Overall this place is fantastically relaxing and traditionally Italian without losing the International touch where needed.
We, as did one of the reviews I read here, had an issue when we arrived in that our online reservation had not been registered and they had no record of our booking (done through the hotel website). I cannot praise them more though for how they dealt with it. They slat us down for a complimentary drink and gave us a small but sufficient single room to freshen-up in. They advised that our room would not be ready for an hour while they prepared it so we went for a stroll in the very pleasant village (the very helpful reception recommended which way to walk, again in contradiction to other reviewers).
When we returned they showed us to our room and moved our luggage for us before our complimentary bottle of sparkling wine arrived.
Our ROOM was not huge, but more than sufficient for our 4 day stay (with an 18m old baby and therefore plenty of room for a travel bed that the hotel provided).
Now then, as for the comments about the bad room quality and indeed one comment about cheap tiles, this is NOT an international branded large hotel, it cannot be compared with your Hilton, Sheraton, Shangrila, etc. type hotels. This hotel allows you to stay in tranquil luxury surroundings whilst making you feel both at home and relaxed as well as a special guest. The hotel has character, and if you look at all the other surroundings on the Island you will see that this fits in rather than standing out like a sore thumb as do many of the large chains now in touristic places. If you are expecting 'japanese style wenge wood' type surroundings them forget this, but if you actually want to feel that you are in Italy rather than just having the stamp on ya passport, then go for it. Note that the price of this hotel is also not compareable and I feel it was more than fairly priced.
The SERVICE we found was impeccable. All the staff were very polite and 100% professional, in particular the restaurant/breakfast staff who would not have been out of place in the top restaurants of London, and I cannot fault them on anything.
BREAKFAST is Characteristic of a traditional Italian breakfast but also has lots of fresh fruit (strawberries, kiwi, melon, pineapple, etc.) as well as scrambled eggs, bacon, wide range of cured hams, smoked salmon, yoghurts, cereals galore and more pastries than you would find anywhere else. There is also the international touch of a selection of honeys, jams, breads,etc, etc, all of which are tastefully presented and very clean, tidy and constantly replenished. 6 different juices, all chilled. Anyone who says this is not to 5* standards has obviously not seen enough of them.
DINNER in the restaurant is a very good choice. The restaurant and service, as said before, are all exceptional. Every night there is a 'set menu' per se, but still has a selection of four 1st courses and four 2nd courses. There is a buffet starter, which you can either collect yourself or the staff will for you, but again with very high quality food, all freshly prepared and well presented (try the Melanzane alla Parmigiana.....very good). There is also an 'à la carte' menu too, but personally never felt the need for it. The price is reasonable, it is 40€ a head for the set menu, and coming from Milan, or London this is VERY good value for money. the restaurant is quiet and calm (with the exception of course of our 18m old), and has a traditional piano bar playing traditional Italian as well as Internaltional classics, softly at dinner, this was neither intrusive nor tacky, more romantic and classy (would be ideal for a honeymoon or romantic long weekend away).
If you do want to venture out the local town has many different restaurants to choose from, of note were 'Da Ciccio' at the bottom end of town, near the castle walkway (evening meal in a simple but attractive environment), and both the pizzeria's at the top of town (on the left as you start to walk down the high street) are recommended for lunch both for the views and the good pizza, pasta etc. although in the 1st one the waiter was strange to say the least!
The RESORT facilities are clean and well maintained, with the spa and warm pool below ground being a traditional Spa type arrangement. The outside pool is very small as spme have said, but is mainly intended to cool off from the heat of the sun. The young pool attendant looked a little nervous but provided good service and answered all our questions and helped whenever we wanted. There is a bar service that will bring anything to the loungers area too. Umbrellas and loungers were of good quality and kept very clean. The sun lounging area is split into two areas, one has that 'modern trendy' look, and is on a wooden stilts structure, and the other is a more trasitional strippy loungers area on a long jetty . All the areas look over the water and were quiet and relaxing without too much noise. There are public beaches very close by, which we did visit on one day, although they are small and I imagine very crowdy iAugust. By the way, most Italians go on holiday in August, so do not expect peace and quiet anywhere in Italy in August (as one reviewer complained of).
We did not use the bar much at all as we had a young child however they too were very helpful and professional and help with warming milk, bringing teas up to our rooms etc.
The TV selection was not working when we were there (I think they have a SKY service) as it was due to start in early May, but this was not a major problem. there is a TV room downstairs had we been desperate, but let's face it, you don't go to Ischia to watch TV. There are plenty of newspaper stores in town selling international papers.
The Eden Garden was not yet open when we went (opened on 1st or 2nd May), but we tried the Mare Blu hotel's (same owners) and complimentary Volcanic Thermal Bath (open air)), which was a good choice. Here the staff were also very welcoming and the restaurant looked very nice there too althoughh we did not try it.
The hotel has free wifi and pushchairs can be stored in the tv room which is handy.
The rooms have good quality cotton flip-flops and fluffy dressing gowns as well as a constant supply of fresh clean towels of many differnt sorts and sizes. The products are ETRO and again get well stocked. The rooms have minibars with the bare essentials and the Maids are very helpful polite and are constantly in the vicinity to top things up and give your room a freshen-up.
Check-out was simple and painless, and not an error in sight.
The porters will help with your luggage.
As we had a baby with us, I often class myself as quite demanding, but again here what seemed to be the owners of the hotel were very friendly and kind and commented that we could call on the staff anytime, day or night, for support and help (chemist etc.).
Overall a luxury hotel with Italian character and very professional staff. Well done.
- Also Known As:
- Miramare e Castello Ischia
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