This hotel enjoys one of the loveliest locations in Assisi: perched on the edge of the hilltop offering gorgeous views, while also keeping you close to all the sights you'll want to see in town. Plus, it's very reasonably priced. For these positives, I'm rating the Hotel Ideale as "Poor" rather than "Terrible."
However, it is also the case that in 33 years of international travel, this hotel has the worst, most downright nasty management I have ever encountered. The comments noting the unfriendliness of the staff--a mother and father in their 60s and two daughters in their 30s--just begin to give you a sense of what you're likely to encounter at the Hotel Ideale. Maybe I just caught them on a bad couple of days, but I will never forget the following:
* Being left in the pouring rain to manage luggage, baby and elderly mother from parking lot to hotel entrance by myself, while the hotel owner watched
The father of the family that owns the hotel saw me drive into the enclosed parking area of the Ideale, with a baby and my elderly mother in the car. He stood under the awning, with a huge umbrella next to him, and did not lift a finger to help. While the parking area is only about 50m from the hotel entrance--hardly a long distance under ordinary circumstances--it's far enough to get soaked making multiple trips, as is necessary to schlep a crying baby, a mother unsteady on her feet, and all our assorted baggage .
Given how friendly most people are in daily life in Italy, *particularly* to people with babies and to old people, this was extremely unusual behavior, and a sign of things to come. Reading other reviews of this hotel on TripAdvisor, I see that other people got help with their luggage (no mention if there were rain or babies involved). But when I got the first load of luggage in the door, the proprietor told me that "we do not offer this service [help with luggage] at this hotel." So I did it all myself while he watched.
* Having the owner's daughter scream at my mother and demand that I make my *mother* apologize for upsetting her
I have to preface this by stating that my mother is a diplomat by profession, as well as by disposition; far from being the sort of "ugly American" who alienates people, she is unfailingly charming. So the last thing I expected was to come down the stairs at checkout to find the woman at the front desk yelling at my mother. Since mother doesn't speak any Italian, the hotel owner's daughter (whose English was apparently failing her) slammed an Italian-English dictionary down on the checkout desk and demanded that my mother point out the words she was using so that she (the hotel owner's daughter) could understand. When the woman at the front desk saw me, she launched into a diatribe in Italian, which included statements like "your mother is not behaving herself" and "I demand an explanation!" It was the sort of dialogue you expect from a cartoon villain, not someone who is supposedly in the hospitality business. It was bizarre and shocking in the extreme. I've never seen anything like it.
* Being hustled for cash payment and early checkout
It turns out that the daughter of the owner was yelling at my mother because my mother tried to pay the bill with a credit card. The woman wanted cash. In fact, earlier that morning, when I had asked about how to settle the bill, she said "cash only." That's illegal in Italy, although I was not aware of that at the time. As it happened, I didn't have enough cash to cover the whole bill; when I let her know that, apologetically, she grudgingly said she could accept payment half in cash, half by credit card. Then she demanded quite aggressively that we be out of our room by 10:30am--no "could you please" but rather "you've got to leave." No effort at hospitality whatsoever. On the contrary, she had something much more akin to the attitude I've seen in post-Communist countries, in which the "service" person lets you know that s/he is doing you a *big* favor to acknowledge your existence and accept your payment. Again, totally bizarre.
These encounters were truly traumatic, ruining our Easter holiday and our whole trip to Assisi. It was really a shame, because the town is lovely and there was so much to enjoy there. But my sense is that Hotel Ideale has fallen prey to the easy money syndrome: because of their great location and reasonable prices, they don't have to make an effort to attract business; in fact, they can afford the luxury of treating customers like garbage. There are so few hotels right up on the hill in Assisi, and still fewer that are affordable, that they'll continue to get lots of business no matter how badly they behave. It's a shame, but such is life. For my mother's sake, and for the sake of my family's ruined holiday, I felt obliged to write down what happened.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Ideal is located in a quiet setting, a short walk from the center of Assisi and the major historical and religious monuments of the city. Our small hotel is surrounded by a tranquil garden on a ridge with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding valley. Take a step away from the hectic pace of everyday life, and enjoy a piece of heaven on the large terrace next to the rose garden, or in the quietness of your room and balcony overlooking the beauty of the region. The Pampanini family will help you discover the wonders of beautiful Assisi and Umbria! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Odigeo so you can book your Hotel Ideale reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ideale Turisti Hotel