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“Amazing Location and Stunning Views” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Excelsior Grand Hotel

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Excelsior Grand Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Papa Leone X | Locality Pogerola, 84011 Amalfi, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 30 hotels in Amalfi
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Location and Stunning Views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2010

Stayed at the Excelisor, the last week of May 2010,just as the holiday season was starting to get busy. Hotel decor is a bit tired, but for the price, is good value. The room was clean, and spacious, and all rooms come with air conditioning, which although we did not need to use, is essential when it gets hot. Hotel is situated on the hill overlooking Amalfi, which can be reached by the hotel bus, or by using the Sita bus . Views from all the bedrooms are stunning, as all overlook Amalfi. Food was not too fancy, with dinner consisting of 3 courses, a choice of 3 for each course. Included pasta starter, with for example fish or steak as a main course, followed by simple desert. Hotel very keen on pushing diners to have wine with dinner, which can be quite expensive, as the markup is high for the quality of some of the wine available. Breakfast is reasonable museli and cornflakses available. Ham, cheese,salami with choice of break rolls, as well as reconstituted scrambled egg. If you want ot sausage, or fried eggs, that will cost you extra. If you wnat to get to Amalfi your need to use the hotel mini bus, the last trip down in the morning is 10.30 ( which gets packed), then a break until 14.30. Last bus back is at 18.45 from the sea front, so you will need to catch the Sita bus back if you miss it, which run until 23.30. If feeling energetic there is aa very steep walk down from the hotel garden, down to Amalfi, which takes 45 mins.
Overall a nice hotel, good value, not too fancy food, but the service was pretty good, and the view is stunning. The reception staff were fairly helpfull most of the time. Would defintely stay there again, as good value, and a good base to explore the area, or just relax on the terrace. The brochures don't do justice to the location.

If going by a package holiday such as TUI or Thomson, don't be seduced into going on their expensive day trips, as it is very easy to plan most of the trips yourself. The ferry from Amalfi harbour will take you to Positano, then onto to Capri for a nice day out. Pickup the Sita bus from the sea front, after buying your bus ticket (Eur 2.4) from the tobacconist on the corner of the square to take you up to Ravello. There is a fantastic walk back from Ravello to Amalfi, winding down the lemon and olive groves groves.
It is easy to get Pompeii, just hop on the ferry to Salerno, then a 5 minute walk up to station, and catch the slow train to Pompeii ( Eur 1.90 each way!). Then catch the evening Sita bus back from Salerno to Amalfi, wining its way along the coast. The bus service is very reliable, if sometimes chaotic, but everthing seems to run very smootly.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Connecticut, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2010

Like the previous two reviews, we stayed at the Excelsior the last week of May. My mother, sister & I were there with a small group. The hotel is immaculately clean, remarkable given that many of the furnishings seem straight out of the early 1960s. Which is a definite plus in my book -- you can certainly envision Don & Betty Draper (Mad Men) tossing back cocktails at the bar. Yes, the location is rather removed from the "action" in Amalfi proper, but I'll take the stunning views from each room over bustle any day. Plus, you get to start each day with a deep breath of salt- and lemon-tinged air from your balcony each morning.

Amalfi is very easy to get to with the hotel shuttle and the SITA bus, or any combination of the two. Because we were with a group, much of our transportation was provided, but on our off days we found it easy to get around, but you have to plan ahead. The shuttle schedule is a bit bizarre -- it runs to Amalfi on the hour from 9am to 11 am, then back from Amalfi to the hotel on the half hour from 9:30am to 11:30am. Then the driver takes a very long break, and the service resumes at 3:00, and runs on the hour until 6pm. Last shuttle back from Amalfi is 6:30 pm. The SITA bus runs much later (and much more regularly). All you have to do is let the driver know that you'd like to stop at the Excelsior. If you forget, just press the bell as you get to the hotel to let him know to stop, and he'll drop you just above the hotel. We took the SITA bus to Ravello one day, and it was prompt (crowded, but it was a holiday in Italy - Unification Day - so there were fewer buses & more people off of work doing touristy things). It took us a total of 45 minutes from the time the shuttle left the hotel until the SITA bus dropped us off at Ravello.

The other alternative is a taxi, which the front desk can help you with. With negotiations on our behalf by Annie at the front desk, we had the Lucibello taxi service pick us up after our group trip to Sorrento and take us to Maiori and Vietri Sul Mare, making as many stops as we wanted for photos and exploring. Antonio and his father run the service, they're from Pogerola and very nice. Antonio loves to practice his English, which is excellent, and he very sweetly put up with my poor Italian!

The food at the Excelsior is fine, the breakfast does feature scrambled eggs each morning, as well as cornetti (Italian word for croissant) chocolate cornetti, a sort-of sfogliatella, museli, yogurt, cereal, cheese, mortadella & salami, and some of the hardest rolls you'll find anywhere on Earth. Not sure what's up with the bread at the Excelsior (the same rolls can be found at dinner), but I can safely say that these rolls are not made on-site. The espresso machine takes some getting used to, but serves up a respectable espresso, latte or cappucino. It also does "caffe americano" - essentially an espresso with lots of hot water added (ick). Several of our dinners were included in the price of our group tour, but after the first dinner, many of us ate outside of the hotel. The food isn't great, and seems to be geared towards the many English, American & German tourists who stay there. Each evening's "antipasti" bar featured lettuce, tomatoes (which were delicious), sliced wild fennel (milder than the fennel we get in the US - not as licorice-y) sliced radishes and sliced cucumbers. Would have liked to have seen some grilled vegetables or other more common Italian-style antipasti, and been able to eat a green salad when the Italians do, after the main course.

The bar is a very good place to people-watch, and the bartender couldn't be nicer. He makes a lovely bellini, which happened to be the drink of the day on one of my forays down there to write postcards. Great to sit on the veranda, sip the bellini & look out at the twinkling lights of Amalfi below.

The computer in the lobby is good for checking your emails or looking up an address. There is a 15-minute time limit if someone is waiting behind you, but the internet is dial-up slow. If it's really busy, try asking at the front desk to use the extra one in the office.

The front desk staff all speak English (and a few other languages) very well. While all of the staff was friendly and helpful, Annie was by far the best. She was born in America but came back to Italy as a teenager with her mother. She helped us with our off-tour logistics, made recommendations for the best places to find gelato, pizza and the traditional Sorrentine Peninsula souveniers (sandals, ceramics, etc.).

The town of Pogerola is charming -- while we did not visit Gerry's, several in our group did and found it OK. The much better choice in Pogerola is La Carcara -- make a left behind the Norman church in the main square. The food is amazing and very affordable. Those in our group who had tried both places felt that Gerry's would be the place to go for nightlife after dining at La Carcara. Either way, Pogerola's only about 15 minutes up the hill from Excelsior and maybe 10 minutes down, so a great way to offset any calories consumed :-) And La Carcara will send a car to pick you up (free of charge!)

If you've some money to spend on a memorable meal, by all means visit La Caravella down in Amalfi. We had arranged a few meals at some high-end restaurants (Don Alfonso in Sant'Agata, Palazzo Sasso in Ravello), but my family agreed that our meal at La Caravella was the most delicious. With wine, a glass of prosecco before dinner, limoncello after dinner and dessert, it wasn't inexpensive, but a very memorable meal. Try the swordfish grilled between two lemon leaves -- seriously, one of the very best dishes I've ever tried anywhere.

In all, we loved our visit to la Costiera Amalfitana, and would recommend this hotel. I'd come back.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2010

We stayed the first week of June 2010. We were very surprised by the quality of the hotel and the fantastic location, considering the bargain price we paid!
The meals were included in our package. Breakfast was more than adequate; they actually had scrambled eggs every morning, and a good selection of other items. For dinner they offered a selection of 5 firsts and seconds, and the quality was always good (not outstanding, but good; we didn't expect more).
The hotel itself is excellent, although possibly not for everyone because of the location. If you want an exceptional location to relax and take day trips from, then it is for you. If you're looking for night life, then it's a little removed from the action (except for Gerry's; more on that later).
The hotel is located high on a cliff overlooking the village of Amalfi. FANTASTIC views of the coast and the village are included free of charge. All the rooms overlook the sea. From the town it is a 20 minute drive or bus ride from village centre to hotel. The hotel provides a free shuttle bus that runs 6 or 7 times a day. If the schedule doesn't fit your plans (which it quite often won't), then the SITA (local) buses make the run about every 1/2 hour, and cost 2.45 EURO 1-way. It is worth taking the SITA bus at least once, just for the thrill of it! It's like a roller-coaster ride with real danger thrown in! (sit right at the front if you can get that seat). The SITA bus stop is right at the entrance to the Hotel. Reception will give you a schedule that has the Hotel bus on one side, and SITA schedule on the other.
From the Hotel it is 1/2 day excursions to Positano (take the ferry over late in the morning, tour the lovely village, have lunch there, then take the ferry back in time to lounge by the pool. The ferry costs 6 EURO each way, and gives you a lovely view of the coast from the water), or Ravello (beautiful gardens, take the SITA bus from Amalfi). Most other places, such as Pompeii, are full day trips run by tour companies. The Hotel will arranger these for you.
Now, if you stay here, you have to make the treck to Gerry's Pub in Pogerola (said Poj-er-ola). Pogerola is the little village a 15-20 minute walk above the hotel (all uphill going there, but all downhill coming back). Just turn right at the end of the driveway and walk up the hill. You'll spot Gerry's easily when you get into town (straight through the main square). Sit in the back on the terrace; it looks back up the valley and the views are terriffic. Gerry's prices are very reasonable, his house white wine is excellent (very light and refreshing), and the food is wonderful. Gerry's will put you in the true 'Italian' spirit; a litre of wine, some bruschetta and grilled vegetables to start, a main dish, then a cappuccino to finish and you realize it's 2 hours later and you don't want to leave! Gerry's also is very popular at night, and he stays open until 2:00am if there are people there, so you can go up after dinner at the hotel if you want night life. They quite often have live music.
All in all, we loved our week here, and would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, NC
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

We stayed here the for 7 nights the latter part of May 2010 with a tour group. I assume the hotel was chosen by this reputable tour group for a combination of economy versus views and luxury. (In other words the hotel wasn't expensive, but had a lot to offer.)

So within this relationship, here are the pros and cons:

Pros: The views are stunning. The staff was great. There was a nice bar with live music on Friday night and room to dance. There was a lobby internet access computer, but you might have to wait in line to use it. The pool area is nice. There is a balcony and you can dine outside. There are steps leading down to Amalfi. The surroundings and landscaping are very nice.

Cons: It is 300 meters above Amalfi, with 700 or so steps down to town. Either you are willing to take the local SITA buses or the hotel bus to town. The hotel gives you a schedule. Therefore unless you're with a tour group, your night life may be compromised unless you want to stay and dine in the small village of Pogerola 1/2 mile uphill. Check the reviews for Gerry's Pub, by the way. There are about four restaurants in Pogerola. The hotel rooms have no large TV or cable. Our room had a 17 inch TV with poor reception. We couldn't find the remote. The hotel food is very mediocre. The fish is not bad. The four cheese pasta (essentially mac and cheese) was the best ever, I did not like the espresso machine downstairs. The beef was tough. Stick to fish, rabbit and pasta dishes. Or better yet, dine in the village of Pogerola.

I would definitely come back here. The views alone are worth the price of the room. The mediocre food can be offset by dining in Pogerola.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newcastle
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

Stayed for 1 week at the Excelsior May 2010. The season had just started and by the time we left the pool cave bar was open and you could dine outside looking down on Amalfi for dinner as well as breakfast.
Large room wth mini bar and air con(free safe at receiption) sea view along the coast very nice and also sun all day on the balcony. Room was cleaned every day and fresh towels also every day. Hotel is in the classical Italian shabby style and a little dated but very enjoyable.
We found the food very good up to restaurant standard every evening and a good chioce of starters and main courses, the breakfasts was continental but set you up for the day.The Head Waiter most pleasant as were all of the hotel staff.
The free mini bus to Amalfi stoppped from 10.30am until 3.30 pm but there was a good local service by the Sita buses to cover this period.
Near by village Pogerola was only 10 mins walk from hotel nice cafe on the left as you go into the village run by father and daughter Benitos very large sandwichs, good wine and coffees.
Once in Amalfi you can travel by bus to Sorrento, Ravello,Positanio, Miaroi and many more places all for a 24 hour bus pass for €7.20
All in all a very good holiday with nice weather beautiful surroundings.

Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2010

Just returned from a week's holiday in Amalfi, stayed at the Excelsior. Arrived late in the evening - was given a quick - luke warm meal. Basic rooms but with stunning views. No tea/coffee facilities in rooms, nor are you allowed to use an iron - was informed by the night Reception that it was illegal !! BUT I could send my clothes out for ironing. No option but to do this - 86 euros later (and they would only return them on the same day if I paid an extra 25%) Not a good start to my holiday. Rather disappointed that I was not informed by Thomson that doing your own ironing is illegal in this hotel - small but important point.

Cleaner doesn't "clean" your room every day - just does the basics, puts in fresh towels, makes your bed. Sink, glass shelf and bath definitely not cleaned daily.

Thomson rep - humm ! saw her the first morning - she took our bookings, issued tickets for what were very expensive trips. Promised to leave timings etc in pigeon holes - didn't materialise, was going to check the return of my ironing and let me know - she didn't. Never saw her again ! Have always used Thomson - especially Malta - always very good - for some reason in Itay - not so good.

Trips - try and do them independantly at the Ticket booking office in Amalfi - save yourself some money. Note - if you decide to book for trips with the Thomson rep you need to take into acount that on top of the cost is the entrance fees you pay when you get to Pompeii, Vesuvius etc.

Food has obviously improved since some reviews were posted- good choices and some of it really delicious. Majority of staff extremely pleasant and helpful. Antonio, the Head Waiter, is a dream - always in charge and an extremely lovely person - the hotel is very lucky to have him.

Also note - Italy VERY expensive - up to 5 euros for a can of diet coke - on Positano - 2 cokes and a coffee cost 17 euros (equates to around £16 at the time) !

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North East
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

This hotel is a mixed bag of good and bad. The hotel itself is awesome. The views are second to none. It has a totally panoramic view of Amalfi and they are truely breathtaking. The style is kind of retro but its kinda cool. Sort of like walking into that Fat Boy Slim video. The rooms were airy but basic. It had a fridge but no kettle. But the balcony looked right over Amalfi and it was lovely.
We went on a package deal so our evening meal was included. This was disapointing. Everything seemed to be over cooked or just mushy. Being the first week of the season we were probably the youngest people in the hotel but we didnt expect food you could eat through a straw. However this wasnt every night and the restaurant staff were really good and attentive.
The only real problems with this hotel is the fact that it is at the top of the cliff and it is one hell of a walk to Amalfi and back and with the hotel bus only running till 6.45pm and the town buses only till 11.45pm it makes going out at night a bit hard.
The reception staff are also very unhelpful. We asked on a few occasions for some info or help and they were very short with us and no help at all.
All in all we had a great trip and we loved the hotel but it has a few little niggles. But we were there 1st week of the season so maybe these were teething problems. I would check out other reviews.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Excelsior Grand Hotel

Address: Via Papa Leone X | Locality Pogerola, 84011 Amalfi, Italy
Location: Italy > Campania > Amalfi Coast > Amalfi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Amalfi
#20 Romantic Hotel in Amalfi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Excelsior Grand Hotel 4*
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

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