This was the first time that I was seriously steered wrong by TripAdvisor reviews. We chose Mare Blu based on all the positive reviews here; it was a mistake. The problems began, of all places, at the airport. We had pre-arranged for a transfer when we made our reservations 6 months in advance. We tried confirming the week before, e-mailing several times to two different addresses. No response. So we weren't shocked when no one met us at the airport as promised. However, we were shocked when we arrived at the hotel and the manager informed us that he didn't have the oceanview room that we had reserved months before. Yes, they had our e-mails, yes they had our reservation; they just didn't have our room (like a Seinfeld episode, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to HOLD the reservation). Ironically, we had arranged for 5 friends to join us at the hotel; 2 of them had already arrived and had scored an oceanview room. After much arguing, insincere apologies and my refusal to accept a lesser room, he came up with... an oceanview room! However, it wasn't deluxe, it was miniscule, and it wasn't worth the 240 euros that I had agreed to pay. So when I asked to pay less, he came up with a suite on the back side of the hotel. No view, but much more space, and slightly less money. We relented only because our friends were already installed. Had we been alone we would have walked.
More negative surprises were to come. The bed was like sleeping on a slab of granite, and the pillows were equally hard. The bathroom smelled of sewage. The furniture was cheap and ugly. It was a totally charm-free environment. The breakfasts were served indoors (tough on a beautiful morning) in a large but stuffy room. The only decent thing was the fruit.
The location was good, but not great. The views of the ocean from most rooms is obstructed. If we had been given the room that we reserved (that others here have raved about), we might have had a different experience. But that's one room out of the many that are just not up to par.
The bartender, Vincente, was a bright spot: very charming, very helpful and very caring. The free internet was good, but was also offered by the other hotels we stayed in.
There are far better places to stay in Ischia. By the way, while you're there DO NOT MISS NEGOMBO! It is fantastic! Also Da Tui was a good restaurant, and avoid La Conchiglia in Sant'Angelo (which had been recommended on this site); overpriced and mediocre.
Ischia is great, though, and we will definitely return... just not to the Mare Blu.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.