Customer reviews: Holidays in Liguria
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our all holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their all holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their all holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Mrs Alleston on 03/06/2016
Well organised in principle with well chosen walks, but local knowledge was disappointing and led to some problems. The hotels were all fine with good to very good breakfasts and mostly in a good location. Bearing in mind that this was the first departure of the season, the area was already very crowded and the lower path from Vernazza to Monterosso was unbearable, verging on dangerous because of overcrowding. They are talking about limiting numbers: the sooner the better! Bear in mind that you need dry weather to walk safely on many of the paths, which can be steep and rocky.
Headwater were very helpful in organising a transfer to Camogli where we privately extended the trip after Portovenere.
By Ms Tonge on 03/06/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday and the walking routes .Each place we stayed had a different character and the hotels were generally of a high standard-particularly Hotel Due Mari in Sestri Levante. We also enjoyed the included restaurant meals on the terrace at The Sporting Hotel. As the whole area is up market it is not cheap eating out on all the other days.
The walking was varied and very scenic.We were lucky with very good weather throughout-however we would echo previous comments about the steepness of some of the paths and slipperiness in wet weather. The walking route directions were very good and detailed. We would advise in the Cinque Terre park starting as early as possible and going as high as possible to avoid other walkers as it is very busy there!
By Mrs Farebrother on 04/12/2015
Cinque Terre walking can be quite tough. The distance that is given in the Notes does not really prepare unwary walkers for the ascent and descent to be expected for the day.We recommend that Headwater publishes the distance AND the metres of ascent/descent for each day and option. It adds considerably to the challenge/enjoyment, depending on your point of view! We were fine, others could be taken unawares by the climbing expected.
We loved the terrain and the experience. We were very fortunate with the fabulous weather for early October. In wet conditions, some of the paths would have been impassable and dangerous, so it is important to emphasise that the weather will have a big impact on the holiday experience in the Cinque Terre.
We were a bit shocked by the sheer number of tourists and walkers in the five Cinque Terre towns. Considering it was 'end of season' in early October, the towns were crammed with tourists and it was only on the remoter paths that we managed to shed them. Headwater should emphasise that, beautiful as it is, the Cinque Terre region is one of the most popular walking/tourist areas in the World and can get very crowded.
The walking notes were generally very good but the maps were truly awful. Not only did they not cover all the routes in the notes, we met other walkers who had far superior maps to ours. The maps by KOMPASS appeared to be some of the best. Our maps either didn't show some paths or didn't show them accurately in some instances. Elisa knows the territory like the back of her hand so we suspect she doesn't pay too much attention to maps! Whereas for us, we needed to be able to navigate with them AND the notes, and without her.
By Mrs Lammiman on 21/09/2015
Great walks with spectacular views. We liked the mix of b&b and half board . Ended our holiday with two extra days in Pisa / Lucca with more walking ...but but well worth it .
By Mr Cooper on 21/09/2015
A good holiday in stunning locations and using the various transport options very creatively. Expensive- but that is probably a reflection of the cost of the area
By Mr Boff on 10/09/2015
We enjoyed our holiday but did not feel that much of that enjoyment was due to Headwater, I'm afraid.
By Mr Thomson on 30/06/2015
A very enjoyable holiday with taxing walks and great accommodation. In 30 degrees heat we found some of the hikes a little hard at our age.
By Mr Marritt on 17/06/2015
Very good overall. Rating of 2+ is right because some parts were quite tough.
Please do not quote surname in any promotional material
By Mr Hainsworth on 22/10/2014
There were a lot of tourists in the National Park, but the two days walking either side of the park were far less crowded and we met more local people. It was lovely to be able to swim in the sea when you had finished a walk.
By Mr Rogers on 13/10/2014
A really fabulous holiday to a lovely area which we had not previously heard much about. Very enjoyable!
By Dr Haberman on 09/10/2014
We enjoyed the walks but felt let down by the quality of accommodation and food.
By Ms Bowie on 23/07/2014
The walks were really beautiful (although involved a lot of up and down!) and being able to swim on most days in the hot weather made it really special. A really wonderful way to see some of Italy.
By Mr Drinkwater on 21/07/2014
Weather in region is variable so waterproofs are necessary. Ascents and descents are steep but then it is a 2+boot holiday. Some nice little towns for shopping along the way. Good fish on most menus.
By Mrs Hartland-mahon on 10/07/2014
An excellent holiday with breathtaking scenery.
By Mr Burns on 20/06/2014
Good holiday let down by three nights in a 2 star hotel with a tiny bathroom
Dear Mr Burns,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire following your recent holiday to Italy. Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future.
With this in mind, over the winter, we have reviewed the feedback we have received for this holiday and from this have made the decision to change the 2 star hotel you refer too, this has been replaced with a 3 star hotel in Monterosso.
We are sure that you will agree this change will continue to add to the quality and enjoyment of this holiday overall.
In closing, we would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this summer. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater customer service team
By Mr Emerson on 09/06/2014
Headwater provides interesting and enjoyable holidays with well chosen walking routes and accomodation.
By Mr Spencer on 26/09/2013
Your notes for walking trips were in places inaccurate/out of date and not anywhere as helpful a they could have been. We found that the other travellers on the same overall holiday had similar experiences to us. It is not good if one is looking for sign or item of detail on mentioned in your notes which turns out not to exist, especially when there are still miles to the destination
By Mrs Ashley on 23/09/2013
This holiday was disappointment after last year's in Tuscany. The quality of the hotels was very poor by comparison, which was the main problem. The first two hotels offered a double bed (rather than the twin room ordered) - another inconvenience as we had to wait for them to be split. As adults, I guess we could be left to make alternative arrangements but it might had been helpful to have alternative suggestions re travel to Porto Venere when the weather made the last day's walk impossible. The food in the two half board hotels was not good (much better in Porto Venere than Grande Albergo though) - Grande Albergo was the biggest disappointment on what was not a low cost holiday, with the breakfasts in Rio Maggiore a close second. ALTHOUGH FORCED TO COMPLETE THE SECTION RE THE POSSIBILITY OF TRAVELLING WITH YOU AGAIN, I AM NOT SURE!
By Mr Price on 23/09/2013
You must get your act together to ensure all hotel rooms are reasonable. The Grande Albergo room was dark and had awful view. When we were there we sent a picture of view from room to sales team but NO reply. Rude. Three out of four couples endured same view.
By Mrs Town on 14/09/2013
Challenging but very beautiful walking. Walks not on the Cinque Terre route were best. The portion of the Cinque Terre open was far too crowded. The other routes were mostly in areas where few or no people were met! Very pleasant hotels to stay in all with good communal spaces so that we were not spending time in our room. Good weather made this holiday. Poor weather would make most of the walks not possible.
By Mrs Hicks on 07/07/2013
We had problems with transfers. No taxi to meet us at the airport on arrival apparently due to a misunderstanding between the local rep and HQ at Headwater. One very late arrival of luggage to Portovenere requiring the hotel to contact local rep. Transfer from hotel to airport for departure could have been a disaster as taxi did not turn up. The Royal Sporting hotel staff turned up trumps by contacting local rep and arranging alternative driver who got us to the airport in time to catch our plane.
One mistake in the grading of walks - the final walk from Riomaggiore to Portovenere is 14.5 km minimum there is no 8.8 km alternative. This needs amending.
By Mr Barlow on 23/06/2012
By Mr Barnes on 16/06/2012
Some challenging walking in an interesting part of Italy. Not much to do if not walking though.
By Mrs Williams on 00/00/0000
This is a fabulous holiday, with some great hotels. Every hotel is close to a beach where you can swim in the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. But, you must be really quite fit for it as there are prolonged very steep uphill climbs, often on uneven stoney, stepped tracks and very long steep downhills. You do need walking poles. You should aim to leave as early in the day as you possibly can as some climbs have little shade and the heat is intense. You will need the carry 2L water per person. But, the views are amazing and the CinqueTerre area and villages are beautiful and worth the hard work. Also, all that hard walking leaves room for ice cream every day!
By Ms Kearney on 00/00/0000
The walks were stunning and very well marked. We especially enjoyed the six hour walk from Rio Maggiore to Porto Venere. Even though this was mid July, on many days we barely saw another soul. The only day we didn't enjoy so much was the walk between Monterosso and Vernazza. Although the scenery is beautiful, it is hugely crowded. Our Italian travel agent Elisa was extremely helpful and we especially liked her restaurant tip in Sestri Levanti - Osteria Mattana. We liked La Battigia in Porto Venere - we didn't enjoy the food in the evening at Royal Sporting. The hotel room was great though. The room at Due Mare was wonderful - a suite with a painted ceiling. But Hotel Canali wasn't in a good location and the room was very small as was the one in Hotel Nazionale. I realise that accommodation is hard to find in the Cinque Terre in July but we would have been happy to stay in smaller places higher up in the mountains - even self catering.