It was my first trip to Italy and my first hotel in Italy, though I travel quite often...
As to the good points of the hotel I cannot but mention the very helpful personnel of the Reception, and the hospitality of Mr Antonio Caprio (not 100% sure of his position - possibly the restaurant manager or administrator). The location of the hotel and the view down to the Amalfi coast is unique and goes without saying, but sadly I found a few disappointing things about this hotel, which are probably the questions to the management. Thus,
- the swimming pool hours were from 9 am till 6 pm. Why?!
I presume all the guests who came there for their holidays, sun, swim and leisure would find this most inconvenient: no chance to swim before breakfast. Being a hotel located on the cliff and far away from the beach, it would be only logical to open a swimming pool as early as 7 - 7:30 am, at least in the warm season.
- only hammock chairs, but no sun loungers by the swimming pool, so people could only sit rather than lie sunbathing by the pool.
- the hotel features a really unique bar - this is a bar "built-in" in a cave, and together with a panoramic terrace that opens up to the Amalfi coast it could have been a lovely place to sit at sipping a cocktail in the evening and contemplating a magnificent view down to the town. Instead, the bar was closed as early as 6 pm. What a strange idea to close the bar as early as that, especially such a nice bar as this one!!
- the system with getting " a permission" for the beach was rather peculiar and complicated: a guest was supposed to come to the Reception in the morning to get a pass to the beach, the receptionist immediately referred to a "secret list" and if the guest WAS in this list, he/she was given a yellow sheet of paper with the name, room number and the current date on. This yellow card then was supposed to be given to the employee at the Reception on the top of the Beach Reception to be exchanged for yet another smaller sheet of paper with the word "lift" on it. And that was "a permission" to use the two lifts to go down to the beach level. On the very beach the guest was approached by a beach-attendant, named Giovanni, and asked to produce this "lift pass". .. The procedure was to be repeated from the very beginning, should the guest want to leave the beach in the middle of the day and come back to the beach later!!
- no way of paying the services during your stay: the guests were to sign their bills (with just names of the services and dates on them, but no prices), and then to pay upon check-out. I found it utterly inconvenient! Later I came across with the same strange procedure in another hotel, thus I presume it is widely spread.
- one afternoon the hotel free shuttle-bus was broken, and another minivan was immediately found to take the guests to the centre of Amalfi. The was a certain festivity going on that evening, and a part of the road was closed for traffic (but not the part the hotel was on). Yet no bus was sent for the guests that evening to pick them up from the centre and about 20 people were left in the the middle of the night in the town. Of course we bought a ticket for a public bus and arrived to the hotel 1.5 hours later than expected. But no excuses and no compliments from the hotel were made, and the personnel, although very helpful other times, kept shrugging their shoulders.
- breakfast could be better for a 4-star hotel, although pastry was fresh and quite tasty.
To sum it up, this hotel could do much better to justify the proud name and the stars it bears :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tranquil Hotel set in cliffside enclave surrounded by trees, directly above hotel's private beach on the rugged coast far below. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Excelsior Grand Amalfi
- Hotel Excelsior Amalfi
- Hotel Excelsior Grand