I am sitting on the balcony as I write this, looking out to the most spectacular view of the beautiful Lake Maggiore. I can hear the water trickling from the stream outside, the birds tweeting away singing their merry song. The sun is setting, leaving pink and orange tones in the sky, and it is incredibly peaceful. We had been invited to review a beautiful villa on Lake Maggiore for a week with Bookings for You – we have been here for just a few days, but I can tell you that my love affair with Italy has well and truly begun.
This is the first time that we have chosen a villa holiday abroad and the first time we have travelled abroad with three children. If I am honest – we have spent the last three years enjoying the campervan life and travelling around the UK, and if we have ventured abroad – we have chosen the package holiday option, for ease I guess. Since we added our third little one to our tribe, we have been itching to step out of our comfort zone, to try new accommodation options, to explore, and to venture further afield. Landing at Milan Malpensa airport, with a trolly full of suitcases, hand luggage, three car seats, a pushchair and three very excited kids in tow – we headed off to find our hire car, and Villa Sereni – excited for a week exploring Lake Maggiore.
Villa Sereni is a large, modern 3 bedroom villa situated on the Eastern bank of Lake Maggiore. This beautiful villa sleeps 6-8 people, and is set over 3 floors. There is an option to also rent Villa Caruso just next door, to accommodate 12-16 people. The villa has a wonderful location with the most spectacular views across the lake. The lake is just a five minutes drive, and the beautiful and vibrant town of Luino is just 3 miles drive away. The property shares three parking spaces with the neighbouring Villa Caruso. Just to add – you really do need to have a car if you are staying in the property. The property is situated about halfway up a hill, a short drive to the lakeside and the nearby town. The driveway down to the villa takes a couple of days to get used to, it is extremely steep, and is maybe not for timid drivers. There is an option to leave the car at the top of the driveway if you prefer. Having said that it was our first time driving abroad, and I can tell you – I was pretty nervous about it. Although I am writing this having not attempted to drive at all, leaving it all to my wonderful husband – he did manage the driving and negotiated the driveway without too much stress.
The property is well equipped to allow you to instantly make yourself at home. There is a Bose docking system, (don’t forget to bring an adapter for the later iPhone models). There is an Xbox games console, 3 flat screen TVs and a Blueray DVD player. The property is fully equipped with a dishwasher, washing machine, fridge freezer and much to Mr Otis and Us – a coffee machine. I can tell you now – this man can’t survive without his coffee!
The villa is modern and incredibly spacious. There are three bedrooms all individually and beautifully decorated. The girls chose the twin bedroom on the second floor, and the little man slept in a travel cot in the third double bedroom. We fell in love with the larger master bedroom on the top floor, with a balcony and huge ensuite. Waking up to spectacular views of Lago Maggiore every day – it really is special. The property has a bathroom equipped with a shower on the second floor, and the double bedroom has a further balcony with views overlooking the lake. The property boasts open plan living which is perfect for families…it was great to be able to cook dinner whilst keeping an eye on the kiddies playing outside or in the living area.
I have to say that I loved the little touches that make travelling with children easier. The owners have gone to great lengths to think of everything…the property has a highchair, stroller, and travel cot available, which I can tell you is a huge help when travelling over with little ones – one less thing to think about…. there is only so much you can physically bring. I loved that there were toys, games, books and DVDs in the property to entertain the little ones – the kids spent a lot of time playing with the train track and pushchairs and teddies that were stored in the bedroom, such a lovely and thoughtful touch.
We spent a lot of time out on the main terrace, it is equipped with a table and chairs, sun loungers, and a BBQ, basically everything that you need for alfresco dining, and outdoor living. The terrace area has wonderful views out to the lake, and the area is fully fenced for safety. The youngest member of our tribe found the little scooter, and spent so much time outside trying to master the skill of ‘scooting’. He also loved to climb the stairs from the terrace area to the driveway so I did spend many an hour perched on the bottom step to stop our intrepid explorer! I loved this terrace area, a perfect spot to enjoy quality family time, enjoy some peace and quiet at the end of the day, or enjoy the alfresco dining in the sunshine.
Bookings for You
Bookings for You is owned by Jo Mackay. The company have expanded their portfolio and have over 300 holiday villas and apartments in the Italian Lakes, along with Lazio, Florence, Le Marche, Puglia and France and Monaco. The Bookings for You Team have personally visited every property and can offer advice on absolutely everything. There is a wonderful travel guide online and a comprehensive information folder in the property to offer advice and recommendations to ensure you get the most out of your stay.
We really did have the best week exploring the sights! Staying in Villa Sereni, and hiring a car allowed us to really explore Lago Maggiore. Lake Maggiore is just breathtaking, and I can’t wait to share what we got up to over the week. The property is around 20 minutes drive from the border of Switzerland, so it was really lovely having the option to head over to Switzerland for a day, too. Eating out for five in Switzerland and around Lake Maggiore can work out pricey, so I loved having the option to pack a picnic to take with us for the day, and to come home at the end of the day to cook up a feast. There are also plenty of supermarkets and shops nearby, so it is easy to call in on your way back to the villa to pick up essentials. It was wonderful holidaying with all the mod cons available, and having ample living space to relax, and spread out without getting under each others’ feet. I can honestly say that we loved our week in the beautiful villa Sereni – those views are really something special.
Farewell villa Sereni and Lake Maggiore. I’m going to miss those beautiful views. Thanks to @bookings_for_you for having us. Until next time… 😍 . . . #hosted #notjustavilla #handpickedbyBFY #lakemaggiore #italy #hello_italy #ig_italia #italian_places #lagomaggiore #italianlakes #italy_vacations #ig_italy #traveldeeper #luxuryvilla #familytravel #familyitaly #darlingescapes #lonelyplanet #italian_trips #travelwithkids #postcardplaces #travelmadfam #wanderlust #trips100 #snaphappybritmums #familytravelmoment #bringthekids #wearetravelmums #bringthekids #sheisnotlost
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For further inspiration – Here is a review of an alternative property available through Bookings for You.
Pop over to Travel loving family to see how Lisa enjoyed a week on Lake Maggiore with Bookings for You.