I visited Cinque Terre last year for 6 days. I extensively visited all the villages on Cinque Terre. They are truly remarkable and make your heart skip a beat. You must also take the boat ride to see all the villages from the water. Remarkable views.
After reading numerous negative reviews about hotel Baia, I was apprehensive about staying there, but in Italy you have to realize that the hotels (even those rated 4 stars) will not always be a 4 star hotel as you expect. I have travelled many times to Italy and their hotel star system is not consistent all over the country. Meaning a 3-star hotel in Venice might not have to meet the same criteria as a 3-star hotel in the Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre is not cheap and most of the 3 / 4 star hotels are pricey. The hotel I wanted to stay “La Spiaggia” (right next door to the Baia) was sold out and I can see why. As, we wanted to be very well located; Hotel Baia fit the bill and we decided to stay.
LOCATION: The location is Wonderful! Cant as for better. The hotel sits right on the beach and within a few footsteps to the main railway station. There is also a big parking lot nearby (if you come by car as we did. We drove from Switzerland to Monterosso al mare). But the best way to travel in CT is by Train. Their train service is excellent and easy to use. You will not be able to enter most of the villages by car. The hotel is also located pretty much right next door to many restaurants and the very popular Ristorante Miky. You can also walk into the old part of town where there are many other restaurants.
ROOMS: Modest but clean and most overlook the water and have balconies with wonderful views. We would sit out side in the evening and have a glass of wine overlooking the water and beautiful surroundings. You can get nice wine all over and just bring the bottle back to your room to enjoy. Make sure you bring your own bottle opener and buy some plastic cups. There are only 2 throw away plastic cups provided in the bathroom and not replaced. The bed was comfortable and the linen is clean. The washroom was very small, more like a little closet. Very Small shower, sink and toilet that’s flushed well. The water pressure in the shower was okay. The maid cleaned our room every day and gave us lots of toilet paper, towels, etc. We had to ask for nothing. I would leave her a few Euros every day so that probably helped. I don’t wait till the end of my trip to leave something. I find you get way better room service. There is a mini fridge in the room but it is not stocked. Buy your own water and fill up the fridge. There is a little grocery store just down the street. And there is a nice wine store next door. There is a safe in the room and a small TV in the room but it doesn’t work well nor can you get any English stations. I did not care about this, but my husband who likes to watch some TV was annoyed.
THE AIR CONDITION: Was very poor! We also had to give a 20$ deposit for the air condition remote control. The air conditioner was noisy and barely worked. It would constantly shut off. I think to save money. It was pointless. There was a mini heat wave when we were there and we had to sleep with the door open. Thankfully there was a little breeze from the ocean. I could not imagine staying there in the hot summer months. I specifically booked my trip for end of May to avoid heat and crowds. My husband said although the bed was comfortable, he never really slept well, he was way too hot. I think deep down, he did this trip for me. He prefers to go to big 5 star Beach hotels in Mexico/Jamaica with a big king bed and flip channels on TV…lol.
HOTEL RESTAURANT & BREAKFAST: The hotel has its own little restaurant out front along the boardwalk overlooking water. We had a nice light meal there one night. The food was good and very reasonably priced too. I suggest you have the percorino cheese with honey and some bread and some local CT wine. The breakfast area at the hotel was my favourite part of the hotel. A lovely big room overlooking the water with an eclectic array of colourful furniture and paintings. The breakfast was very nice too. Nice cream Italian cheese, bread, butter, cold cuts, orange juice, cereal, yoghurt and even some hard boiled eggs. Their coffee was very good and you could even ask for cappuccinos and espressos at no extra charge. The waitress at breakfast was shy but friendly. Probably the friendliest person at the hotel.
NEGATIVE THINGS: Overpriced, Poor Air Condition, Elevator, Pay up front and Very Unfriendly! I don't think the owners of this hotel should be working in any hotel industry or anything that requires dealing with people. So if you are looking for a place to stay and have friendly conversation with the owner, hotel staff and tourist tips, you have come to the wrong place. The female owner and her husband were very unfriendly and cold. At times even rude. She usually sits at the desk in the morning and is very grumpy and he is there at night. You really felt like you were a bother. In between their shifts there is the son & the daughter. Please wait till they are there to get any sort of help! Everyone at the hotel is cold and they never ask you how your day was, smile, etc. Yes, it could be a language thing, but I heard them speak some English when they really had to. I even can speak a little Italian, but it was pointless. I think many people (particularly friendly North Americans expect to have some nice conversations with the hotel owners about Italy, their day, etc.) this is NOT happening here at hotel Baia. As for me I was indifferent, but it would have been nice to have some conversation given how often I have met such friendly Italians and I like to also practice my Italian. As for my husband he likes to chat and he thought it was terrible and so unpleasant. He said he would never return.
THE ELEVATOR: Annoying thing about the hotel is that you are NOT allowed to take the elevator. Except to bring your bags up (and only if you more than one). I think they don’t want you using it for wear & tear/electricity. The hotel has 4 floors and we were on the top floor. There were lots of stairs to go up and down in the heat it was not always pleasant coming home after site seeing and walking all day. We had no problem and are accustom to no stairs in Europe but it was a unpleasant sometimes. I saw some older couples really struggling with the stairs. Let me tell you…you did not want to forget anything in the room. I had a checklist every morning: knapsack, camera, sunglasses, cream, water..check…lol. Honestly, if you are not that fit I would never stay there. On our last day, we had to leave the hotel very early and the elevator was shut off. We had to carry all our bags down the 4 flights of stairs. Lots of cursing going on. I am sure they did it on purpose. We ALSO had to pay for our 6 nights up front, which I found was odd.
Overall, it was very average. I think the hotel is way over priced for what is offered! And it would have been nice to have some friendly staff and conversation. I would have preferred to be next door. My husband disliked the hotel very much. When we visit Cinque Terre again (and I will return) we would NOT go back to this hotel. Unless there are NEW owners, air cons that work, and the elevator is permitted and the rooms are renovated.
If you can't use stairs make sure to stay on the first floors. Get an ocean view with balcony be...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.