When searching for a place to stay in Cinque Terre, I quickly determined that we would not find a hotel in any of the villages for two reasons:
1. There aren’t many hotels IN the villages. Most of them are “affittacameres” which is basically a room for rent in a private house. And something I’ve learned about myself in recent years is that, I don’t usually love staying at someone else’ home.
2. The roads in Cinque Terre are literally un-drivable, and we needed somewhere to keep our rental car.
I wasn’t stressed about it though, because it seemed like the villages are all so close together, that as long as we stayed at a hotel close enough to the train station in either Levanto (to the north), or La Spezia (to the south), we would still have easy access to the villages.
After booking and then canceling one hotel in La Spezia (after researching a little more I realized it wasn’t the ideal place for us), I landed on a cute little villa that had great reviews!
Quaint little B&B. Kind of like staying at grandma’s house—fashionably outdated but totally clean and well kept. The hosts spoke enough English to answer our questions about parking, breakfast, and the train, but weren’t overly friendly. We found this to be the case with many of the Italians, and it was probably just because of the language barrier.
We booked the standard double room, and it was just ok. The bathroom was nice and big, but the general “feel” of the room was just kind of old and stale. But the bed was pretty comfortable and the room was really everything we needed it to be for the type of stop this was. We knew we wouldn’t spend much time in this particular hotel, and we didn’t. We were out exploring the villages ALL day every day. If we went back there though, I would just upgrade to their nicest rooms which were only like $30-50 more a night, but looked cuter inside, had more space, and had a private garden entrance.
Parking, WiFi, and breakfast were included in our reservation. Parking was basically just in a really deep garage and the host parked our car for us because it was a REALLY tight squeeze. This parking arrangement is not ideal if you wanted to access your car every day, but if you just park and leave it there for the duration of your stay, it is absolutely wonderful because you really don’t have to worry about your car! WiFi was fast enough to post pictures and snapchats, and check our texts, but wasn’t reliable enough to facetime our kids. Breakfast was pretty good, and just a basic spread of Italian breakfast items like: croissants, rolls, soft-boiled eggs, cheeses, meats, and some fruits.
The villa grounds were really pretty. The garden wrapped all the way around the front, and there were tall flowering trees throughout. There were even plants growing and hanging in the stairwells. It wasn’t immaculately kept, but it felt very wild and tropical, almost.
Overall, we would stay here again in a nicer room. If we didn’t have a car, we would splurge and stay at Hotel Porto Roca because that was the only 4-star hotel we saw, located right next door to our favorite restaurant in our favorite village :)