L’Arca di Noe country house, Senigallia, Le Marche, Italy
Room: La Pagoda
The region around Rimini in Italy is not the first place which would come to mind when thinking of a calm and chill relaxed holiday, away from everything. It’s not the prettiest region of Italy either you would tell me, with all those concrete hotels, holiday buildings and attraction parcs. But it’s not only busy seaside resorts, it’s a matter of about 5 kilometers inlands and you will discover another world: undiscovered traditional villages and calm and harmony.
We were looking for a place to stay in or around Senigallia, a beautiful small town absolutely worth visiting, but everything was full. Yes, I know, what was I expecting this first week of August. We ended up calling every single accommodation out of the tourist info book we got a the tourist information of Senigallia. I started with the cheapest ones close to sea and went on to further from the seaside and more expensive. Everything was full: campings, hotels and holiday apartments.
That’s when I got an Italian speaking lady on the phone telling me they still had two rooms. The place was called L’Arca di Noe and was labeled “country house” in the tourist guide. It was located in the countryside of Senigallia, meaning less then ten minutes by car to the centre of town and even shorter, about 5 minutes, to the long sandy beaches. We still managed to get lost though. Well actually the GPS managed to get lost. The place is in the middle of nowhere. You will absolutely need a car to stay there.
When we finally found the country house the lady I spoke to, Simonetta, was waiting for us in front of the house. She and her husband are the owners. Even though she only spoke Italian (meaning I did not understand her) she made us feel very welcome right from the start. She showed us the two rooms that were available. One of them was an actual room in the main house. Very nice, clean and comfortable. The other was a cute round garden house, going under the name of La Pagoda.
It made me think of a Mongolian Yurt as it was round, with windows all around, and had a very natural feel to it. It really felt more like a tent then like a house but still it had airco (great as it was 39 degrees that day), a small fridge and 5 beds. I loved the decoration which was casual but smart.
There is no real reception but it’s more of a table with some paperwork on it in a sitting area of the main house. The country house is more of a house then a hotel. The “reception” is closed in the afternoons and the restaurant is closed outside the actual meals.
The restaurant is in that same main building. You are served breakfast here and you can have dinner if you wish. The breakfast is mainly homemade and fresh (figs from the garden and homemade cake!). The dinner was good but very rich. Better be used to having food with lots of cream and butter if you eat here. The food is simple and traditional.
The garden is relatively small (but large enough to feel like you’re all alone there) and pretty with a nice swimming pool, sheep, chicken, olive trees and a horse. You can see the owners love their house in all the tasteful small details. Everything is thought for and the whole place spells r-e-l-a-x.
The staff is small at l’Arca di Noe, you get to know them all after two days and they are all very nice and friendly but most don’t speak any English.
If you prefer to go to the beach then to chill out next to the pool all day, it’s just a few minutes drive. Mind you nearly all the beaches around here are private paid beaches with sunbeds and umbrellas. The sandy beaches are beautiful and clean. There are a few public beaches in between all the private ones but not much.
L’Arca di Noe has a price deal with one of the private beaches but the one time we went they had never heard of l’Arca di Noe (???) so we paid the full price.The staff at the country house was very surprised when we told them that evening so I’m not exactly sure what happened there.
It was an expensive beach day anyhow cause we also got a parking ticket as there is this system in Italy we did not know about at the time but we surely will not forget anymore. Amongst others: parking between the white lines means it’s for free, blue lines means paid parking.
All together, I would recommend. L’Arca di Noe is a great place to be in the nature (don’t forget anti mosquito repellent stuff!!) and calm but close to the town and beaches. The staff is helpful and the rooms are cute and comfortable. The food is so so. The swimming pool and garden are a plus.