Review: A week in a luxury Villa on Lake Maggiore – with Bookings for You

Review: A week in a luxury Villa on Lake Maggiore – with Bookings for You

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

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 Villa

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.

      

Family Friendly

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

A post shared by Katy (@otisandus.blog) on I don’t think I would ever tire of that view….Would we return?….. in a heartbeat.

Pin for Later

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.

Kristie Prada who writes at Mamma Prada recently stayed in Lake Maggiore, pop over to see how she got on staying at Golfo Gabella

I love to hear what you think of my blog, do leave a comment. You can find us over on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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**Disclosure - I was invited to stay at Villa Sereni by Bookings for You for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

19 Comments

  1. April 20, 2018 / 9:14 am

    Eep! Now I’m even more excited about our trip in the summer! We’re staying in Villa Caruso. Good to know that there are lots of supermarkets nearby – we’re fans of picnics at lunchtime and cooking in the evenings too so I’m glad there are places to get supplies, though I’m sure we’ll eat out a couple of times as well. So happy you had a wonderful time – we love villa holidays as they just work so well for us as a family.

  2. April 20, 2018 / 9:15 am

    This looks beautiful. Katy! You’re right, self-catering is a great option for families, especially when there’s nice places to eat out at, too. I must admit, I have a mild preference for places that are a little bit more difficult to get to. It makes them feel that bit more special, and hidden away from it all!

  3. April 20, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Oh this makes me want to visit Lake Maggiore! It looks so beautiful and what a fabulous villa. We tend to always go for self catering as well, makes it so much easier!

  4. April 23, 2018 / 9:08 am

    This villa looks like a great place to spend a week!
    #MondayEscapes

  5. April 23, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    I would love to return to Lake Maggiore and stay in this amazing villa #mondayescapes

  6. April 24, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    What a wonderful base for your adventures in Italy. I love it when villa owners put a lot of thought into their facilities for families. It really does take the stress out of traveling abroad. The location looks incredible! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  7. April 25, 2018 / 6:25 pm

    Just look at those views! I loved hearing about your adventures on social media whilst you were out here. Your family dynamic (and recent holiday agendas!) are similar to ours so it’s reassuring to hear it is possible to have a fairly stress free holiday abroad with a young brood in tow. Hope you don’t miss the gelato too much! #MondayEscapes

  8. April 27, 2018 / 11:42 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed your stay at Ville Sereni as much as we did Katy! Those views are just amazing aren’t they? My boys loved the toys and books too, such a lovely touch for a family break, saved us having to carry loads of toys in our suitcases too. The info file that you mention went everyone with us! It was so useful for planning our week;)

  9. April 27, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    What fabulous views! I have never been to the Italian lakes but having seen your photos, I am seriously tempted. And a good coffee machine is essential, I am with Mr Otis and Us all the way there!

  10. April 28, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Oh it looks so lovely. What a perfect view of the lake! We were in Milan recently, and although we ventured to Pavia and Bergamo, I wish we had made the effort to go to Lake Maggiore now! Next time! 🙂

  11. April 29, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    Oh wow these views are just breathtaking and the villa is so stylish I can just imagine watching the sunset over that view x

  12. April 29, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    How utterly magical! We had such a fond year living in Ispra (on the eastern shore) and I’m desperate to take the boys back. I know for a fact they’d love the bucket ride! And this villa sounds perfect – providing toys is always a bonus.

  13. April 29, 2018 / 8:03 pm

    We love villa holidays. We find them so less stressful and great if we have my parents with us as everyone can escape if they need to. It looks like such a beautiful destination that is just waiting to be explored! #MondayEscapes

  14. April 30, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Just beautiful. I’ve never been to Lake Maggiore (although I have been to Garda) and I think it’s high time I changed that! The balcony looks like the perfect spot to just while away a few hours and eat a yummy dinner!

  15. April 30, 2018 / 9:40 am

    My grandmother grew up on the swiss side of Lago Maggiore – and it’s been ages since I have visited. Such a lovely area!

  16. April 30, 2018 / 10:29 am

    Aw it sounds like everything was there to make it a perfect family stay. It can’t be easy packing for three little ones and mine never wanted their own toys if I ever packed them anyway. Little things like the train track make a stay don’t they! And those views!!!!

  17. April 30, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    This looks like a fantastic holiday! It really makes a difference when places go out of their way to make things family friendly doesn’t it? It looks like they really had all their bases covered.

  18. April 30, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    The setting sounds absolutely idyllic. I love the view and the idea of being in peaceful surroundings while having places to visit on your doorstep

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