This is a difficult review to write as for once I am not really sure where my initial expectations should have been. This is a 4-5 star property so it isn’t fair to judge it against 5* deluxe properties, but then again it’s a member of Leading Hotels which aim to represent the finest independent properties in the world, so it’s trying to play with the “big boys”. More on that later…
Upon arrival the porter quickly helped to remove the luggage from my hire car as well as parking it for me. Unfortunately – as is often the case – the hotel has limited parking available so charges EUR25 for the privilege. I chose to park on the Via Costa (which runs behind the hotel), which is a horribly narrow road, but saves this charge that is especially annoying when it’s not even your own car!
The reception staff were extremely pleasant and helpful and really wanted to please. My party had two rooms. Both of the original rooms were smaller than I had expected. One of them had a wardrobe that smelt of damp, and a few ants were working their way up the leg of the bedside table. The hotel were very sympathetic and managed to find an alternative room (a fortuitous cancellation as they were fully booked) which was an upgrade and much more pleasant. This was really appreciated. They were always understanding and eager to ensure that I was happy.
The bedroom area itself was nicely furnished with a wood floor and had little touches that made it very comfortable. Unfortunately, the air conditioning had been switched off at “the mains”, this was annoying as being on the top floor, the room was rather warm. It looked to have been quite recently redecorated with fresh paint and wallpaper; this coupled with the view made it a perfectly pleasant place. The bathroom, for me was the weak point; the natural light and marble top were charming, the bespoke toiletries delightful, but the old sanitary-ware, small bath, and horrible blue/green tiles (very old fashioned, the sort that always have a “sticky” texture) really let it down. Bathrooms are expensive to refurbish, but for me, in this day an age, an essential part of the room to get right. The décor in the corridors, and reception area also felt dated. The bar areas were stylishly decorated, so the lack of style elsewhere is not for a lack of talent.
The gardens are very pleasant, and the pool area appears to have been recently decked and looked rather smart with wooden loungers. The views from the sea-facing front of the property are as good as they get (in Europe) and really make the room special.
I only had breakfast in the hotel, and it was perfectly acceptable, if a little unremarkable. The orange juice was not fresh, which for me is absolutely unacceptable. The rest of the items were generally good quality and relatively varied, but it wasn’t particularly memorable. Bizarrely the tables by the windows were laid so that the seats faced into the room… the view is absolutely beautiful, why not position guests so they can enjoy it? Again, I should mention that the service was excellent from all of the staff.
My conclusion? It’s a tough one as every single member of staff, without exception went out of their way to ensure that I was happy, and having the best stay possible. The housekeeping staff even called me by name, very impressive given that I was only there for a few nights. The service is without question on par with the best hotels in Italy, it is really just some of the dated décor that for me let the side down. Back to my opening statement: as a 4-5 star property without any other bells and whistles I would have been very impressed with the whole package, and considered it class leading, but I don’t think being a member of Leading Hotels does it any favours as it simply raises expectations to a level where inevitably it is falling short of what is expected. If you can get a reasonable rate and are happy with a property that offers great service, but is dated in some areas then you should have a more than satisfactory stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Hotel Miramare stands in the heart of the Italian Riviera amidst the hills and the sea. The drive from the Genoa airport to Santa Margherita Ligure will only take 40 minutes while enjoying wonderful views of the area. Overlooking the promenade to the beautiful village of Portofino, this 100-year-old, family-owned hotel is one of the region’s most exclusive venues. Its elegant ambience, impeccable service and culinary delights attract an international clientele who appreciate a comfortable blend of traditional style and modern amenities. For guests’ free time, the property offers a sea water outdoors swimming-pool, a Mediterranean garden, a beach with space reserved for hotel guests and E’SPAce, the hotel’s wellness centre where body treatments and massages can be enjoyed. The “Barbecue Pool Restaurant” opens for buffet lunch during the summer season; “Les Bougainvillées” offers Italian and international cuisine and is open year-round; Bar “Le Colonne” with its Liberty-style interior and outside terrace and the “Barracuda” piano bar for fun filled evenings. The Miramare Convention Centre offers 7 multi-functional meeting rooms in various sizes and layouts, holding a maximum of 380 delegates in theatre style and offering a variety of audio-visual equipment. The setup is also ideal for cocktail parties, private functions, product launches and wedding receptions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Santa Margherita Ligure