My wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in Rome and Amalfi this year. Our tour operator, Perillo Tours, arranged for us to stay at this former convent for 4 nights in early October 2013. I read and absorbed almost every posted trip advisor review before our arrival. We were both excited to be staying at the Luna Convento. This is a very small 40+ room hotel as close to the ocean edge you can get. The hotel entrance is a very small non descript door and small hallway leading to two small elevators taking you to the 2nd floor reception desk, restaurant and courtyard (cloister). We were warmly greeted by Aldo who, because we were part of a 30 person tour group, asked us to make ourselves comfortable in the cloister while waiting for the entire group to assemble. Once all assembled, our keys were passed out and we were each escorted to our rooms.
About the rooms. Due to the construction originally as a convent in the 12th century and converted to a hotel in 1920's, the hotel does not resemble your normal boring square box we are all used to. The rooms all face the ocean with the most breath taking view of the town of Amalfi to the west and the Amalfi coast to the east where you will see Ravello and Salerno. You will read in other reviews about rooms that amazed and rooms that were probably used to send bad nuns to be punished. We only heard of one couple who were not happy with their room. I, on the other hand, wanted to make sure we had a balcony room to enjoy sitting and taking in the view. I tried to make sure our room had a balcony by attempting to upgrade through Perillo but they said that they pay a flat discounted rate only for standard rooms. If I wanted to upgrade, I should speak directly with the hotel staff upon arrival. Instead, I sent a short email to the hotel asking if it was possible to pay additional money to guarantee a room with a balcony. I didn't expect a reply but was pleasantly surprised by a response from Aldo the next day. In the email, he explained that it would not be possible to upgrade since the hotel was booked full for the week. He did assure me that they would make every effort to accomodate us with a desirable room. I was appreciative of the reply and hoped for the best.
The best is what we received. We were booked into room 39. My wife and I have traveled extensively for the past 30 years and have stayed in some impressive rooms and have rented beautiful houses and condos but this room was by far the most awsome room in the hotel. Not only did we get our balcony but also 2 terraces, one on the first level and another on the second level. Each were tiled with hand painted blue tiles overlooking the Amalfi coast with a 240 degree panorama view. The downstairs terrace that could accomodate at least 30 people had a simple table and chairs but the upstairs terrace had two comfortable padded chairs in a small room attached and looking out to the outside portion seperated by a motorized storm screen and huge sliding glass door. There we found two lounge chairs. Our bedroom had two levels with jacuzzi bath/shower, desk and chair which sat next to a floor to ceiling double door window. It simply was amazing. We almost felt embarrased at our good fortune vs. the other rooms our tour group got but we got over that quickly.
I also read about the questionable air conditioning systems at the hotel. I believe every room had its own electric non window air conditioning system that kept our room very cool. I did not hear of any complaints from others in our group. Only one couple complained about their room and were quickly escorted to another room.
The hotel offers a free breakfast buffet each morning. It has a huge variety of fruits, breads, meats, cheeses and cereals that should meet everyones morning needs as well as some of the best espresso you can find anywhere. The restaurant in the hotel where it is served has an expansive open view of Amalfi one could not put a price on. The staff was always attentive and cheerful.
They have a small bar off of the restaurant with a very comfortable sitting area or you could take your drinks out to the open cloister/courtyard. Once again, I can not say enough about every staff member from the bellhops, desk clerks, restauant staff and cleaning staff. Everyone goes out of their way to greet you in the traditional Italian greetings.
There is a restaurant across the road in the tower. Six of us decided to try the restaurant since we had been touring Positano and Sorrento all day and did not want to venture into Amalfi. I was looking forward to a nice dinner with friends. The food was delicious but it appeared that the service was less than excellent. There were not more than 12 people in the room which, by the way, was a beautiful open space also with the most awsome view of the coast. As I said, the staff was out of sorts that night. I will not go into detail but the delivery did not match the quality of the food or venue.
40 steps or so below the restaurant is the hotel pool. We did not visit until just before sunset one night but it looked inviting with a very small private beach area and stone platform to enter and exit the ocean. I am sure it would have been great to use but it was starting to get cooler that time of year. From the clarity of the water, snorkelers would be wise to take their gear with them.
On the second last night of our stay, we decided to invite some people to our terrace for wine. I purchased a couple of bottles of the local wine from the bar downstairs and they were happy to deliver them along with glasses and snacks to our room. It was wonderful sitting there, drinking wine and watching the sun go down in the west. After an hour we all decided to go into Amalfi and try one of the suggested local restaurants. Upon leaving, my wife slipped on the corner of the bed spread touching the laminated portion of the floor, falling backward and hitting the corner of the entrance to the bathroom. The front desk was informed that my wife had injured herself and that we needed to go to an emergency room for an xray. By the time we arrived, a bellhop and car were waiting for us to take us to the emergent care facilitiy just a mile east of the hotel. He waited for us while she was xrayed and found to have a broken humerus. Upon our return, we were informed that a car and driver/interpretor would be at our service the next morning to take us to the hospital outside Salerno. Once we got to our room, the night manager called and said, despite the restaurant being closed, would we like some food and beverages sent up on the hotel since we missed our dinner. The desk then helped us contact Perillo tours and Travel Guard via phone as well as offer up their fax so we could get the proper insurance paperwork for our visit to the hospital the next day.
The next morning we found a late model Mercedes driven by Christiane who turned out to be the brother of the night clerk waiting for us at the hotel entrance.He turned out to be worth his weight in gold. He stayed with us every minute of the 5 hour process interpreting for us all the way. My wife held it together until we parted as she hugged him goodbye. That night we also recieved room service on the hotel and rested as comfortably as possible until we had to leave for the airport.
I included this story because under normal circumstances a good hotel should be able to accomodate your normal needs. It is when something goes wrong that a truly good hotel and staff rises to the occasion and goes out of their way to make the situation as pleasant as possible. This hotel and all of their staff earned an A+. I highly recommend this hotel for its location, food, and most of all its accomodating and friendly staff.
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- Also Known As:
- Luna Convento Hotel