We booked this Hotel for a week through Thomson ,and based on the great previous reviews on here -ie; the traveller photographs of their beautiful balconies and the location of the hotel itself .
We arrived after a transfer from the Naples airport of approx hour and 15 minutes in eager anticipation - it was my husbands 50th birthday and we paid what we thought was quite a bit of money, so looked forward to a week of relaxing luxury ((something we dont often do-not being 'beachy' type people but thought it was time for a change)
We were astonished at arrival in Amalfi itself that it was absolutely packed with people and thick with traffic ( annoying scooters en masse buzzing around our vehicle like flies) Italian drivers take their lives in their hands and dont give way to anyone or anything ( take note anyone approaching this place in a hire car) This first impression of Amalfi was not a good one. ( we were later to learn that this week was the Italians Bank holiday week and their busiest time of year -again take note anyone booking the last two weeks of August)
On arrival at hotel we were told our room was not ready so had to sit on the terrace. The first impression was that the interior looked very drab and a lounge area that looked as inviting as a morgue. No good 'vibes' so far. Whilst waiting i humourously asked a gentleman receptionist to confirm that our room had " better be as nice as the pictures" ( ha ha) His English wasnt very good, but thats forgivable as we're not terribly good in our country at learning languages. But his answer was " no sorry your room has small balcony etc etc "
Oh my god I thought- we're going have to try and upgrade immediately as the only reason we wanted to stay here was based on the lovely large balconies we'd seen on the photos. " no, sorry- hotel fully booked" was the reply.
I was right to be prematurely upset because when we went to the room we were filled with horror. We were so upset that we were to spend 7 days in a room you couldnt swing a cat in, furniture that was so dated and a small old TV that had seen better days. Only one wardrobe without enough room/drawers to place t-shirts in etc and a safe no bigger than a matchbox. The small balcony had a 'slight' sea view in that yes we could just about see the sea, but moreover a grotty car park and a rooftop made of corregated iron.There wasnt one picture on the walls and basically the decor that was crying out to be updated. The one good thing was that the air conditioning worked because boy did we need it as temperatures were 40 plus. We decided that the only thing to do was to be positive and make the most of it and accept that we'd wasted our money but we were in a beautiful part of the world and that was going to be the 'upside'
After reading reviews we also knew that we werent going to get a huge cooked breakfast or anything lavish , but on arrival on the terrace in the morning (very sleepy-as one has to be down there before 10am) we discoved that all that was on offer was cake , cake and more cake(why?) -. Oh with a couple of croissants and cereal thrown in. No real choice and very boring .we made the effort to go down in the mornings as i cant do without my morning cup of tea. ( another note to make for future travellers-there are NO tea and coffee making facilities in the room) .
On exploring Amalfi one cannot dispute that the hotel is perfectly positioned and a lovely walk into the town. There are umpteen choices of excusions to Positano, Salerno, Ravello, and Capri ( a must) on the harbour at reasonable prices and more restaurants than you can shake a stick at. ( all Italian of course) We spent a lot of time in the shade on the Piazza in the town just people watching , as once youd walked around once there wasnt much else to do. The weather had a lot to do with our being 'unadventurous' as it was too tiring in the heat to walk more than half a mile.
Back to the hotel and a visit from our very nice tour rep Josette from Thomson. She was lovely and listened to our concerns of the hotel with sympathy. She explained that Thomson are only allocated 'basic' rooms on the first floor and not the superior ones that we'd expected.She said she'd do her best and speak to the manager and get us the first available Superior that became vacant ( at a cost ) Unfortunately the first vacancy of a better room was only on our last two days which we jumped at in desperation. We detected a certain sort of animosity afterwards from staff ( maybe wrong) that we were 'whingers'
But......Wow !! what an absolute contrast - our new room was amazing !! it was on the third floor and had the most amazing balcony with a fantastic view . The decor was ten times better ( pictures on the wall this time) better flat screen TV, cleaner and tidier and a glorious bathroom. we spent a whole two days on the balcony and didnt want to come out !!
The final one 'niggle' was that on our very early departure we werent given tea or coffee ( just more cake and biscuits)
I hope this review to anyone wishing to use the Aurora will show that you really need to only expect 'Bed and Breakfast' at its most basic, ( I forgot to point out that the boring bar/lounge area was not ideal if you expected to wind down with a 'pre-bedtime drinks)
It is a hotel for use only as a 'base' as there arent any amenities ( there is a private beach that you have to pay for- which I think is wrong seen as there isnt a Pool to the hotel) It is after all classed as a 3 star and that mustnt be overlooked.
You must ensure you book a 'Superior' room to avoid disappointment and not expect too much for breakfast !!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aurora Hotel is the perfect spot to spend an unforgettable holiday in Amalfi.Located nearby the Amalfi Marina, the hotel is only 500 meters from the hustle and bustle of Piazza Duomo. It is the ideal accommodation for visiting the Amalfi Coast and its picturesque villages, such as Ravello, Positano, Capri and even the Pompeii Excavation, which are all within easy reach. The bus station and the wharf are only 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel. After a long day-trip, Aurora Hotel is just a short walk to downtown and the beach, and it is accessible without climbing stairs. One final recommendation from the hotel management: if you want to spend a few relaxing days in Amalfi, please check Aurora Hotel location on Google Maps and compare it with other hotels. Most of Amalfi hotels are located in the noisy old Town, accessible by climbing long stairs; some others are located on the highway to Positano, so you will need to take the bus, a taxi or your car in order to reach the city, driving down one of the busiest roads in Italy! ... more less
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