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“Disappointing”
Review of Hotel Helvetia

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Hotel Helvetia
Ranked #2 of 22 Hotels in Sestri Levante
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

On a recent very busy 6 week holiday (I decided during the planning stage that I needed 3 days just to laze around a pool and relax for minimum of 3 nights) When I found the site of Hotel Helvetia, the sight of the beautiful lap pool overlooking the picturesque bay sold me. I was travelling alone and the 170 euro a night was great for this picture perfect setting.

I began to question my choice in the taxi en route as the driver spoke. He actually took me on a tour of the beautiful Sestri Lavante and whilst he did not say anything directly bad he did not say anything positive about my hotel choice. He did speak warmly of other establishments ( in my opinion)

Once there I was struck by the lack of hospitality. The gentleman who showed me to my room was terrible flustered but pleasant enough. The older lady behind the counter could not even acknowledege me with a smile. I had to ask where breakfast was served, where the pool was, where were the complimentary bikes, did they have a town map (which they did not produce). On the way to my room the gentleman told me I would be served a welcome drink (but not when or where) I was almost in my room when he said I would not be able to use the pool till later that day because a film crew were using it to shoot a commercial. I expressed my disappontment.

When I originally booked I had viewed all the rooms on the net and advised that I would go ahead with the booking but not the "green room" So I smiled when I entered the "green room" They had changed the bed cover from green to yellow...no problem really. The room was pleasant enough, the bathroom very modern and all very clean. I unpacked and found my bearings but realised that I would have to leave my room as the shouting from the camera crew was too noisy to enjoy the room or the balcony. Their wires and equipment were directly outside my room and they were constantly running by and shouting instructions etc. I went to explore the wonderful little town and thought I will be more ready for my swim at 5pm (when I was told the pool would be available)

Of course when I got back there was a change and I was told I would not be able to use until tomorrow. I said I would prefer to leave so the "flustered " man asked me to wait (I was left in reception with the older lady who sat behind the counter with no acknowledgement of my presence...I told her her hotel was lovely in broken Italian) When he returned he said I could use the private beach and asked me if I had enjoyed my welcome drink????? No where was the private beach and where was the drink. With all due respect to all concerned, I come from Australia where we can boast the most magnificent beaches, this was a grey shaley beach with a little rope dividing the general public from the private (the quaintness is a draw card which brings a smile to my face) I had my drink at the private bar, thank you and left to explore the town and thank fully I found a place (Hotel Grande Albergo which has marvellous helpful, welcoming staff and a roof top pool with wonderful views and they could accommodate me)

I advised the staff at Helvetia that I would be checking out in the morning (whilst in reception I heard another guest saying they had to unexpectedly leave in the morning)

The next day I went for breakfast and when I used the internet in reception I advised another lady that I would be leaving and thought I had paid for the first night could she get my bill. She spoke english but (in my opinion) she had no idea what my bill status was and indeed just mid "helping", left me high and dry and went to try and serve another guest. In frustration I left and went to my room to pack.

When I got upstairs my door was wide open, my bed had been stripped, bedding was piled high on my suitcase and it was only 9am. I tried to speak with the lovely housemaid who was in my room and discovered that she was under the impression I was staying (they must change sheets daily). Back to reception and the dizzy lady who was not aware that I was leaving. I informed her I had told reception the night before (two staff members present) Again I was in the middle of speaking to this younger woman (with pigtails) when she left me mid sentence to answer the telephone.

I went to my room, packed and out of a great disappointment could not wait to get out of there and START my relaxation. It was obvious there was a lack of communication here and their procedures were not up to scratch so I queried the payment of the first night because I mistakenly thought I had ( the next place I was staying at was also 170 euro and they had taken payment)

Well it took another 40 minutes before I could leave because it could not be sorted and I was by this time doubful of them. I explained this time to a gentleman (husband of the lady with pigtails) that they must have booked the commercial people in advance and it would have been curteous to advise guests on arrival and if they were not happy with this then they could offer to help them move elsewhere.

The Helvetia is a pretty place, all staff except reception were very nice, the pool area is wonderful and the view of the bay magnificent. Everything in gorgeous Sestri Levante is within walking distance. I could not recommend the Helvetia for the lack of hospitality and rudeness of reception...they reduced my bill to 100 euros without question so I should not complain but they cost me a day of my holiday which I was not happy about) I went on to have the time of my life and thankfully in part to the Grande Alberga and staff I have wonderful memories of Sestri Levante.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Wendy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
177 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

My mother and I booked this hotel for 2 nights. When we arrived on the first night, we were informed that our room was accidentally given away, so we were relocated to Mira Mare. (To be honest, Mira Mare was nicer, so it ended up being an upgrade.) But then next morning we had to trek our luggage back to Helvetia. Our room was not yet ready, so we ended up waiting in the lobby to check-in again. Ok, mistakes are made. BUT then our car keys were misplaced. We were in a rush to get on the road and head to another town, but had to wait for 30 minutes until our keys were located.

The pool in this hotel is lovely (the biggest selling feature), our room was nice (although Mira Mare was nicer), and the staff was very friendly (especially Giovanni-- the nicest man ever). But the hotel was not run professionally. Oversights are made, but not 2 during one short stay. I would not stay here again, but I would choose Mira Mare instead. (Also, the views from Mira Mare are nicer since the hotel is directly above the water.) For the price of Helvetia, I expected something much better and professional.

Room Tip: Stay at Mira Mare
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LANYC1110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Ask for an upper room with sea view. We had the best room (I believe 117) on the fourth floor with a balcony opening up to the bay. The town is wonderful and not overcrowded with tourists. Great restaurants and shops within walking distance. Fantastic beach bar, pool is spectacular overlooking the bay, beach right outside the door. We took the train there and walked pulling our luggage (about 15 minute walk). Then we used as a hub and took the train or ferry to visit Portifino, and the Cince Terre. Also has a rooftop sun deck and another sunning terrace above the pool. Supplied beach towels in the room for our use. Can't say enough. Wouldn't mind coming back and just hanging out here.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank acdecal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Everything about the Helvetia is relaxing, easy and comfortable. The location is perfect - across the street from the beach and the lovely Citto Beach bar, walking distance to numerous restaurants and shops and offering a view of the Bay of Silence like no other.

The staff is warm, friendly, efficient and accommodating. I don't think we heard the word 'no' during our entire stay. Leo the bartender is a fantastic employee - helpful and kind. The breakfast is a generous offering with a great variety of options and the coffee strong and delicious.

The pool area is fantastic. There were always plenty of loungers available and the bar is a quick walk down the stairs to enjoy while sitting at the pool.

The room was clean and incredibly spacious. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to even the most picky of travelers - its truly without flaw.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AEL25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

We stayed at the hotel Helvetia for 5 days in July and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The room was a good size, very clean and the staff were great. The breakfast staff were fantastic and Leo our bar tender was extremely helpful on restaurant suggestions and can mix a mean cocktail.
Overall a great find with a great pool, great views of the village and Med.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Justine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire, uk
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

What a gem. Would definitely recommend this hotel. We stayed in this Boutique hotel in a small quiet bay in Sestri Levante for six nights. Continental breakfast was excellent and enjoyed having this on the terrace overlooking the bay. All the staff were very helpful and were always there if you needed information. We thought the car parking off site might be a problem when you needed the car but we went out in the car almost everyday and when we mentioned to reception we needed the car we was instantly taken to their secure lock up by their transport (5 mins away) every time. Room was gorgeous bathrooms very modern. Pool area fantastic, spotless and loads of very comfy sun beds above pool area and on terrace on top of hotel.
Thank you for our lovely stay Hotel Helvetia!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank moggs57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno Nv
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

I worked on getting a reservation a year in advance but couldn't get a room quote until January when their new year started. I stayed in an Ocean view room and loved everything about this hotel. It was very quiet and had clean comfortable rooms. It's a 15-20 minute walk to the train station and is in a cool little area with lots of restaurants and shops. Only a 15-20 minute train ride to Monterrosso and the other Cinque Terre villages.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Familyguy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Helvetia

Property: Hotel Helvetia
Address: Via Cappuccini 43 | Baia Del Silenzio, 16039, Sestri Levante, Italy
Location: Italy > Liguria > Italian Riviera > Sestri Levante
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sestri Levante
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sestri Levante
#1 Luxury Hotel in Sestri Levante
#3 Family Hotel in Sestri Levante
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Helvetia 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique hotel, direct to the beach, private pool overlooking the sea, tranquil and romantic hotel, perfect for couples Wi-Fi and bicycle free of charge ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Helvetia Hotel Sestri Levante

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