This is a really difficult review for us because the hotel itself was perfect and we had a great stay. We agree with the other reviews and even though we had a somewhat negative experience we think this may have been bad luck. We feel odd writing this because nothing was 'bad' and no-one was 'rude' but just a disappointing and below what we expected.
On the plus side:
- the room was beautiful; well decorated, spacious and spotlessly clean
- good information was provided in the room
- the design of the whole hotel and rooms is innovative, well thought through and very fitting to the area
- there were plenty of cosmetics provided free and they were of high quality (the best shower gel ever in a hotel!)
- we got a free bottle of wine in our room - a lovely touch and does establish that you are in a 4 star hotel
- it has bags of character! eg. we loved the built in telescopes in our room
- a great sun deck, sunny and comfortable, pretty and we had it all to ourselves!
- good location in Bra
- a lovely library
- an extremely varied and tasty breakfast
- reasonably priced mini bar and drinks
- check in and check out were very straightforward and quick.
We were left a little underwhelmed with the service. When we arrived we signed something and gave our passports and were told 'room 13'. No-one (and there was only one member of staff visible) showed us the facilities or even told us about them, pointed out where the room was, where the lift was (we had a huge bag) or communicated any information to us at all.
We found our room and read in the information pack that there was a sundeck, restaurant, library, breakfast room and a lounge where you could help yourself to drinks. After we settled in we went to find these facilities. Two cleaning carts were blocking the entrance to the courtyard which we moved to access the door. There were no cleaners in sight. We decided, as it was lunchtime that we might dine in their restaurant for lunch; we went downstairs, we couldn't find the restaurant, there was no-one on reception and no sign of said cleaners, we went down in a lift, it took us outside, we looped the building, went back to reception, wandered around some more and generally got irritated. Finally we found a member of staff who showed us where the restaurant was (opposite the hotel nearer to the road). We went elsewhere for lunch.
When we returned to the hotel about 6pm we fancied a coffee from the lounge that we had read in the information pack existed (where you could 'help yourselves') and a sit on the sun deck - we found the lounge but couldn't work the coffee machine, realising that it was actually switched off, we turned it on and tried to work it - the whole time in view of a member of staff - eventually we asked, in Italian, how to work the coffee machine - he was very helpful and made us two coffees in the kitchen. We waited, then took these and a bottle of coke and carried them ourselves up the flight of stairs to the sun deck - it would have been good if he had just said 'i'll bring them to you' but he did say that he couldn't as he was the only member of staff.
We sat on the deck for about two hours. Again no-one came to check if we needed anything and we would have had another coffee or maybe even a bottle of wine from the cellar (that we never saw) but didn't want to go down and trouble anyone.
After dinner out, we returned to the hotel and sundeck - our coffee cups and coke bottle were still there (in fact they remained there until after we left and may still be there!) and at 10.55pm as we sat enjoying the view, the lights were turned off on us and we were plunged into darkness.
At breakfast (which as above was lovely) we arrived for the staff member to say instantly 'we do finish breakfast at 10' (it was 9.40am) which we knew and we immediately got the impression they wanted us to finish. The toaster was switched off (like the coffee machine the day before) and was one that required heating up. She didn't ask us if we wanted a cooked breakfast but as we could see it was on offer we had to go into the kitchen to ask for sausage and eggs - we asked for two and got one (but this was probably lost in translation so we forgive this). They cleared away the breakfast at 10am as we sat there.
All in all, these elements weren't awful, we still had a great stay - BUT it just left us feeling like we were the only people in a ghost town and the staff barely noticed we were there at all; this isn't really up to standard for a 4 star hotel.
From a business perspective, they also missed so many opportunities to make money out of us; we would have eaten in the restaurant and we would have had multiple coffees and wine had it been offered or obviously available.
All in all, great hotel, possibly our bad luck, but service could be much improved.
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