Just got back from a 2 week holiday in Sorrento staying at the Alpha hotel through Thomson holidays. I will keep this review open and honest and i will try not to go over the same points already made. I hope you find it useful :)
1. Pool - If the hotel is full to capacity there are not enough beds. But there are plenty of chairs which are like little rockers. Very comfy but you cant lie down on them. Pool opens 9am - 7pm. Towel culture exists so if you don't play along you wont get a bed (9am SHARP). Shame but its a fact. Pool is clean and there is a shower by the side. Pool bar is not well manned so you have to look for the waiter when you want a drink. I think they are missing a trick here. The hotel is on a busy main road and it is noisy. I think a little music from the bar would mask this but they don't play any.
2. Staff - as you have already read, they are wonderfully friendly and accommodating.
3.Lovely buffet breakfast - Breads, meats, cheeses, cakes, pastries, cereals, eggs, bacon, fruits, coffee, juices....
4. Lunch - we stayed on a half board basis so lunch is not included. We paid approx 4-7 euros for a salad per person. The menu is plentiful.
5. Dinner - i am a veggie and the hotel catered for me very well. You have at least 3 choices per course. You wont go hungry. Very fresh and tasty with lots of variety.
6. Drinks - Not cheap in the hotel. €3.5 for a small bottle of Nastro beer. €7 for a cocktail. approx €14 for a bottle of local wine.
7. Room. We stayed in room 110 overlooking Vesuvius. Its a twin room with bath and shower. hair dyer in bathroom and shower gel in bath. Nice big balcony. Cleaned every day. Now the fridge...It is a mini bar. You pay for the drinks. If you want to have it emptied for your own use its €3 per day! We didn't use this service and our supermarket drinks stayed cold. Just work it out! Air con worked fine.
8. Hotel surroundings - Clean, pretty, nice family feel to it. Go up on the roof terrace for some great photo opportunities.
9. Sorrento - We are fit and healthy and have no difficulty walking. If you leave the hotel and turn left, it will take you approx 45 minutes to get to the centre and its a very busy road (take care). If you turn right its a bit longer but prettier. We caught the train which is a 5 minutes walk (left) and a 2 minute ride. Buy your tickets at the Tabbachi on your way to the station. €5 for 2 people return. Buy them at the hotel and its €10! Sorrento is lovely. Very lively and every way you look there are fab views. I wont name places to eat, just walk around and try what looks nice. There a loads of them. Go down the pretty side streets off the main street and you will find another world of shops, cafes, restaurants, ice cream (OMG!) Its just wonderful. Go and look for the old mill ruins as its a nice photo shoot.
10. Beaches - There are a couple of beaches but it is black volcanic sand. However, we went to the Marina Grande for the day and it was stunning. You rent a bed and parasol on a pier / deck and there are steps down into the sea. The little fishing village is breathtakingly beautiful. I will post some pictures of it. There are plenty of marinas to choose from but i think this was the prettiest.
11. Weather - scorching hot for 2 weeks without a cloud in the sky!
12. Trips - We only went to Rome because it was just too hot to walk around anywhere else (35-40 degrees) Thomson do "Rome in a day" for €90 per person. 7:30am pick up. Get to Rome about 11am. you get 3 hours of free time. We ran around Rome in 40 degree heat to take in the Vatican, Spanish steps, Trevi fountain and back to the pick up point. Then we drove to The Coliseum. Had 1.5 hours there. Then we left Rome and went for dinner. Its at a rest stop kind of place in a hotel. It feels like you are on a works dinner. Its nice enough but not really much of an experience. Overall due to the rush and the heat i would not recommend this tour, BUT Rome is a definite. We will be going back for a weekend trip as you cant take it in in 1 day! My advice is get the bus into Rome and do it yourself (ask Salvatore).
13. My top tips - go down the hotel steps and turn right. Walk until you get to the view of the bay. Have a nice drink in the bar there and watch the sun go down. Absolutely stunning. I will post some pictures of this. Turn left from the hotel steps and walk for about 5 minutes. Have an iced coffee in bar Italia. You will need to factor in the tourist tax. €1.5 per person per day but only up to 7 days. Even if you stay for 14 days you can only be charged for 7. You have to pay this in cash at the hotel at check out. Its not fair but its not the hotels fault. Its a local council / government thing.
My final review is that Italy is stunning. The people are warm and friendly. Use some basic Italian language as it goes a long way. Enjoy your stay and take plenty of sunscreen as its hot and expensive if you run out. Enjoy :)
E mail the hotel before you go. We did and got a lovely room (110) Twin but nice.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.