We stayed 4 nights in September 2012, in a double room with a terrace for a rate between 150-180 Euro per night. When we started our Monterosso hotel hunt, we found out that to start looking in June was kind of late for a stay in September. Almost all of the top 5 TripAdvisor hotels had been fully booked and were offering their offsite apartments or rooms. La Colonnina was the only hotel out of the top 5 to have availability. Check-in was relaxing and simple. All we had to do was present the party's passports and let them make a copy of them. We were tired from the 10 minute walk in the sun, so Selera got us some fresh cold lemonade, and let us rest in the lobby until we were ready to go to our room.
- The courteous staff. Giulia and Selera at the front desk were amazingly helpful and were fluent in English. They would help us translate a phrase that we heard that day, recommend a place to eat or even give directions to a place in our Rick Steves book. The rest of the staff from cleaning to breakfast were all courteous.
- The room. The large room had plenty of storage space, clean, with towels replaced daily. It had a refrigerator and an easy to use safe. The air conditioning was quiet and cooled the room very well.
- Location of room- I would agree with Margaret M's tip from Sept. 23 that the "top floor is a gem." We stayed on the top floor room which is the only guest room on the roof. This is also where the public terrace and laundry clotheslines are. We had a reserved area with table and lounge chairs right outside our door a few meters away from the public terrace. Although the reserved area was not walled off, privacy was not an issue for several reasons: the public terrace wasn't all that busy (1-2 sunbathers or 3-4 wine loungers per day), eating was not allowed on the public terrace, and finally they closed the terrace at I think 10 pm. So it was actually incredibly private.
- Check in and Check out process. For check out, all they needed was the final payment (cash only) and we were done.
- Breakfast Included- This was a pretty basic buffet style continental breakfast but it had some items that were definitely not typical to a continental breakfast in the U.S. First, there were daily sliced cheese and salami. Put that on a toasted croissant and I was happy. Also, there were freshly cut fruit (melons). They even had a plate of organic fruit of the season grown right there on the hotel grounds. Grapes were the Septembers harvest and we just missed the October pickings of perssimon. They also had two servers who took hot drink orders like tea coffee and hot chocolate, made to order. Finally, the little packs of nutella to dip cookies in were a nice treat.
- Hotel Location - Although it was away from the shore, it's within 3-5 walking distance to the shore, 1-2 minute distance to the main restaurants in Old Town, and 8-12 minute walking distance to the train station and New Town. Plus the hotel was away from the main path of the tourists.
Issues That We Had But May Not be For Others:
- Getting To And From Train Station With Baggage- In 70-85 degree heat, that 8-12 minute walk with luggage can get stressful and tiresome. We did notice that there was a local taxi but we never explored that option.
- From Roma Termini, we bought 19 Euro per passenger one way internet second class tickets to La Spezia Centrale (3.5-4.5 hrs travel time). Upon arrival to La Spezia Centrale, we bought a local train ticket (forgot how much but less than 4 Euro per person) from the ticket window for travel through Cinque Terre. Overall, we took a taxi to Roma Termini at 12 noon and checked in at Hotel at 5:45pm. We pretty much did the opposite going back to Roma Termini leaving Monterosso at 3:00 pm To La Spezia Centrale and using a 19 Euro per person one way Internet ticket to Termini arriving at 8:00pm.
- The nice thing about Monterosso (and Riomaggiore for that matter) is that the train stops more here where as it won't always stop at the other three center villages. If we were going north and the train stopped at Riomagiorre, we were pretty certain it would stop at Monterosso.
- We learned that it is Italian law that irons are not allowed in hotel rooms.
- EAT AT Ciaks. Make reservations in advanced. Try the risotto.
Overall, we were impressed with the hotel and especially the village and the residents. The way they rebuilt their town after such a devastating flood less than a year prior to our stay was inspiring. We definitely want to come back and would recommend La Colonnina to others.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.