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Country House Donalegge
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Reviews (27)
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8 - 13 of 27 reviews
Reviewed 26 September 2007

My husband and i stayed at Donnalegge for three nights at the beginning of July.

There is no doubt that it is set amongst beautiful surroundings and pool is fantastic, but we were both very disappointed by the friendliness of the hosts.

We weren't given much of a welcome, our first contact with the owners was when they came to look at the swimming pool, saw that guests weren't wearing swimming hats (we hadn't seen mentioned anywhere that this was a requirement) and proceeded to hand them out to everyone (except for, strangely, the only Italian couple by the pool). We were made to feel like naughty school children. No explanation was given as to why hats were necessary. And the owners kept checking up on the people by the pool to check that they were being worn, it turned into a sort of cat and mouse game.

On our first night the owners chatted to some of the guests at dinner, but completely ignored us and never spoke to us again. Even when we were leaving and asked to buy some jam and honey, we were made to feel like we were doing them a favour. (thought both were excellent)

The rooms were pretty basic - especially for the price. The meal on our first night was fine, but the dinner on our second evening was by far and away the worst on our two week holiday..we didn't dare eat in the restaurant again. Breakfast was distinctly average..again the worst we ate in Sicily.

We left feeling that we'd had a relaxing time, but that it could have been so much better, if only the staff had been more friendly and welcoming.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank cmlyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2007

Donnalegge is a wonderful tranquil, rural hotel. The buildings have been beautifully converted to create a cool, chic hotel. It is a perfect location for a chilled out relaxing holiday and also as an ideal base for exploring Sicily. Fantastic food, amazing pool, attentive staff. Couldn't recommend it more highly.

Stayed: September 2007
Thank GaryPLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2007

I stayed with my partner at Donnalegge for a one night stay over whilst travelling from Palermo to Syracuse.

All the blurb we had read, led us to believe that we were going to be staying in a beautiful boutique style agriturismo. Unfortunately we gat given some pretty basic room that was very cramped and felt a bit like a hospital ward with vinyl floor covering on the walls.

The farmhouse itself was very well done, nicely re-furbished and overall we liked the place aesthetically.

Great pool but a shed adjacent to it was burning logs all day so we got a bit smoked out. Overall service was a bit shabby really, a congenial male host but that was about it, more geared up for Italians than English speaking tourists.

I'm glad I only stayed one night, any longer and I think I would have gone a bit stir crazy, this was the comment I got from several others who were staying a week!

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tass P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2007

Beautiful location and pool but we did not enjoy our stay here. Dinner the first night was okay, but the following night was one of the worst meals we had in our 2 weeks in Sicily. Breakfast was very poor -- some bruised apples and none of the lovely melons we saw being picked earlier. The place is dotted with computer print-outs with rules on them -- not very welcoming.

The place was very noisy while we were there. There was a very large family party that took over the place on the 2nd afternoon and evening. Later that night another group came back to the hotel and the party started up again. We managed to sleep from 2am until 6am when they started revving their cars to leave. It was not at all a relaxing visit and we were very glad to go as soon as reception opened.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Saraos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2007

Whilst the setting was beautiful and the farmhouse restored to a high standard we were extremely disappointed with some other aspects.

On our first night were woken at 6.30 in the morning by the very distinct noise of several rats running underneath our floor. The noises included scuppering, squeaking, scratching and tails banging. Having experienced mice in our own home on several occasions and being familiar with rats through a close friend who keeps them we were under no doubt that these were rats, possibly a nest.

Of course we understand that staying in a farmhouse brings the risk of small animals, but we certainly did not expect to be woken by several rats underneath our floor. More importantly it was the way that Donalegge dealt with the problem that annoyed us most. They expressed disbelief that there were animals under the floor and offered several alternative explanations; the cat on the roof, the farmers outside and even ants. We made it very clear that we had heard small animals (which we suspected to be rats) underneath the floor.

An apology and move to another room would have sufficed for us to have enjoyed the rest of our stay. However, we felt that we were treated as hysterical teenagers, we were laughed at, ignored and not taken seriously. On our request we were moved to another room, all the while heads shaking in disbelief at our behaviour.

The following night the same rats made the same noises underneath our friend's room from 4.30am. Quite frankly, it was impossible to sleep with the noise of a rats nest that was so loud it felt as though they were in the room. Once again, on checking out, we felt that our complaint was not taken seriously. Perhaps a gesture of good will on their part would have made us feel happy. Instead we were charged for wine, water and coffee taken with our meal, which in my opinion makes the half board arrangement not value for money.

In addition, some more general points about the our stay include the fact that the service was at best acceptable and at worst surly. On arrival our cries of 'Buongiorno' to the man on reception were ignored. They appeared not to understand that we wanted two rooms (there were three of us) despite my relatively good Italian and the fact we had made this clear on the booking through i-escape. We were shown to our rooms in silence. The website evokes an image of authentic Italian charm "Retired owners...whose daughter oversaw the futuristic restoration, run it with old-fashioned grace". In fact, whilst the owner was visible she did not introduce herself. We were not advised of local attractions or activities, shown the farm or the shop or offered a lift for a one-way hike.

Whilst the dinner we ate was excellent it was rather a surprise that both the chef and waiter were Polish - not quite the authentic Italian experience we had hoped for. Breakfast, described as a 'fantastic spread' was more than a little disappointing. It consisted of bran flakes, a bowl of oranges, a jam tart and coffee in a flask (a photo is available on request).

We left Donalegge with a feeling that we had been fooled into experiencing a truly amazing family-run Sicilian experience which was in fact an over-priced, poorly run, pretty charmless hotel. Although we cannot disagree that the setting, pool and rooms were good, but not worth the money.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled with friends
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6  Thank sj1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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