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“very enjoyable”

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Hotel Buca di Bacco
Ranked #3 of 38 Hotels in Positano
Certificate of Excellence
Carmel, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“very enjoyable”
Reviewed June 12, 2008

Very nice hotel, friendly staff. The rooms are a bit basic but quite clean. Location is great and the restaurant and breakfast are fine. The view is outstanding.

Stayed May 2008
Helpful?
Thank jjp10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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ChuangLi, Taiwan
Level 5 Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2008

A New Version of ‘Lost In Translation’

I almost always choose the highest-rated hotels on Tripadvisor and they had never made me disappointed, but Buca di Bacco was somehow out of my expectation.

These were the problems I encountered in this hotel:

1. On the first day when I just arrived, I asked the front desk the tour information around the area and nobody seemed to be ready for helping me. When I asked about one path leading to the top of mountain where you can get a great view over Positano town and the Amalfi Coast, the gentleman on duty just took out the map and pointed at some roads casually and didn’t introduce any attractions or tell me some tips for exploring the area. When I asked about where I can buy best limoncello, another girl just told me they have some for sale in the shop of the hotel. I think these responses are not acceptable for a Tripadvisor Award winner as other hotels which gained this kind of reputation can help guests to plan their vacation and give suggestions on the easiest way to see the vicinity and best restaurants. Thus I had the feeling of that the staff were simply not willing to help me, though they were polite.
2. Actually they provide free internet point in the lobby and you need to gather password to use it for 1 hour or 30 mins, however, no one told me there was the service and in fact one could get another password after the 1 hour or 30 mins limitation before I asked. It seemed to me that they actually didn’t want guests to use it.
3. Because of their failure to give the information I needed and Positano itself had become a tourist trap full of souvenir shops and visitors among the narrow streets, I became bored very soon and asked the front desk that if there was penalty for shortening my stay to 1 day(I had booked three days and talked down the room rate), they said they could not decide it and they would tell me after asking the manager….I got no answer until check-out.
4. The first night I went to their famous restaurant for dinner, the food was great, but there was something going wrong with the service. At first when I chatted with the Australian couple next to me, everything was fine, but after the couple left and I finished my main course, something was different. After about 30 mins, the waiter came to ask me if I want some dessert or coffee and I replied ‘Yeah.’, but no coffee or dessert ever came to my table; after another 30 mins, the waiter came by and asked me sitting by the empty table if everything was fine, and I replied ‘Yeah!’ in anger, then he left again. After waiting for another 30 mins, after sitting like an idiot for around 75 mins by myself in front of an empty table, I got really furious and eventually went to complain to the front desk, it was already 23:15. Although the manager Salvatore came to talk to me and tried to figured out what had happened around midnight when I was angrily using the public computer to type down these unpleasant events, I was too tired and frustrated to explain. (And in the third night I went to tell the waiter I hadn’t been meant to say something bad about him – what I complained about was the whole situation I faced.)
5. In the second day , because of my complaint in the first night, I started to have a weird feeling – every staff seemed to be extra-friendly to me(which also made me sort of uncomfortable), even when I walked into the breakfast room, one staff approached immediately to show me where I could get the bread, ham or other foods…well, this was somewhat an improvement, but it was too much! I just wanted to get the service what everyone else seemed to have, not to get a ‘special attendance’ for my argument. Fortunately, they stopped doing this in the third day. From the second day on, however, I get angrier every time I went back to the hotel, because I could sense that staff talked something about me behind my back from their expressions(maybe to them I was a giapponese/cinese schizzinoso). Maybe that was just because I was too sensitive, but the atmosphere became a little bit strange. And because of my complaint, I didn’t dare to go to the restaurant of the hotel in the second evening (one may understand the reason why…if he/she works as a waiter/waitress).
6. The third day, as I though there wouldn’t be another incident, it happened. The owner Francesco booked me a guided tour for Herculaneum and Pompeii, and all the staff told me to wait in the ‘piazza’ where I got off the bus, but no one told me the so-called ‘piazza’ was just about 5-minute away from the hotel besides the church where there was a stop for smaller community bus…so I climbed up the slope to wait in the place I’d got off the SITA bus without having the promised breakfast (it was far from the hotel and there was no sufficient time) until Francesco drove by in his old-modeled blue Fiat Punto filled with passengers and looked at me in surprise…then I knew something went wrong again. The said pick-up time for the tour was 7:15, but I waited there like an idiot for another 15 minutes before the driver finally found me.
7. Be advised: Well, they can arrange you a guided tour to Pompeii and Herculaneum, but no one will tell you this tour also take you to a cameo showroom for shopping and to a restaurant for tourists, it was the worst meal I’d ever had in Italy – even I hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning.

These things made me quite upset after I had already spent 5 frustrating days in southern Italy suffering from language barrier…I though the situation would be different when arrived at Positano, but it turned out to be helplessly the same.


Well, maybe these were just some misunderstandings resulted from language barrier (I tried to think in this way…and the owner Francesco seemed to thought so), however, weren’t there too many of this kind of misunderstanding for a no.1 hotel on Tripadvisor as well a guidebook highly-recommended ?

Although there were problems, there were also positive aspects:

1. The night-time concierge Ferrugio(also a qigong and acupuncture therapist) was really a great guy, though he didn’t speak English well, he still spent a lot of time chatting with me and give me some tips for the less touristy vicinity (although it was too late, I still appreciated that a lot). The manager Salvatore was also great, he came to figure out what had happened immediately and we had some chats during my stay. Another night-time staff was also very friendly and funny.
2. At least the owner Francesco tried to solve the problem I had encountered.
3. The unbeatably unique view over the sea and the Positano town.
4. The restaurant. Well, though it was sort of unpleasant in the first night, I went there again in the third night, because the food was really good! One of the best I had dined in during my time in Italy. And I met the chef Andrea once, he was also very friendly.
5. They got me a really nice taxi driver Nino.

I struggle for whether to give this hotel 4 or 5 points, because some staff and their restaurant were great…but I think I can only give it 4 points for the incidents that were not supposed to happened, or it will be unfair to those hotel which did everything right in the first moment I walked in.

  • Liked — The View, The Restaurant, Ferrugio
  • Disliked — The misunderstanding from the language barrier
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank JeremyHuang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2008

My wife and I just returned from a 16-day trip to Italy where we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We spent 6 nights in Positano at Hotel Buca di Bacco. I had read numerous glowing reviews of this hotel, and was somewhat skeptical that it could be so perfect - but it's all TRUE! The location of the hotel is perfect, the staff of the hotel was courteous and professional (led expertly by Francesco), the views were amazing, and the room (#10) was great! We had a huge terrace that afforded a perfect view of the beach and the town. I would highly recommend this hotel to friends and relatives!

We stayed in 4 different hotels during our trip (Naples, Ravello, Positano, & Rome), and Buca di Bacco definitely had the best breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruits, prosciutto, cheese, and all sorts of wonderfully delicious pastries!! AND, they have an orange juice machine like nothing I've ever seen before! You drop in whole chilled tree-ripened oranges, and the machine slices them in half right before your eyes and pours out pulp-free fresh squeezed orange juice!! (I want to get me one of those machines!)

The food and service at the hotel's restaurant was excellent too! We ate dinner at a different restaurant every night, and except for "Lo Guarracino" between Positano and Fornillo (separate review on that later), all were quite good (although somewhat expensive). Our best meal at a restaurant for the area was at "Donna Rosa" in Montepertuso, which is on the mountain above Positano (might have just gotten lucky on what we ordered). We also liked the "O Caporale" restaurant, which was a short walk from Buca di Bacco.

The restaurant/bar on the ground floor of Buca di Bacco had the best gelato in town (and we did try Zagara twice). It also had some of the best desserts in an area where pretty much everybody had great desserts! The restaurant at beach level is called La Pergola, and the bar is called Bar Buca di Bacco, although I think it's not affiliated with the hotel...

Positano is a magical place, and staying at Buca di Bacco made it even more so!! Our thanks to the staff at the hotel for a truly wonderful stay!

  • Liked — Although everything was first rate, the view from our terrace was simply incredible!
  • Disliked — That we weren't millionaires and couldn't just stay there forever!!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 6 Contributor
239 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2008

We stayed at Buca di Bacco, and were very pleased. It’s location is ideal, at the bottom of the town, near the waterfront. Each room has a terrace overlooking the coast, although, inexplicably, most of the rooms, including ours, lacked any chairs on that terrace. Otherwise the room was fine, as was the breakfast, taken on the hotel terrace right above the beach.

  • Liked — view
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank nippnsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2008

book early and get room #48. we were there 4 nights. very roomy & old worldish...very cool place. superb service but not swarmy. suggest skip the in house restuarant. for dinner go downstairs instead and eat in the open air place. much less pretentious and half the price for great food. [chez black 2 doors over is also great.] breakfast buffet is terrific, however. extremely helpful front dest at all times and very hard working and thorough housekeeping dept.

  • Liked — location & general vibe
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank qop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2008

We were extending our stay from being in Ravello and took the respected views of the TripAdvisor. We booked the hotel for three nights, all was great, Francesco (front of house) was alert and happy to perform miracles.
Thanks to the restaurant staff the meals were excellent and the fish superb.
We don't think you will go wrong BUT BEWARE...you will need you safe shoes on for the path to the hotel....it is safe but steep and only good for the abled rather than the disabled. But once you reach the Hotel thru the splendor of the small shops and the cafe bars and reach the sea..... it is a pleasure.

One tip...get the bus to take you around the circuit of the town (1.35euros), you can get off anywhere...we did...got to the top and had a fab journey walking thru ther small street seeing all the excellent fruit shops and clothes shops...bought some optical glasses (very italian) and then made our way slowly back to the beach...What a lovely afternoon...Drinks on the hotel terrace where the sun is last to go!! Dinner at the restaurant and to bed in our delux room, clean spacious and with a wonderful view.....We loved it and I think it deserves it's No1 award...which is proudly displayed on the reception desk as you arrive...Well done and thank you.

  • Liked — The cleanliness
  • Disliked — Hills....well it's all about the hills in Positano
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank WindsorBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2008

This is not quite a luxury hotel - nearly. It probably does justify its 5 stars however. It is;

- Very well situated ..near the seafront, in the middle of town
- The staff are all friendly and helpful
- The bar and restaurant are good.
- It exudes charm and warmth.

I think you would only have a problem if you were looking for a fancy pool/lounge scene .. wrong town for that I think ...

  • Liked — Location, Service
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank christiffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Buca di Bacco

Property: Hotel Buca di Bacco
Address: Via Rampa della Teglia 4, 84017, Positano, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Campania > Amalfi Coast > Positano
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Positano
#3 Luxury Hotel in Positano
#3 Family Hotel in Positano
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Buca di Bacco 4*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
. Hotel Buca di Bacco is located in the heart of Positano in prime sea front position on the beach of Marina Grande, it is the ideal spot to experience the magical atmosphere of the place. It is an historical Hotel and Restaurant and dates back approximately to the 1920, today it looks very different from how it did at the beginning of the century. The hotel, which owes its origins to the old tavern is constantly keeping up with the changing times, the classic and plain decor was designed to offer a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere, the rooms have a sea view with either a small balcony or terrace, or a little garden. Among our services, Cooking Classes are available in our Restaurant and offers the opportunity to learn our regional cooking style. Once inside the hotel, the welcoming ambience will allow you to relax and unwind as the eager yet courteous hotel staff aim to please even the most demanding of customers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buca Di Bacco Positano
Buca Di Bacco Hotel

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