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“Stupendo!!!”

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Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 29 Hotels in Rapallo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We decided to go to the sea on december and we chose this hotel. What can i say, its just MAGNIFICANT! Beautiful hotel, very beautiful rooms, big spacious teracce!
But i have to say some words about the staff. They were very friendly, very nice, always available on any of our request!
We have 2 small children who makes a lot of disaster ))), but the stuff were very very patient, infact my kids of 2 years old knew everybody by names. And you cant lie to the kids, they see good people by heart! My baby Sharon felt in love with metr Gianluca, she didnt even want to eat without him! So we had to go down to lobby so she could see him and he was always there, nice to her, playing with her, talking her into eating! I have never seen such a wonderful relationship to the customers, even if the customer is 2 years old baby. I have to say that even now after one month she says "andiamo da Gianluca", he is wonderful man like all the staff! Our big thank you to him and to all of the stuff!
Than the hotel has stunning position, breathtaking sea view. Our room was made 2!!!!! time a day! Also this i have never seen, eventhough we mostly take or junior suite o siute in other hotels. The room itself was very clean, large bathroom with shower and bathtub.
The restaurant is courgeous with beautiful sea view, high class restaurant, the food is very good and very fresh!
So i would love to go back to this hotel! Its like a perl between earth and sky!
Thank you for wonderful vacation!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Vikt0riya777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 - 268 of 995 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2012

We stayed here for 3 days in September this year and I have no idea how this hotel can have a 4 star rating. Reception was frequently unmanned often left standing waiting for several minutes, on arrival the receptionist could not even locate our room in the second floor corridor... Everything seemed an effort and took forever, even extra pillows, I often had to request things more than once. The appearance of this hotel is in keeping with the resort but it has been extremely unsympathetically modernised. The general upkeep of the building is shoddy paintwork is chipped and badly scratched in places especially in the rooms and really needs redecorating. Bathroom was not well cleaned with lots of mould on shower surround. Maids lost my mothers new nightdress in the sheets when cleaning and it never reappeared despite being assured it would be found and posted on to us. Service slow both at breakfast and dinner. Evening dining offered no flexibility, 8.30 outside on roof terrace, only those on half board could eat earlier or inside where it was so dark it was almost impossible to read the menu or see your food. Poor quality orange juice and bread at breakfast, evening food better. The bars and public areas were spookily deserted at all times of the day probably as they had no atmosphere and staff were nowhere to be seen. Pool gets very hot and only open at 11am but gym well equipped. The biggest concern wsd the location of this hotel it is scarcely in Rapallo at all and it is a hilly 15 minute walk into town the inital stretch without a pavement on the busy costal road. Overall this hotel is over priced, has very poor service, is poorly located and lacks any attention to detail. i would not recommend this hotel to anyone, believe the bad reviews they are true....

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Amber W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

I was surprised to read some of the negative reviews on this site as it was difficult to find fault with this hotel.

I visited the Grand Hotel Bristol with my mother and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The hotel exceeded our expectations and represented excellent value.

The welcome from the reception staff was courteous and helpful. We had a suite which was spacious, comfortable and luxuriously appointed with a large furnished terrace overlooking the bay. The pool and welness area was peaceful, relaxing and immaculate. The food was delicious and the service exceptional. We especially enjoyed dinner in the rooftop garden which had amazing views.

I would certainly recommend this hotel. The attention to detail by the Cinzia the hotel manager and the entire staff who did everything possible to ensure the comfort of the guests was exceptional. Special mention to Gennaro the barman and Gianlucca the restaurant manager who helped make our stay memorable.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank suzielegge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

This hotel exceeded all our expectations in every respect. From the genuine warm welcome to the very high standard of cuisine, we found it difficult to find fault with this hotel. Unlike some other reviewers we would recommend a Deluxe Room which provides a wonderful sea view down the promontory towards Portofino. The balcony is somewhat limited in space but you can live with it. When you have such a wonderful view from your bed, the balcony becomes somewhat irrelevant. It is a 15 minute walk to town and back but it is a pleasant coastal walk and that is made clear in advertisement material.

Whilst the highlight of a holiday is to relax and take in the local sights, every day we found ourselves wondering what would be on the menu that evening, such was the quality of the food at this establishment. Ours was a standard menu and proved to be first class but a la carte was also available if required. There was a good choice of local wines available with dinner and whilst I would agree that the bar prices are expensive, hotel bar prices tend to be, it is the individual's choice whether to drink at the bar or not. Similarly with Internet usage, yes 10 euros is expensive but again, it is the individual's choice whether to access it or not.

The service could be somewhat rushed at first but this was pointed out to the staff and addressed. This was not a fault, we rather suspect It was an Italian trait.

We would return to Rapallo again for 3-4 days to experience the quality of care and attention to detail afforded by the highly trained staff of the Bristol. Excellent teamwork is evident throughout your stay. It is seamless and is orchestrated quietly in the background but we are convinced that it is this teamwork that makes the Bristol experience one that any discerning traveller should experience once in their lifetime.

In all of our experience of travelling across Europe and particularly Italy , we have never experienced this level of consistency throughout our period of stay. Thank you to all the staff at the Hotel Bristol, Rapallo.

Room Tip: Go for Room 106, a corner room with full sea view and a long albeit not wide balcony.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Paulinelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

I apologise but this review is 12 months overdue, either way I remember the stay as if it were yesterday. We stayed for 7 nights last year and had a wonderful stay at the Grand Hotel Bristol. The service was friendly and helpful and all the staff did whatever they could to ensure our stay was a memorable one. The rooms themselves were brilliant - very large and so romantic. We had a wonderful, quaint (small) balcony which gave us incredible views over Santa Margarita and to Portofino and the bay. The views were magical and we spent many an afternoon enjoying a glass of champagne on that balcony. The rooms were very clean, the bed was extremely comfortable. The restaurant on the top floor was out of this world. We ate nearly every night at the restaurant and tried nearly every item on the menu and it was some of the best food we ate in Italy - it was faultless, scrumptious, reasonably priced and amazing. I can't wait to visit Italy again and stay here.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

This is a bautifully located hotel, nice pool and spectacular view. But... That does not help when:

- The receptionist is incapable of booking two taxis when you ask for TWO taxis
- The lunch menu at the 1st floor restaurant is terrible, and the few items they have are no good.
- The pool bar is unattended for most of the day
- The receptionist blames me when they are unable to provide an iron.
- The staff is very mixed in its attitude towards their guests. (Some are very friendly, som are just simply impolite.)
- It takes an hour to get coffee served in your room, despite two reminders.
- It takes forever from the moment you order your food in the restaurant until you get it.

I'm sure I'm gonna get a reply from the hotel saying "We are sorry about this" and "Please let us try again." Well sorry is not gonna cut it; and I won't try again. How it is possible to mismanage a hotel to this extent is beyond me. Especially such a lovely located hotel. Totally overpriced and no service.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Torsen69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

After a very long drive from Venice we (my husband, our 15 & 16 year olds and I) arrived at the Grand Hotel Rapallo. We were immediately impressed by the exterior and the presentation of the reception area. The pool was a very good size for swimming, with plenty of available sun beds at the times we used it – generally after 5pm, although at this time there were many shady places where the sun did not reach; towels were provided.
The reception staff, especially Massimo, were very friendly and welcoming, giving us a tour of the public areas and always being happy to advise on places to visit in the area. We were then shown to our rooms. These were both side sea view rooms, adjacent to each other with one being a higher grade than the other. This was only obvious by the fact that the receptionist pointed out that we had an upgraded room and also by the fact that there were brown dressing gowns in the room, as opposed to white ones.
In general, the public areas were of a very high standard; unfortunately this was not the case behind the bedroom doors. Indeed, compared to the four star hotel in Venice that we had just left, the rooms appeared somewhat shabby in places. One in particular had numerous scuff marks on the walls (a coat of paint would rectify this), whilst both had carpets with stains on them, the curtains were not held up by many hooks and the hold backs were coming away from the wall, exposing holes and raw plugs. The bathrooms were also very small, containing a bidet, toilet, sink and an exceptionally small shower cubicle, one of which was quite rusty in places and a little dirty round the seal area at the bottom. On a positive note the towels were very white and these were changed twice a day if used; the air con though was very effective in the rooms.
The balconies were ‘Juliet style’ with beautiful views over the bay of Rapallo, despite the side position. The railings would have benefitted from a coat of paint and there was no balcony furniture to use to sit out on: we had to use the bedroom chair and the bathroom stool.
We were booked in on a half board basis, with dinner starting at 7.30 for us and at 8.30 for a la carte dining. The restaurant was located on the top floor of the hotel, with fabulous views all across the bay. We were prepared for the dinner experience: on arrival at the hotel we were given an information sheet regarding service times, etc; the sheet included reference to the fact that guests on half board would be seated indoors, an issue that has been mentioned on previous reviews. However, perhaps because we went into dinner at 7.30, this made a difference to where we were seated, as on all but one night (of the seven that we stayed at the hotel) we were placed outside. The exception was the night the hotel manager was in the building during the evening and visited the restaurant; this may be a coincidence but we suspect not! For dinner we were given a menu with two or three choices for each of the courses, one choice was always fish, although as half board guests dessert was not offered as part of the menu, but bread rolls were in plentiful supply with each course! Food quality was very good - if you are not vegetarian, in which case bread would be the order of the day, although arguably a little pretentious for a four star hotel. The beer prices were ridiculous with €16 for a speciality beer, although wine prices were more reasonable starting at around €20 for a bottle. Water too was rather pricey at €5 a bottle, when the tap water was perfectly drinkable, but was never given as an option! The staff were very helpful and friendly though and always made us feel very welcome.
Breakfast was served from 7.30. This was served on the same floor as reception and it too had lovely views of the bay. There was a wide variety of choice from fruit juice, prosecco, cereals, pastries, fruit, cheese, hams, fresh baguettes to cut from and also hot selections of bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs, so there was always plenty to choose from.
All in all, this hotel is at times lacking as a four star establishment, it tries too hard in some areas i.e. the restaurant, which is fine if you are not a guest of the hotel and only eating there, but as a paying guest the bedrooms do at times let this hotel down with regards to the maintenance and decor. If the hotel was to keep on top of the small things that need repairing, this would be a hotel to rival any top four star hotel.
The hotel itself is located about a gentle 20 minute stroll from Rapallo in a mainly residential area. Although there is a main road right at the front of the hotel, because of its elevation, set in the hillside, this never proved to be a problem. The only noise we did hear was from a big German shepherd dog which lived in one of the apartments below the hotel. It seemed to live outside and barked from quite early on in the morning, about 7am, whenever somebody walked by. This was not a problem for us as we were always awake before this, but it could have been a disturbance for others.
We thought the location of the hotel was favourable, as Rapallo itself is quite a lively town with loud music at many bars playing until quite late, but with the location of the hotel well away from this, it was not affected by this.
If you are looking for sandy beaches, Rapallo and the whole area we covered is not the place to come. Most of the beaches are formed from stone, some shingle, others with large stones, but most do have shower facilities and great swimming. There are plenty of places to visit in the area that are easy to reach by car or train; Camogli – very pretty, with big tall houses and good swimming- 10 minutes on train from Rapallo; Portovenere – accessible by car or train and bus. Very busy, but extremely pretty and good swimming; Portofino and San Fruttuoso, go by boat. Portofino not as expensive for coffee as expected. San Fruttuoso nice little beach, limited places to eat – 2 restaurants – Boat trip to Christ of the Abyss; 1 hour trip- reasonably priced, but really boring: boat only travels about 30 metres away from harbour, (out beyond boat ‘car park’) then diver goes down and videos wildlife i.e. fish and coral, with commentary in Italian then interpreter for English speakers, then last 15 mins is seeing the Christ of the Abyss. Cinque Terre, not as pretty as expected, but this could be due to the fact that major floods occurred at the end of last year. Easily accessible by train from Rapallo though. Also, easily accessible is Sestri Levante, the only big ‘beach area’ that we found and made up of much finer stones, which are almost sand-like.
Our overall views of the hotel are nevertheless positive – what I have tried to refer to in my review are those little areas that need to be addressed for the hotel to be truly worthy of its four star status. All I would say is that like most people in life, treat the staff with some respect and a smile and you will get excellent service in return – not too difficult for most reasonable people, I would suggest!

Room Tip: Not sure front sea view is worth the extra cost over side sea view rooms
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Sylvia162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa

Address: Via Aurelia Orientale, 369, 16035, Rapallo, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Liguria > Italian Riviera > Rapallo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Rapallo
#5 Luxury Hotel in Rapallo
#5 Business Hotel in Rapallo
#12 Romantic Hotel in Rapallo
Price Range: $88 - $364 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stunning views, amazing service in one of the most beautiful corner in the world, Tigullio Gulf.In a 1908 Belle Epoque Hotel, completely refurbished, the atmosphere is always happy, colours are light, Staff is smiling.Perfect spot to visit Cinque Terre, Forte dei Marmi, Portofino, Genova and the entire Riviera Ligure.Amazing food, local and international, Staff attentive and pleased to be useful. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Rapallo
Nh Hotels Rapallo
Grand Hotel Bristol Rapallo

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