I booked at Sandra Villa entirely on the reviews on TripAdvisor. We were also delighted with our room. It was in building 168 and had a great view of the ocean and the town. We stayed here on a busy weekend in May that turned out to be Italy's Labor Day weekend. The 5 towns were jammed with people. Corniglia is a quaint village and a great base area. We hiked among all the villages, but 3 of the 4 legs of the coastal trail were closed because of the rain. However, we hiked the "red" trails between the towns and got a lot more exercise!
Sandra speaks English --- the rooms are clean, with nice bathrooms with modern fixtures. The room prices are very good compared to similar rentals in the other 4 towns. I made my reservations thru e-mail. We arrived at noon and she had our room ready for us. The room was quiet except for the church bells (and short song) at 7:00 am. Still better than hearing trains all night like in other places. Also, free Wi-Fi.
The town is best reached by train. There is a shuttle bus from the train station which is way down the hill. The boats were not running when we were there because of the high waves.
If coming back, I would stay at Sandra Villa without hesitation (and stay 3 days instead of 2).More
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