We did spend a week in July in this beautiful trullo in Castellana Grotte and we had a great time. The trullo was very well equipped and spacious . The swimming pool area was so lovely and we did love the comfy beds around the pool. There were bikes available and beautiful covered patio for our breakfast in the morning. We did have a small problem with water (it did stop coming for few hours) but Domi and his dad were really promo in fixing the problem the same day. I would definitely recommend this place and hopefully we will return there ourself very soon
It is always important to write balanced reviews even when things don't always go right for the traveller.
When we arrived for our weeks vacation at the Trulli Doro, there was a major thunder storm and unseasonal torrential rain. This in itself is not a bad thing but it did result in intermittent power cuts throughout our first night and a concern that this was going to set the scene for the rest of the week.
The agency were not at all helpful when we contacted them, but the owners were responsive and did come to the property. The power cut affected the whole area (Again, perhaps you should think about the infrastructure of the area if a thunderstorm results in power cuts!). The rain also found its way into the property with leaks in the kitchen, and in the living room area. They didn't seem all that concerned as they don't get a lot of rain, but it was slightly disconcerting to be sat at the kitchen table being dripped on!
I will come onto the Trulli itself shortly, but I want to spend a little time describing the area and town of Castellana Grotte.
Puglia is beautiful and local towns such as Monopoli and Alberobello and stunning places to be, visit and eat. Castellana Grotte Im afraid is not. The description of the Trulli on the Agency website says that it is not isolated. This is partially true. You are on a development with other Villa's and Trulli (and also a car scrap yard - Go figure!) but when you are at the Trullli, you do feel very isolated.
The terrain is barren (not as described), very rocky earth where only Olive trees seem to thrive.Some of the roads are not passable due to the lack of maintenance of the stone walls that adorn the country side. Be very careful as the Sat Nav try to take you to the right as you leave the property - Do NOT! you will not be able to get down that road!!
If it were a sitcom, it would be the place where you would take your mother-in-law to commit the perfect murder - just take your own Pick axe to bury her in the rocky ground!! She would never be found!!
I admire the area sprucing itself up and trying to attract tourists, but honestly, they are not there yet. Castellans Grotte is frankly grotty. We didn't go there to eat once and the local supermarkets were very much low-budget as were the shops and bars we saw. The supermarkets were poor (the meat we purchased went off before the use by date!). Again, this is not the fault of the agency or the owners, but as the closest local town, it is not attractive, and also means that you had a minimum nine mile drive to get to anywhere half-decent (And Yes, you MUST hire a car if you stay there).
Unfortunately based on the location alone we would not go again.
So now to the Trulli itself. Trullis are beautiful to look at and the descriptions of them being cool in the summer is not actually true. But this is okay right? because the Agency advertises that it has Air Con? Unfortunately the description is not correct. The air con is only in the master bedroom.
For the first night, it didn't work (possibly as it is on the same ring-main as the lighting circuit and during the lower cut, it went off after one minute).
For the next two nights, it would wake us up as it poured a torrent of water onto the floor (i kid you not, you could half-fill a bucket). The owner did have it fixed on day three.
We also had cold showers for two days (the boiler had obviously tripped during the power cut), which once again, the owner resolved on day 3.
The rest of the Trulli has no air conditioning and the other bedroom has a fan which was pretty useless.
The Agency description says the Trulli has three bedrooms and three bathrooms and that each bedroom has privacy and access to the garden.
In reality, there are only two bedrooms that have privacy and access to the bathroom. What is classed as the third bedroom is a day-bed that has been placed in the corridor opposite the main bathroom. If you were sleeping there, you would be woken up each time anyone used the bathroom in the night and there is certainly no privacy.
Rather annoyingly, the Agency description also states that the Trulli has Satellite TV, Hi-Fi, iPod docking station and a DVD library. With small children, this is pretty much essential and expected for the money we paid.
When we arrived to find that there was only a small TV in the kitchen with local TV only!
No iPod docking station
No DVD player let alone a DVD library,
we were were really disappointed. We actually had to go to the local shop to purchase an adaptor so that we could move the TV to the living area and the kids could watch the Olympics (in Italian) in relative comfort whilst we prepared meals in the kitchen.
There are also two bathrooms in the Trulli (not 3 as advertised). The third bathroom is up in the pool house, along with the washing machine which you would not choose to go to after dark.
IT was actually really inconvenient to have to go back and forth to the pool house to wash laundry.
Yes Trulli's are small, but this one in particular had an plethora of Shabby Chic furniture and items splattered everywhere that served no real purpose. They could do with removing half of the empty cupboards, dressers, ladders on the walls and putting in more storage and food preparation space in the kitchen and the mod Cons that people in this day and age expect to see in an upmarket holiday home.
As I said, I want to be fair to the Owners. The property is fundamentally okay. The pool was nice (which frankly is the only saving grace as without it, we probably would have left and checked into a hotel).
The owners cannot change the location, they cannot change the local town, but they can change the contents of the Trulli to make up for the location and local town. I get the feeling that this is a start-up business and I wish them well. There is a market for this sort of property and for people seeking relative isolation, solitude and a break from the 24/7 of normal life. Its just a shame that the agency description of the property is so misleading.
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