Three of us stayed in a two bed roomed apartment from August 21st to August 28th 2012. The promotional material for this complex belies the reality and I cannot understand why it has such high reviews on here.
Before my review of the accommodation let me describe the nightmare that unfolded on arrival. We had previously informed the site that we would be late and would arrive around 11pm. Their material states that we should let them know the time of arrival. When we got there, no-one was around. We phoned the contact numbers and were assured that someone would come within 10 minutes. One and a half hours later we were still waiting. We phoned the contact number again and it had been switched off! By 1.30am on the 22nd we were still waiting for someone to come. Eventually, we had to find a small hotel for the night and return to the site the following morning and complain. Even then we found that the apartment that we were first offered was not what we had booked. We then had to wait for an appropriate apartment to be cleaned. We finally accessed that just before midday on the second day of our holiday. It was not a propitious start for even if we had arrived earlier the previous day, we would still not have had what we had booked!
1. The view from the lawn/garden area in front of the apartments is fabulous with wide stretches of beach west and east.
2. The structure of the apartments is excellent.
3. The swimming pool and its immediate environs are also very good.
4. The breakfast is plentiful.
5. Solar panels provide ample hot water.
6. The reception staff, especially Ramona and Dario, were excellent – attentive, friendly, receptive and very helpful. They are to be commended.
1. The beaches are described as being between 100 and 150 metres away. As the crow flies they are more like 300 to 400ms. Pedestrian access is via 144 roughly made wooden steps of various sizes held together by wooden pegs and backfilled with soil. You must be very fit to use them. They are certainly not suitable for children. The bottom of the steps is on to a main road and then you have to walk either left or right looking for access to the beaches. In reality, the only viable way to the beaches is by car and then parking is a nightmare. Car parks cost a minimum of 2 Euros.
2. The lawned area adjacent to the patio apartments was carpeted by wasps so you had to tread very carefully. Again, not suitable for children who will run around and get stung. There was also a prevalence of hornets which swooped in to feed off the wasps.
3. Sitting out in the patio area in the evening was a joy but mosquitoes and moths are a problem so be advised to take material, sprays or tapers to light, to ward off the mozzies. The light for the patio area is above the French doors that access the kitchen/dining area. The light attracts moths and other insects, so when you access the kitchen, they follow you as they are also attracted by the kitchen light. The next morning up to 20 moths lie on the kitchen floor. It would have been so much easier to install patio lights on the insides of the wooden eaves of the roof over the patio area, and therefore opposite and away from the French doors. And while doing so why not install a blue lamp that attracts insects, especially mozzies, and kills them!
4. The interior design of the dining/kitchen area is a disaster. Functionality has been sacrificed for design. The two electric cooking rings and the sink are hidden behind cupboard doors, as is the fridge. To cook you have to open a cupboard door which means closing the French doors that lead onto the patio. Even then the cupboard door bangs into the glass pane on the French doors. A rubber buffer has been attached to the handles to prevent panes from being smashed but the system does not work. When you access the sink, you block out the light by your presence. The fridge is also behind a cupboard door. The cupboard door opens and bangs into the French doors and the fridge door opens the other way. Very little thought, if any, has gone in to the design and its functionality. Our apartment was equipped with cutlery and crockery for four, but there were only three chairs and a dining table that could accommodate two people.
5. The bathroom is spacious but……. The toilet has a seat that is not fixed in. The design means that to fix a toilet seat you have to move the toilet and retile. Again, no thought about design. The shower is the shape of a quarter segment of a circle with a radius of about three feet. So you try to wash your feet, for example, and knock off the shower. Given the curvature of the segment, the door continuously falls off its runners. So much space and so much scrimping with inferior and badly designed products! Hot water is plentiful.
6. The two-bed roomed apartment has one large bedroom and one smaller one. The smaller one had bunk beds. One of the bunk bed mattresses was too large for the bed. In addition, the bunks had been put together hastily and not checked. There were sharp edges that could easily cut a child’s hands.
6. The pool area is well equipped. The pool is warm and inviting. However, there are no depth markers so children beware. The change in depth is via a steep underwater decline that is very slippery so one minute your child may be playing safely and the next minute be under water. Given that the complex is still under construction, one side of the pool area is bare earth that has to be landscaped. This could be the place where the children’s play area is to be that is promoted in the site’s publicity. At the moment it does not exist.
7. The breakfast is plentiful but monotonous. Two cereals – cornflakes and chocolate crispies, melon and yoghurt, sweet pastries such as various types of small croissants, fruit juice that seems more like squash, and the usual coffee and hot chocolate. Three days after requesting something savoury we got some cheese and some salami on one occasion.
8. Bed linen and towels are to last all week but they will be changed, if you wish, at an extra cost.
The complex is new, so it is very much a work in progress. It could be much better and it seems that the owners had spent a lot on building the structures and have then furbished them with cheap products poorly installed A lot therefore still remains to be finished. The staff on site are really helpful trying to make up for the shortcomings.
The fact that you have self-catering apartments with breakfast provided means that it is neither one thing nor the other. To be self-catering means providing adequate facilities and they are not there. To avoid trying to cook and therefore eating out means driving and parking as there is nothing on site nor in the immediate environs. At this stage the site is for younger fit people. If you take children there, keep a close eye on them
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Case Vacanze Bellavista offers all sea view rooms with private terrace or balcony, kitchenette complete with crockery and bathroom. There is individual air conditioning, desk, internet connection, satellite TV, minibar, sitting area, LED TV, safe, hair dryer, towels, bath towels and plenty of space to store personal effects, parking, bar, swimming pool possible to rent cars, motorcycles, bicycles, boats. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vacation Home Bellavista Sicily/Porto Empedocle, Italy