Enhance your visit to Cinque Terre by taking a step back, a laid back chill lifestyle while being right in the heart of the charms! Be away from the crowd, be the first one rather then joining the bulk of day trippers. Late night walks while hearing the waves crashing onto the rocks? You have it! Catching the sunset over the horizon? A daily affair for me! There is definitely a charm when the whole place quiet down. It is a very different experience. While for the more affordable option, you can choose to stay at La Spezia! Which is only a short train ride away. Cinque Terre consists of 5 Villages, namely Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, each of them very different and have its own charms. With Monterosso being the most touristy and contains more larger resorts and hotels. It is also the only one to have a proper beach! Another great options if you are looking for accommodation in Cinque Terre is to check out Arbaspaa! It is a tour company in the area that provide accommodation and tours. They own and operate various apartments around the 5 villages. Many of them are cute, unique and worthwhile. Especially when travelling in a group! Prices are affordable and the place is well maintained!
In fact, I heard about Arbaspaa from Jemma Wei, where she have wrote extensive on it as well and her experience seems amazing! I decided to use it as well since the place really look amazing on their website and it is affordable! Since I was really keen to stay in Cinque Terre itself! I choose to stay in Manarola out of the other villages as I have heard a lot about it. And I never regret my decision at all! I will share more on where to stay later on. I went for a one room apartment in Manarola. The Le Coste apartment is located in the heart of Manarola and cost 70 Euros a night!
The Le Coste Apartments comes with a double bed, a fully working kitchen and a dining area. Speaking about size, it is definitely the most spacious place that I have stay at. In fact there are cheaper options all over the place but I decided on Manarola and the location of the Le Coste Apartments is the best. Imagine if you are sharing the place, it will only cost you 35 Euros per person. But in fact the place can stay way more than 2 person! Le Coste Apartments is located just a 5mins walk from the train station and just below it you can find all the stores and supermarket. It is also located above the Arbaspaa tour shop which is the place you can collect your keys. If it is closed you have to go to their office, which is just a block away! This is also a reason why I choose the Le Coste!
I reached Manarola much earlier than originally planned since I took a much earlier train due to the train strike! Luckily the Arbaspaa office was open, seemingly they arrived earlier due to the train strike as well. I was welcomed by Giulia, who is also the one that I have been communicating with. Their service was awesome and they keep you updated prior to your arrival. Seemingly, I also know of the train strike from them! Giulia escorted me to the apartments and did a check throughout the place to ensure everything is working well! I was really delight in the personalised service provided!
The place was huge, with the toilet immediately after entering, then you have the living room area where you can find the full kitchen and also the dining table. It is sort of like a studio apartment. Then the bed is located inside. I love that the bed is a full double bed which is comfy. Something that I have to complain would be the thin blanket. The place was clean and well kept. The whole place was huge and there is even a foldable mattress on the side. This place could easily stay 4 to 5 people comfortably!
The toilet is clean and a little on the smaller side, but still manageable! One thing to point out would be the heater system, there is a little more steps to operate it since it is not automatic like a hotel. The water pressure is not good as well! Another main point to take note is the lack of power plugs in the toilet. While a hair dryer is provided and it is the good kind, there is no place to use it in the toilet. That is something to ponder on.
The room just faces the street outside, so if you are planning to get a good view or something, you should go for something else rather than the Le Coste! All in all, I am pleased with the place and it was a comfortable stay for me, the wifi was great and the space was spacious. During check out, all you have to do is to just drop off the key! Now for where to stay in Cinque Terre, frankly speaking, each of the 5 villages got its own charm, strengths and weaknesses. Personally I find Manarola the most beautiful of the 5, it is also more quaint. And I could get the nice sunset view here. I love my stay in Manarola. In fact, I will recommend travellers to stay in Manarola, Vernazza and Riomaggiore. From my time here, Vernazza and Manarola are the most crowded. Both Riomaggiore and Vernazza are fine to stay as well. Personally I will skip Monterosso since it is the most touristy place, which is also more expensive. AND AND PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM CORNIGLIA AT ALL MEANS. Corniglia is located on top of the hill and requires a good hike from the train station. It is at least 10 stories high from the train station. I was exhausted from the stairs. So I can’t imagine doing that with my luggage! Hell no! The town is also pretty underwhelming!
For those who are interested, the room that I stay in was the Le Coste Apartments in Manarola! Here is the link on the Arbaspaa website. While there are cheaper options, this turns out to be the best, the location is impeccable and within walking distance to everywhere. If I am ever back to Cinque Terre I will definitely choose to stay with Arbaspaa again!