Villa Elisa, Bordighera, Liguria, Italy
Hotels out of season are like women without make up. They make themselves prettier when they expect visitors, but beware if you unexpectedly knock on the door.
It is not difficult to serve fresh food when you are fully booked everyday but what happens when you only have one third or even less occupancy rate? Staff is reduced as well, how does that reflect in the service and cleanliness of rooms?
We arrived, my family and I, with no reservation in Bordighera. We parked in the private parking at the backside of the hotel and my wife went to check availability at the reception. She got a warm welcome by a lady who spoke English. She offered us the apartment, room number 6 for a relatively low off-season price.
I think we were the only ones staying at the Villa Elisa on that day. I did see two young women later that evening, entering the room opposite to ours but they were helping out at breakfast the next morning so they obviously were no guests.
The room was very large and decorated in kind of an unintentional 60’s style. There was a sitting area with a white fake leather couch and a tv. There was, on the same floor but on a bit of a higher level (a few steps up), a dining area with a big table and adjacent to that area a kitchenette with a small fridge. The room is on two floors. If you walk down one level you arrive on the ground floor where there are two bedrooms and a bathroom with a bath.
Obviously the bath had not run for a while because when I opened the tap deep brow water came out. I had to leave it running for a few minutes before the water got clear again. Also there was an ants colony living in the bathroom. They were everywhere: in the bath, on the floor, in the sink.
As for the kitchenette: there were a few plates, two pans and exactly one fork, one knife and one spoon so if you would want to cook you would have a bit of a problem. We did not as we only stayed one night and there were lots of ants in the room (even in one of the beds) and in the kitchen as well.
Other then the ants the bedding was fine. It was very cold outside but the rooms were well heated (which might explain all the ants).
From the upper floor of the room you have a nice view of the beautiful garden with palm- and lemontrees. There was also a swimming pool which was closed during our stay and a children’s playground. Both looked nice and I think Villa Elisa must be a good place to stay in summer.
The restaurant of the hotel was closed. The receptionist Ignazio recommended a small family restaurant, Garibaldi, in the old town which was quite good but it was a 15 to 20 minutes walk which was too long in this weather. In summer it would be ok I gather but it was freezing. Ignazio also had tipped us on going to have a walk in the old town which was a good tip, it’s a whole different Bordighera then on the waterfront and so much more beautiful!
All together I would not recommend, especially not out of season. The plus were the friendly welcome, the beautiful garden and the large room. The minus were the ants, the breakfast and the kitchenette.