The house: Alice Del Lago is a beautiful place. The apartment where we stayed had 2 bedrooms, both with a separate Air Conditioning system (very silent!). The living room was nice - with a sofabed and satellite TV and also Air Conditioning. The kitchen comes fully equipped. Next to the house is a large - very clean - pool and a lake. There is also a vegetable garden.
The location: The house is situated near Pistioia (5 minutes by car), right by Lucca (30 minutes by car), Pisa (40 minutes) and Florence (30 minutes). While this is an advantage from being all the way up in the mountains (as many restaurants and supermarkets are 5 minutes away) - you are still in a residential area near the road. If you want to stay in the middle of nowhere this might not be the place for you.
Service: Hostess Roberta will ask you how you are many times per day. She will also make sure you have maps, travel books, and suggestions to any place in Tuscany you want to visit. As we had a flat tire and arrived a day late, Roberta decided to not charge us for that night. She did not have to do this as our booking was non-refundable. A very nice gesture!
We have just returned from a fortnight in Paradise - otherwise known as Alice del Lago. Wonderful place, wonderful views and wonderful owners. If you ever want a self-catering holiday where you feel as if you are honoured guests, then this is the place for you.
Due to a delay we arrived in the dark and unable to find the country House we called Roberta and she came to pick us up by car. Our spacious 2-persons apartment on the ground floor was perfect with good equiped kitchen, nice shower and goof wifi signal. Roberta had put together a table full of information, even a guide in Dutch! Roberta speaks English very well and is always ready to help you. We got a parking ticket in Pistoia and Roberta made arrangements for us so we didn't have to spend our holiday time to get it sorted out. Very nice garden (including vegetable garden where you can take some to cook with, as we did!) with pool and sunbeds. We loved the location, a few minutes by car from Pistoia with lots of restaurants for dinner and a few minutes away from the Autostrada to go to Siena (our favourite!!), Florence, Pisa and Lucca.
Alice Del Lago is located just south of Pistoia off the Autostrada. If you have a car, this is a great location. There's very little traffic on the road in/out of Pistoia, and getting on/off the Autostrada to head to Firenze, Pisa, etc is easy.
Roberta and Lucca welcomed us personally and were extremely friendly. They even helped carry our bags up to the apartment.
The whole property is decorated with the same theme; even Roberta's office has the same decor on the walls and fabrics. It's not as "old lady" as it looks in the pictures, and the owners are quite young.
There are five apartments here, and the owners also live in the house in their own apartment. It was a family house that was renovated a few years ago.
We stayed in apartment 4, upstairs. There are two bedrooms, but one of the bedrooms has only a single bed in it. The living room has two daybeds with real mattresses instead of couches. Wifi worked well, and the satellite tv was a bonus.
The kitchen is adequate - large fridge and dishwasher - but no microwave. There's a hot pot, an American-style coffeemaker and an Italian-style coffeemaker.
The shower was very tiny. My two little boys barely fit in there together. More than enough towels were provided, including the biggest, fluffiest pool towels I have ever seen!
The pool is not kid-friendly. There are no steps to get in, only two ladders, and it is quite deep.
Laundry here is communal and free of charge, but we never had to wait for a machine. Two washers and one dryer.
There's an herb garden and a vegetable garden for guests to use. Unfortunately, all the vegetables were gone when we arrived except the tomatoes.
The biggest problem we had with Alice del Lago was the lack of supplies provided. This would have been acceptable - but nowhere were we notified that we would have to stock these items. I would have appreciated a heads up that we needed to purchase toilet paper, hand soap, dish soap, dishwashing detergent, and paper towels in advance.
Other than that, a nice stay.
Driving into to Alice Del Lago can be a little daunting- you do wonder what you are in for. The further along the drive you go, through the large iron gates, the more your anxiety is eased. When you see the pool and house you are quietly happy, by the time you meet the gorgeous Roberta, see your room and the rest of the facilities, you are simply delighted that you booked to stay here. Not quite in the country, but not in the city, this country house makes a great launching point if you wish to see Tuscany, or if you want a week or two in the sun. A five minute drive to Pistoia station opens up a world of possibilities- Firenze, Lucca and Pisa are just a few places in easy reach. What's more- our room had everything we needed, beautifully clean, fresh with a lovely bunch of hydrangeas to welcome us. Our two children loved the immaculately clean, large salt water pool, especially after a day trip to a very hot and dusty Florence. Roberta is an excellent host, nothing is too much trouble, information about the surrounding area is left for you to peruse, she invites you to use her guest laundry, her herb garden and even has board games in the room for the children. We loved our few nights at Alice Del Lago- we wished we had booked for longer!