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“pure theatre”

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Hotel Grotta Azzurra
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Norcia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Within a walled town that is older than Rome itself, this family-run hotel offers great entertainment value in its many characters behind the front desk. The good-looking family, from Carlo and his wife cradling her 'piccolo Carlo,' the grandson, and all the other family members, are there to greet guests, all very charming and pleasant, going out of their way to help, handling hundreds of guests with grace and courtesy. and all the little peccadilloes - why is there never anyone at the bar? how can one share such tiny rooms and tinier shower stalls complete with pull-down bidets? when one finally tags a bar steward, why does the finding of the correct glass present such a challenge to the extent that said steward rushes out of the room to search and ends up pouring white wine into a large brandy glass? The entire stay was rather a delight, I found, not a three-ring circus, but a cirque du soleil of comedy and skill. Very good meals, rustic and authentic Umbrian cuisine, with wild boar and truffles on the menu. Lots of Italians eat here. Vegetarian and fish alternatives. The place actually started as a restaurant and rooms were added around it. The hotel is quirky in lay-out, originally being a granary. Don't miss the Benedictine monks who chant every evening at the church. Arrive at the church doors at 7:30. You will be led inside and down to the crypt where monks chant for 20 minutes in flickering candlelight under vaulted ceilings. A never-to-be-forgotten experience.

Room Tip: most standard rooms are tiny. One can pay a little extra for a regular sized room. Rooms 276 and 277...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank chrissy486
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 - 46 of 465 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2012

This is a good choice of hotel in Norcia, despite having been taken over by a chain (Best Western). Its sister hotel, the Palazzo Seneca, is more luxurious but the Grotta Azzurra is comfortable and the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. Our room was right over the street so very noisy, but with the window shut and AC this was quite bearable. The room was reasonably spacious and well-equipped but had clearly been used by smokers previously. Avoid the large, rather institutional inside dining rooms and choose the outdoor (covered) restaurant area for your dinner. Breakfast is poor as seems common in this part of Italy: over-sweet fruit squashes; NO ripe fresh fruit; boring pastries, cakes and cold bread (but - home-made jams). the hotel is right in the middle of town near the lovely central square and good shops selling local specialities.

Room Tip: I'm not sure if there are any quiet rooms, but it would be worth asking. The back of the hotel...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank AlisonOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

The staff of this hotel made an excellent first impression. They were very friendly and could not have been more helpful. The room was comfortable and quiet. The dining room was busy and had an old-world atmosphere. The set menu was good value and a carnivore's delight. The hotel is located right in the centre of Norcia. The town is charming and full of interest. Overall a very positive experience and one that we shall repeat.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Burns03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DA81, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Hotel Grotta Azzurra, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2015

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for the great review. We are very glad that you were pleased, during you stay, by the position and the services of the hotel.
We hope to see you soon again in the Hotel Grotta Azzurra to spend with us your next vacation in Norcia!
Best Regards
Bianconi Ospitalità

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Reviewed September 25, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights as part of a self-guided vacation. We were greeted by one of the owners who are very good at what they do. We were lucky to have a room at the top floor away from the groups that can turn people like us off. Great bedroom, new bathroom, great service. breakfast so-so( a few basics nothing special). overall a good central location and a good comfortable stay

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank wildfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DA81, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Hotel Grotta Azzurra, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2015

Dear Guest,
thank you for the great review and we hope to see you soon again in Norcia.
Arrivederci all'hotel Grotta Azzurra

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Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed at this hotel as part of an HF holiday group. The hotel is old so some rooms are odd shapes and sizes but they all have ensuites. Our room had a window with French door windows which opened onto a 3ft square "balcony" surrounded on all 3 sides by a 7 ft brick wall. All you could see was the sky if you looked straight up! The room was clean if a little dated. The floors were wood (or laminate, not quite sure which) with damaged areas by the window. Extra pillows were available in the wardrobe. The beds were quite hard. There was an in-room safe. Small flat screen tv which showed only Italian channels that we could discover. Also a small fridge which was a good bonus. The hairdryer worked well in the bathroom. The bathroom had a bidet. Our room had a shower over the bath which was a "jacuzzi" type bath but I would not have taken a bath in it as it looked old and battered. Our biggest complaint with the bathroom was the lack of hot water especially in the mornings. My husband had to shave with luke warm to cold water. Also on one day when we returned from a long hot day long walk there was no water at all for a shower so we had to go to dinner all sweaty and dirty. We were told this was a Norcia problem and not specific to the hotel, however if this town wants to attract more tourists it is absolutely essential that they fix their infrastructure as most people will not accept an intermitten supply of water when they are on vacation. There are several dining areas in different rooms of varying sizes with perhaps the nicest being the one closest to the open oven where you can watch the chefs cook. The chairs are very upright and particularly hard so a typical hours long Italian dinner can get a bit uncomfortable after a while. Because we were on a group holiday the meal was a fixed menu so cannot speak for their dinner menu generally. There were many courses of small portions of different foods, not all of them recognizable. The bread, although apparently baked fresh every day, was always very dry with very hard crusts. The soups were good, as were the pastas. The seasonal vegetable was the same every day - grated carrot and cabbage. Not sure what other vegetables would have been seasonable but I'm sure there had to be more than that. The meat offering was usually something local such as wild boar, maybe not to everyones taste but if you are looking for local foods they certainly do use them at this hotel. The breakfast was simple with no hot option. Cereal, yogurt, fruit, cake and once again the dry bread with choices of jams. Also cold meats and cheeses. The coffee was good and was offered however you wanted it. The staff were all very helpful and some spoke excellent
English. This hotel and Norcia in general seems to be very popular with Italian tourists which is always a good sign of the authenticity of a place. The old walled town was full of people on weekends and in the evenings and makes for a very nice atmosphere. Overall a very enjoyable visit to this hotel but maybe needs updating a little.

Room Tip: If offered a room with a balcony ask to see the room first as your balcony may not have any views at...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank canawacky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2012

I stayed at the Grotta Azzurra on a package walking holiday with HF holidays, travelling alone. I contacted the hotel in advance and requested a light and airy room and was delighted to find I had been given a twin room on the top floor, at the front of the hotel, with a patio door to its own small terrace, with views over the rooftops and mountains. The room was fine for me, but would have been cramped for two people sharing. The room was quiet, the bed was comfortable, towels changed daily: toileteries were replenished daily. Our large group dined together in one of the three restaurant areas: the food was lovely. Our holiday package included a five course dinner with wine and bottled water: the soup and pasta courses were particularly delicious. Breakfast was also very good; pastries/cakes/bread/cheese/cereals/fresh fruit/fruit salad/yoghurts. All the staff were very friendly and helpful. I would most definitely recommend this hotel but I would request a larger room if sharing with another person.
Norcia is a delightful little walled town: it was very quiet in the week, with an influx of visitors at the weekend. It has an attractive main square and a few shops and bars. There's a large Co-op supermarket just a 5 minute walk outside the town walls. We found only one or two bars open for drinks after 10 pm but it was early in the season (May), so it may be a little livlier in midsummer. Norcia is well situated for fabulous walks, be it a low level stroll in the flower-filled valleys or a more strenuous walk in the hills where the views are stunning.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Infofreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2012

A friendly family hotel in a this small, lovely Umbrian city. The hotel style and decor is a bit dated, but given the very pleasant staff and good value rooms, that is no criticism. The hotel is used by a lot of travel groups, but there is still good personal treatment from the staff & owners who give the feel that they really care about your stay. On (rather) early check in we were told our room was ready and given good advice about places to visit in the city and area, including an excellent recommendation to attend vespers & benediction sung by the monks in latin plainsong in the crypt of San Benedetto.
We enjoyed an excellent, good value, dinner in the hotel restaurant sampling pork and boar cooked every which way with a fine (and not too over-priced) bottle of rosso di montefalco. Breakfast is a disappointment, but it is included in the very reasonable room price. Better skip that and have a capuccino and croissant at one of the bars around the piazza for only a euro or two.
The hotel is in the city centre. We were driving and found it easy to park in one of the parking places outside the city walls and walk the short distance to the hotel.
All in all, a very pleasant & enjoyable stay.

Room Tip: Go for a superior ratrher than a standard room. Good value and roomy and pleasant.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank radnorman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Grotta Azzurra

Address: Via Alfieri 6, 06046, Norcia, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Umbria > Province of Perugia > Norcia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Norcia
Price Range: $52 - $145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Grotta Azzurra 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Temporary close due renovation after the October 2016 Earthquake. Reopening on April 2018 stay tuned! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grotta Azzurra Hotel

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