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“A wonderful stay!”
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Review of Il Mare Dentro

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Excellent
22 reviews
a look from the terrace
view on the harbour below
living
lunch corner... at the table!
kitchenette
kitchenette
from the balcony...
a romantic dream
the dream is romantic
luxury bathroom
luxury bathroom
second bedroom
second bedroom
second bathroom
welcome to my house
the square, old courtyard, and the castle
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Overview
Villa -
2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 4
Castellammare del Golfo, Province of Trapani, Sicily

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 22 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Any
English first
BombillaS...
Linkoping, Sweden
2 reviews
“A wonderful stay!”
Reviewed 3 weeks ago for a stay in June 2018

It was the first time we went to Sicily and not having been there before, it was hard to chose where to stay and what to see.

"Il mare dentro" had wonderful reviews so I opted for it. Indeed it was a fantastic apartment, right in the oldest part of town. The living room and the two bedrooms overlooked the harbour and made every day and especially every morning a nice and cozy moment. Drinking our first espresso while looking at the activities in the harbour was very pleasant.

The balcony in one of the bedrooms was very spacious and it had a table. It was very pleasant to eat dinner there a few nights. Overall the apartment was spacious, very nicely furnished and smartly structured. The host made all the efforts necessary to make our stay as comfortable as possible. We were impressed by the generosity at our arrival: we found wonderful food waiting for us! The communication was at all times very pleasant and interesting (Marco is a highly cultivated man!). When travelling it can be hard to feel at home but in this case we felt immediately very welcomed and pampered.

I highly recommend “Il Mare Dentro”.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KiwiWande...
Kerikeri, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Paradise found !!!”
Reviewed 10 February 2018 for a stay in September 2017

My husband and I love to travel and usually don’t revisit places because we feel there are so many more places we still need to explore. But we couldn’t help returning to Il Mare Dentro. In fact we have stayed at this wonderful abode 3 years in a row now! And have enjoyed our time there so much we are returning again later this year. As we enter the property through narrow cobbled streets and over a tiny very narrow bridge into the Arab-Norman Castle courtyard, we marvel at how lucky we are to be able to stay in a situation such as this.
As others have said, the owner’s description portrays the property well. Be assured the house is spotlessly clean and the pride of the family that own it. Although to date just my husband and I have stayed, there is plenty of room for 4 people with a bathroom upstairs and another downstairs adjacent to the lower bedroom. We enjoy eating our meals on the balcony overlooking the harbour entertained by all the activities of the local community, a authentic taste of Sicilian life. Every morning when the fishing boats return we witness the locals buying their seafood directly from the fishermen. My husband managed to purchase some excellent super fresh seafood for our dinners as well regardless of his very limited Italian. The locals were very understanding and coped with the sign language, ever so helpful.
It is just a short walk to nearby markets to buy fresh fruit and vegetable, a local shop where they make various types of fresh pasta on site (sold by weight, unbelievable cheap and delicious) and a local butcher who will make up the very best pork and fennel sausages while you wait - if they don’t already have them hanging over the counter.
Il Mare Dentro is a perfect location to base yourselves to visit the surrounding area....the ancient Greek Temple Segesta, the wonderful hilltop town of Erice , Scopello and swimming at the beautiful Tonnara di Scopello to name but a few.
These are just some of the things that draw us back to this property and its amazing location.
But more than that, it is the hospitality of the family that own this property. We just can’t say a big enough thank you to them for making our stays at Il Mare Dentro so memorable and straight forward. Marco has always made every effort to ensure all our needs are met even helping us through the process of paying a parking fine when we unfortunately misunderstood the signs on our first visit. Nothing is too much trouble for him. And his Mama leaves us a wonderful meal to start off our stay plus plenty of yummy food supplies so we can settle in after our long flight. Some of the produce is from their own garden and kitchen making it all the more special. The Caponata was divine!!! It was wonderful to meet Marco’s Mama who also came to greet us last year. When we arrive at Il Mare Dentro it feels like we are returning home! We are counting down the months till we return.
Last year we had to hurry home for a family emergency hence the delay submitting this review.
An invaluable hint – opt for a small rental car no matter where you wish to travel in Sicily!

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michael B
London
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fabulous in every respect”
Reviewed 9 October 2017 for a stay in September 2017

We have recently returned from a wonderful week at this lovely house, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Marco, the owner’s, description of this property is an accurate one, so I shan’t rehash his overview of its layout and facilities but will try, perhaps, to add some flavour to what has been said already.

Castellammare is a large, sprawling town and is definitely a ‘tale of two cities’. Its outer areas are rather unattractive and shabby but, as you reach the ‘old town’ around the harbour (where Il Mare Dentro is located) it is far more attractive. Yes, it has the ‘faded glory’ so typical of Sicily but retains charm, a great atmosphere and many picturesque aspects.

Driving into the old town, and thus to the house, is an interesting challenge with streets and turnings so narrow as to preclude the ‘large rental car’ option unless you’re particularly adept at unfeasibly small gaps. Furthermore, SatNav doesn’t seem to cope with the twisting, turning and one-way streets, so the owner’s offer to meet us on the outskirts and guide us in was very sensible and welcome.

As described, the house overlooks the small harbour, occupied by privately owned yachts and motor boats, commercial day-trip vessels of many types and the local fishing fleet. Along the harbour front is a semi-circle of bars and restaurants – the house is directly above one of these. This all adds up to a constant bustle of people walking by, loud chatter, boats to-and-fro, car horns and Italian teenagers riding scooters while reading their iPhones.

Such frenetic activity is, perhaps, not conveyed in the Trip Advisor description or reviews but which actually made our stay even more enjoyable. Sitting on the balcony watching the comings and goings, loud and vigorous discussions punctuated with much gesticulation (do Sicilians have any other type?), the boats chugging in and out, and the locals gathering to buy the day’s catch as it hits the quay, is delightfully distracting. Just don’t come here if tranquillity is high up your holiday wish list!

There are many bars and restaurants both in the harbour and the main road of the old town (just a few minute’s walk). Seafood and fish obviously make up a significant part of the menus but pizza, pasta and meat dishes also abound. And Sicilian wine stands proud against any Italian region we have experienced.

A real highlight was our motorboat charter, complete with local skipper. Puttering along the stunning Sicilian coastline, nipping in and out of caves and coves, and stopping to swim in crystal clear, warm water was a beautiful experience. The four-hour trip was 65 euro, plus 17 euro for petrol. Worth every cent, even allowing for the post-brexit £ !

As for the house itself, we felt that its description and reviews are perfectly fair. The kitchenette is accurately described as such – do not expect to easily make expansive family meals here, but it perfectly adequate for light cooking. The house is maintained to a high standard by the family and they seem rightly proud of it. It really is a charming place in a wonderful location – we thoroughly recommend Il Mare Dentro.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
simon h
1 review
“Truly fantastic with Sicilian hospitality at its best”
Reviewed 8 October 2016 for a stay in September 2016

I had driven past Castellammare Del Golfo many years ago on a previous visit to Southern Sicily and had always been very intrigued by its appearance so I was delighted to have the opportunity to stay there. Il Mare Dentro is located right in the heart of the old town in the Arab-Norman Castle complex that juts out into the sea. It has spectacular views from two balconies over the surrounding countryside and the harbour, just above where the local fishing boats offload their daily catch.

The approach to the property is through narrow cobbled streets past the 17th Century Baroque Mother Church and over a tiny narrow bridge where the smaller Church of Rosario is only a few steps from the property’s entrance. This all gives a real sense of the history of the town.

Practically, the house offered everything we needed. It was spotless on arrival. Facilities included air-conditioning and ceiling fans if you prefer a gentler way of keeping cool. The Wifi worked well and the kitchen was well equipped. We seemed to spend most of the time outside on its adjoining balcony watching the results of the morning catch at breakfast and the ‘Passeggiata’ later in the day. Spending some of our evenings dining by candlelight on the large balcony was a joy.

Within easy walking distance from the property are a local market selling all manner of local produce with a number of small shops offering most of what you might need, and there are plenty of supermarkets in the newer part of town easily reached by car. Bars and restaurants of all varieties are found along the harbour and scattered around the town and along the pedestrianized Corso Garabaldi.

The town has plenty of surrounding places to visit. We enjoyed the nearby beach at Guidaloca and stopping off on the way back for an ice cream at the panoramic area with amazing views over the town towards Punta Raisa. Just past Guidaloca is Scopello and the Tonnara (old tuna factory) and then on to Zingaro, Sicily’s first nature reserve. You can also hire your own boat from the harbour and explore the coast yourselves. Segesta with its ancient Greek Temple is less than 30 minutes drive away and we also ventured in land to nearby Alcamo and it’s medieval castle.

What completely made this one of our best holidays ever though was our host Marco. He made the initial booking process very straightforward and even met us on the outskirts of town to guide us to the property. He provided us with a wealth of local knowledge and instantly put us at ease. He couldn’t have been more helpful, and his absolute understanding of our needs as visitors meant that on our first day, after no sleep the night before, we moved smoothly into the holiday rhythm with minimal hassle. He offered us an experience of the famed ‘Sicilian Hospitality’ that we will carry with us from this Jewel of the Mediterranean Sea. Thank You Marco - and ‘Mama di Marco’ too!

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Your age range 50-64
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England, United Kingdom
Reviewed 6 October 2016 for a stay in September 2016

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Recommended for:
Friends getaway
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Dave_Elea...
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A lovely apartment in a great location - Highly recommended!”
Reviewed 22 May 2016 for a stay in May 2016

I totally agree with all the previous excellent reports. The apartment is lovely - even better decorated and furnished than the pictures show. We were very pleased that we had chosen to stay there. The location is amazing, with magnificent views from the balcony over the harbour to the mountains beyond. In addition to the fishermen unloading and selling their catch on the quayside every day, we particular enjoyed watching the weekend wedding parties having their photos taken! There are many excellent restaurants and bars within walking distance of the apartment, and it is also very well placed to reach many splendid sites in NW Sicily. And above all this is Marco's amazing kindness and friendliness. After meeting us when we arrived, he spent a long time showing us around, telling us about the best places to eat and visit, and answering all our questions. The range and quality of food and drink which he provided for us, courtesy of his mother and father, was beyond compare and hugely appreciated. And it was lovely to meet Marco's mother as well at the end of our stay. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend the apartment, and can honesty say that we now think of Marco as a friend.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KiwiWande...
Kerikeri, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Perfect position, great accommodation and such amazing hospitality!”
Reviewed 14 October 2015 for a stay in September 2015
1
person found this review helpful

What an amazing place to stay! I read reviews before booking and these were spot on.The location is just superb. My husband spent many hours on the balcony entertained by the activity below with fishermen selling their catch and boats bobbing in the harbour. It is just a very short walk to the harbour down a flight of ancient stairs. The accommodation was very comfy, spacious and super clean. Free Wifi was consistent and very much appreciated. And the view from the kitchen as we prepared meals, wow! An excellent location to base yourself at with many great places such as Segetsa, Erice and Scopello nearby for day trips. And Palermo airport only a short drive away as well. A must for us was the Tonnara di Scopello, about 20 minutes away. What a stunning setting to enjoy the sun and swim, a little slice of paradise and highly recommended. We spent a couple of days there it was so good. But a word of warning, do use the carpark rather than park on the side of the road. We managed to get a parking fine. A big thank you to Marco for helping us sort how to pay it, we really did appreciate his help. But by far the most amazing thing about our stay was the wonderful hospitality. Marco was ever so helpful, we honestly couldn't thank him enough. And there was a great supply of food left for us plus his mother had prepared a very yummy pasta dish for our dinner, so unexpected along with the delicious home made Limocello. I am so glad we chose this option and highly recommend to anyone going to Sicily.

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Liked best: Hospitality, location, accommodation...everything
Liked least: Nothing to dislike
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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