Wow... is all I can say.
My husband and I have been to Portofino many times as superyacht captain/ crew, and finally had a chance to spend 5 blissful days in this magical place. This was the best accommodation we could have possibly picked. It is a cosy but well-thought-out apartment with plenty of storage and enough amenities to be completely comfortable for a week or even more. The climb up all those steps is reason to plan before you exit the apartment and consolidate your daily activities, but a great way to work off all that lovely Italian food. And the elevation allows for uncompromised views over the main square, the beach and beyond. It is so beautiful at daybreak and sunset. We felt so privileged to stay here, it is so exclusive.
Plus, a tip to other travelers: It turns out that October the best place to visit Portofino, as the weather is still beautiful if a wee bit cooler than July/ August (i.e., 28 c vs. 40c during day) and fewer tourists. Everything is still open but no need to make reservations! Thank you, Manuela for the use of your lovely gem of an apartment. We would love to return in the future if you will have us.
Alyssa + Aaron Clark
We initially began looking at hotel rooms in Portofino, hoping to find some small dose of luxury, but we quickly ran into prices exceeding $600 US Dollars per night. The description of this apartment seemed to fit our needs, but I must confess, we were a bit hesitant to move forward as the quality of the photos in the advertisement just seemed too vague for us to really get a sense of the quality of this apartment. Desiring to stay in Portofino, we decided to take the plunge, and I must say, it felt like we won the lottery for this price point. It was a nearly perfect stay.
First, and to the most important point, this apartment may not be for everyone. It is a walk-up, and given the odd levels and lay of the stairs to climb, it became a game with my partner as to just how many flights we really were climbing. We settled somewhere between 5 and 7 flights of stairs. This apartment is not for someone of faint of heart, or bearing extra heavy luggage as there is not an elevator to the top floor. If you are making other stops in Italy, consider packing a lighter bag just for this trip and storing your larger travel suitcase elsewhere. If you are up for the exercise, you will not be disappointed. There is a gated garage for parking of your car about two or three blocks away, at a reasonable rate (for this area), though be prepared to roll your suitcase over cobblestones for the walk to the apartment.
The location of this apartment could not be more perfectly placed. You are a stone’s throw to the waterfront just a few meters from the Piazza where all the restaurants adorn the sidewalks overlooking the mega-yachts. The apartment is perched slightly back so that the noise from the street level does not echo into your apartment, and with the bedroom in the back, it makes for additional added quietness to sleep…surprising given how lively the sidewalks below become in the evening. The view from the living space and bedroom is stunning…right over Piazza and the waterfront. The hotel that we had considered paying twice the price for was located in the back of the town with no views and a long-walk to the Piazza.
The bed is considered full-size, by American standards. It will sleep two people, but with slightly less space than a standard Queen size in the USA. There is a remote-controlled wall-mounted air-conditioner to set your own temperature for the apartment…an important note to recognize. The interiors of the apartment are very aesthetically pleasing and contemporary while still being comfortable. A small sleeping loft for children is accessible, though I would not recommend adults try to sleep here. The galley-size kitchen is outfitted with basic essentials, such as dishware and glassware and cooking accessories, though we tried to use the oven once and could not get it to work. A toaster, though, did suffice for our needs. We mainly relied on the restaurants for our dining, but it was nice to enjoy light bites for breakfasts and snacks in the apartment. Linens and bath towels are also provided, as well as toilet tissue and paper towels and cleaning supplies. A small refrigerator with a freezer compartment is also provided; great for storing drinks. A small grocery store is just steps away.
The apartment is secure by key, at the entrance to the building, as well as to your apartment. We coordinated by text with the manager (the host was away), which as we did not speak Italian, it made our arrival much easier. It is important to try to coordinate a defined arrival time, and if you are driving, a GPS can help here. Our manager waited for us, as we were nearly an hour late, and she was very pleasant to work with. Upon arrival, she introduced us to the apartment and showed us how everything worked. Check-out time, though is 10am sharp. The manager arrived with barely a minute to spare and stayed as we completed our clean-up and departure.
Wifi was provided, but it is done using a wireless device. We enjoyed using it till the allotted amount ran out, and the device required that additional wifi time be repurchased. We were not successful in getting more time added, though we offered to pay for the extra time (we didn’t have access to the account). I think this is a detail still to be worked out. For travelers, it may make sense to rent your own Wifi device from your car rental place, so that you can take it with you throughout the country on your travels. We did email the host a couple of times about this, and she was courteous and responsive, but somehow, we didn’t get this working again. Not-to-worry, there are cafes in town with Wifi and it was nice to disconnect for awhile.
I am saving the best for last….and it is the use of their small boat all day, I recall, 150 Euros, paid in cash upon checkout. This is a grand bargain which also includes a full tank of gas, as well as a crew that will help you, and even come get you so you are not trying to navigate between the boats in the harbor…and this boat is a much nicer and well-cared for than the rentals in town that rent for 100 Euros per hour. It was the highlight of our stay, as we ventured around the small towns, anchoring up for swims, and it allowed us to escape the busy tourists that tend to flood Portofino during the day. As it is a small craft, you do not need a license, and it is very easy to maneuver and has an optional canopy to raise up to escape the harsh sunlight, when desired. At night, Portofino’s magic is revealed; and dinner reservations at the waterfront cafes are essential. Dining under the stars overlooking the yachts in the harbor with the moon moving overhead is an experience not to be missed. The tourists have long departed, and the magic and charm of Portofino reveals herself. If we ever returned, we would definitely hope to stay here again, and we definitely recommend this place. Our deposit was also promptly and fully refunded, and our Portofino experience was simply wonderful. Enjoy!
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
|Friends getaway||Older travelers|
|Families with young children|