My Husband and I were invited to a friends wedding in Sorrento so we decided to make it a fortnights holiday since we have never been to Italy before. We were not disappointed as this was without a doubt the best holiday we have had so far. Staying at the Grand President Hotel from 20th September to 4th October was a wonderful part of our experience and there was no way you could have found any kind of fault here at all unless you are really grumpy and very hard to please!
We arrived at around 10.30 at night and after booking in at reception, quickly and easily, we found a tray of food waiting for us in our room which was a good start as we were really hungry!
The hotel is immaculately clean, well presented and beautifully decorated. It is situated high above Sorrento on the hill and has stunning views from all the public areas.
The location is the only slight downside as it is a good 20-30 minute walk downhill to the town and that's the shortcut as the traffic has to take a longer route (but gets there quicker) we did walk there and back but only a couple of times! - The hotel provides a regular shuttle bus service which starts from the hotel at 8.30am down to the town and the last run up to the hotel at night is 11.15pm. It has one fairly central and easy to find pick up and drop off point so no need to worry about where to catch the bus.
The shuttle bus driver is a lovely man called Tony who cannot do enough to help you with your holiday sightseeing. He always has brochures and leaflets for various local events and attractions on hand and is full of helpful information. The bus was a 22 seater when we were there which, on the odd occasion was slightly too small for the amount of people using it but if you were left behind then Tony would drop everyone off and come straight back for you rather than waiting until his next scheduled run - so nobody can fault that service!
All of the restaurant staff are genuinely lovely people who are totally focused on making your dining experience terrific. You will be seated personally at each mealtime, mostly by Luigi the restaurant manager - you can then help yourself to breakfast but evening dinner will be served to you by one of the waiters.
Breakfast was buffet style with all the usual continental things, meats and cheeses, fruits, breads, cakes, cereals, full English options and an egg station where you can choose your own omelette contents and have it freshly cooked while you wait. There is a tea and coffee machine for instant self-service but if you want to order a pot of either then you can.
The evening meals were available from a 3 course menu presented to you every night and there is also a copy on view outside the restaurant if you want to look during the day to see what is on the menu that night. There is a salad buffet that you can help yourself to at dinnertime in addition to whatever you choose from the menu. Drinks may be ordered from the wine waiter and will be charged to your room.
The food is amazing, the Cannelloni and Lasagne especially are to die for! I am not a huge pasta fan but was truly won over! Lovely soups, beautiful fish dishes, lovely chicken dishes, and the desserts are just, well, again - amazing! The Lemoncello cake - another one to die for! Enjoy a fabulous gourmet experience no matter what you choose!
3 or 4 nice waiters also man the bar, pool and terrace areas, polite, funny, chatty and service with a smile from all of them.
Previous reviews have recommended you have a room with a sea view. We weren't able to get one but although its nice to wake up to a sea view it didn't really matter to us as we didn't spend much time in our room anyway. At the end of our corridor there was a table that guests left magazines and books they had finished with so that others could swap and read.
This year I was brave and ventured out without my travel hairdryer - I'm usually too scared to go without it in case the hotel doesn't provide them but there is a perfectly decent hairdryer in the bathroom so save yourself from trailing yours as its fine!
Electricity - slightly awkward to use - my adapter would not fit in any of the sockets in the walls (or strangely anywhere else in the hotel or out in other places) but there was a sort of small adapter socket thingy on the table that took it so I was able to charge my iphone. but if you wanted to charge a second phone or plug something else in at the same time then your only other socket is the shaver point in the bathroom. - Note - If you leave a phone on charge in the shaver point while you are out of the room it wont charge but the other one will in the adapter socket thingy!
There is a spa and beauty salon but I didn't use them as such. I wanted my hair done for the wedding so the girl in the beauty salon booked their contracted hairdresser to come in and do it for me. She only does certain days and times but she was very nice and my hair turned out lovely.
Also handy to know - the hotel provides pool towels for you, there was 2 in our room so I could have saved trailing my 4 with me if I'd known. It says to please not ask to change them every day but to be honest I think they would if you really needed them changed that much. The rooms were cleaned every day and you could have fresh towels every day if you wanted and the beds were changed every 2 or 3 days. Very competent maids, the place is spotless.
Sorrento town is lovely, vibrant and full of character, the Amalfi coast is well worth a visit as is Capri. Pompeii is very interesting to see but I'd advise you definitely get a guidebook or handheld audio to listen to as otherwise it all just looks like the same thing and there are loads of stories about different parts of it.
We went to Naples on the train (to the centre of the city itself) which was full of graffiti, rubbish, dog poo and dubious looking characters selling goods on the streets - it was a bit nerve-racking and I didn't feel safe - but found out afterwards that there is a nicer area to visit if you go there by boat and stick to the other side - ask Luigi, he'll tell you where to go.
We wanted to go to Vesuvius and Herculanium but simply ran out of time so plan to re-visit in a couple of years and go then but anyone we spoke to who did go said it was worthwhile.
I hope this review is helpful to anyone who reads it, I tried to put in bits that I didn't know myself before going and that I would have found handy.
I cant think of anything else I might have missed but would just like to re-iterate that this was truly a fantastic hotel to stay in and I wouldn't hesitate to come back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Hotel President, 4 star hotel in Sorrento Italy, overlooks the Sorrentine Peninsular and the Bay of Naples offering one of the best views in the world . A view which has inspired many artists and song writers for centuries. The splendid terraces of the Grand Hotel President with their sea views, the swimming pool, the beauty and fitness centres and the refined panoramic restaurant are all part of the services that combine to guarantee the full attention of the staff which is always attuned to satisfying the desires of the guests . The tranquil atmosphere in which the Grand Hotel President is immersed , accompanied by the scent of flowers and scrubs from the hotels very well maintained gardens, make it the ideal place for a relaxing and restful holiday. The centre of Sorrento which is only 3 klms away, is easily reached thanks to the free shuttle service of the Grand Hotel President. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Sorrento
- Grand Hotel President Sorrento