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“Absolutely wonderful - home from home”

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Continental Mare Hotel
Ranked #28 of 70 Hotels in Ischia
Certificate of Excellence
Kent, England
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Absolutely wonderful - home from home”
Reviewed June 2, 2011

We spent two weeks with Thomsons on this beautiful, quirky little island where everyone is laid back and friendly. The transfers from Naples were made very easy, all the mini buses were comfortable and air conditioned - we never moved our luggage once. A 20min drive to Napoli port, an hour on the hydrofoil to Ischia then a 10 minute drive to the hotel which is wonderful - more like a large friendly house and so much nicer than the commercial high rise hotels. The private gardens are beautiful with amazing views, and everything is kept very clean and tidy. There are plenty of sun beds around both of the lovely pools. Breakfast is on the open terrace and consists of a varied buffet, fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals, breads, meats & cheeses, pastries and as much coffee/tea as the waiters can bring you! We didn't have a problem with choosing our evening meal at breakfast - it was just something else to look forward to. Every meal was beautifully presented and tasted wonderful, again all waiter service. If you dont finish your wine with your dinner, it is kept and placed back on your table the following evening and we loved the fact that you are given the same table for your entire stay (especially as we sat at the window overlooking the bay!) The staff were great, from Mario the manager who wants to please everyone, the girls on reception who speak English, to the waiters who are very professional but so friendly - they are led by the wonderful Nando - such a great character. Even the cleaners, porters and gardeners always have a smile. We recommend the island tour with Thomsons, again a nice mini bus - just 6 of us with stops at Lacco Ameno, Forio and more - you could get out and admire the views and take photographs. Half way thru there was a tour of a small family vineyard where we had wine tasting and a lovely lunch on the terrace. We visited La Mortella gardens thru Thomsons, the taxi took us to the gate and asked when we wanted to be collected - we spent 6 hours there and still didn't see it all - beautiful. The castello Arogonese is not too be missed, and the boat trip to Capri (which we easily organised ourselves) was wonderful. On one or two occasions we spent the entire day in the hotel gardens, just sunbathing and reading, you ask for a drink and it is brought to you on a tray with fresh fruit etc We have absolutely no complaints about our holiday, we were sorry to leave but felt very relaxed and happy as though we had been away for a month. We had a lot of laughs, made some freinds and would recommend you give it a try. If anything went wrong the lovely Mina (Thomsons rep) is only a phone call away. We will defiantely return - it can only get better!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank ischiaamore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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289 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
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English first
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2011

We stayed there with Thomsom 2 weeks in summer 2009.

The spot is very nice and view from our room with balcony so no fault there.
The room itself has seen better days, but it was air conditionned, with 40oC outside you'd want that!

Only be careful with service you would have superb service from some and rudeness from others.
My husband being italian we understood all that was said and this might be ugly.

Entertainment... well go to town.

We had some issues but managed a settlement through our very professional Thomson rep.

Would I go back to the hotel: No.

To Ischia: maybe

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Continent69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2010

We travelled to Ischia with Thomson holidays. The hotel is in a nice spot overlooking Ischia Port and is a ten minute walk from the centre of town (which has a range of clothes shops, cafes and restaurants). We paid a little extra for a sea view - a great view but not a huge balcony. Although rated as four star, we did find the room a little too basic. Bathroom was small and a bit run down however a maid visited every day so it was kept very clean. We had a small fridge which we used to keep our shop bought water / drinks (mini-bar quite expensive). We also had a television but it only had one English channel and was very old - remote control didn't always work. Food was very good with three choices of starters, main and dessert. All Italian food so don't expect English! The gala night was dreadful - poor choice and not very well cooked and many of the guests went into town to try out the restaurants. We took advantage of one Thomson excursion - to a vineyard - but the majority on offer were very over priced and you are better using the local buses to get around. Resort is very Italian, and locals don't speak a lot of English. Thermal pools were very good and relaxing. I liked the resort and the hotel but felt it was on the expensive side for what you get (although accept that prices in Italy are a little higher). Weather was on and off, and if it had been a bit better we would have explored the island a bit more.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LucyMcQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, UK
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2010

Positives: the hotel (in my experience anyway) was clean and on the whole the staff were courteous and personable (with the exception of the disingenuous maitre'd). The location is both stunning and convenient for a walk into town and the bus routes on the main road. The gardens were very pretty and well maintained.

Negatives. Whilst breakfast was adequate, dinner was generally very mediocre or pretty nasty. Sure, freshly cooked, but in all honesty my Italian cooking is better. Quantities for those with a healthy appetite were poor, and as I only eat fish or veggie food, I ended up eating out on many an occasion as my meals were just not a pleasant experience.

Likewise, there is no atmosphere, music or mood lighting in the restaurant and it is run on a very weird basis of having to know exactly what you want at 9 in the morning! There is simply no attention to detail or finesse - it's about refuelling ( just! ) and not a dining experience, very weird for a country that prides itself on its' food culture.

Our room was spacious and clean, but spartan, and the bed was practically a torture instrument (two singles pushed together!) We actually ended up putting the mattresses on the floor which was more comfortable.

Finally, and this may not be down to the hotel as such, but I returned home with the worst mosquito bites all over my legs and arms. I don't think there's any attempt at spraying in the grounds, so take a lot of repellant with you and plenty of bite cream.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank showqa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
loughborough
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2010

Stayed for a week here. Beautiful hotel. One of a kind. The cheaper rooms are OK. Some slight problems like shower pressure and damp but we asked to change room and it was lovely. Great views, nice and comfy bed, and nice decor. Swimming pools were great and it was not packed with people. The food was also good - a big choice and well cooked. The location was amazing - overlooking a bay and Naples. The island has an explorer feel to it but to get to places from the hotel you need to walk a bit or get a bus. Great hotel and I would go back again to the same hotel for its uniqueness and the location.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sanjaymanjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2010

As everyone else has said the hotel is a bit of a walk from Ischia Port (10 minutes, 8 with a tail wind) but wins hands down for the view once you are there.

When you first arrive after a long hot journey from Naples its a bit hard to get your head around the layout of the hotel but once we did we thought it was one of the best places we'd stayed. Yes its not 4 star high rise top end furnished luxury, but the rooms feel like small appartments & the view...I think you get that we all love the view.

We had room 305 - our shower was in a turret (!) really comfy beds, spotlessly clean, a walk in wardrobe & sea view as far as the eye could see.

We stayed for 2 weeks and walked into town every night. Most nights we walked back but it was the long dark unlit stretch of the path that unnerved me a bit, moreso than the steep hill. As said before the bus is super easy to use, regular and cheap - 1.30 euro and stops just by the hotel on the top road.

However be warned...Mina the rep (shambolic but utterly adorable and will get you out of a tight spot) told us that if you buy a ticket for the bus (can be done at the main terminal kiosk in port or from hotel reception) if you do not activate it when on the bus and are stopped you are fined 40 euros. It is very tempting to not bother as none of the locals seem to until the inspector appears, and you only have two stops from town to the Hotel. My advice is don't risk it !! The inspectors are easy to spot but the undercover police who stopped us are not ! When he produced his warrant card 1 euro 20 seemed a very small price to pay for peace of mind ! (He also only questioned us, the locals were not stopped).

On to more positive things, yes you chose your meal at breakfast but I have experienced this before in Italy and with 4 choices per course (and 4 courses for dinner) I defy anyone to go hungry. Plus it is so nice to have waiter service rather than the classic 'all you can eat buffet' which you eat at speed, mix and match and are never sure how long it has been sitting there. Dinner can be swapped for lunch by just asking that day at breakfast - lunch was great and as we were there 2 weeks it meant we could have a bit more variety. Fresh cooked pizzas were 3 euros in the port so we ate dinner out a few times.

All staff spoke very good English - the restaurant manager was first class. He was there at 6.30am breakfast and until at least 10pm each evening. All day. He spoke English, Italian, French and German fluently. What a star. All staff were very attentive & the General Manager a great chap.

There is a free mini bus operated by the hotel all morning which will take you to the Port and back. It runs at least once an hour - we only discovered this at the end of our holiday !

The pools are warm but even when we had a week of 40 degrees (way too hot) they still did the job. All day every day there were sunbeds available which is a first for us ! The sea can be reached by some steps down from the hotel (private section with chairs and lilos for hotel guests) - its really tiny but we were the only ones there & the sea was also warm due to the thermal springs. It was hard work getting into the sea due to the large stones, but a nice change on a couple of afternoons.

We used the spa at the hotel - 50 euro offer on when we were there for body scrub, full body massage & face massage. Really good and lasted a good hour.

Trips with Thomson expensive as usual, but Mina was very good by reducing the price for Sorrento and Capri by only charging for the boat (15 euros per person added by Thomson for the transort to the port - as everyone has said all taxis are 15 euro into port from hotel). Mina was also a star by providing bus timetables & island info.

The Mortella Gardens were the highlight of our trip. Utterly stunning. Again go there on your own as it cost 1.30 on the bus and 12 euro to get in (Thomson wanted 39 euros !). The best trip to do with Thomson is just the half day Island tour on Monday morning (18.50 euros) so you get your bearings and then go back yourself by bus. You can tour the whole island on one ticket as each 1.30 ticket lasts for 90 minutes. La Mortella is right by the bus stop 15 minutes from the hotel in Forio. I'd go back to Ischia just for La Mortella.

Right, sorry to go on, just really had a great two weeks - great hotel - clean, nice food and staff, (just ignore the fact that a pint costs 7 euros) that location...and a lovely Island. When we went to Sorrento I couldn't wait to get back to beautiful Ischia !

Capri is a must (get the boat for 30 euros and then once there the orange public bus to Capri town / Ana Capri from the harbour). Also do your own visit to the castle - long walk as in Ischia Ponte (50 minutes from hotel at a quick pace) but definitely stay this end of town as it is the nicer part.

I could go on - please go there & experience for yourself, its lovely !!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lynsey13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, UK
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2010

We grew to like this hotel more and more over our 5 night stay. Like an earlier reviewer, we had room 119 and loved the huge terrace overlooking the sea. We were greeted at reception and told "you have a lovely room" and that is really what you want to hear after a long journey.

Before requesting this room (or 117/118), consider that there are 54 steps up to the 3rd floor of this building, with no lift. When you get there though, the view is well worth the climb. I would suggest choosing your room carefully as some appeared to have small terraces opening onto public walkways. Probably try for a sea or pool view if you can.

All in all, you do probably want to be reasonably fit to stay here. The larger of the thermal pools is set back up the hill and if you want to explore by Bus you need to get back up the hill to the bus stop. The lower pool is smaller and delightfully warm.

The walk into town through the gardens is only 10 minutes but ends with a 30% descent into the port. We managed the climb back up but there is the option to return by bus.

Much has been said about the requirement to order dinner choices at breakfast. Although this seemed odd at first, the advantages are that the evening meal is served very efficiently whether you turn up at 7.30 or 9.00. Also you don't find yourself having to choose for dinner what you also had at lunch.

Our room was clean and well maintained, reception was pleasant and the grounds are lovely. Against this we found breakfast a little disappointing and agreed with a previous reviewer who said that items in the buffet are not always replaced when they run out. The bar snacks at lunchtime were also disappointing.

Continental Mare has a lovely atmosphere and seemed popular with Italians. It was nice to have drinks charged to the room without ever being asked for a credit card first. Some may well argue that it a little short of 4 star standards but it was relaxed and we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ingatestonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Continental Mare Hotel

Property: Continental Mare Hotel
Address: Via Baldassarre Cossa 25, 80077, Ischia, Isola d'Ischia, Italy
Location: Italy > Campania > Province of Naples > Isola d'Ischia > Ischia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#19 Romantic Hotel in Ischia
#19 Family Hotel in Ischia
#21 Luxury Hotel in Ischia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Continental Mare Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Continental Mare is situated on the hillside below the main coastal road approximately two kilometres from Ischia Town and from the resort of Casmicciola; frequent local buses run along this road. The hotel is set in extensive, lush gardens‚ with stunning views over the Gulf of Naples and Italy’s coastline. The island of Ischia is the incarnation of natural beauty and is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate with one of the many spa treatments available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Continental Mare Ischia

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