I am genuiely shocked by other reviews on here suggesting that their stay at Villa Fraulo was lovely - Im not sure if that makes my standards incredibly high, or if we just got a bum deal on our room!!
Firstly, Villa Fraulo is newly opened and situated on 'Millionaire's row' - the strip at the top of Ravello, where the 5* and 5*L hotels, the likes of the Caruso, Palazzo Sasso and Palumbo are located. This immediately gives the impression that the hotel is going for a 5* rating, but based on our experience, I would be incredibly surprised if they do get it.
We booked a 'Deluxe' room at the price of around €280. Now, I know Ravello pretty well, having visited for the last 3 years (we got married there last year, and returned this year to celebrate our 1st anniversary). Anyway, so I know in Ravello that you very much get what you pay for, and at that price, I thought it was too cheap to be true, given the descriptions on the website, but thought I would take the risk anyway, because it looked so nice!
So when we arrived, we were given a brief tour of the building - there is a new section at the back, lower section of the building, near the main road (v noisy road, despite the 'soundproofing' in place) near the bus stop, and the old section that is at the front, top of the building that has been refurbished. The building itself was nice, and there are lots of marble pieces dotted around, that gives it a sort of vintage, grand feeling, but doesnt quite fit with the 'new building smell', but thats obviously something that will go in time so cannot complain too much about that.
From a review on here, I was already aware that the swimming pool was not yet open, but I knew that they had an agreement with another hotel, for guests to use their pool until the one at Fraulo was open. This was something that I had to find out on my own, and I was not told about explicitly. They also didnt mention anything about this when we checked in, which I think is pretty dire, given that they only had about 8 rooms being used while we were there (we counted the number of tables set up for breakfast).
Anyway, We were shown to our 'Deluxe' room, expecting a lovely big terrace, lovely sea view, places to sit and relax in the sun. Well, the room we were given had a tiny, cramped balcony, not somewhere you could sit and relax in the sun (which I was looking forward to doing on the terrace in the absence of a functional swimming pool). On top of that, despite being on the 4th floor, the noise from the road and bus stop were incredibly hard to escape from. The main thing I love about Ravello is the tranquility of the place, and the fact that you rarely hear cars, so this was not the relaxing anniversary break I was after! Unfortunately, this is not something that the hotel will ever escape from, so if you do go to stay there, I would insist that you get a room in the old section at the top (there are no cars allowed at the front of the hotel), but I get the impression that these are just the suites, so not sure if that is possible.
The room itself was nice, a bit narrow, but since our rooms at home were pretty small, it didnt really bother us that much. Pretty standard, very little about it made the room a 'deluxe' to be honest, there was just a sofa and a bed and a few random pieces of furniture that served no real purpose. The bathroom was lovely, all marble lined with a lovely shower (although the water was not anywhere near hot/powerful enough for my liking, but thats a personal preference). One design flaw though, was that the water didnt seem to drain away quick enough from the shower, so it seeped under the shower door, and pretty much flooded the floor (leading me to later slip over). There was a seperate frosted glass door for the toilet which was a nice touch, and a double sink, with jacuzzi bath (again the water was not hot enough for this). There was a walk in wardrobe, that seem like a bit of a waste of space, given that there was limited shelving, so we were pretty cramped putting our clothes out. The fixtures and fittings etc were all very cheap MDF, with that woody smell you get from Ikea, again, distancing itself from the 5* rating they are clearly aiming for!
As a result of the small balcony, and the fact that we were were clearly not put into a deluxe room, we requested a change of room. They showed us 2 rooms, one deluxe room on the 5th floor with a longer balcony, but still fairly narrow, and again, not really a 'deluxe'. The other room was a suit on the 3rd floor. This room had a massive terrace, and as you could expect from a suite, 2 seperate rooms, one with the bedroom and en-suite, and one with the living area and walk in wardrobe. We chose to stay in the suite (granted, on a free upgrade) due to the sheer size of the terrace.
This suite had similar flaws to the other one (it was clearly unfunished!). The terrrace, though lovely and spacious, clearly was not finished at all. There was one small table and chair set in the middle (no loungers or anything to relax on), and a bamboo trellis resting against the wall, seperating it from the other terrace! There were 2 tv's in the room (one in the bedroom and one in the living area), and only one of these worked.
I went down to the resturant around 5pm to check out the menu for the evening (to decide where we would eat that night), and I was informed by the barman that the resturant wasnt open yet, because again, its not ready. For us that was a pain, because we like being able to stroll down for lunch or dinner in the hotel resturant if we're not in the mood for going out, but this wasnt possible at the Villa Fraulo because it wasnt open! Also, this meant no room service, which is pretty lame.
Finally, the air conditioning didn't work, but since we were so close to the roads, we couldnt open the door, otherwise it was too noisy, so had an AWFUL nights sleep in 26c heat (taken from the temperature gauge)!
All in all, I was not at all happy with what we were getting, so my husband and I decided to change hotels after staying for 1 night. The staff at reception were very accomodating, and they didnt kick up a fuss at all, but nonetheless, I think this hotel has a loooong way to get before getting anywhere near that 4/5* rating that they are clearly chasing. Personally I would wait until the hotel is a bit more established before I would consider visiting.
Also, just a side note, there have been 1 or 2 short reviews saying how great their stay at the hotel was. One was dated the 25th May, which coincidentally happens to be the date by husband and I checked out....
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.