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Reviews (1,135)
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All reviewsshuttle busprivate beachhalf boardgerry's barhotel beachamalfi coastamazing viewslocal sita busminute walk up the hillnice poolbreakfast and dinnerevery hourbus servicesea viewpublic areasthe hotel offersroom number
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Reviewed November 18, 2008

We stayed here for a week in August.

The weather was incredible and we chose the Excelsior, as much as anything, for the remarkable views in the brochure - They didn't really reflect the breathtaking nature of the real thing.

From the second we arrived, the children (16 and 11) fell in love with the pool and hotel and we were all taken with the views.

The comments about poor food seem incredible to me - It's Italian restaurant style food and was of excellent standard, in my view. There were no pizzas or burgers, maybe that's what some found bad. Eating on the balconies overlooking the bay of Salerno takes some beating.

One review mentioned the hotel is a little Dolce Vita in its charm and that is true, but our rooms were comfortable, a decent size, if a little bare and the service, especially in the restaurant, was first rate. The hotel was at its best, probably, 20-30 years ago, but it's in no way run down or tatty, a bit like a late 1970s Sofia Loren.

Downsides? The location is a little out of the way and you're really dependant on the free bus service, which can be very busy at times and the (rather good, for the area - it's clean, fairly roomy and has reasonably priced refreshments available) private beach is a little expensive for a family.

Nightlife at the hotel isn't nightclub exciting, if that's what you want, but it's a lovely spot to sit and enjoy a coffee or a drink, day or night (although drinks are, not surprisingly, hotel dear) and there was some kind of entertainment most nights during our stay. With all the honeymoon couples there, I'd imagine you'd be very lonely on your own.

One of the best holiday's we've had and the hotel and staff played a big part.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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5  Thank snowman40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2008

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Excelsior for a week at the beginning of October. We booked the hotel partly based on location but mainly due to the amazing views and in both respects it didn't disappoint. The hotel is in a little village called Pogerola, about 3km directly above Amalfi. Pogerola is very quiet but does have a couple of shops and a couple of bars that serve drinks and food. It's definitely worth walking to the top of Pogerola (about a 20 min walk from the hotel) for amazing views of Ravello. Amalfi is about a 10-15 min drive from Pogerola.

The hotel itself was fine. It looks like it hasn't been refurbished for a good 20 years or so - the decor is probably best descried as faded grandeur! Our room was spacious, comfortable and airy and was cleaned well each day. The common parts of the hotel were all very chintzy and old-fashioned - think velvet banisters, plastic chandeliers and fringed chairs. We were already aware of this due to reading previous reviews and generally found it amusing - my Gran thought it looked amazing when I showed her the photos! Everything was clean and comfortable however and absolutely fine as long as you aren't expecting something stylish!

We stayed half board and had breakfast and dinner at the hotel each day. Breakfast was continental with a good selection of breads and pastries, plus ham, cheese and scrambled eggs each morning. You can sit outside if the weather is good and look out over the amazing coastline as you enjoy your breakfast - this was my favourite part of the day. Dinner was ok - you have a choice of 4 starters and 4 mains then a dessert of the day or ice cream or fresh fruit. The food was ok - though the menu sometimes wasn't particularly descriptive and we got a couple of surprises. Be aware there wasn't a vegetarian option on the menu each night. Service was generally good through we did have a long wait for drinks on a couple of the busier nights. We found the bar to be completely lacking in atmosphere in the evening and went up to Gerry's Pub in Pogerola for cheaper drinks and a much better atmosphere.

The hotel also runs a free shuttle bus into Amalfi several times a day. This was brilliant. - we used it at least once everyday. There was a bus an hour throughout the morning then a break over lunch and a couple in the afternoon and evening as well. The timetable we had was from 15th Sept so there may be more in peak season. The bus seats about 24 and does get full, especially in the afternoon. If you can't get on the shuttle bus, there is a local SITA bus that stops right outside the hotel and costs about 2 Euros.

From Amalfi it's fairly easy to get anywhere along the coast using the local SITA buses or the water buses. We went to Ravello on the SITA bus for 2 Euros each and to Positano on the water bus for 24 Euros each. We really enjoyed wandering round Ravello - the Villa Rufolo is worth the 6 Euro entry fee. We didn't enjoy Positano as much but it's still worth a visit - it was also nice to see the coastline from the water on the journey. Amalfi itself is lovely though very expensive. Expect to pay 3-4 Euros for a coffee, around 6 Euros for a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. Meals varied - pizzas range from 4 - 15 Euros and pasta or meat dishes are more expensive at 10 Euros upwards. Ice creams are extremely expensive at 5 Euros for a cone (but worth it as they are amazing)!

In summary, decent hotel, good location, excellent views. Just make sure you know what to expect and you shouldn't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank tandmtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2008

Dreadful food and out of date decor. Really uncomfortable beds and poorly fitted out bathroom.

On the positive side, excellent hillside location with great views. Amalfi accessible by frequent hotel shuttle or public bus. Pogerola at the top of the hill worth a visit for local restaurants and Benitos cocktail bar.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank DOCandBIKER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2008

We booked this holiday just a few weeks before going, in that time we looked at some of the reviews and were a little put off by some of the comments. We need not have worried, the hotel was a real gem in a fine set location. All the staff were excellent from the moment you walked into the front lobby. Accomodation was excellent and well looked after and the views are to die for. Quite a few of the other review seemed to likr the location but not the food. On the day of our arrival we ventured down to the dinning room to see what awaited, the first night set the scene as we were treated to a fantastic meal that was of a very high standard, this we are happy to reprt continued throughout the whole of our stay.

All we can say is stay here if you want a trully relaxing and memorable vacation where you are well looked after by every member of staff, we were and we would not hessitate to return to this beautiful hotel in it's fantastic location.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled on business
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2  Thank sheffexpress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2008

We stayed at this hotel for our honeymoon in a Garden Suite, and although it is a bit of a trek from Amalfi town, it is worth it for the spectacular views that greet you as you enter reception for the first time- just stunning.

The staff all seemed friendly and spoke good English on the whole, the hotel is very clean and also very retro- by this I mean if you're looking for a hotel with a modern interior, maybe don't expect that from this place! However, the decor is not a problem as you only have to look down on to the sea to appreciate why staying here is the price it is.

Food is ok- it's by no means poor, but there are far nicer restaurants in Amalfi serving delicious fresh seafood and pizza. There is an amazing restaurant to the left of the Amalfi cathedral steps which has about 7 pages of pizzas to choose from and the mussels are delicious. Breakfast is fairly typical, pastries and cold meats, cake and scrambled eggs- not great but it is sufficient.

To get to Amalfi from the hotel, well there are 3 options. You can take the 800+ steps down which is a beautiful walk- but beware, some of the steps are extremely steep and crumbling away in parts, so best to do it in daylight with sensible shoes and a bottle of water. We also made the climb up a couple of times which takes a good 30 minutes at a steady pace- but it is very tiring in the heat and you will need water to keep you going, and a cool shower when you get to the hotel!

Option 2 is the hotel's free shuttle bus which runs pretty frequently. The bus did break down while we were staying, but the hotel did lay on some cars until it was fixed.

Option 3 is the loca SITA bus company which will take you from Amalfi town to the top for around 2 Euros- remember to validate your ticket when you get on board in the automated machine.

So in summary, a clean, friendly hotel with outdated decor but stunning views. Eat out for the best food in Amalfi, but the room prices are worth it if you've got that killer view.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bugman_v2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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