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“Paradise”

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Villa San Raffaello
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Paradise”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed here (in Grazia) for a week in August 2012. It is such a beautiful place and the accommodation is great - practical yet with home comforts. Our holiday could have been a disaster as our hire car broke down after a couple of days and no replacement was available (note: avoid Sixt hire company at all costs) but Damien and Sharon offered us their car to go and hire another one from another hire company in Macerata. We would otherwise have been completely stranded. This was only one instance of their kindness. They are really lovely people and we cannot recommend the villa highly enough. Thank you, Damien and Sharon and happy new year.

  • Stayed August 2012
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2 Thank KellyMurray1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 15, 2012

Exploring Marche we found this piece of paradise just a few km outside the gorgeous town Sarnano and a relatively short drive from beautiful Ascoli Piceno and the Appenines. A restored wineyard of some sort, Villa San Rafaello is both pieceful and quiet and offers the perfect family hangout. We especially enjoyed the pool with its quiet surroundings, the sunflowers and the hammocks distributed among the vines. The appartment in particular however was a pleasurable surprise as it is beautifully restored as well as tastefully decorated.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank IbenAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winfield, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 14, 2012

What a pleasant surprise at the end of our first trip to Italy. Villa San Raffaello and its gracious host, Damien, provided great guidance and suggestions in our search for connections to ancestors. We would not have succeeed without suggestion from him. The Villa provides a very comfortable plce to relax after exploring this beautiful region. Not overrun by tourists, Sarnano is an easy walk with great restaurants and stores. Our only regret is that we did not stay longer to explore the countryside. We definetely will return again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Where do I begin? ... Well let me start by offering some perspective, I enjoy travelling and have taken many trips to lots of lovely places - but I can honestly say that I don't think I've EVER enjoyed a holiday as much as the one I've just had at Villa San Raffaello. On other holidays I've experienced either great food, or fabulous scenery, or exceptionally welcoming locals - but seldom have I been anywhere that literally ticks every holiday box I have.

For a start the scenery is absolutely stunning - personally I'm not a fan of brown and arid, give me green and verdant all the way. I was therefore a little concerned before I went, despite what I'd been told about how green parts of Italy can be. However I needn't have worried, Le Marche has 'Lush' in spades; imagine a cross between the majesty of the Lake District and the rolling green hills of mid Wales, but on a much much grander scale (even after a summer heatwave of near constant 40 degree temperatures). And you don't have to go for more than a short walk up the lane before you're whipping out your camera at every turn, as each stunningly vibrant vista gives way to another. Then if you do want to go for a short drive up into the mountains, you've got what feels like the whole country laid out before you as it disappears into the distance.
I've never been one for photographing scenery really, but if it's any indication of the quality of the views, on this holiday I took over 300 photographs and most of them on the newly discovered Panorama facility on my camera.

Then there was the food - I hate to sound all middle class and everything by harping on about tomatoes that actually taste of tomatoes, but it's true. And I'm not talking about stuff that's grown organically on some local's allotment - just shopping in the small supermarkets in Sarnano provides you with a level of produce unmatched by whatever UK supermarkets 'Finest' range you generally go for, and at a fraction of the price.
Usually I find that if you're self catering a large part of the day seems to be taken up by purchasing and preparing food, and in the beautiful local town of Sarnano it's an absolute joy. Like a lot of the towns around Le Marche it's walled, ancient and stunningly picturesque, containing a myriad of small specialist shops run by extremely friendly locals. They sell a variety of mouthwatering delicacies including meats (you have to try the porchetta from the van in the piazza, it's home made and they carve it there and then off the whole roast pig) and really delicious local cheeses (we loved the pecorino fresca). There's a lovely little fresh pasta shop in the main square where the lady goes round the back and cranks out your pasta of choice on her machine - there are also some amazing local wines at ridiculous prices, and just don't get me started on the gelato.
Cooking back at San Raffaello and then eating our meals in utter tranquility at one of the tabled little arbors in the picturesque gardens, whist basking in sunlight and drinking in the amazing view of Sarnano, is a memory that will keep me warm on many a cold and dreary London morning.

Damien has done wonders with the villa - he's got a book detailing the leviathan like task he and his family undertook, converting what can best be described as a crumbling wreck of a farmhouse into a faithfully and beautifully restored series of apartments. We stayed in Damiano, a two bedroomed apartment on the ground floor - both bedrooms are at the back and have en suit, the kitchen is in the middle and of an ample size, and at the front sits a massive sitting-come-dining room that also contains a sofa bed. All is extremely well appointed and decorated, with lovely little architectural features and very comfortable furnishings. Damien also provides a DVD player and stereo and a wide variety of DVD's and CD's. As stated the gardens are extremely tranquil and pretty and the pool was a real luxury after a hot day out, even in the last two weeks of September. We gathered nuts from his hazelnut tree and roasted them in the oven, we ate them with chocolate and even baked them with prunes in soda bread - it was all rather idyllic really.

The weather was also great - as stated we went at the end of September and it was still gorgeous. Not so swelteringly hot that enjoying the scenery and walking was uncomfortable - but high mid twenties most of the time , and most importantly - SUNNY!

So in short - I can't recommend it highly enough (in fact I'm thinking of taking my folks out there in May next year) - they live in mid Wales and I know they'll adore it. Damien's a wonderfully knowledgeable host, he provides you with a red folder in your apartment that lists pretty much everything it's possible to know that's happening within a two hour drive of the Villa - we called it the 'Big Red Bible' and took it everywhere. He also took us for guided short walks up into the surrounding hills (he does longer ones but we weren't quite up to it) and was always on hand to answer questions and give us welcome tips and advice.

My personal tips would be:
1. Lake Fiastra - and eat at the refuge above the town (no menu as such - the sweet little lady comes and tells you what they've got). Go the long way up and come back down the scenic route leading you into Sarnano's main square.
2. Hell's Gorge:- no idea why it suffers from such a fearsome title as it's amazingly beautiful, tranquil and cool - more like 'Fern Gully' - with a large stream running along by the path. Go to the top to see the hermit - it's not as far as it sounds in the 'Bible' - and he's very sweet and reminded me of Papa Smurf.
3.If you want to go to the coast try Sirolo (just over an hours drive). Lovely walled town at the top with piazza overlooking the cliffs and sea, then a windy road down to the cove at the bottom. Shingle beach good for swimming with lagoon on left that's great for children - there's restaurants down on the beach which are very romantic but they're quite pricey, so you may want to eat up at the town before you walk/drive down.

Room Tip: Damien showed us round the other apartments as I expressed an interest in the work he'd done - t...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ChuxUchendu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
60 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2012 via mobile

We spent the second week of our Italy holiday at Villa San Rafaello, moving from the more developed Tuscanny to the unspoilt Le Marche region.

If you're after a resort that has restaurants and amenities on your doorstep, then you probably should think twice about VSR. However, if you're happy to drive a couple of minutes to the lovely town centre (which has ample free parking) then this place could be for you

The complex has four really different apartments, but all are incredibly well equipped. The common space has lots of tables and chairs dotted around, perfect for a family outdoor meal and a BBQ pit, with benches surrounding it. The pool is adequately sized, with umbrellas to protect from the sun and superb views of the Siblian mountains. There are fruit and herbs "on tap" including a lovely vineyard, creatively equipped with hammocks should you wish to relax a while amidst the grapes - heavenly!

Sharon and Damian bought the place as a wreck a few years ago and painstakingly created something that they are rightly proud of! They were always available to assist and lend advice.

There is plenty to do in the surrounding area, if you're happy to drive through lots of windy mountain roads. Lake fiesta is gem and he coast is only an hour away.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Robin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reigate, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2012

We had a wonderful week at Villa San Raffaello in July 2012. The setting of the villa is stunning, with superb views in all directions. As a family of four (the children are 3 and 5), we were looking for spacious and safe accommodation with a shared pool. We stayed in Apartment Damiano and it was perfect for us. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen and a large living area – all on the ground floor. It was tastefully decorated and very clean and fresh. Things like free wifi, children’s DVDs and an extensive CD collection were all little extras that made a big difference to us. The owners have lots of local knowledge and were always happy to share useful information and hints and tips on things to do. Le Marche is a fantastic area that has so much to offer – mountains, beaches, lakes, beautiful towns and villages to name a few. During our week we would often have lunch out in Sarnano and the surrounding area, we would then cook our own meals in the evenings. After dinner, while my husband and I were relaxing with a nice glass of wine, watching the sun set over the mountains, the children would spend hours playing with the other kids staying at the villa. It really was idyllic and memorable.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Viktoria T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ilford, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed August 23, 2012

I don't normally write reviews, but I have to on this occasion!
This Villa was a great place to stay. Its in a lovely part of the Le Marche region.
Damien is probably the best host in the world! As the ol' cliche goes.
But he was! His knowledge of the area is fantastic and to think in the 7 years he has had this place is pretty cool. His choice of local wines and food was never questioned. It has a super looking pool just perfect to cool down in! Being a keen walker, he sent us on some long journeys with great rewards at the end. We even got time to spend with some other Ex-pats he knows and funtimes were had. The bars are great in town and I am thinking of getting some mates together to come out before he packs up for the winter. Damien. Many many thanks.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great! Just have to get in quick!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Christopher C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa San Raffaello

Property: Villa San Raffaello
Address: Contrada Case Rosse 278 | Sarnano, 62028 Sarnano, Italy
Location: Italy > Marche > Province of Macerata > Sarnano
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Sarnano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautifully restored Italian farmhouse; nestling in 8 acres of wonderful Le Marche countryside, divided into 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with original architectural features, stylish interiors, gardens, loggia, vineyard and a large pool with stunning 360' views. Situated 1km outside the bustling medieval town of Sarnano and the mountainous Sibillini National Park, the area boasts a dramatic landscape, medieval villages, art, history, beaches, delicious food & wine, over 20 great restaurants and bars and fantastic summer festas within 5 minutes of the Villa. Baby sitting service, high speed internet throughout, board games, movies, music and book library, pick our own free organic fruit, vegetables and herbs. Free hiking and cycling intineraries, comprehensive tips on where to go and what to do. ... more   less 

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