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“Great View--Horrible Management” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Ideale

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Hotel Ideale
Piazza Matteotti 1, 06081 Assisi, Italy   |  
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Ranked #4 of 69 Hotels in Assisi
Adelaide, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Great View--Horrible Management”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

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.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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295 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
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English first
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

Our room (and I think most of the rooms) have an amazingly beautiful view over the town and the valley. We brought our lunch and ate on the little balcony enjoying the view; it was even prettier in the evening. They have a lovely courtyard which we enjoyed.

The service, unfortunately, was not so good. The lady who checked us in made little effort to go out of her way to help us like most hotels do. The service at breakfast also was loud and unfriendly, though the food was fine. When we corresponded by email making the reservations, little information was provided about how to get there. The rooms are very small but nicely updated. The price was very reasonable.

The location is convenient, very close to the end of the bus stop coming from the train station, and they have their own private parking lot if you're driving.

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Vancouver, WA
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

We arrived at the Hotel Ideale at a few minutes after five PM. The front desk was staffed by a mature gentleman who could speak no english and seemed perterbed that we interuppted his day. About the only thing he said to us was "Passports please". He then took us to our room, opened the balcony door, laid the key on the table and walked out. I would encourage this man to remember that he is in the hospitality bussiness and to be a little more gracious to his guests.

The next morning at breakfast, he seemed to be in a better mood. He might have been the owner or manager. Despite the lack of hospitality, the hotel has great views of the countryside, clean rooms and a nice breakfast.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a balcony.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 2 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.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed staying at this hotel. Rooms were clean, cosy and comfortable and had a very nice view of the valley. The family was very welcoming and helped us with luggage when we arrived. The breakfast was excellent and overall we thought the service was very genuine and thoughtful. We stayed for two nights and loved the fact that it was a very short walk to the main attractions.

Would highly recommend this hotel for a comfortable and friendly experience.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Top Contributor
224 reviews 224 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 100 cities Reviews in 100 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

My husband and I stayed in Hotel Ideale in 2002 before we knew about Trip Advisor. We found it through Rick Steve's book on Italy. The location is great and the breakfast was substantial. Good value for our money! Location, location, location! It is rated the fifth most popular hotel in Assisi now and we agree with the high rating!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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california
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2011

Unfortunately, we were only able to stay one night at the Hotel Ideale so when we return to Italy we will make arrangements to stay there again and we seldom stay at the same location twice. The hotel location was extremely convenient as it was across the street from the Matteotti bus stop. The hotel and our room and had lovely views over the town to the valley below which was especially nice as had a large balcony. Our room was nice and clean and in very good condition. The breakfast was European and in a nice setting. It was a short and pleasurable walk to the cathedral with every street being picturesque. The price was reasonable and I would suggest this hotel to anyone visiting Assisi. I hope your stay will be as enjoyable as ours.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view as our view was spectacular.
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  • Stayed October 2011, 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
    • 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.
Overland Park
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

My wife and I stayed one night at Hotel Ideale in mid-September 2011. The hotel sits at the highest end of town, and is conveniently located at the last bus stop from the train station (Piazza Matteotti). The owner of the hotel speaks limited English, but we were able to communicate well enough to check in, and he was polite. I believe that what other reviewers have concluded is a rude or gruff attitude from the owner may be more accurately attributable to the owner’s shyness or limitations understanding English speaking guests. He certainly runs a nice hotel, and another staff member managing the front desk late at night was very friendly and easy to communicate with.

We asked for, and received, a room with a balcony and unobstructed view of the Umbrian valley and countryside. The views are stunning, as can be seen in the pictures posted by the Trip Advisor reviewers. Our room was on the same floor as the check in desk, just to the left and behind the check in area. The room was not on the back of the hotel, but on the corner. The balcony was small, but big enough to sit and enjoy a drink, and to marvel at the beauty of the area. The hotel has a backyard garden terrace that is perfect for enjoying a drink while watching the sunset, or visiting with other hotel guests about their travels and experience in Assisi.

Our room was clean and very comfortable, with room for a dresser and armoire for clothes, and a comfortable king size bed, but not much extra space to spread out. The bathroom was small, but had a nice shower with pressure, and a shower door, and a neat little window with views of the beautiful countryside. We paid only about 80 EU, which was the most reasonably priced room we stayed at during our Italy vacation. We had to leave so early the next morning that we did not get to have breakfast. On checkout, the owner asked if I could pay in cash, but accepted my credit card when I explained I didn’t have enough cash.

Assisi is a charming, clean, beautifully preserved medieval town. In addition to spending 2-3 hours in St. Francis Basilica, if possible, I would recommend exploring the town for at least another 3-5 hours. The town empties at night, and is very peaceful with lots of small, winding streets, nice restaurants and specialty shops.

When we arrived at the Assisi train station, there was a large crowd at the train station. The bus took more than 15 minutes to arrive, and there was a long line to board. If you are staying at Hotel Ideal, the last stop of 3 stops on the bus, I would recommend taking a taxi if you want to save time. We shared a taxi with another couple staying at a different hotel in Assisi, for only about 10 EU for each couple. The driver sped up to the Hotel Ideal in a matter of minutes, and the price was very reasonable. You may want to consider calling ahead for a taxi, as there seemed to be a shortage of taxis, at least when we arrived at the train station, around 2:30 p.m.

Room Tip: Request a room with an unobstructed view and balcony
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ideale

Address: Piazza Matteotti 1, 06081 Assisi, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Umbria > Province of Perugia > Assisi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Assisi
#4 Business Hotel in Assisi
#6 Romantic Hotel in Assisi
#6 Family Hotel in Assisi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
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 
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Also Known As:
Ideale Turisti Hotel

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