We stayed for 6 nights in December 2010 over New Year in room 28, with a sea view.
The guests were mainly Italian. The hotel is located above Cassamicciola with a stunning terrace overlooking the town and bay below. As the crow flies, it's only a few hundred metres away from the centre of the town and the dock.
The hotel has the ambience of being "functional", which is strange given that it's rated as a 4* hotel. There is little effort made to make it feel comfortable or luxurious. Staff were above average, but the feel was that the owners were stuck in the 1970s and were keen to maximise profits. I suspect that the star rating comes from the range of facilities available (even if they charge for these).
For example, the place has a spa fed from natural thermal springs, and bathrobes (aka dressing gowns in the UK) are available. However, you have to pay 15 euros to hire them - and they don't change them during your stay (presumably you have to pay for another one if you want a clean one). Similarly, if you want to use a towel in the spa, you have to pay for these by hiring them from the reception (10 euros, I think). If you want to use the internet, there is a single computer which you can hire for 5 euros/hour (if it's available).
Having said all of that, the other guests either brought their own robes/dressing gowns and towels or simply hired them. Perhaps that's normal in Italy.
There are 3 pools - at least 2 of them are thermal - one in the basement (a single small window about 1 metre by 50 cms), and one outside covered by a marquee in winter. I'm unlcear as to how much thermal water is fed into each of the pools - how often is the water changed? I hope it's reasonably frequently as we saw a couple having sex in the outdoor thermal pool on our first night. It was an isolated event.
There were lots of smokers at the hotel and clouds of smoke billowed into our room if we left our room door open in the evenings.
There was quite a lot of noise at the hotel, and we were kept awake by music (not just on New Year's eve). The entertainment was a DJ or piano player playing. In that room, the chairs were pushed back to allow dancing (although we only saw one couple dancing).
On the upside, the hotel was reasonably cheap. The staff were helpful (although English was only slightly less limited than my Italian). For example, Gennario the Maitre D' and Gennario the waiter were excellent and would answer questions promptly and helped whenever they could.
The entrance to the room was odd - you walked along semi permanent scaffolding from the bar area to the balcony. You opened up the balcony door and then walked into the room but crossed it to put in a key (the key needed to be inserted to turn electricity on in the room). The original entrance to the room had been sealed (plastered over), and the key was different to the key to the room (so you could leave the electricity key in permanently, even when you left the room). The scaffolding was not as bad as it sounds - it had some floor covering and an armrail which had been decorated.
Note that there is no wireless internet available (even for a fee) and nowhere to plug in an ethernet cable.
The TV was tuned in to about 4 Italian channels and BBC World (although the TV reception for BBC World was quite "snowy").
Food was surprisingly variable. Some food was tasty, cooked perfectly and beautifully balanced (eg the gnocchi and the risotto). Some was less good. Much less good.
Overall, an average experience. Advertised as a 4 star, providing a 3 star experience at a 3 star price although it has a wide range of facilities. Less than half of the price of the Isabella Regina in Lacco Ameno.
The remarkable feature of the hotel is a sublime terrace - absolutely wonderful. Perhaps worth staying a night or two.
- Also Known As:
- Terme Cristallo Palace Casamicciola
- Terme Cristallo Palace Hotel
- Hotel Terme Cristallo Palace Isola D'Ischia, Italy - Casamicciola Terme