We stayed in two different villas on our recent holiday in Greece, the first week of which was at Villa Stella.
Our flights were delayed, and then we had problems with the hire car at Athens airport, which meant we arrived later than we expected.
The holiday then didnt really get off to a good start as we were lectured by the owner on what we could and could not do, in what can only be descrived as a school matronly manner. Future guests will note a portrait of the owner in the living area, and I swear the eyes move!
The introductions were made worse by the demanding, even though wed paid insurance cover, of a cash deposit from my wife. Unfortunately I was not there to dispute this as I had to go back out to the local store to get provisions that the website had promised, but were not there.
We were then advised of an itinery that we had to adhere to, but increasingly as we did not, the dissaproval levels rose. We, for example, did not want to go into Athens the day after wed arrived, but prefered to go a couple of days later via a route that did not involve the local taxi driver.
The villa is modern, with air conditioning, but relies on keeping the many windows closed and shuttered to keep the heat out during the day. Not much point having a good view if the shutters are closed. There is no real air conditioning outside the main bedrooms, and so the heat in the remainder of the building builds as the day goes on.
Part of the sleeping arrangement is the provision of 4 beds in areas with no air conditioning, which in older, better built buildings, is not a problem, but in this villa was like sleeping in a sauna.
The star of the villa is the pool, which the kids loved. The only draw back is the advised restriction on times when it can be used - between 9 in the morning and 9 at night. One of the pleasures of stays in other villas has been the ability to swim very early in the morning and at any time, but here the dissaproving gaze of the owner was just too off putting.
You may wonder how the owner can look at the pool so early in the morning, and want to restrict its usage later in the day. The reason is that they live beneath the villa, and over look the pool, that you rent. Because of that, and the internal stairway that goes down into their dwelling, they are an ever present presence that cant really be got out of your mind.
Its difficult to relax when the headmistress is watching you.
As a base to explore mainland Greece the villa is well located. We went to Athens & Corinth, and also visited the deserted but excellent ruins at Ramnous. The nearby cove, as recommended by the owners, was fantastic, as were the local restaurants.
Our holiday in Greece was based on two different locations, and two weeks of activities. The first week at Villa Stella was alsways going to be pool based, with a few trips to tourist points. Our host didnt seem to get this, and as such spoilt our stay at the villa.
Is it a good villa, yes, but it needs to sort its air conditioning out. Does it have a great pool, yes. Is it conventiently located on the mainland, yes.
Would I stay there again, No. The only reason is because we did not relly gel with the owner. Thats my opinion, and Im sure many other people will find this villa a great place to stay, but at the end of the day it just wasnt for me.