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 had pre paid and checked in, they took our bags to our room and then informed us that there was no WIFI or even an internet connection in the hotel, which to us was essential for keeping in touch with my business interests. As aside the room was so dimly lit that you would be unable to read. We had prepaid for 2 nights in a junior suite for from 13 September. We said this was unacceptable and would need to leave and find alternate accommodation. After some discussion the front desk agreed to a full refund.
We left and with some difficulty found alternate accommodation later that evening. We waited for our refund but it was not forthcoming. I followed up with numerous emails and phone calls and eventually was told 4 weeks later that they would refund one night, to which I reluctantly agreed. Since then further calls, which I end up talking to different staff, are aware of the refund, but no one knows when it will be made.
It’s now 9 weeks and no refund and I call into question their integrity and suggest you be aware before committing to a booking, especially prepaid. From this experience they are liars with no integrity.
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!