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“Location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel Portovenere

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Grand Hotel Portovenere
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Garibaldi, 5, 19025 Porto Venere, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Porto Venere
Certificate of Excellence
iowa
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Great stay at this lovely hotel. Lovely room. Lovely breakfast, lovely location just down the street from historical ruins, lovely having bus stop right outside the door, lovely restaurants right outside the door....
We chose to stay in Portevenere and travel two days to Cinque Terra from there. It was a bit of a hassle, mainly because the bus stop near train station on La spezia was hard to find not being close to the train station and hard knowing when it's schedule was. FYI.

  • Stayed May 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I've been traveling for a week up and down this part of Italian coast. Check my other reviews of hotels in Portofino and Camogli. In brief, I'd say Portovenere is a great choice if you want to hit the Cinque Terre trail or just spend a few days in a sweet little town in a nice hotel.

The Grand Hotel is "the" place to stay in Portovenere. I had a junior suite with Sea View- and the view was incredible, right over the harbor. Can be noisy as it is on main road and there was quite a bit of construction when i was there.

Portovenere is a wonderful, small town. A good number of tourists, but still lots of locals. Make sure to have a good wander through winding, hilly passages and courtyards and get up to castle- views are incredible. Easy 15min cab from La Spezia train.

Hotel is "really nice", not "fabulous". In brief:
Pros:
-Rooms are nicely sized, beds comfortable (for Italy, a bit hard for me)
-Bar is great, with fabulous terrace w/ view
-Breakfast is great, lots of options
-Service is good, a bit standoff-ish, but helpful at front desk

Cons:
-Layout of hotel is really odd- you need to really take a very small elevator (again, Italy- long wait for this at peak times) to exit w/o going through bar or back alley. Stairs don't even go down to lobby from rooms.
-Restaurant is stuffy- enclosed and old school (trying to be elegant?)- better to eat in town
-Hotel is expensive for nicer rooms, so not a grey bet if you're on a budget. If so, Santa Margerita or Camogli would better option.

Portovenere is a great choice, in my opinion for a few days in this area. Certainly less touristy than Portofino, but maybe not as 'native 's Camogli.

Room Tip: Sea view is worth the price- junior suites have nice terrace w/ fab view
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  • Stayed May 2015, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio P, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Portovenere, responded to this review, 2 days ago
Dear Tofas Travel,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your comments following your recent stay at Grand Hotel Portovenere.
We are glad to read that most of the aspects of your stay were positive. The Grand Hotel used to be a Convent dating back the XVI Century and it has been reopened last summer 2014 after an extensive renovation which tooks almost two years to be completed.
The Renovation could not modify some of the sructures of the historical building such as the stairs which were designed running outside to rech the ground floor .
We also had to follow some architectural ans structurual constraints for the elevators which in turn has affected their size and we apologize if you have experienced some delays for that.

I am sorry you didn't have the occasion to try our restaurant Palmaria that during the warm summer offer the choice to seat outside with excellent food choice and very attentive service and the whole atmosphere it is very informal ,and If you had been looking for "native"s you certainly have not found them in the" other choices in town".

We are very appreciative of your kind compliments and hope that we can welcome you once more to the Grand Hotel Portovenere


Kind regards
Antonio Polesel
General Manager
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Los Angeles / Orange County
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The Grand Hotel Portovenere is our absolute favorite hotel in the world. We travel extensively and having just returned from Italy and being able to visit Portovenere, we were blown away by the service, amenities and personal touches this thotel gave, from the personal welocome by the General Manager, Mr. Polesel, to the fine attention given by Andrea and the rest of the front desk personnel, to the professionalism of the retaurant staff, this place is truly remarkable. The furnishings are all new, the comfort level and view cannot be duplicated. I am not a paid spokesperson for the hotel, but offering a true unbiased view of a wonderful and magical place.
Thank you Mr. Polesel for making out stay and unforgettable one. Perfect for visiting with family, friends, romantic or adventurous. We are looking forward to our return.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this location and hotel......

Room Tip: Always ask for balcony. The picturesque town is quite a view from the hotel.
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  • Stayed May 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Valencia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

After reading this review, you will probably think I own an interest in the Grand Hotel Portovenere. Sadly, I do not, but our stay there last week was absolutely perfect.
We drove to the hotel and I missed the entrance to their underground garage (so will you) which meant I got to drive thru the little village and a beautiful road overlooking the Bay of Poets. Back around to the garage, pulled in and was promptly greeted by a jovial fellow who took the car and ushered us to the covered stone path that leads uphill to the hotel doors. Now look folks, I'm just a hick from New Mexico that was lucky enough to travel the world while serving in the United States Army and consider myself a "seasoned traveler" , but this hotel just has a "vibe" about it that is hard to describe. Elegant/Chic maybe? Anyway, it made me stand up straight and mind my manners.
We were greeted at Reception by a lovely young lady named Lucia who turned out to be my guardian angel by covering for my reservation snafu. Lucia and the entire staff are wonderfully upbeat and seem to really enjoy working there.
The room we had (315) had three floor to ceiling windows that opened inward to let the fresh breezes blow in off the bay. The entire hotel has been recently renovated and the rooms bright, modern and welcoming. Big closet, HUGE bathroom! The shower alone is bigger than some entire bathrooms at most European hotels. It has a waterfall showerhead and, get this, you can step completely out from under the waterfall, lather up, then back under. It's that big!
As soon as we got checked in, we went to the 2nd floor terrace for an afternoon glass of wine.
We were promptly greeted by Giuliana who calls herself a barista but is truly an artist behind the bar as well as the manager. She takes great pride in the bar stock she has assembled and was delighted when she found 1 bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon in Milano and it had just arrived. I had the great fortune to be the very first recipient of her (soon to be) world famous Moscow Mule ! It was wonderful, garnished with thin slices of fresh ginger, lots of lime, fizzy ginger beer, just delightful as was Giuliana's company.
Folks, if you've never been to Cinque Terre, GO !! And when you do, stay here. The little higher price is actually an incredible bargain for what you get.

Room Tip: Grab 315 if available. It'll knock your socks off!
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  • Stayed May 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Antonio P, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Portovenere, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Dear Mike S

I was really delighted to read your very kind comments about the Grand Hotel Portovenere. We have always worked hard to make sure that our service matches the quality and detail of our physical environment.
Also we want to make sure that there is a warm genuine welcome when you come into the hotel and reading your comments gives us great encouragement. Thank you!

I took great pleasure in reading that our service was exceptional on all levels.
I truly enjoyed reading about your experience at our Venus Bar – what a fabulous feeling to have after a long day hiking around. I’m glad that our team have looked after you so well.

The Venus Bar and Palmaria teams will be very happy to hear that the level of service they provide has been appreciated. As you have highlighted guest recognition is greatly important and I hope that this comes easily for our very enthusiastic, genuine team members.

We all look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Kind Regards,

Antonio Polesel
General Manager
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Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Only a five minute walk fm the port area, this hotel shines in many ways. The views fm the rooms over the bay & marina are simply great, The rooms are modernized, clean, quiet and all that you would hope for while the bathrooms are open and spacious by European standards. Breakfast was 1st rate, with the staff more than cherry & helpful. Can't find much more than this to meet yr expectations while visiting Cinque Terre.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio P, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Portovenere, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Dear dwh 7766,

Thank you for posting a great review of your stay at Grand Hotel Portovenere. We are very pleased that you feel comfortable staying here. The location of the hotel is ideal for the leisure traveller, both to explore the surronding area and to enjoy Portovenere and its beatiful spots.
I have also appreciated your kind compliments regarding our breakfast and the attentive service of the staff, they all be very pleased to read that.
We very much look forward to welcoming you on many more visits to come at the Grand Hotel.

Kind regards,
Antonio Polesel
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Be warned. I visit Portovenere once a year (beautiful city). This hotel has a fantastic location, a few good views and a great history. It is a beautiful building. The bathrooms are well appointed. And the bar service area is also great...but really expensive. However, I stay in 150 hotel rooms a year throughout the world; And this was the first one ever where the hotel manager stated in Italian to her coworker "it doesn't matter if we have a satisfied American guest as he is only staying one evening" (my brother in law understands Italian....sorry manager). Really it was a bait and switch. If you decide to book here...be warned in advance. They charge a great deal more for the as described "executive room" (see website description) with a balcony, queen bed and sitting room. Like a chump I paid the extra fee and got no balcony, a double bed and a 2 foot square seat... 3 inches from said bed as my "sitting room." The view was nice though. When I complained see above statement from said manager.

The manager said I was essentially dumb since a queen bed and double were the "exact same." News to me and the online reservation sites. My coworker had a less expensive room down the hall which was a queen bed. Nobody from the hotel was even willing to look at my room. The resolution was "it will be 100 euro more for the room you have a reservation for and no less expensive larger rooms are available". This is the first time in 20 years I couldn't reach an easy resolution with hotel management. I took a picture of the bed measurements, only because of the deception, and because after sleeping a few thousand hotel nights after the last 10 years I wanted to document my sanity as I know the size of a queen bed. No need to go into a description of the nonexistent promised "sitting room" unless that was actually the bathroom lost in translation.

Bottom line: if you do decide to stay here. Get the very least expensive room type as you can't trust their word on their website. Your only risk is that your pleasantly described room is actually in the garage. Their management isn't the type to solve problems unlike any 2 star hotel.

Note: This is the first negative review I've written about a hotel or restaurant in 5 years. I'm not at all the complaining type; actually pretty lazy. Thus, unless you have one of their very heavily discounted online room options, find a place that actually wants your business. Honestly; there are 5 rooming options within 2 blocks of the hotel with similar views at half the price. See above; since i already heard from management regarding my business in a 30 minute waste of my time: no below formulaic response about "serving me better next time" matters. After that treatment I wouldn't stay there a week for free. I have actual pictures of what I paid for vs what was promised via their website courtesy Expedia .....and memories of insulting conversations with their management. That is enough.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Antonio P, Direttore generale at Grand Hotel Portovenere, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Dear Anna V,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your stay at Grand Hotel Portovenere.
We always welcome constructive feedback as an opportunity to improve our service standards and facilities.
I am very concerned by your review and the points you raise, especially as this does not meet our usual attention and care training and practice.
Every member of staff and Head of department is aware of the importance of every single customer without any difference between nationality .
I have to add that American Clients are our biggest supporter in terms of guest satisfaction , and positive reviews for the kindness of our staff , I think your review does not reflect the approach and kindness of our staff that has been so many times witnessed by other customers.

Please may I ask that you contact me directly at a.polesel@portoveneregrand.com , so that I may answer you personally and restore your faith in Grand Hotel .

Kind Regards,

Antonio Polesel
General Manager
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Stowe, Vermont
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2015 via mobile

hotel was perfectly situated for 2 days in cinque terre. We had a car so portovenere proved to be a perfect spot to base our cinque terre experience.

Had a quadruple room for family of 4 which worked well. Included Breakfast was fine.

Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Portovenere

Address: Via Garibaldi, 5, 19025 Porto Venere, Italy
Location: Italy > Liguria > Italian Riviera > Porto Venere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Porto Venere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Portovenere 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Hotel Portovenere has recently been carefully renovated. The hotel that used to host the San Francisco convent overlooks the picturesque village of Portovenere and is ready to re-open its doors. Our guests will be charmed by the elegance and the beauty of the structure. Today, as before, its call has remained unchanged. The surrounding nature provides a scenery that astonishes travellers from all over the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portovenere Grand Hotel

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