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“Magical view and helpful staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Porto Roca

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Hotel Porto Roca
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   via Corone, 1, 19016 Monterosso al Mare, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Monterosso al Mare
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Magical view and helpful staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

This is a warm and inviting property with the best views. Whilst the rooms are small and basic, most have generous balconies with excellent views. The larger rooms have much smaller balconies. The staff are all friendly, warm and helpful and do their best to make guests feel at home. The property has good wifi reception and authentic public areas. The service in the lounge and dining room is also warm and efficient. Remember to call before you arrive so you can be met at the station as the climb up the hill with luggage may be daunting.This service as well as an adequate breakfast are included in the tariff. The dining room has those magic views.The Cinque Terra is one of those unique areas in the world which have fabulous walks,great food and friendly service. Monterrosso is one of the 5 charming villages making up the Cinque Terra. Its variety of restaurants, swimming beaches (not the golden sand and waves type) and variety makes it the best of the places in the area to use as base camp. All the others are accessible by ferry,train or well travelled walking paths.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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343 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

I understand that four star hotels in Europe are very different than four star hotels in America. However, that being said, i can't say I was overly impressed with Porta Roca. Since the staff makes the first impression, I guess I will just start by saying they weren't rude, but they weren't very helpful either. Our hotel shuttle drivers (both of them) basically walked up to us and without a word, put our luggage in the car, pointed towards the car door, drove up the hill, took out our luggage, and that was that. No "welcome." Nothing. The front desk was a little friendlier, and to be honest with you, the blond receptionist was by far the nicest staff we met.

We were brought up to our room and immediately the doors were opened to the patio. We quickly saw why, as the room left very little to be desired. The decor was rather tacky and something out of the 70s. The bathroom shower was a joke. Honestly, it was so small that I couldn't wash my hair without my elbows hitting the tile wall, and I am a slender person. If I weighed 40 pounds more, there is no way I could have washed in there. Twice we had cool showers, as no hot water would come out and we got tired of waiting.
Okay, now let me chat about wi-fi. While wi-fi is free, it does you absolutely no good on the third floor. I couldn't get any the entire time I was there, so I had to go down to the lobby to call my family on skype, which was rather uncomfortable to do in front of strangers. Further, just to check email, etc., was next to impossible without being in the lobby. So, if you want wi-fi to work, apparently you need to stay on the second floor or lower (I was told this by one of the staff members).
Now, let me continue talking about the facility. The dining room is lovely, but when we walked in at 7:30 after a very tiring day and asked to be seated, the waiter asked us if we had reservations. We didn't and we were the first people to walk in the restaurant for dinner. He was clearly not happy and said that the facility was full and we should have made one, but seated us anyway. We immediately felt uncomfortable. We ordered soup and my 10 euro soup tasted like Campbell's. We decided to not order anything else, and left for another restaurant. By the way, when we left there were only four other tables in the restaurant.
Let me wrap up commenting on the the facilities by praising the grounds keeper. The grounds are quite lovely, blooming with colorful and exotic flowers. It is wonderfully manicured and rather picturesque! Very well done.

Now, about the view. The view is clearly the selling point of this hotel, as the room in any other hotel would have been something from Motel 6. The view is absolutely breathtaking. There are no words to describe it, really. So, if you just need a bed to lay your head on and a place to wash up quickly, but want a spectacular view, then this hotel is for you, but you will pay very handsomely for it. For me, I can't say I would stay there again, as there were many other hotels in the area and walking to that view was less than a minute away!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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portoroca, Direttore at Hotel Porto Roca, responded to this review, April 28, 2013
First and foremost, we agree with you regarding the hotels in Europe being different compared to those in the United states, this depending to the physical features of our territory, especially in this region, as we do not actually have the same space available.
As a matter of fact, in Europe you can find very small rooms despite of the stars of the hotels they are in, due to the fact that these latter are historical buildings. In Europe it is forbidden to pull down a building to rebuild it up for preserve the history. What makes the difference is in fact the service rather than the size of the rooms.
Having said so , you need to consider the particular situation of Porto Roca, clinging to a rock like a nest, overlooking the sea, with a small access road where only small cars can drive through.
In the respect please read the history of the hotel on our web site and you will understand the hard work required to build it up and therefore why rooms cannot be that big. Even nowadays whenever we have to renew anything we must depend on a helicopter to get the materials we need to this aim. This makes everything more difficult and expensive .
Speaking about your room, we remember when we took yourself and your daughter and you never complained about it once here.
Be as it might, if you would tell us you were not happy with that kind of room , we would have been happy to give another one instead. There are people who read all the best things about the rooms on the third floor on other reviews on Trip Advisor and ask for a room on the third floor upon reservation right because they read such marvelous things that they absolutely want a room on the third. As a matter of fact it is not easy for us to cope with the so many requests for the top floor rooms.
There are of course people who prefer to have a bigger room and a smaller balcony rather than a smaller room with a bigger balcony ( as the surface is always the same, just differently divided ) . They just tell us and we try and move them to another kind of room, just another floor. Moreover, all our rooms on the other floors are differently furnished. About your room , on the top floor, you might think the furniture is out of the 70s. Actually all rooms on the top floor were custom made by local carpenters in January 2013.
We apologize for the twice cold water. Those days the boiler were actually not working properly and we are very sorry for this. Our concern was to immediately call a plumber as soon as we knew, and we immediately restored operation.
While for the WI-FI, it works on every level, both on the sea side and at the back. Sometimes it depends on the device itself, but no one else told us it was not working. However we do not actually know who in our staff might have told you that is does not work on the higher floors, simply because this is not true.
About our drivers, who are more than two, it might be that they haven’t say “welcome”, but of course never behave rude towards people, as no one of our staff. This is the first thing we are required to do and honestly comes spontaneous to people who are used to work in hotels and restaurants.
As to the restaurants and its staff, who is by the way always very appreciated by people for their hard work ( both hotel guests and outsiders ) it is usual to ask people if they have reserved a table, for no other reason than to let them have a seat they have booked . Some people ask for a specific table, e.g close to the window. We cannot see why one should be offended by being asked whether they have reserved a table. Why should the staff not be happy with people walking in?
As to the soup, we are sorry you did not appreciate the genuine Italian cuisine, which is certainly fresh and definitely not containing glutamate, but we can understand that everyone has his/her own habits.
Finally we hope that everyone who reads us understand that If there is a problem we believe the best thing one can do is to inform the reception desk, whose staff very kind and helpful is there right to solve problems, and anything can be sorted out straight and on site.

With our kindest regards
HOTEL PORTO ROCA MANAGER
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

This was a very busy season for Cinque Terre and was probably a month late when booking. This was one of the few places left near the water. In the end it ended up being one of our favourite hotels on our trip.

When you arrive via the train, a car will pick you up and take you to the hotel. You just need to call when you arrive at the train station. Recommend doing that as it is a 10min walk without bags, and with bags up the hill would be very painful. The view you get when you arrive though is beautiful. It is set away from the bustle and less than 5mins walk to all the restaurants which makes it nice and serene. We had a room (cottage) which was away from the main hotel but gave you your own personal view of the coastline (very pretty). The room is small for what you pay, but this was all that was left. If you can get a room with a view as part of the hotel, the rooms are larger, but not as private as ours.

The service here was first class, and I would recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Cinque Terre. We were originally looking to stay in a smaller town, but if you like to eat out and have choice for dinner, stay in Monterosso as you get plenty of choice, and its all local and fresh.

We would stay here again when we go back. But book a little earlier to not have to pay the higher price for their smallest room.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

Superbly located on the Cinque Terre walking track with outstanding views of the Mediterranean and Monterosso from rooms and restaurant.Very helpful and friendly staff providing exemplary service and delicious local food. Highly recommended.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic view, hotel staff very welcoming and helpful. Nothing was to much trouble and the rooms were large and very nicely appointed. We stayed here a week as a break during our 10 week tour of Europe. Lovely villages in the Cinques to visit and we both walked or took the train.
Hotel had a lovely restaurant that we ate at twice for evening meals and the breakfasts were amongst the best whilst we were away.
Just down the hill from the hotel was an equally good restaurant, if you like seafood you will love the restaurants (2nd on right as you come down the hill from the hotel).
Can't finish without mentioning Simone the barman at the Porto Roco, very efficient, great sense of humour and a real asset for the hotel. Made a memorable experience that much more special. See you Simone in 8 years when we return for our tenth wedding annivers

Stayed September 2012
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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

The Hotel Porto Roca is situated in a very nice location over looking the ocean/sea. It is a little "up the hill" but the hotel will arrange transport from the train station to the hotel and return when required. Having said that, the distance is not too great for walking on a daily basis (when do don't have luggage). The town in pleasant, although still recovering from the floods last year.
Our departure from the hotel was very early, but they arrange for breakfast to be available before we left the hotel. From the Monterosso al Mare, it is possible to explores the other 4 towns of Cinque Terra by either walking on the paths (some still closed due to flood damage) or by catching the train. The rooms itself was a little tired, but still comfortable and clean. Dinners in the restaurant are very good and the breakfast does the job. The rooms are fitted with roller shutters that do a wonderful job of keeping light out, if a sleep-in is called for. The building has a lift (good to get bags to/from the room) but otherwise we used the stairs.
We recommend stopping in the bar for a pre-dinner drink. Nothing like a fire and a glass of red wine to help you relax.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

This is supposedly the nicest or one of nicest options in Monterosso. Overall, I found it to be a nice property, but far from luxurious. The hotel is on a hill. They will send a taxi to get you from the train station. Incredible views from the front of the hotel and the restaurant. Rooms on one side of the hotel also have incredible views.

The staff is nice. No complaints there.

The breakfast spread is typical Italian hotel breakfast, nothing special. Fruit surprisingly not fresh. Tried dinner here too and the food was solid, but not spectacular.

Wifi works well in the lobby, but doesn't really reach the rooms. The room safe is well sized.

My biggest reason for not giving it 5 stars is that the rooms are certainly comfortable and well sized, they don't come across as a luxury hotel. Likewise with the bathroom.

My biggest reason for no

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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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 Hotel Porto Roca

Address: via Corone, 1, 19016 Monterosso al Mare, Italy
Location: Italy > Liguria > Italian Riviera > Cinque Terre > Monterosso al Mare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Monterosso al Mare
#8 Family Hotel in Monterosso al Mare
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Porto Roca 4*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Porto Roca is located 200 metres from the historic centre of Monterosso and at the start to the 5 terre path. Its extraordinary location between land and sky on the sea offers a relaxing oasis far from noise and stress of everyday modern life. It boasts 40 air-conditioned rooms and 3 suites. Our chef offers traditional and typical local dishes in our panoramic inside and outside restaurants overlooking the sea and harbour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porto Roca Hotel
Hotel Porto Roca Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy

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