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Residence Borgo dei Limoni Hotel

3 out of 5 from 1 review
Via Repubblica, 29, 25084 Gargnano Brescia, Italy

1 Review

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Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Service
  • Location
15 years 9 months ago
I was a little alarmed to see a recent review on another well known holiday website, regarding this place where the owners of BDL had cancelled, a long held booking (due to 'overbooking')at short (4 weeks) notice - but having visited this place myself I can't say that I am totally surprised ! They do not require you to make any deposit until your arrival, and we found this a rather odd arrangement, and it worried us slightly how secure our booking really was before we went there. Lucky for us we did not have a problem, but you should proceed with caution, especially if booking in peak holiday times !
This place is very much dominated by Italian, Austrian Germans etc. (two of the big German tour operators have this place in their brochures and I'm guessing that some independent bookings may be bumped off due to the demands of these guys who are obviously a steady source of income for this place).
Anyone from the UK is very much in the minority. Infact, we did not see anyone from the UK during our stay - not that this was ever a problem - all our neighbours and fellow guests, were all extremely friendly & sociable with us (unlike our hosts !).
We booked independently and specifically requested an upper floor room (2 bedroom) a few weeks before our arrival, and even had our request confirmed by email. Well, we were a bit annoyed to find that not only had we been allocated a room on the lower floor, but being an end terrace, it was an odd designed layout to the rest, and was the only unit where the bedroom did not have a lake view. And just to add insult to injury, instead of the double bed shown on the floor plans it was infact two singles (not a great start to our stay for a couple who only married a few months previous !). We indicated that we wished to push the two beds together (this was easy to do as they slid on rails) however they still supplied us with single sheets for both ! Between the gap in the beds and the single sheets, we did not have the best nights sleep (or anything else) during our stay.
I did try to raise the issue with the man (owner /worker ?) who showed us to our unit but his command of English was genuinely poor, and after a long days journey we simply did not have the energy to pursue the issues further. You kind of got the feeling that the British take a very low priority here.

There is also a lady working in the reception (wife or sister of the man ?) whose english is better, we did not find her particularly friendly or helpful, but we could at least get some answers to questions when we had them.
Unlike other places where we have rented, we did not get shown round the complex or things explained to us,no one ever asked us how we were finding things or if we needed anything - there was no interaction from our hosts (who incidentally live on site). Unlike our fellow guests, we did not find them to be friendly at all - lucky if you got a smile if they passed you !

The appartment itself, and the sheets & towels provided (at extra cost of 10 euros pp), were SPOTLESSLY clean - to the point you could not help but comment !
Decent sized bedrooms / storage and excellent bathroom with a good power shower. Furniture was plain, mostly pine effect and neutral and I don't think it would offend anyone - we are pretty fussy about decor ourselves. The layout of our appartment could have been better for the kitchen/living room - you could not for example, sit on thesette and watch the TV (but you could look at yourself in a full length mirror on the wall opposite !). To watch, you had to sit at the dining table...not that there was much worth watching ; BBC World and Sky News was about the limit, if you could find them, amongst the porn channels (parents take note, to keep control of the TV remote !!). Fortunately we did not go on holiday to watch the TV - though there was the odd rainy evening where we might have been glad of something to watch othr than the same news story repeating every 15 minutes !

The kitchen though spotless, was poorly equipped, giving rise to the feeling that most people must eat out ! There was only a four ringed gas hob to cook with - no microwave, no toaster,no kettle (just coffee maker), no oven and no grill.... which made for challenging and inventive cooking at meal times !

Though there were plenty of cups , plates etc., there was a marked lack of basic cooking utensils ; no can opener (!!), no corkscrew or bottle opener (we concluded that all our european neighbours must carry these about with them at all times for such an essential item to be missing !), no peeler (OK so the national dish is pasta, but they must have carrots ?),no chopping board, and though wooden spoons were a plently, no flat spatulas for the frying pan and no metal sieves for draining our boiled pasta etc. !

I am not Gordon Ramsey, but I do expect to be able to cook if I opt to go self -catering !! But even beans on toast was not a feasible option !

Outside there was a good sized patio and the view of the lake was good and the position is sunny (the whole complex has an open view of the lake). We had our own table & chairs and drying rack for the patio.

The outdoor swimming pool was fine for the amount of guests, and though not heated, my kids enjoyed themselves. Plenty of sun lougers, and the area is again, immaculately kept.

However, another source of annoyance was that based on previous holiday experiences, we specifically chose this place on the basis that they advertise an indoor swimming pool........however, this was closed during our stay, as it appears it an "either /or " situation regarding these they open the outdoor pool (for the Summer season ) they close the indoor pool. Being June however, the weather was (though warm) quite a mixed bag, and since my kids are total waterholics they really missed not being able to swim everyday or indeed during the evenings ,on our return from day trips, as the outdoor pool closes at 18.30.
I feel this particular policy ,regarding the indoor pool closure in late Spring/early Summer, is not made clear on their website, and I don't think we were the only ones to be disappointed in its unavailability.

There are washing facilities on site - though its just one coin operated machine - a token from reception cost me a hefty 4.5 euros for one wash - and I'd supplied my own powder ! There were also irons in reception, but I don't know if you had to pay any extra to use them. There's no ironing board in your villa so not quite sure of the arrangements for this as we washed mainly beach stuff.

There is a small child's play area and table tennis / BBQ area -though this looked little used and a bit unkept ...surprising given the rest of the residence though it was difficult to find, tucked in a little corner of the complex.

The place has large automated security gates at the entrance (though a pedestrian gate was nearly always left open) this did give you the feeling of security (for your car at least !).

Generally, although it is very much a family orientated place, it was not noisy or filled with screaming kids - very quiet infact considering !..... the only noise came from the odd night ,when there was a knees up at a nearby hotel.

The residence is in a very good location - its only a short 5 minute walk into town- and the town itself, though a good deal smaller than most of the lake side towns, has a good intimate ambience, especially in the evening.
However, people with small children/ the elderly etc. should be aware that getting to town by foot entails a short walk/dash first, along the busy main road (about 50 yards) and there are NO PAVEMENTS - its not ideal as the traffic is fast and almost constant .

There is a pleasant park & kids park if you wander directly down towards the lake instead of heading right for the town , with a public beach and there is an alfresco restaurant there right on the waters' edge,that serves the most excellent pizza (gets very popular on warm evenings so you may need to book).

Reading back this report does sound pretty negative, but I would say that despite all the critisisms about the place, we did infact think it was a pretty good standard of accommodation, and still worked out cheaper and much roomier than a hotel.

Would I recommend it - yes, but with reservations - though the other review to which I referred at the start, & our experience, has made me distinctly uncomfortable, because I don't think that British people, for whatever reason, get equal treatment here.
.....would I go back......probably not ,but I would not be unhappy if on the other hand I had to go back there ! We went out alot during the day - it was a good base - I'll leave it at that !

Travel operator: Independently Booked

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