Over the last year we have rented several vacation homes in different countries (e.g., USA, Netherlands, Canada, Malta), so when we book a house we have a fairly good idea of what we want and how much that should cost us.
This farmhouse is a beautiful old farm house on the island of Gozo that will happily house up to 4 people, any more you will find yourself cramped for space. There are enough beds, but the rooms in the house just aren't very big.
The living room: The living room is where you enter the house from the street, and it feels and looks much more like an entryway than a living area. We found that all you do with this room is store your suitcases and jackets there. There is not one single piece of comfortable furniture in here. The couch is rock hard and non-reclining, and all the chairs look like they may come apart if you touch them. The TV is so small that you may not even notice it.
The kitchen: This room has way too much in it. The dining table is too small for the six chairs around it, and we doubt that a six-person dinner would fit on the table. There is also a washing machine (a washer/centrifuge top-loader on wheels) that you may find is in the way. All pans and pots are severely abused and should have been replaced a long a time ago. On the plus side: the microwave talks and if you leave the door open it never stops talking!
The bedrooms: The downstairs bedroom is nice, and has a cave-like feel to it. The upstairs bedroom, reached via the stairs outside the house, was more “modern”. Both beds were not comfortable and short so they do not fit tall people. The downstairs room was the nicer of the two despite the fungus growing on the wall. The last bedroom upstairs had three single beds that we didn’t use.
The pool area: Very nice. A nice touch is the wood burning barbecue that we could use to build fires in during the colder nights. Don't expect a lot of room though. It's not a big pool and there isn't much space around it. No way that six people will be able to bask in the sun all at the same time. There is room for just two lounge chairs on the deck. We booked our vacation early in the season, in May, and found the pool icy cold! Not that this stopped us from jumping in though! And it certainly looks nice with the light on at night.
The bathrooms: There are two bathrooms in the house, each with a shower, toilet and sink. The shower areas are limited in size will cause you to make a wet mess of the floor. The upstairs shower was leaking everywhere, resulting in just a drip of water coming out of the proper shower head. Using the toilet downstairs makes the upstairs bathroom smell.
The bugs: As soon as darkness sets in, the outside stairs, part of the pool deck and the upstairs balcony fill themselves with hundreds of terrestrial segmented arthropods (in the form of woodlice). So if you need to use the stairs in the middle of the night, you may want to remember to switch on a light and watch where you put your feet. We saw only very few of them inside the house though, so unless you have an unreasonable phobia for woodlice, they don't cause much discomfort.
The noises: You are awakened every morning at first light by the many birds living around the house. They sing their song from early morning until dark and provide a very enjoyable 'nature' atmosphere. But it wasn't just birds that woke us up. During a few days of our stay, we had neighbors living in Ta'Nikola.. Their kids got up with the birds and made a lot of noise at 05:00. This family was probably extremely loud, but it may also mean that the house not sound proof.
Some last remarks: The house is not actually in Kercem as advertised on this website, but in San Lucia, which is close to it. It is about a half hour walk to Victoria, where there are stores and restaurants. In San Lucia there isn't anything to do.
The people: The owners are very nice: came to pick us up when they didn't have to, provided us with missing items (such as a hair dryer and fire wood) promptly and the sheets and towels were replaced once as advertised. The owner of the nearby store was very friendly and opened up shop especially for us after we had first arrived.
So after all this, let us not forget to say they we had a great time staying in Tan-Nanna. With just the two of us, the small size of the house wasn't too problematic and of course any trip is only as good as you make it.
In conclusion: the house is nice and if you don't have noisy neighbors it is quiet and private. The price of the house is what puts it on the bottom of the list of houses we have visited. The house surely does not justify the price of up to GBP750 per week in the summer. We would have expected much more for all that money. The taxi driver who drove us back to the airport at the end of our trip, advised us that renting an apartment is the best option for a vacation on Gozo. From the example prices that he mentioned we must agree with him. Save your money for other things!
Dear Ms Mercier (Michelle and Alco)
Good evening. Hope you are fine.
I have just been reading your review on your holiday in Gozo, and obviously on our farmhouse, ie Tan-Nanna Farmhouse. Though you have your rights to say what you want and are free to set your comments, am a bit disappointed with all the negative comments, since it would have been much better if you have talked to us when you were here and we would have done our best in order to make things for the best.
You have commented that the rooms are not very big. Seven persons can easily sleep at Tan-Nanna Farmhouse, though i agree with you that the deck area and the kitchen are quite small for 7 persons. But keep in mind that when we have families with children (for example a family with 3 children, especially if mixed) they would go for a 3 bedroom farmhouse, rather than a 2 bedroom, and in such a case Tan-Nanna is and idea family farmhouse.
You commented about the sitting room, in such a way that it is an unuseful place! We have never had anyone to use the sitting room just as a storage for luggage/suitcases and jackets. You could have stored your suitcases easily in one of the bedrooms, considering that you have 3 bedrooms for both of you. I know you have used the fireplace, and we have provided you with fire wood FREE OF CHARGE, when usually we only do not charge for the first batch, since we pay to buy this wood! But unfortunately you choose not to mention this in your comments! Should you have told us about the size of the TV, we would have replaced this for you! We have many clients, who even tell us as early as they confirm the booking, to remove the TV if there is any, since they would prefer not to know whats going on! About the chairs, we feel sorry to hear your comments, since these are very old / antique chairs, and one will not only be lucky to find such chairs on the market, but also will have to pay quite a good sum of money for them! They are all original chairs!
The kitchen: i have found the comment about "ALL pans and pots are severely abused" as exagerated. I have checked the kitchen myself, and found out that only one pot is very scratched, and indeed replaced it today! But all pans and pots were only replaced just in January (ie. January 2008), and kindly take a note that all non-stick pans/pots will be scratched almost on the first time you use and wash them. If you have told us about this problem, we would have took the necessary action then. As for the washing machine (the twin-tub), normally it is placed in under the stairs (near deck area), but in winter our customers prefer it to be in the kitchen (they find it much more handy).
Bedrooms: Please take note that all beds are standard sizes. We think it is unfair on us to critisize the size (length) of the beds, when these are standard sizes. Regarding the Fungus on the wall, its not really fungus, and its not there due to "not cleaning properly". The house is more than 400 years old, and yes, in winter because of humidity, there will be this type of 'fluff' on some parts of the walls, especially in the more humid ones. After all, this is an authentic farmhouse and not a brand new apartment.
Showers/Bathrooms: we acknowledge that fact that the space around the shower areas are limited, and this is due to the fact that when renovating an old farmhouse, you can't be as flexible as you want, and you have to make the best out of the available space. We are very sorry that the shower was not functioning well (upstairs shower), and again, should you have informed us about this, we would have took the necessary action, for your benefit as well. About the smell when using the downstairs bathroom, unfortunately we have never had any complaints about this, but keep in mind that both bathrooms are using the same drain system.
The bugs. Unfortunately you happened to be in an authentic farmhouse in spring, when due to temperatures rising, in Malta and Gozo we have much more insects (and bus) than all year round. We always take the necessary action to spray pesticide for these types of insects and bugs, but we cannot control nature!
The neighbours: unfortunately we cannot have control on the people we rent our farmhouses to. We warn our clients, especially when they are loud during nights, but we can't control our clients' behaviour, espcially if they are not breaking any laws or disrespecting the community and neighbours. Its not the first time that we had to call our customers to behave properly, after being warned even by Police. It happens that sometimes we have noisy people, but unfortunately this may happen everywhere in the world, not even in our farmhouse! Unfortunately, there are no farmhouses on the island which are soundproof. Technically, to build a soundproof building, you have to build wide walls and fill with insulation, something you can never do with a 400 year old farmhouse, let alone getting the necessary permits from the local Planning Authority, who are very rigid on any works done in old buildings!
Regarding your remarks on the locality, kindly note that Santa Lucia is part of Kercem. Indeed we have the same local council and Santa Lucia is just a small locality, but forming part of the village and parish of Kercem. We have nowhere in our adverts which state that Santa Lucia is full of life and shops....indeed we state that it is a quaint and quiet place.
In conclusion, i felt very upset to hear your comment on our prices, when i have offered you a reduction in price, to meet your budget ! Unfortunately you choose not to state this!
We try our best to give our customers a value for money, but unfortunately it seems that we do not succeed all the times! We go out of our way most of the times, and even go out to meet clients who are lost, others who need to go shopping (supermarket) and so on. We also don't charge for any accidental breakages, as you may know (we haven't charged you!).
As i told you, you have every right to comment, but we feel that firstly you have to be fair, and secondly, should you have forwarded us your problems while you were here, you may have benefited from our changes/amendmends, and we (and future customers) would have benefited from your constructive cristicism.
Indeed we would like to thank you for using our services, and hope that should you decide to visit us again in the future, we would have raised our standards in order to satisfy your needs, and give you a better value for money!
Looking forward to hear from your end.