My wife and I really enjoyed our fortnight at the Continental Mare. Our room was in a little cottage a bit up the hill from the original 30s house and the separate building that housed the reception, bar and restaurant. Very quiet, all we could hear was the slapping of waves a long way below, together with the beautiful chirping and trilling of the local finches. Our room was perched up on the cliff and had a balcony with fantastic views across the Bay of Naples. It really had the WOW! factor.
All the staff were friendly and helpful, although some understood English better than others (when asked at breakfast on the first morning if we wanted coffee, we said "later please"; what turned up almost immediately was a huge jug of hot milk - the waiter must have thought we said "latte please").
The food was good and varied without being outstanding, but it is quite important to get in early: many buffet items at breakfast and dinner are not topped up when they run out.
Our room was cleaned and towels were changed every day, with sheets being changed every two or three days. The air con worked fine, but without instructions it did take us a while to get the hang of it.
The two pools are good. The lower (almost too warm) one is quite small, does not have much of a view, and gets quite busy. The upper one (quite warm enough) is less crowded and has a great view over the Bay.
Going down to Ischia by road is not much fun and quite a long way. The alternative footpath from the hotel gardens is much better, and gets you straight to the port, with tiny lizards dodging off the path all the way down.
We loved both Ischia Porto (newer) and Ischia Ponte (older), and also got around the island a bit, using two-week bus passes (25 euros each - but cabs cost 15 euros just to get from Ischia Porto to the hotel!). Well worth it, even though the buses are crowded at peak times. Also well worth getting to know all the bus routes.
The island is very green - partly because of the green volcanic rock that it is made from, but also because it does get its share of rain. We had a monumental Mediterranean night time storm half way through, and that must have "helped the garden" quite a bit. Every tiniest bit of land is cultivated, so all the hotel's fruit and veg are as fresh as you could want.
Day trip to Negombo spa was fantastic, with pools fed by hot springs coming straight out of the rock. La Mortella gardens are also a must.
We loved our fortnight and would certainly return.
- 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