We spent a few days with our 3 kids at Divinessence, and those were the most peaceful, relaxing, rejuvenating days I had for a long time.
The place is located in a scenic location, surrounded by hills and pear treas.
I loved the fact that the kids had plenty of space to run around, and enjoy the kids games in the garden.
The accommodation is first class and the spring water swimming pool is a delight.
But the most admiring are the hosts. Angelique and Paolo are so friendly, making you feel like you are part of the family. And their extensive knowledge of healthy living and their ability to apply those principles daily to their place (no chemicals around, water is purified with plants, soap is natural, all cleaning products are natural,...) is truly impressive.
Paolo was kind enough to prepare some delicious meals for us using exclusively healthy and organic products.
I can't think of a better place for a retreat or for a break to recharge your batteries.
I can only recommend this piece of heaven on earth.
First off: the location of the home is marvellous, the views from the property breath-taking and the outdoor space well thought through. The region itself deserves 5 stars as it has beautiful rivers to bath close by and you can also pop down to the south coast for a day trip. Local markets are cute, too.
We were 4 people staying in one of the apartments (German and British) and have the following negative remarks which affected our rating:
There is no privacy - as the picture of the house shows (each window is one apartment) your neighbour will sit on the terrace 1-2 meters away from you. This also means it is impossible to have private conversations and even if you don't want to you'll hear your neighbours all the time. When people are in the pool or are walking around it, they will always use your bit of terrace and can look into your living space unless you put down blinds (we didn't want to sit in the dark...).
WE DIDN'T FEEL WELCOME
It is hard to feel at home and relax not only because of other guests that are so close, especially when having young children but also because there are a book and signs dedicated to dictate how you should live and respect their way of life (e.g. a sign on the toilet of at least 10 lines telling you how to limit toilet paper, no Joke!). Although we tried to be very considerate we once forgot a snack container outside - the next morning the owner immediately reported this and asked for us to be more vigilant as it had blown onto the property. Of course we would never just throw plastic into nature. Why make your guests uncomfortable?
Once you arrive it feels like flying RyanAir - which is not expected at this level of costs. The hosts probably finance their own home with the rental (which is attached in L-shape) so they will offer you cremes, and soaps, and fruit gelly, and tea for large amounts of money (of course under the sign of organic well-being). We also forgot our bed linen (genuine mistake as it happens in the frenzy of holiday packing) and although we only needed linen for three beds (one double, two single) we were charged per person (4x). This would be no issue in modest accommodation but is hardly acceptable when you pay more than €1000 for one week as we did.
The space is super small which is OK if you don't want to spend much time inside but we actually wanted to relax at the property.
Overall we would have wished to feel like we are wanted guests and experience hospitality. Instead it seemed like the owners were more concerned with making money out of organic lifestyle. Such as shame, we we were so excited about the stay...
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