Just returned from a two week holiday at the Grand Ambasciatori which having read the reviews and cancelled a booking at another Sorrento hotel to come here we were very much looking forward to. There is much to like about the hotel and we really want to love it but there are also a number of off-putting things which a hotel of this quality should get right.there is also a definite feel of 'money grabbing'.This is not a cheap hotel and on price alone it is competing with long haul destinations such as Mexico where the hotels are superb and everything is provided to very high standards.
The first major disappointment was that even booking a room with a full sea view, the best and most expensive room that can be booked with Thomson, and booking a year in advance of our holiday, did not guarantee a good sea view room. Despite booking a full sea view room, we were given room 203, a small, poor, inferior room on a lower floor with a stone wall immediately to the side of and extending beyond the balcony. We paid a large supplement for this room and although it did have a sea view it was very much a restricted sea view and we would have been better off booking a cheaper side garden view room with limited sea view. At least we wouldn't have been looking out at a stone wall ! When we complained we were offered a move to room 405 which is located immediately beneath the restaurant. We asked about noise and the manager assured us that due to insulation there was no noise whatsoever from the restaurant. The room was much larger than room 203 and showed what a poor room that was and had a stunning sea view. However, we were woken every morning at 7am or earlier when the restaurant opened for breakfast by the scraping of chairs on the restaurant tiled floor. My wife said that she could tell that the manager was not happy about our changing rooms so we mentioned the noise in the second room to the Thomson Rep. She was very helpful when we complained about the first room but was not interested in any comments about the second room. Neither of these rooms were satisfactory for a two week holiday especially having paid such a large room supplement. The Thomson Rep said that the best upper floor rooms were all suites but it was apparent that during our stay these rooms were primarilly reserved for people who had booked direct with the hotel rather than through a tour company.
'Money grabbing' was evident in the room facilities where we did not even have a box of tissues. A hotel of this standard should provide bathrobes and slippers but these again were kept only for guests who had booked direct with the hotel. For the cost the hotel should also provide tea and coffe making facilities in the room (but of course they want you to spend in the bar etc.) a bottle of water each day and an iron and ironing board if these are allowed in Italy.The safe was to cost 3.50 euros a day which was extortionate but when we checked out after some confusion we were told there was no cost ?
On the plus side, the views from the hotel are splendid, the food excellent and the staff superb. We have to give a special mention to Giovanni, the restaurant Maitre d' who was briiliant but we found all the staff very friendly and very helpful. The food is some of the best we have had on holiday but sometimes at dinner the salad bar dishes were left empty for some time and not re-filled quickly enough. Whilst the food is excellent, the main courses are small in size but you get a good size starter, which again seems like 'money grabbing' giving more of the cheaper ingredients in the starters, and the desserts are good. Breakfast was good but not adventurous. Lunch was good and although sandwiches etc. were expensive you get a good size portion and very good quality. The a la carte menu is expensive and you get no discount if you are on half board having already paid for a meal - this is totally unreasonable and another example of 'money grabbing'. Lunch in the bar right across the road is much cheaper with sandwiches less than half the price but they are no where near as nice. Drinks in the hotel are expensive and again much cheaper in the bar opposite or to buy in the supermarket and drink on the balcony. We accept that this is to be expected but it is a great shame that the hotel does not reduce its drink prices which would encourage more people to stay in the hotel, particularly in the evenings, and improve the atmosphere. The hotel does have some 'happy hours' but knocking just 15% off a gin and tonic costing 10.5 euros doesn't make much difference. We found the evenings in the hotel pretty boring but the centre of town is only a 10/15 walk away.
All in all, would we return ? - we would love to but would only do so if we were guaranteed a sea view room on one of the upper floors.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Characterized by the uniqueness of its position close to the city centre, the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori, is a prestigious 5 star rating Hotel, immersed in the green of a luxuriant secular park, on a cliff overlooking the sea, with a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Naples and Vesuvius. Quiet location, exclusive private beach, Wellness center and parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Sorrento