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“Great place to stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Secret Garden Relais

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The Secret Garden Relais
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Secret Gardeb Relais was a great place to stay close to the station and walking distance to restaurants and shops. Lovely room with air conditioning, fridge, safe and TV. Large bathroom with all the modern comforts. Great Breakfast each morning and friendly staff.
Such great value for money.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jillian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    110
    79
    28
    13
    10
See reviews for
50
136
7
2
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We booked a room with a bathroom outside the room which was really inexpensive keeping in mind the level of prices on Amalfi coast. We got a big room with the fridge, air conditioner. Bathroom was huge bathroom with big shower cabin. Great breakfast with unlimited bread, cornflakes, sometimes croissants, yogurts. Graziana who is the hotel manager (owner?) helped us with any questions/requests. It's worth to note that there is a restaurant with really tasty and not expensive food nearby. Its location can be found in special guidebook on reception. Hotel is really quiet at night but if you are living in attic the rain could create a problem. Fortunately it's quite rare thing in Italy.
Of course there is some other little disadvantages in this hotel: regular coffee on breakfast from kettle is bad but you can ask staff to prepare good one. Location is not the main advantage. You have to go on foot (3 km) or use the train (every half hour) to get to Sorrento which is the main transport hub to visit other sights of Amalfi coast.
In general the best hotel (out of 5) which we stayed during our visit in Italy this time.

Room Tip: Attic room could be noisy during the rain.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bordanton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EASTLAKE
Level Contributor
138 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

The Secret Garden Relais was a very relaxing retreat when touring the Sorrento area.
I can see if you were into a lot of nightlife you were a bit away from the action, but if you were looking for a nice comfortable place to stay with a gracious, friendly, and honest owner/operator, then this is the place. I especially liked the lemon grove right on the property.

It is a short walk to the train station which was fine because I was looking for a casual place where I wasn't going to be sprinting to see the sights. I definitely recharged and relaxed at the Secret Garden.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jbscram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
84 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

It was the second time we stayed at this B&B. Although it was not as good as I remembered from our previous visit, we had a very nice stay. The room we were staying in was just off the main entrance hall and had a separate sitting area. The breakfast was a very good, Italian style one with lots of sweet bread and pies. The location is not ideal, it is in the Sorrento valley and lacks the great views that you can find elsewhere in the area.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Superzu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

I just returned from Italy and did a one night stop over at this Secret Garden Relais on my way to Pompei.

We booked based on the information on Expedia and their website (great location, great breakfast, lovely setting, etc. It was anything but.

We thought it was in Sorrento when the place is Piano di Sorrento, nowhere near the center of Sorrento. We made the mistake of getting off in Sorrento station instead of 2 stops earlier because the train map showed Piano and I did not clock that this was Piano di Sorrento. Big mistake.

Second mistake was not to retrace our steps on the train but take a taxi instead. Got majorly ripped off at the tune of 30 Euro.

The hotel (or B&B as it were) is in some kind of alley which is a little bit scary when getting there by night. The building is a residential building where some residents use their properties as Bed & Breakfast. This Secret Garden is one of them.

Don't get me wrong, the place has been refurbished and overall is OK (if a B&B is what you are after). Our room was tiny (just enough room to put the bed in. There is an alcobe (that's the best way to describe it) with an extra single bed although I cannot imagine how three people can sleep there. The bathroom was a shower room and there is no safe adding to the feeling of not being very secure. And there is no air conditioning so be ready to sweat and be eaten alive by mosquitoes.

The view from our room was one of some back street in no-man's land but at least one could see the see in the distance.

Getting to Sorrento is 5 minutes by train, something that the owner fails to mention on their site. And the last train is at 9:30 so better get in early or you have an expensive taxi ride back or a 30 minute walk.

Breakfast was suitably disappointing. I was not expecting anything other than what their site reads. I will just say that it wasn't anything close to it. You had cold meat, one pastry, bread, butter, coffee but the expectations from their site are definitely not delivered.

All in all, very disappointed. Must admit that partly is my mistake: alarm bells should have started to ring when I saw that the price was only £50 a night. Live and learn.

It is a pity to write a poor review because both the girl at reception and the woman who served us breakfast (presumably the owner) were both lovely.

So if you are after a bed to sleep and a simple breakfast and money is more important to you thank quality and you don't mind being a fair way from Sorrento center, then this is the place for you.

On the other hand, if you want to enjoy Sorrento and perhaps have dinner in town, returning to a lovely room, you should better chose a hotel and pay the additional £50 that it will cost you.

I know what I would do given another chance.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank jruizuk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

We spent 5 days here in June 2012. The place is a lovely building and offers clean, spacious and well decorated rooms. Very quiet and lovely citrus garden surrounding it. Very useful computer as well with wifi. Very good cleaning service every day.
Two downsides though : I believe saying on the website that it is 5 min from Sorrento centre is misleading as you totally have to rely on the train, not your feet. So trains only run every 30/40 min and stop early in the evening. So in reality you are not 5 min away from Sorrento centre. But you also get away from the buzz of the city by being there so can be good depending on what you are looking for.
Most disappointing part really is the breakfast. Very deceptive description from their website, talking about healthy, organic, homemade breakfast when what you get is bad bread, no cakes at all and when one is there, it is far from homemade. Butter is in plastic pot and jams are in plastic pot like in cheap hotels. Nothing organic, or homemade here at all! And if you stay 5 days like we did, you absolutely get the same boring breakfast every single day!!!!!! Not even a fresh fruit in sight!

Owner is welcoming but just, could be more talkative and smiling.

So would recommend the place for the rooms, the quiet area and the lovely building. Still a lot to improve though in the service and especially the breakfast.

Room Tip: Twin room with additional room and en suite bathroom is great!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank virginie m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

We spent a week here during Holy Week in April 2012.

Our arrival was preceeding by a fairly squashed train journey from Naples, I was expecting a pretty ride along the Bay of Naples, but it was more of a commuter service in a rather grubby grafffitti covered train which stopped every few minutes at the many many stations on the route. Good value though at less than 4 euros. You do have to catch a bus from the airport to the train staton first and then run across a busy piazzo to the station. The circumvesuvious train is downstairs and well signposted. Three euros for the bus part if you pay on the bus. We took the direct airport service back from Piano to the airport which cost 10 euros, and, to be honest, was much easier. The only disadvantage is that they only run every two hours which might not suit your flight times.

On arrival we were allocated a nice 'suite' of two rooms and an ensuite bathroom. It was pretty basic and lacked drawer space and only really had cupboard space after we cleared the additional bedding onto the top of the wardrobe (The room had a sofa bed and the extra bedding was for that) The website mentioned a 'coffee service', but all we had was a kettle, no cups, no sachets of coffee or sugar etc. Good job I had had the foresight to bring my own cafetiere and coffee and that the dining room was nearby to borrow some cups. There was a useful fridge and safe.

The bathroom was ok with a nice bath, but the shower hose was too short to reach the hook and so a shower wasn't possible. The towels were old and a bit worn, but were clean. There were no glasses in either the bathroom or the bedroom which wasn't useful for either cleaning your teeth, or a nice cold glass of wine. There was no soap and only sachets of shower gel and shampoo, the cheapest ones possible. The water was always hot and there was plenty of it. I was surprised when the room was not serviced on our first morning and that it took 2 mornings after that two put a pillow slip on the additional pillow I had taken out of the cupboard even though I had left it rather pointedly on top of the bed. The cups that we had borrowed from the dining room were either left dirty or taken away.

"We exclusively use organic products from our garden and citrus grove. A very healthy and delicious breakfast is served each morning, in our lovely terrace surrounded by the flowers.
It consist of artisan marmellades and honey, home made cakes freshly squeezed orange juice, traditional neapolitan patisserie and a lot more"

This is a quote from the B&B's website. This was one of the main reasons I chose this place. Our breakfasts consisted of very ordinary plain yoghurt, pre-sliced cheese, 'square' ham, salami, foil wrapped pats of butter and little plastic pots of jam. The coffee was lukewarm and oily and the orange juice was very strong and undrinkable, more like cordial and certainly not freshly squeezed. There weren't any glasses to put it in anyway. There was also a small amount of bread (the best bit) and either one portion of cake or a rather solid croissant per person. It wasn't good quality and nothing about it seemed organic. On a couple of mornings we did ask for and received lovely espresso's but the service didn't seem to extend to remembering from one morning to the next that this is what we liked. Mostly there was nobody around. I think the coffee arrived on the table at 8 o'clock and that was it!

On a much more positive note we really liked Piano Sorrento. It was two stations from Sorrento, which only took 5 minutes, and was walkable in about half an hour. It was much more of a working town than a tourist town and much the better for it. There were a few restaurants and places for a drink and the prices were much more reasonable than in Sorrento. As we were there during Holy Week there were some fascinating processions to see in the evenings. There was a re-enactment of Jesus's trial with Pontious Pilate, and on another evening a huge procession that must have involved hundreds and hundreds of locals, either dressed in the rather strange hoods, or chanting in choirs, playing in the band or banging out a very goosebump inducing rhythm on drums. There was also a middle of the night session in the early hours of Good Friday morning.

We enjoyed trips to Pompeii (well worth joining a tour) Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento all on the very cheap public transport. We also used the buses up into the hills and walked back to base. Trips to Capri cost about 30 euros so we compromised with th bus and lunch in Amalfi, the a 7 euro ferry tp Positano before catcing the bus back. If you're careful with the timetables you can get dropped back off in Piano saving the longer journey via Massa Lubrense to Sorrento.

In conclusion we did have reservations about the B&B, it did seem very amateurishly run, maybe they haven't got into the swing of the season yet. It was peaceful and the wifi was very useful. We paid an extremely reasonable 300 euro's for the week but didn't feel that we had enjoyed very much hospitality at all. But the weather was beautiful, the seafood superb and maybe sometimes you get what you pay for.

Room Tip: The attic rooms only have velux windows but are more modern.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JudyP36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Secret Garden Relais

Property: The Secret Garden Relais
Address: Via Gottola 14, 80063 Piano di Sorrento, Italy
Location: Italy > Campania > Province of Naples > Piano di Sorrento
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Piano di Sorrento
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Secret Garden Relais 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a luxuriant citrus grove, The Secret Garden Relais is the ideal destination for those who want to spend their vacation in the Sorrentine peninsula at a relaxing hotel just a short drive away from Sorrento.The pastel colours of the building and the elegant furniture make this hotel in Sorrento an ideal location, especially as it has the cosiness of a private villa – one of the Charme Hotels best offerings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Secret Garden Relais Hotel Piano Di Sorrento
Secret Garden Relais Sorrento
Secret Garden Relais Hotel Sorrento

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