Review of Villa Margherita Apartment

This is a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment on the ground floor of the Villa Margherita B&B. Villa Margherita is an old villa, 4 stories high, one block up from the main part of Levanto, on a hill, on the road to Bomasola. You enter from the street and go up one level to get to the gardens and the apartment level. Up another set of stairs to the hotel’s entrance.

There is one large garden for hotel guests and a smaller (but really quite large) garden just for the people in the apartment. This garden is what makes the apartment so special. It is grass, with two large palm trees in the center, and flowering plants and bushes on the edges. It looks down on the street below and looks out to the town and the mountains. It gets good sun and is a lovely place to sit. It is not totally private because some of the hotel room windows look down onto it, but they are two floors up and it does not bother you. No nude sunbathing here, but it is a lovely place to sit and visit or read. There is a big table with chairs and a lounging chair.

The apartment has nice big windows with shutters, but no screens. We noticed bugs one night and usually kept the windows closed at night when we had lights on in the room. You enter through glass French doors to the main room. It has a kitchen area along one side (small sink, counter, oven, stove (didn’t use this), dishwasher (didn’t use this), and medium sized fridge. The pots and pans are not the best, but there are lots of them and I picked through them and got a set that worked well for us. There is a small table with four chairs, two nice wicker chairs, and a very uncomfortable couch that turns into a bed. The furniture is not beautiful, but it works okay (except for that couch). There is a nice sized TV with a DVD. It can be hooked up to satelite, but we didn’t bother – we only watched a bit of Italian TV.

The next three rooms are in a row accessed from a hallway – bedroom with a double bed (two singles together), second bedroom with two singles, bathroom with a shower (no tub). The shower is a good size and has a shower cabinet, so you don’t flood the room. Big fluffy towels. Also a washing machine. There is good hot water.

The floors are all tile – that white, shiny tile, not the cotta floors you see in Tuscany. There was a desk in the bedroom, but we put it in the living room so one person could use the computer and the other watch TV or read (okay, so I could use the computer – I am hardly letting Steve near it). The apartment is heated, so it could be used off season.

There is some noise from the breakfast room above. This disturbed us the first night, but then we got used to it. It doesn’t start until 7:30 or 8am – but you hear people walking around and scraping chairs. There is noise from the street, but you are going to get that everywhere here and this is not that busy of a road and the hotel sites above the road.

Federico and his family (father and sister) run the hotel. They and everyone else who works here are very friendly and helpful. Federico will look up train schedules for you and give you advice on where to eat. He speaks fluent English. There are a number of guide books in the breakfast room. There is also a big TV with piles of videos if you want to watch a movie.

We stayed in the hotel for one night last year. Since then the furniture in the rooms has been “upgraded”. They are building a parking lot behind the hotel and putting in an elevator from the parking lot to the lobby. Since the villa is built into the hill, the parking lot will be at the level of the top floor of the villa. The road goes by the front of the villa, then further on does a sharp curve and goes behind the villa at a higher level on the hill.

Levanto is a wonderful town. It is a mix of beautiful older villas and newer apartments. There are many restaurants, caffes and shops. The town is lively and fun. The beach is rocky on the free parts, but sand is brought in for the pay areas. The water is calm when the weather is good, but there are waves in the bad weather. The train station is a 10 minute walk from the hotel and Levanto is a stop for both IC (intercity) and local trains.

I recommend the hotel as a good place to stay in this area. I also recommend the apartment, but be aware that it is not luxurious. We enjoyed our 11 nights here and will stay here again. (Disclaimer: I work for Federico, running his hotel web site.)

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.