Podere Castel Merlo
What We Love
- A stay at a boutique Italian farmhouse, with a welcome drink, breakfast and a wine tastingStaying in a gorgeous 14th-century farmhouse surrounded by vineyards
- Being so close to the gorgeous Lake Iseo, the unsung gem of northern Italy
- Seriously good gourmet-style dishes paired with fine reds and sparkling whites
What To Know
- The outdoor pool is open year-round
- Complimentary private parking is available
- You can rent bikes from reception
Rural charm with a dash of boutique glamour finds its home at this gorgeous 14th-century farmhouse surrounded by rolling vineyards in Villongo Sant’Alessandro, just a 40-minute drive from Lombardy’s hill town of Bergamo. Most fabulously, you’ll be super-close to Lake Iseo – probably the least famous of the Italian Lakes but certainly one of the most dazzling.
There’s just seven uniquely-styled guest rooms at this chic little set-up, all of which come with soothing-hued colour tones, lavish furnishings and on-trend fixtures and fittings. Thoughtful touches include comfortable Hästens beds dressed with crisp white Frette linens, good-looking Dornbracht bathrooms with complimentary toiletries, and flatscreen TVs with digital channels.
Days here can be spent blissing out on sunloungers by the outdoor pool, being pampered to perfection in the newly-opened spa, and relishing ingredient-driven gourmet cuisine in the lovely signature restaurant. There’s also gracious hospitality from the eager-to-please hosts who’ll be more than happy to let you sample the fine wines and olive oil that grow on the estate.
How to Get There
We did not expect to have to carry ourselves the heavy luggage up to the first floor through a narrow and ancient staircase.
The safe was out of service but staff promised to solve the problem in five minutes. Yet we had to put up for that night without safe.
WiFi was available in certain areas on the ground floor but not in our room (103).
There was a 48” flat TV screen in the room with over 100 TV channels in Italian language but as we only speak French, German and English there was literally no choice for us.
We did not expect a huge compressor turning on and off several times during night just in front of one of the room windows.
For lunch and dinner, we expected as promised on the website “an emotion for the eyes and the palate” but the result was rather disappointing, except for the wine.
Breakfast was supposed to be served from 07h30. As we had long journey this day we showed up exactly at 07h30 and nothing was ready. Twenty minutes later finally bread, butter and honey were served with some other choices.
The complementary toiletries consisted of two shampoos and a soap.
But the room and bathroom were huge and comfortable. The setting of the Castel Merlo and the interiors are splendid and with some improvement in service level this could be a top address.
Its always pity, when something, that could be perfect has total lack of management. :(((((
If you are looking for comfort, luxury, nice breakfast and dinner, calm, clean room, then keep looking for her Hotel! that is not place for You!!!!
The staff were perfect, extremely helpful & friendly. The room we had was very spacious & finished to a very high standard. It woudl be wrong to say we didn't try the the wine from the vineyard, we did & sadly it is not available in the UK.
Locally Lake Iseo is less commercialised than some of the other lakes e.g Como & Garda.
We will be visiting again.
Amazing hotel, peaceful and set in the middle of wine yards! Fine breakfast and good service. The rooms are super spacious, enormous showers and all amenities are top quality. Very nice stay! I will go back for sure!
Pros: - Our room was absolutely lovely: clean, blending original architectural elements with modern conveniences; many large, openable windows with fantastic views of the town and vineyard. - Excellent privacy: only 7 rooms in the hotel - Good location if you have a car: short drive to shopping, restaurants and lake Iseo. Cons: - This hotel has so much potential to be AMAZING, but our experience was completely undermined by the poorly trained hotel staff and lack of information for english-speaking guests. - The person working the Front Desk/Check-in is the only worker you have access to (besides possibly a waitress in the hotel restaurant) so to discover that each Day-Reception person has little or no english skills was a significant problem for us. Their knowledge of english, aside from rudimentary phrases/words, seemed to be rehearsed for only pushing hotel wine and promoting the hotel restaurant. They came across as seasonal summer students. - No hotel orientation info in the room for english guests, nothing. -Took 1 bag of laundry to reception (an advertised service). Didn't get sent out, was crammed under the reception desk. Staff blamed each other and then turned on us (!). - Internet only worked for 1 day of our 3 day stay. Called Front Desk. Worker didn't seem to care; said there were plans to get better router in a month or so. - Hotel held loud disco party in the evening on two nights. - Cleaning staff were intrusive.
The hotel is a beautiful property. One of the loveliest hotels in Northern Italy.
Hotel owners need to decide whether they want to run an event centre/winery or a serious hotel business. It is being run as an event centre.
Note: Nothing in walking distance. A car is required to get access to local shopping, sight-seeing, daytime food and alternate evening restaurant options.