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“Delightfull Vacation Get Away, Wonderful People”
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Overview
Villa -
3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8
Zebbug, Island of Gozo

Reviews from our community

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Excellent - based on 32 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
DDMiller...
Muscat, Oman
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Delightfull Vacation Get Away, Wonderful People”
Reviewed December 28, 2012 for a stay in December 2012
1
person found this review helpful

Delightful, charming, quaint, very unique place to stay! Thank you to Andrew and Mary who really made it home for us, preparing our travel from the airport, welcoming us with local food, contributing personal insights and suggestions, adding Christmas charm and generosity to our wonderful stay. They were available but never imposing. Great people! Great place!

We found communication and preparation for our visit to be excellent. Details about Il Forn are described in other reviews. We all had a lot of fun and will happily return.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Liked best: The uniqueness of the place and wonderful people.
Liked least: Cold and humid with expensive electrical heating (suggest adding a gas heater)
Traveling group: Young Children
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Dec 27, 2012
It was so nice hosting you and your family last Christmas at our bakery. We try our very best to make our special guests who come during this time of year feel the warmth and spirit of Christmas by decorating the house as if we are living in it. Here in Gozo it is always a wonderful time of year with live cribs in typical farmhouses, this year the Nativity Village will be back again, Christmas processions and concerts in churches. One who visits Gozo during this time of year, besides the endless walks in the varied countryside and by the exceptionally beautiful seaside, one can have other appointments and which we are really happy to explain their venues.

Feeling comfortable inside the house is also another important issue for us. Although the house has really old and thick walls which help make the house feel warmer inside, we still provide heaters to use around the house. Besides the AC can be turned on to heat thus making the house feel cosier if the weather is a bit chilly.

All in all we are glad that your stay was full of fun and Christmas charm and we look forward to welcome you all once again here at "il-Forn".

Love from Mary, Andrew & the kids
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vilnius
Reviewed November 5, 2012 for a stay in October 2012

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
Nov 5, 2012
Dearest Lithuanian friends it is to our immense pleasure seeing that you found our restored bakery "il-Forn" "a little paradise on earth"!!! We cannot thank you enough for such outstanding comments and it is so nice that you appreciated all the tips we gave you about what to do and where to visit on our island. Apart from a spotlessly clean house decorated with flowers, we are constantly giving our special guests an excellent tailor-made service to cater for individual needs and trying our very best to make our guests have a comfortable memorable stay which lacks nothing.

Take great care of yourselves and send greetings to all your lovely family members and hope we'll have the pleasure hosting you once again at "il-Forn"! Many Thanks!

Mary & Andrew
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Thomson_C...
Wotton under Edge
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Stylish property on a lovely island”
Reviewed October 29, 2012 for a stay in October 2012
1
person found this review helpful

Il Forn is a very stylishly renovated property in a very peaceful village on the charming island of Gozo. Mary and Andrew are lovely people, who welcome you warmly and give lots of advice about what to see and do on Gozo.

The property is quirky and full of character, thoughtfully renovated and has everything you need. A few pointers about the layout: downstairs is a cooler, darker entrance floor, with a small outside courtyard, which I think you can use in the hotter months for eating out in; upstairs is open plan kitchen and living area: a well equipped kitchen, with a small glass table to eat at, the living area is small with a wooden sofa bed and television. (Unfortunately not very comfortable for 4 people to sit and watch TV/DVDs, but hopefully you don’t go to Gozo just to watch TV!) As you go upstairs to the kitchen/living area, there is a small double bedroom to the left, with an ensuite bathroom (shower not bath, toilet, sink, washing machine).

Although this is advertised as a three bedroomed property, the rental price does not automatically include the third bedroom. This took us by surprise, and I was disappointed to be charged an extra 40 euros for the third bedroom, after having already paid 595 euros for what I thought was a three bedroom property. The rental price seems to include the ‘loft room’ – this is in fact a ‘mezzanine room’, with a double bed, and is accessed by steep, narrow stairs and overlooks the main kitchen/living area (including the TV). It is very difficult to climb the stairs to this room and carry something at the same time. The double bed was not suitable for our two teenage sons to share, so I asked where the third bedroom was. The next day, Mary very swiftly and good naturedly unlocked and prepared the third bedroom, which is on the ground floor. This bedroom has two single beds and an ensuite shower/toilet room – much better for two older children. But this cost us an unexpected 40 euros! I had assumed the rental price included 3 bedrooms, which was why I booked it.

So please carefully discuss the sleeping arrangements and final price with Mary to avoid the same shock and confusion as us. If you don’t mind all sharing a small ensuite bathroom, your children don’t mind sharing a double bed, you all go to bed at about the same time and you don’t mind steep stairs, then the mezzanine room is fine and is included in the price.

Throughout the property, stairs are a feature: there are open, wooden stairs leading upstairs from the ground floor, with a sizeable gap between the stairs and the stone wall; there are steep stairs to the mezzanine room; there are also some stone stairs leading from the main bedroom to the kitchen/living area; there is a very steep, narrow spiral staircase leading up to the roof terrace. (Tip – if you have space, pack binoculars as there are great views from the roof terrace.)

Also be prepared for a damages deposit of 300 euros. The property details state there will be a damages deposit, but doesn’t say how much. The amount took me by surprise as this is far more than we have been asked for in other properties (and we have been renting vacation properties 2 or 3 times a year for several years now). I arranged to pay this in sterling, so as to avoid losing money in the exchange rate. Our deposit was refunded very promptly and without quibble, but it meant that I had to suddenly find an extra £300 just before our holiday. It also meant that I had to carry a lot of money in cash – the balance of the property has to be paid in cash, the damages deposit and car rental, plus spending money. I am not comfortable carrying over £1000 in cash on me. I wish the balance could be paid by bank transfer and the damages deposit could be by cheque.

The car rental was organised efficiently and made a real difference to our holiday, although the bus system is efficient and good value. Mary and Andrew use Dolmen Rent A Car. The car was adequate and worked, but one of the back tyres was particularly soft (so we put air in straightaway), and the front tyres were very worn down compared to UK standards, the car had already done 66,000 miles and inside there was a greasy oil stain in the front passenger footwell and it did not feel particularly clean inside. But, it got us around and reliably started! 4 wheel drive might have been better for some of the bumpier, steeper, non-tarmaced roads. It cost 18 euros a day – again in cash. An all day bus ticket cost 2.60 euros for adults and children aged 10 and over. Otherwise, you have to buy a 2 hour ticket with cost 2.20 euros. The buses go to all the main tourist attractions, but a car is helpful if you want buy food, visit places off the beaten track and have a bit more flexibility. Petrol was as expensive as in the UK. We spent 35 euros in petrol in one week.

So, overall we highly recommend Gozo as a place to go on holiday – excellent snorkelling, professional and safe diving from Atlantis Diving Centre in Marsalforn, and it’s a lovely easy island to get around with very friendly people. Zebbug is a quiet village, with a cheap, tasty pizzeria (Francesco’s) (4 large pizzas, pepsi, 7up, bottle of homemade wine – 23 euros!), but there are no shops within walking distance. Shops are in Victoria – 5 mins by car or bus. Buses are only every hour, so a car is helpful. Gozo drivers are considerate and drive much slower than in Italy or on Malta.

Mary and Andrew are lovely people, who try their very best to please and welcome you. Their hospitality is very warm – something to eat and drink on arrival, breakfast things, fresh fruit, a lovely homemade pie and some homemade wine. Their property is lovely, but please consider the points above if you have children or have mobility problems. Mary was very apologetic about the confusion over pricing/bedrooms, so perhaps this will be clearer for future guests.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: views from roof terrace
Liked least: paying extra for the third bedroom
Traveling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Oct 28, 2012
Dear special guests it is so nice to hear that you found yourselves welcomed at our restored bakery “il-Forn” and this is absolutely part and parcel with having an unforgettable experience and holiday on our lovely Gozo.

Thanks again for your appreciation for us providing you with local finger food and local pastries and drinks on your arrival and the breakfast items (jam, bread, butter, milk, eggs, ham, local biscuits) for the morning after together with tea, coffee, sugar and all the toiletries we provide for free to those who choose spending their holidays at our place. With stays of two weeks we normally offer a free pizza baked in the wood oven on the roof plus organise a BBQ by the sea (weather permitting). However even with stays of a week like in this case, we happily offer a free meal for our special visitors. Such things are highly appreciated by our special guests and many often they point out that wherever they have been on holidays they were never been taken so good care of. Besides we also spend time explaining where to go and what to visit and recommend the best diving centres and boat trips available and so there is no need for them to spend time organising things themselves as we are more than happy to explain all of this to them.

Regarding the price I would like to make you remember that I have had already discounted the price for you and it was at your approval that you chose the loft instead of the other bedroom because it would have been more adventurous for the kids. I always make it clear with our guests how many bedrooms they need and give the price accordingly. People who use the bedroom with the loft get a discounted price like you did and in case one needs more beds would pay accordingly.
The loft is really looked for by families with young ones. Infact the kids that stay with us all rush to this sleeping area and they really love it up there where they can see everything that is going around whilst playing with the plenty of toys available in the house. It is such an exciting experience for them! It could be a little difficult to go up the stairs but we have had many older adults who used to go up there to access the terrace overlooking the alley early in the morning and have a cup of tea whilst admiring the view of the church.

I can understand that at times teenagers prefer to sleep on separate beds rather than share a double bed and when you asked me to open the other bedroom for you, you confirmed that this was not the original arrangement you asked for. When I explained that this would incur extra expenses, you found no objection and paid the money same day just to make your sons happy. Kindly note that providing new sheets and using another room incurs extra cleaning expenses and that is why the price depends on the number of people in the house and the number of beds used rather than being a fixed price for all the bedding spaces available. Regarding quality of bedding I would like you to note that they are really good quality ones and are ironed for an excellent sleeping condition and a clean neat look. All the mattresses are in as new condition because they are only two years that have been used. Besides we use mattress and pillow protectors for hygienic reasons. We take cleaning very seriously and when our guests sadly leave the house, we clean all the house from top to bottom to provide a spotlessly clean environment for the next arrivals.

As you stated clearly, there is a breakage/damage deposit fee and besides being written on the advert it is also listed in the final price list which is sent to everybody who chooses our place to stay at. In this way our special guests will not find surprises of extra money which they have to pay for. Everything will be listed there: accommodation price, deposit paid, any car hiring fees, deposit against breakages/damages…and the balance due to the accommodation. In case where there are people who use a different currency from ours, we also accept their money as a breakage deposit so that they will not get into further exchange currency fees. All guests we have had so far liked this option and found it very fair.

Going around Gozo is very easy because everything is within reach and even public transport is very cheap and efficient and costs about 12 euro for a week ticket. However a car always helps that little more. Infact to provide a complete service we work with various car hirers and we try to get the best prices for our special guests at a very good service. Kindly note that the amount mentioned for the price of the car of 18 euro/day was for a fully insured car so that in case of an accident one pays nothing and I think it was a really good price considering that it was peak time. Whenever there was a problem the car hirer mentioned above, always acted immediately and if there were troubles with the tyres he could have changed the car same day, however I was not aware of the problem and as far as I know the hirer was not even contacted about it.

Yes, Zebbug is now becoming famous with our special guests for its Pizzerias. I can confirm that they are very cheap and they are within walking distance 50 to 100 metres from our house. Although there is one small grocery shop in the village, it is very well served by two bakers who come at 8am sharp and another around 10am and stop just outside the house. Gozitan crispy bread at just 80c a loaf is unbeatable. Besides the fish vendor and a couple of fruit and vegetable and milk vendors come to the village every morning – a unique experience of a typical rural village. However, for the majority of the groceries and shopping we recommend that you go to Victoria just 5 minutes drive away where there is far more choice at better prices. Victoria being in the centre of the island, is on the way to all other areas around Gozo so on coming back to Zebbug one can very easily do his shopping there at stores who open till 7 – 8pm.

All in all I can see that you had a wonderful experience in Gozo and in our accommodation, and it would be a real pleasure hosting you all again at “il-Forn” and we thank you for recommending our property to other people and friends.

Take care and wish you all very well!!!

Warm regards
Mary & Andrew
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart
Reviewed October 8, 2012 for a stay in September 2012

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
Oct 8, 2012
Dear Sabina and Sebastian, welcoming and hosting you at "il-Forn" was so important as it is with all our other special guests who choose our restored bakery for their holiday. It is our immense pleasure seeing that you enjoyed your stay in our accomodation and that you found it full of great comfort. Spending time with you to discover our lovely island will be remembered forever and hope to have more time in the near future to know each other better! Wish you luck and happiness together and may we have the pleasure to welcome you again anytime! Many Thanks for your time and for giving such outstanding feedback!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Svetix86
Moscow, Russia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect!”
Reviewed October 2, 2012 for a stay in September 2012
1
person found this review helpful

I would like to say - THANK YOU, Mary and Andrew, for the great time in your apartment in Gozo!!!

Me, my husband and one more couple went in Malta for the first time. And we were really surprised because of the warm welcoming us in the "Il-Forn" apartment.

Mary and Andrew are really wonderful persons. When we came in Gozo they told us a lot of useful information on - places for sightseeing, wonderful beaches (not usual ones), shops with cheap prices and so so on. Also these friendly and nice people welcoming us with the dinner of traditional Malteese cuisine and some food for breakfast. Mary made for us the Malteese pie, that's named "Ftira" (I hope I wrote it right) and it was delicious!

Apartment was really great! There were everything that you could need for vacation (full equiped kitchen, towels, beach towels, banana tree, the roof with nice look from it..). Mary and Andrew told us the history of this apartment - it was a bakery before and they went there in the childhood to buy some bread and now they own this house.

At the last days of our holidays Mary and Andrew invited us for BBQ near the sea. It was so nice from their part! and also it was first time for us. And now want to repeat!!!

In conclusion I would like to say that we spent realy great time in the apartment "Il-Forn". And if we go in Malta again one day, we'd like to stay in Gozo, "Il-Forn"!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Liked best: Apartment in the whole!
Liked least: None.
Traveling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Oct 2, 2012
It is our greatest satisfaction knowing that all of you have had a really fantastic holiday stay at "il-Forn". It is very important for us hearing that you have found all the information, also the brief description about the restored bakery itself very helpful and a unique experience to you. The BBQ we did by the sea is also a really unforgettable experience for us too and we found it really interesting knowing about each other's cultures. We are constantly trying our very best to care for our special guests and to see that they lack nothing and that we are there for them. We do look forward with great pleasure to welcome you once again in our quiet house in Zebbug anytime! Thank you!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
batcat
Nottingham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
“Jewel of Gozo”
Reviewed September 23, 2012 for a stay in September 2012

We arrived for part two of our honeymoon via seamless transfers and car hire Andrew and Mary had arranged for us as part of our package. Following receipt of a cocktail each on arrival, courtesy of their son Jeremy and delicious local meats, cheeses and pastries ( including thoughtful wedding themed taster forks) Mary and Andrew imparted their local knowledge which proved invaluable during our stay - 5 stars for Ozi's boat trip and san blas beach recommendation.

The apartment was fantastic and fully equipped, including reliable wi fi for a little extra each day. Enough space to enjoy a day in when needed. As there were just the two of us, access to just one of the bathrooms was provided, it was rather small but functional.

The roof terrace was the highlight for us, with great views and space to relax, with the enchanting bells from the local church. A must in the village was Francesco's Pizzeria ( highlighted to us by Andrew and Mary) two pizzas (large and small), a salad ( not on the menu but we asked and were catered for), a water and a bottle of Red Torres €20 with a fantastic view of sunset, served on the terrace.

Elsewhere, we tried many of the local restaurants over our 10 days stay. We are lovers of good food and wine and were very pleasantly surprised at their abundance on the Island - our favourite in Xlendi beingTa Karolina ( € 65 for two ) with three courses, wine, complimentary appetisers and night caps. Happy to provide other recommendations upon request as we enjoyed many lunches and nights out during our stay.

Weather was fantastic at 80 degrees most days, with just one freak thunder storm during our stay.

As regular travellers of the world through work and play, visiting Gozo really felt as if we'd discovered a real, very rustic and quirky gem. Rocky roads, higgley piggledy living, stunning views and hospitality ( all that we met were very friendly) made for a brilliant honeymoon.

All in all, we had a fantastic time and thank Mary, Andrew, Jeremy and Davida for their hospitality.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Uniqueness
Liked least: Small but functional bathroom
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Sep 22, 2012
It is our greatest satisfaction knowing that both of you have had a really fantastic honeymoon stay at “il-Forn”! We are very glad that you found the food tasting and the cocktails a nice treat to welcome you and that the information we gave you about where to go and what to visit very helpful. We would like to thank you that you have enjoyed our hospitality services and it is nice to hear that you found our house fully equipped and fantastic. We therefore welcome you any time and may you work hard with your relationship to stay together because you are really a great couple! Take care and look forward to see you anytime!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poland
Reviewed September 12, 2012 for a stay in July 2012

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
Sep 12, 2012
Dear Pawel, we will never forget you and your family - you are such great and nice people! We would like to thank you for the lovely comments and it is such a pleasure for us hearing that you enjoyed staying at "il-Forn" and such outstanding feedback boost us to keep working hard to make our guests have a memorable stay. We wish you happiness with your family and luck your work and hope to welcome you all once again very soon! You will always be in our heart and mind!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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