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La Mala
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Reviewed April 11, 2008

Great place to stay in the Cinque Terre. It is a modern place in a very old building. Perfectly clean and well maintained. The room is small however and a queen bed in Room 19. Also one other warning, it's located at the top of many many steps, but when you get up there the view and terrace are amazing! Well worth it if you can handle the haul to the top. We absoluately loved it!!!! I booked directly on the hotel's web site. Staying Vernazza is much smaller than Riomaggiore but was great for 3 nights and 2 days.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tvjudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2008

Yes, Vernazza and the Cinque Terre is swarming with tourists, yes, the streets, trains and hiking trails are crowded, but to miss the magic of the Cinque Terre because of this would be unthinkable to me.
La Mala was wonderfully clean, the view was amazing, the room small, but with all the amenities. We arrived in Vernazza very late because of a train strike in France (surprise!) and it was pouring rain and very dark, no-one around except two slightly scary looking young people huddled under cover. We approached them for help with the phone, and immediately they wanted to help. Yes, they knew Gianba, and within minutes, he was there, carrying our heavy cases up all those stairs, (unknown to him my husband was packing 8! bottles of wine in his case, but Gianba carried it up like a bag of groceries), and arranging for us to eat supper even though it was closing time.
Nice intro.
The Cinque Terre is amazingly beautiful. Staying in Vernazza was great, because the vast majority of the tourists would be gone by about 5 pm. We thought our meals of freshly made pasta and pesto, mussels cooked in wine and spices, and fresh fish were some of the best in Italy,enhanced by the cheap but good white wine.
You will be privileged if you are there during a storm, because it's so impressive to watch the waves flying over the buildings, and crashing into the little harbor. And during the night in La Mala, you can maybe hear the waves just outside your window.

You must at least hike the easy part of the trail, Via dell'Amore. The views are breathtaking.
The memories, hopefully, forever.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rainycity123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2008

What you see is what you get! The pictures on it's website don't lie....you get that and more.

A contemporary, sparkling clean gem of an inn with great attention to detail located in the charming town of Vernazza. All this wrapped up in a traditional Ligurian house with a gorgeous stone terrace looking out to the sea.

We loved our room #26....completely private with no adjoining walls (to the other rooms) and a bonus room downstairs (complete with daybed) and window in the stone wall that overlooked the sea. From our main room which had 3 large windows with crisp white roman shades that flooded the room with sunlight, you could crawl out the windows onto the terrace. The room and modern bathroom were both very spacious and all white which gave a nice backdrop to the azure sea and sky.

The elements used in this inn spared no expense. The windows closed airtight for privacy and opened 2 ways (swung open and cracked open at the top) so you can hear the ocean at night. The bathroom fixtures and water pressure were excellent.

We were given a tour by the owner Mama Giamba and all 4 rooms were just incredible with their own character...#19 & #20 were smaller, but boasted gorgeous views of the village. #31 was the largest of all and sat above #26 with 2 windows overlooking the sea and terrace below.

A highlight is the breakfasts which are served in the charming Burgus Cafe' & bar on the harbor (a very short walk away). We enjoyed having our tea and freshly baked pastries in this gem of a arty filled cafe' complete with great tunes and design elements: teak, stone, glass.

Vernazza was our absolute favorite of all Cinque Terre. Very picturesque and small. The locals were incredibly friendly. We loved our meals at Saldarno's, Da Piva's and Il Baretto. Stay for entertainment at Da Piva's (just below the stairs to La Mala) for a real treat of music with the locals.

Yes, La Mala isn't the cheapest place in Cinque Terre, but you'll get your money's worth and more!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank theadventureseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2008

It's difficult to add to the glowing reviews already written about LaMala, but I simply must reiterate all the wonderful comments about this place - it truly is wonderful.

Our two nights at LaMala fell right in the middle of our amazing month-long European honeymoon so we wanted it to be perfect. We therefore booked Room 31, which as you will have already worked out is one mighty special room! From the moment we arrived (by car - not recommended, parking is insane!) and called the owner we felt like we'd stepped into a dream. The owner's son - a young, very fit and friendly guy - helped with our bags, lugging them through the postcard-beautiful village and up the stairs to LaMala (the village is tiny so it only took approx 5-10 mins). He showed us to our stunning room (words can't express just how gorgeous Room 31 is!), explained the breakfast situation and slipped quietly away into the maze of Vernazza laneways..... but we knew he was contactable on mobile if we should ever need him. That's my kind of "reception"! The first thing we did was jump into that beautiful blue cove for a swim, then back up to our amazing room to kick back with the complimentary beers and look out those big windows through the sheer white curtains, billowing softly in the breeze, to the pristine ocean below. It will go down as "a moment" in my life, one of those snapshots in time that my memory will never forget.

The restaurants in Vernazza are simple but good. It is wonderful to taste those amazing flavours of traditional Italian cooking - so many restaurants the world over just try too hard and confuse the flavours, so it was great to get back to basics. You MUST try the local pesto, it is to die for! LaMala has a breakfast arrangement with two cafes at the bottom of the stairs, located in the main piazza. It stuns me that some people have thought the breakfast inadequate, and I can only think they must generally load up on an all-you-can-eat situation in other hotels. This breakfast experience is like no other and one to be treasured - you are sitting with the locals, chatting to the owner, drinking the best coffee we had in Italy, munching on delicious freshly-cooked pastries and looking out the doorway to the piazza in the morning light, all the colours so vibrant and fresh, as the fisherman get their boats ready for a day's work! It doesn't get any better than that!

The Cinque Terre trail is also - obviously - a "must do" during your stay. We were blessed with a cloudy (although still hot) morning on the day we set off, otherwise we'd have baked in that July sun. The first section through to Corniglia is VERY difficult and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone elderly or severely unfit. We're no Olympic athletes but have moderate fitness and we were sweating to death and gasping for breath! After Corniglia it gets much easier. We did the three villages south of Vernazza and then took the train back to Monterosso for a well-deserved (late) lunch just as the clouds parted and blue sky shone down. Perfect timing! Of the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is by far the prettiest - we were so glad we'd based our stay there. And in the prettiest town, LaMala is without a doubt the BEST place to stay.

WE LOVED LAMALA!!! If we're ever back in CT (and we dearly hope to one day) we will definitely be staying here again. Thanks for a truly memorable stay in such an unbelievably beautiful part of the world.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank julesy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2007

Beautiful, picturesque location. Private and quiet rooms that overlook the ocean. Extraordinarily clean and well-kept. Room 31 was large enough for the two of us plus a 10yr old and 12 yr old sleeping on cots. Connecting with the owners was easy -- once we got off the train, we just called the number and the owner's son met us in front of the station. He helped us carry our bags up all the stairs to the rooms (stairs are everywhere in the villages of Cinque Terre). Air conditioning worked great even in very hot days of July 2007. Balcony was beautiful spot to look out at the ocean and recuperate after busy days of hiking the trails. The included breakfast at the cafe at the bottom of the stairs was nothing but coffee and a croissant but that was the only negative of the entire 2 night stay.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank Calif-Family4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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