Review of this wonderful hotel.
To be informative and not repeat everything others have said, we stayed in the main hotel and had a massive balcony in room 520 which was underneath the main outdoor terrace so could pick up the free WiFi whilst sitting outside on our terrace.
An advantage of being in the main hotel was that we were close to the restaurant, reception and bar and so we could go to the bar and take drinks down to our room so always had a stash of drinks in our fridge !
There is a kettle and cups coffee and tea etc if you need extra milk just ask for a glass from the bar.
We were late arriving at the hotel but there was wonderful platter of antipasti and 2 bottles of wine waiting for us in the dining room which we were asked to go straight in and eat whilst the cases were delivered to the room. Wonderful bread !
The room was perfectly fine- beautifully maintained- only problem was the shower over the bath which was positively lethal. There is nothing to hold onto and the glass screen is fixed to the bath so to get a good shower you either flood the bathroom or risk slipping over. The hotel would benefit from taking out the baths and replacing with double shower cubicles. Selection of soap and toiletries were provided. Bed had amazingly soft duvet and linens – couldn’t fault but had to request more pillows. Mood lighting is an excellent addition !
The room has loads of storage- BUT Coathangers were a nightmare ! We didn’t expect a concoction of what other clients have left behind ?? If you want trouser hangers or dress hangers that actually serve their purpose – take your own !!! Might sound trivial but expected better !
The bar service was generally good however the waiters serving the terrace didn’t show quite as much initiative as the ones in the dining room or the pool bar ! We often waited at night and in the end would go and get our own drinks from the bar which was quicker !
If you want named spirits eg Ballantines, Bacardi etc then you need to order by name. The sparkling wine (which is all I drink), I was quite worried about, but once there, realised that they actually serve Spumante ( like Asti and very sweet ) and Prosecco Brut (Dry) . If you prefer Prosecco ask for it by name otherwise you will get the sweet cheaper stuff !
Disadvantage of Terrace/ Verandah area is the smoking as when they pull down the blinds to stop the breeze, all the smoke form the smoking area is trapped inside and not pleasant is you don’t smoke!
At meal times you are given the entire bottle of white, rose, red or spumante. Prosecco you only get by the glass. If you drink different wines that doesn’t matter you are given 2 bottles !
The food as many others have said is to die for- enough said - my husband put on a stone in 10 days You are forewarned !!! Food is amazing.
Possibly the worst meal is breakfast as hot food wasn’t particularly warm. Minor hiccup. They do serve bacon, beans, eggs a type of sausage, mushrooms etc but when they are luke warm they are not nice. Also they only have tiny side plates which makes eating hot food quite difficult !
As a Coffee addict- I was very disappointed – at breakfast it was like Mud - No ground or equivalent - Had to drink tea !
If you need a packed lunch just pre order the night before from reception and collect from the dining room in the morning – We had the Best Mozzarella Cheese Tomato and Pesto rolls I have ever had ! You get a carton of juice and bottles of water included as well with some fruit.
The staff at this hotel make it what it is – the Maitre D and ‘El Capitano’ kissing the ladies hands and welcoming everybody into dinner reminds you of a bygone age where manners and decorum reigned ! It was lovely to be served, have my chair pulled out and sit down to a beautifully presented table.
The specialty evenings were wonderful- the hotel encourages you to join in the themes – Black & White Film Night, RED Carpet night and Italian Night ( Orange, Red and Yellow clothes requested ). Take Long dresses and high heels and ‘ Glam Up Girls ‘- you rarely get chance to do this in the UK nowadays ! I’ve never taken so many clothes on a holiday but by jove, I wore them all !!!
You are presented with fresh flowers, and the photographer takes loads of pictures and you have a choice on all courses including a Pasta course that is wonderful.
The entertainment is now provided by Ellie and Harry otherwise known as ‘Switch Duo ‘ – look them up on ‘YouTube’ ! This couple of extremely talented young musicians we were fortunate to see in Benalmadena earlier in the summer at the Riviera Hotel. Ellie has the most amazing voice and together with Harry’s pianist skills were absolutely superb. Without them at this hotel the evenings would not have been so wonderfully relaxing.
The walk up to the pool from the main hotel is about 10 minutes and quite steep so take your time and take care. We found the safest route although longer, was down the side of the drive past the tennis courts and then up 2 flights of steps.
As others have said, sunbeds cannot be reserved til 9am this wasn’t a problem as there were so many people going on trips every day, there always seemed to be sufficient around. My Biggest complaint was the pool temperature. I am quite a hardy swimmer and on my holidays I normally swim a great deal but even I had to give up one day, as I was literally frozen stiff. Such a shame as many people wanted to use the jacuzzis in the pool but couldn’t. There were 3 hot Jacuzzis in the wooded area under cover but that rather defeated the point of being in Italy in the sun??
The lunches served outside are also exceptional- massive choice and wonderful desserts and fruit.Loads of choice and of course the hand made pizzas which you could choose your ingredients if you wished and he would make them to order including Calzone ones.
Disappointment – they only served the ice cream at the lunch time not all afternoon. I would have liked to have seen them serve it all day. There is a big tub which they fill up with bottles of water in ice which you can help yourself to all day.
The sunset bar is at the top of the annexe which is a few minutes walk from the main hotel. There is a lift up and the views are truly fantastic Worth going up but take a camera and a light jacket in October as it can get cool.
We did a couple of trips the Select Herculaneum and Pompeii trip for smaller group- this is hard day walking all day and you don’t get back till 5 pm ish. Don’t book a packed lunch for this as the light lunch that is provided was a 3 course lunch of pasta and pizza (Not so light !!) in a restaurant right next to Pompeii Extremely clean with toilets where they ask for money to use them !!!
The other trip we did was the day trip to Capri and AnaCapri – this was a long and hard daytrip and we didn’t get back till after 715pm . You do need a packed lunch for this trip- the ferry was crammed with people there and back and it was so busy ! Got the funicular up to Capri Town which was an experience and the views were amazing. Very expensive 1 Peroni and 1 Lemon soda 14 euros but well worth the experience ! Shops are nearly all designer so take a fat wallet !!
You can take the cable car up to the top and you are left to wander round the shops if you wish. Best Hazel Nut ice cream was here ! The return journey back to the harbour was by mini bus but waiting for the return ferry was quite daunting with everyone pushing you trying to get to board the boat. This was a tiring day but well worth it .
To sum up, We had a lovely holiday but the hotel is way out of the way of civilisation – if you wanted to go to Sorrento you had to book the mini bus the previous day which we thought was too restrictive on holiday . If you need Cigarettes or Cigars etc take them with you as the hotel do sell Marlborough at 7.50 eu a packet but there is nowhere close by to buy anything. There is a small shop in the middle of the woods at the hotel selling toiletries, clothes, sandals and basics but that is all. Take everything you are likely to need with you !
There are loads of biting insects- take insect repellent and use it at all times even by the pool in the day I was bitten !
The transfer back to the airport was on a Monday morning we were picked up at 0630 and didn’t get to the airport until around 0900. The Journey was awful, stuck in traffic trying to get into Naples. It took us longer to get to the airport than it did to fly back to Birmingham !
As much as this was an amazing hotel, the transfer has completely put us off from returning.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Nastro Azzurro & Occhio Marino Piano Di Sorrento
- Grand Hotel Nastro Azzurro And Occhio Marino Resort