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“Too much hype”

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Hotel Villa delle Meraviglie
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Maratea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 28, 2013

‘Hotel’, as far as the B&B Hotel Meraviglie at Maratea is concerned is a bit of a misnomer. It is not. No restaurant and rooms are as cramped as I last experienced in the army half a century ago. One has to admit being taken in (yet agi'n!) by the almost misrepresentational PR job so favored by hoteliers. ‘View’ of the ‘mare’ is visible between badly topped pines. But that is unfair. Walking down to it is a doddle, but a sweat up. Just in time for a shower at the pool. Few, if any of the criticisms below have been seen anywhere. Why? There is a lot going for the place, but there is much to dislike too. For some reason the latter have not been sufficiently aired.
CONS: 1. The bed feels as if it is at least of 10-20 years-vintage. Our double bed was a plank with a ridge in the centre; 2. The air-conditioning system is in urgent need of an upgrade. It too must hark back to 1980’s. As soon as we woke it was switched off for a merciful release from the incessant loaded hum. Open windows mercifully let in the early morning air. 3. The room is so small that if one wanted to use the fold-down writing desk one would have to sit on the bed. Be careful not to place any weight on the folded-down flap because any pressure threatens to separate its hinges from the rest of the desk. The plank-like bed acts as chair. So this dispatch is being typed on the laptop placed on the bed with my right leg folded between it and me; 4. The bathroom light connects to a fan that is so loud that the best bet is not to switch it on at all and leave the door to the room open as needs allow; 5. The setting has not been used to full effect. The magnificent ocean is patchily visible through the maze of aged pines that have seen their best days long ago. A few require removal. There is no point in hiding the magnificence behind mangled pines – as a photograph attached shows. There is a limit to the virtues of aged (and badly topped) trees; 6. The bar-‘fridge’, is, as in all the B&Bs and hotels we have visited anywhere, including the US, little better than a cool box. The real reason for their inefficiency is the almost total lack of ventilation provided. Too small a space is occupies to expel hot air generated by the cooling process. At least here the hot air is provided an escape, but at the bottom three inches above the floor and below the fridge, as if hot air does not rise, which it does and fills the entire space occupied. The cabinet door cannot be opened to allow for a more efficient fridge because, also as in many places we have visited, it is attached to the actual ‘fridge’ door. 7. No lift; no bell-hop. 8. It is not cheap. 9. Wi-Fi is also not Fi. Connects and disconnects at random. Exceedingly irritating. 10. One glass - in the bathroom.
PROS: 1. The only unqualified success of the place is its flooring. Superb flooring. 2. And I like the bees being fed ham (picture will prove this to cynics) at breakfast. It keeps them away from the tables. 3. The grounds are very well tended with a gardener busily watering early in the morning. 4. Friendly female staff. [The wrestler in the bar - sometimes at the front desk - is always grumpy, threatening and unsmiling even when tipped.] The barman at the pool is a delight. [Noisy giggly adolescent Danes not so – but that was just our bad luck. Narcissists are the bane of an hotelier’s life.] 5. The partially cleared rocky ‘beach’ is a gem. [Be prepared for pure salt in the eyes when swimming in the Tyrrhenian sea. It deep cleanses!]
Conclusion: We won’t be back. One expects more. The printed hype is a disservice to the establishment. Expectations are unreasonably heightened. But if the owners heed criticisms it could be a very nice place to overnight.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Karl J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 34 of 340 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights as part of a trip around Italy for our honeymoon and it was a lovely, relaxing start to the trip. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to unwind and soak up the sun in peaceful surroundings.

The hotel is set in pine forests on a fairly steep slope down to the sea so the views are beautiful and the gardens and terraces are well maintained with flowering pots and statues dotted around. There are plenty of little seating areas to enjoy a book or a glass of wine in the evening. The pool area was the highlight for us, it was spotlessly clean and a lovely temperature, it never got too crowded or noisy during the day. There was a bar by the pool where they serve drinks, snacks and lovely simple lunches (I would recommend the caprese salad or the proscuito and melon). We spent a couple of idillic afternoons relaxing by the pool and enjoying the peace and quiet. Some other reviews mention that it is a bit of a hike from the beach up steep steps, we didn't mind the walk as we're fairly fit but I agree that some people might find the terrain difficult, especially when it is very hot. However, the area around Maratea is quite mountainous and I think that there are few places on the coast that don't involve a steep walk of some description!

The hotel itself is elegantly decorated and spotlessly clean, our room was a bit on the small side but had everything we needed and all the mod cons in working order including air conditioning, minibar and television. As the weather was so warm, there was little need for us to be inside during the day anyway. It was so peaceful at night that we slept like logs.

Breakfast was great, probably the best breakfast we had on our trip, enjoyed on the terrace overlooking pine trees and the sea. The croissants were freshly baked and still warm and there was a great range of pastries, cakes, fruit, cheeses, juices, breads and lovely coffee.

There were a couple of drawbacks which didn't cause us too many problems but I think are worth mentioning. Firstly, the hotel does not have a restaurant and is a fair distance to the nearest town (we were told that it would be €15-€20 each way by taxi and that there's no bus service) so going out to dinner involved driving. This wasn't a huge problem but as it was our honeymoon we would have liked a bottle of wine with dinner and obviously this wasn't possible. Parking in Maratea and Fuimicello were difficult so we didn't always find going out to eat a very relaxing experience. However, Maratea is lovely and once we had managed to park we enjoyed our evenings out. My advice would be to go out early and have a walk or drink before dinner for an hour, one evening we left it too late and traffic was gridlocked going into town with no chance of a parking space anywhere.

The staff were nice enough but our Italian isn't great (we always try our best and can usually get by) and there wasn't anyone there who spoke any English. Despite our best efforts the language barrier made it difficult for us to make requests or ask information about the local area.

Overall, we had a fabulous time and would definitely return.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank chuckle26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

This property was a disappointment to say the least. Firstly the room was very small for the price you pay. The pool was quite a few steps down which was quite and effort for an older person. The sea was ridiculously far down and you had to take a rest at the pool on the way up. The parking was far from the main door. The hotel has no elevator so it was an effort to get the luggage up to the second floor. The wireless connection is almost non-existent and I had to sit in the foyer to download the emails. The breakfast was sufficient and very nicely presented. If you want any food you had to order at breakfast for a pool lunch. I was never offered a menu for lunch. The property is quiet but not something nearly perfect. There is peace and quiet depending on who sits where and how loud the surrounding parties are, especially loud mouthed teenagers. The bed is hard, and the bathroom is of usual standard. A pleasant stay but not out of the ordinary. The price does not justify the accommodation.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank shadypines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Hotel Villa delle Meraviglie is a beautiful hotel perfectly located to explore the small hamlets of Maratea. It's not in the main town, but a short drive, and the secluded location is lovely, with both a pool and access to the sea down a long winding staircase. The rooms are small, but there are loads of different common spaces to "expand" your space. The breakfast is WONDERFUL, but they don't serve dinner. The best part is the really sweet staff. They organized a babysitter, dinner out and took care of us with warmth and friendliness.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Ruth F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Nice hotel, on the outskirts of Maratea. Nice rooms, perfect location for a romantic time, with wonderful views, generous surroundings and a hotel staff which demonstrate an perfect mix of attentiveness and ability to maintain discretion.

Besides the nice rooms the hotel has both a pool area with ample space as well as a staircase to the sea with chairs and the possibility to swim in the ocean with a breathtaking view. (When the wind is picking up this will not be possible as the area is rocky but 3 out of 4 days we got our ocean swim.

The breakfast was among the best I have had in Italy. The restaurant unfortunately only serves breakfast, which makes access to a car a distinct advantage, we saw no busservice in the vicinity; besides the climb from the hotel to the coastal road would be challenging on a daily basis.

We both loved the place.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Karl A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

When we arrived we were delighted to find the setting is even more lovely than it appears on the hotel's website. Our clean and comfy ground floor room had a secluded terrace from where we could see the sea through the pine trees. A paved path winds through the hotel's forest 'park' to an inviting swimming pool - unusually with a 12' deep end and a diving board - and then on down to steps to the rocky shore, which is more suited to swimming in the sea than to sun bathing. Staff were pleasant and breakfast is a varied selection of the usual things, but while lunch is available from noon until 3.00 (by arrangement before 11am), we were surprised to find the hotel doesn't do evening meals at all. It's an easy 5km drive to the historic centre of Maratea, where there are four or five decent restaurants, but if you don't have transport this could be a real and unexpected problem. However, overall an excellent place to stay if you're visiting lovely Maratea by car. (Try to secure a ground floor front room!) Even though I emailed the hotel in Italian - twice - I never received a reply to my enquiry about boat hire, but I learned that the local subaqua club keeps a 24' launch with a 40hp inboard engine in the port, which is available for hire by the day, without the need for an ICC (Contact Giovanni - +39 973 870013 or giovanni.lagatta@gmail.com - or Google 'Centro Sub Maratea'). A visit to Maratea isn't complete without a trip up to the Christo il Rendentore statue.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Ian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

A very beautiful place, you may find your relax corner choosing between the green area, the swimming pool or down to the sea. Staff is very supportive and polite; rooms are clean. Our room was at first floor with a stunning view ! Suggestions: 1) put mosquito protection at windows 2) better organization of bathroom near the swimming pool.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AndreaRome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa delle Meraviglie

Address: C.da Ogliastro, 85040, Maratea, Italy
Location: Italy > Basilicata > Province of Potenza > Maratea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Maratea
Price Range: $99 - $208 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa delle Meraviglie 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immerso nel verde dove riposare e' una virtu'. Due ettari di pineta sul mare con scogliera liscia attrezzata nica nel suo genere.Provare per credere. ... more   less 
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