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“Area is very nice, surrounded with mountains, Mediterranean food is tasty. However not 5*” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Il Saraceno Grand Hotel

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Il Saraceno Grand Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Augustariccio, 33, 84011 Conca dei Marini, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
NYC
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Area is very nice, surrounded with mountains, Mediterranean food is tasty. However not 5*”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

It took us some effort to select a hotel for our August one week trip. Although it was difficult to find good value for money we selected this place. We were recommended to take Superior room but it would cost us 20% more in proportion to the whole package (including airfare). So we decided to stick with the standard room.

Overall we liked the place very much - it is very historical, calm and food is very tasty.
We got standard room 505 that was first from the lift and actually was the lowest and on the ground floor. There was no balcony but there was shared terrace for the whole floor. There were plastic tables and chairs – and we finally moved one set close to our room.
Rooms itself was big with completely renovated huge bathroom. Also it has old small TV (not a flat one) and minibar. Furniture was minimal and it was very old, dashed and ready to fall apart.
There was no view from the room and it was fully covered by the trees.
The room was cleaned every day and there were no concerns what so ever.
Overall: good but not 5* hotel room
Beach: it was a challenge to find the path to the beach for first time. The beach is good but quite challenge to get in and out of water. There are two parts: one on the left with jack-stones and right one that was covered with concrete. It seems that you get the place depending the type of room you have selected. There is another public beach Next to jack stone beach. People are brought there by zodiacs every morning. You are really get unlucky if you get your place near to it. It is very noisy and usually fully packed. The hotel is supposed to have private beach but in reality it is not the case. People from the public one feel free to come to hotel’s beach, fish with the steel hook in the shallow water, make noise with the kids. Hotel’s beach boys do not do good job maintaining the peace for hotel’s guests. When we mentioned this to them it was not taken well but we finally got relocated to the concrete one. That was really calm and relaxing.
Dining: Breakfast - buffet - for the whole week the selection was completely the same. It was quite boring. Couple of times we checked the lunch and dinner at the hotel. The food was good but overpriced. We really liked Risorgimento (we left our review here) that is 5 min sail from the hotel. Usually we asked beach boys to call for zodiac. It got us to/from the restaurant.
The hotel provides shuttle to Amalfi. The latest departures from Amalfi is 8 pm. It is not convenient. You can get a taxi for 25Eur which is rip off. There is a public bus that leaves every hour in the evening for 3 EUR per person. Shuttle is only for 8 people so you may want to come a bit earlier to reserve the seat. The key from the room is quite heavy and we forgot to leave it at the reception. We asked bus driver to give our keys back to the reception. When we came back late evening there was no key on the reception and nobody did really bother about it. Finally it was found in the shuttle.

Overall service is good but definitely 5* standard.

WiFi – free of charge. If you don’t use it for short period of time the system automatically logs you out and doesn’t let you log in. WiFi didn’t work in our room and stable signal was at the reception and evening dining area. Anyway not up to Skype standards.

We loved the place and area. Hotel is good. Price/value barely made it. We may return some time.

Room Tip: Take the room the balcony higher up so you have better view.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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189 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Chester, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

First the positives, The hotel is probably in one of the best locations on the Amalfi coast, the beach although a pain to walk on and i do mean literally, is one of the few that you will find along the Amalfi coast. There is a lift that takes you down which isn't explained to you, it's one of those annoying things that if the hotel gave out an information pack would help immensely. The views are without doubt stunning and even in October the sea was warm enough to swim in, I do live in England though so am use to slightly colder weather. The gardens and terraces are lovely and although we didn't use the pool preferring to swim in the sea it is very nice.

The negatives, well where to begin. I would say from arrival on our first day the staff are surly to say the least unless you happen to be Italian or Italian American and could speak the language, I know we Brits are lazy when it comes to speaking other peoples languages but it was our holiday and you do expect to made welcome. The room we were allocated was tired, not enough wardrobe and drawer space, no safe, two single beds pushed together, most uncomfortable when you keep rolling into your husband in the night, no satellite TV and only a 14" portable at that. The breakfast is crap no two ways about it, from the reconstituted orange juice which tastes disgusting to the complete lack of choice with the only hot choice being lukewarm scrambled egg (yuk). The water for the tea was never hot and even though I always asked for milk with mine, always had to ask the surly waiter if he could get me some, nothing like service with a smile. The dinner in the restaurant is mediocre at best and expensive for what it is, lacks atmosphere and is always empty. If you want good restaurants try Ciccio just a few minutes away by car, who incidentally will pick you up from the hotel free of charge and take you back when you have finished. the other really good one is in Amalfi town which is called da Gemma, gorgeous food and service.

We travel extensively in the Far East and always stay five star and by comparison this is an average four star at best.

Even with all the above we did have a truly wonderful holiday, Amalfi and the surrounding areas are beautiful.

The mini bus that takes you into Amalfi town centre needs to run all day and later into the night as a taxi is 25 euros, what a rip off.

Steve and Lorraine UK.

Room Tip: Don't stay in room 314 !!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramat Gan, Israel
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

we spent an amazing week at this hotel. its location is so amazing, more beautiful than any photo taken.. the view from the room was breath-taking, and so every view-point at this unique hotel. walk around the ancient hotel itself - you'll find that every floor is different and has its charm, every stairway discovers a different and gorgeous view of the area. it's a bit distant from the center of amalfi but we loved it! no problem if you got a car, and also the hotel has free shuttle there almost every hour. the staff was so nice, proffesional. always smiling and willing to help - perfect! breakfast was good, especially the terrace which is served at, it's the best place to start your morning.. if you're a couple, at any age, i think it's the perfect hotel at this area. oh, and the private-beach is great, the sea-water pool is amazing and also has a stunning view.

Room Tip: take the superior rooms, which all have a beautiful sea-view balcony, worth the extra money..
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

OK hotel, really great views, nice reception and room staff, and impressive communal areas but the rooms and the food don't warrant the 5 star rating.

We booked and paid for a superior double and it wasn't superior at all. Our room was at the side of the building so we saw the sea but not nuch else. Our balcony was tiny.

It had an 11 inch portable TV (not a flat screen). Towels were thin (hand towels were like linen tea cloths) and the bath leaked all over the floor every time the shower was used. Internet access dodgy and patchy.

Decor was tired and shabby. Furniture was knocked and scratched. Room was small for a superior. The loo and the interior shower by the pool was tatty, with chipped tiling and badly stained, slightly mouldy shower floor. I wouldn't walk barefoot or shower in there, it just didn't feel nice.

Breakfast was really boring. Same cereals (about 4 varieties), dried apricots, raisins and prunes, fruit and usually just one type of fresh fruit every day. Several pastries though (I don't like pastries but that's just a personal choice). Scrambled eggs every day and if you wanted something different eg poached eggs, fish or meat you had to pay extra which we didn't want to do. Horrible processed orange jiuce. Weak coffee. Lukewarm water so the tea was horrible. And every single day, without fail, we had to ask for salt and pepper for our eggs. They just didn't put them out on the tables so everyone had to ask, every day.

We had dinner once in the main restaurant and didn't go in again, because it was very expensive and not at all special. The restaurant was empty every evening so that says it all. Other local ones were full.

Some of the waiters were a bit surly, only one or 2 smiley ones. Car park guy had an offensive manner - we felt like he was irritated by tourists! He always seemed to be shouting at someone.

I wouldn't say don't go here but I would say don't have high expectations!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

The hotel is tired and old but well located if you want good views. The hotel supplies a courtesy bus to and from town which is good because there is no way you can walk all the way. Too far and too dangerous. The hotel beach is nice and the pool area but be prepared there are Hundreds of Steps !!! Its the biggest downfall of staying in a place that high on a hill. You must be prepared to climb steps from floor to floor or to the beach or to the pool. Not for the faint hearted.
Rooms very noisy from above and outside due to no carpets.
The staff were unfriendly but we moved past that. The restaurant was good and good food but very expensive ... I beleive that there is far better value available at other hotels in Amalfi .. certainly closer to the town and better atmosphere.
Overall dissapointing .. lucky we had good friends travelling with us to mask the dissapintment.
Dayne and Rossana - Perth Australia

Room Tip: All view of the ocean have huge trees in front - try to get a tree free view room
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overijse, Belgium
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

Fantastic location with stunning views and lovely gardens to wander through and explore but that's the end of the positives. Room was extremely dated with poor decor and cheap bathroom with sufficient towels for one guest (we reserved a double room) plus no bathrobe.

Internet service was expensive and complex. You have to log out after you've finished your session otherwise you then need to ask reception for another password - which doesn't necessarily work and resulted in them having to reboot the system twice.

The beach is down 300 steps if you're feeling energetic with a lift if you're not. Towels are provided by an extremely unfriendly assistant.

Breakfast is taken looking over the sea and absorbing the stunning views and colours but is poor. This is supposed to be a 5 star hotel but the best they can offer is fruit juice from a machine?! The second day the water reserve on it ran out (highlighting the fact it's actually concentrated juice) and again an extremely unhelpful member of staff fixed it after being asked twice. The selection is really not great, shrouded under endless plastic cloches and we've had far better quality at hotels half the price of this one. They even provide you with plastic table bins to put your detritus in which you don't expect from a hotel of this standard. Having said that, the cappuccino is excellent.

Everything is a little bit too much trouble for this place. My friends and I asked for bathrobes so we could go for a swim one afternoon. We waited and waited in our rooms, finally gave up and went to reception to ask again. This involved yet another wait.

We ate once in the on site restaurant for dinner which was OK. The quality was good but again the friendliness of the service was non existent and the atmosphere was very poor. I don't expect waiters to be over the top and fawning but a smile would be appreciated.

We took a trip to Amalfi, which is beautiful and worth a visit. The hotel provides a ridiculous shuttle service ending at 11:00 and the first bus returning back from the town at 17:00. It's quite hard to spend 6 hours here unless you want to spend it on the beach. A little more frequency would be appreciated especially as a taxi will cost you no less than €25. The driver proudly told us it was 3.5km before demanding this outrageous fare which the hotel agreed was the going rate...

Sadly, we wouldn't stay here again. It's a shame as it could be so much more if they invested a bit of time training their staff, updating their rooms and providing a better breakfast for guests that are paying a lot of money to stay here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We stayed here prior to this trip with a pleasant experience so we re-booked. Everything was perfect: the view from our room (balcony) is spectacular which words cannot describe! The food is delicious from breakfast to dinner with SUPERB service all around by the waiters (maids were the most efficient anywhere)! Just love the ambiance of the Spanish castle, terraced views of the water, scented flowers everywhere. No trouble with wi-fi from my iPhone or Kindle. We'll definitely return

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Il Saraceno Grand Hotel

Address: Via Augustariccio, 33, 84011 Conca dei Marini, Italy
Location: Italy > Campania > Amalfi Coast > Conca dei Marini
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Conca dei Marini
#5 Romantic Hotel in Conca dei Marini
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Il Saraceno Grand Hotel 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Il Saraceno Grand Hotel is located on the road from Amalfi to Positano, at 2 miles from Amalfi, on the most spectacular bay of the Amalfi Coast. All rooms with sea view, private beach, swimming pool, private parking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Il Saraceno Grand Amalfi
Il Saraceno Grand Hotel Italy/Amalfi Coast - Conca Dei Marini

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