one day we would return there, but an unhappy surprise awaited us!!! One day while reading some tourist brochures I discovered that Marta's Guest House no longer exists and has been substituted by an enormous modern tourist complex with all the comforts and amenities that a tourist needs. We have travelled to all parts of the world, we usually choose holidays where we stay in small privately owned guest houses, this allows us to meet the local people and have a real taste of living in different parts of the world. We had already decided long before that we would have liked to open our very own guest house, promising ourselves that the simplicity of the warm welcoming that we were given , should be carried on by us and given to our guests. This is why I chose to call our house Marta's Guest House to remember the idyllic trip we spent together all those years ago. Another reason for this name is the consequence of everything I have said beforehand. Our house, which is not a straw hut, in fact some call it a villa which I do not like, I would like it to be a Guest House. So I want my guests to feel at home, feel the warmth, talk and stay with a welcoming family that treat you like an old friend. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marta Guest House Province Of Lucca/Santa Maria Del Giudice, Italy