We had a wonderful stay here from Tuesday 15 until Tuesday 22 June 2010. The hotel is located on a main tree lined street one row back from the seafront. We stayed in a “Bragozzo” room (named after a type of local boat) which had a balcony and sea view. The room itself was quite small but clean and comfortable. There was a double bed and a single bed, 2 wardrobes, desk, chair, flat screen television, fridge, electronic safe. There was a small balcony with seating. There was an en suit shower room with walk in shower (no bath) sink and toilet. We had some slight difficulty closing the shower door, but soon got the knack of how to do it and it did not cause us any inconvenience.
It was the service throughout our stay which was excellent and friendly which made the hotel so special. It’s a family run hotel. All the staff were able to speak to us in English and answer any questions we had about buses, beach facilities, etc. Throughout our stay the only time we heard English being spoken was when the staff replied to us.
Meals were amazing. We were booked on a full board basis. All meals were served in the restaurant and on your first meal you are allocated a seat for your entire stay. All meals are self service buffet. Breakfast has both hot and cold food. There was an excellent selection of cereals, yogurts, breads, cheese, meats, fresh fruit with quite a large selection of pastries and cakes. There were also fruit juices and hot drinks. Lunch and dinner had the same format although different hot dishes were served at each meal. There was an enormous selection and variety of food. There were starter and salads which were self service. Each day the salads were similar. There were prepared mixed salads but also individual portions of tomato, cucumber, etc so if you preferred you could make your own up. There was also a selection of cold starters such as portions of pizza and bruschetta. There would be four hot starters and four main courses each meal. In the evening one of the starters would be soup. Other options were different types of pasta. I am a vegetarian and the offer was made on several occasions by the staff to prepare me something special which I declined as I felt that there were enough options for me already. I would usually have a salad as my starter and a pasta dish or omelette for my main course and with the buffet that was more than ample. There was a self service selection for deserts with at least four or five choices plus ice cream and fresh fruit. There was also a selection of chesses, about five types and honey and jam. Drinks were included in the meals. At lunch and dinner time one could help themselves to drinks on tap. There was still and sparkling mineral water, coke, lemonade, orangeade, red wine, white wine and sparkling white wine all on tap. Beer was available on request from the waiters. The menu outside the restaurant was in Italian and German - we we enjoyed trying to translate for ourselves each day. The hot buffet food only was individually labelled. Staff were able to translate menus into English for us.
Hotel Riz is set back off the road in its own gardens. There is a patio / seating area and a play area at the side for children. The main reception area has a pond with fish and terrapins. There are separate bar and television areas. Next to the lift is a children’s play room and there is a notice board with the range of daily actives on offer. Although there were a lot of families with young children staying in the hotel as a couple we were not troubled with noise.
On the first floor is the restaurant overlooking the beach. On the top floor is the newly opened wellness centre with Jacuzzi, sauna and other services, which we cannot comment on as we did not use. In Italy there are public and private parts of the beach. The hotel does not have its own beach or pool. However it has arrangements with Bagno Zara, Bagno Trieste and Bagno Marconi. The hotel receptionist will write out a voucher for whichever one you choose. Then you present it to the establishment and they will allocate you 2 sun loungers and an umbrella. You can request if you want to be near the sea or nearer the entrance / facilities (each has a cafe, children play area, showers and toilets). If you choose you can have a voucher for your entire stay so you will keep the same location each day or alternatively you can try each (unfortunately it rained for a couple of days during our stay so we only tired Bagno Marconi, which is the largest of the three. Also there is the opportunity to have a daily wrist band to admit you into a local outdoor swimming pool, but we did not try this on our holiday. The hotel can provide beach towels.
Hotel Riz is located in a relatively quiet part of Cesenatico with a couple of cafes a few shops and other hotels in the immediate vicinity. It’s on the fringes of the town centre as within an easy 5 minutes stroll to a large selection of restaurants and bars. It’s a 20 minute walk to Porto Canale, which was designed by Leonardo da Vinci, with its very picturesque harbour, cafes and shops which reminded us of Murano and Burano, the two islands off Venice. In the water are 10 traditional sailing boats which look stunning in at full mast. They are part of the Maritime Museum there which is extremely interesting (cost 2 euros per adult). We flew to Bologna for a couple of days before travelling on to Cesenatico by train. We took a direct train and it took about 2 hours. The railway station is a 30 minute walk to the hotel. We took a taxi with our luggage and it cost about 16 euros. Alternatively there are buses that go to the station and the town centre. Tickets are purchased from tobacco shops before boarding and cost 1 euro each. If one is travelling by bus one needs to check the timetables as they alter during the summer holidays however there are buses that will take one to the station. Our flight home was via Rimini and we took the bus to the station, then a half an hour train journey to Rimini and then the bus number 9 to the airport (tickets 1 euro from a kiosk outside the station).
Cesenatico itself is a very family orientated, traditional sea side resort. The main activity during the daytime centres on the beach. Levante Park is about a 5 minute walk from the hotel if you wan something different from the beach but don’t want to venture very far away. In the resort there are lots of children’s activites and throughout are dotted around small, free, play areas with slides, etc and also amusments such as roundabouts, go karts for which there is a cost. However as couple we enjoyed the resort itself which has good facilities (beach, restaurants and shops). The resort is flat so its very easy to walk around. We also did a day trip by train to Ravenna, which has the most amazingly beautiful mosaics.
Overall we had a great, relaxing stay at Hotel Riz. The service and food were exceptional. The resort itself is charming. We would have no hesitation about staying here in the future or recommending it to others.