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Tui Sensimar Grand Hotel Nastro Azzurro
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Reviewed December 9, 2012

I Stayed for a week in the start of October paying about £650 pp flying from Newcastle through First Choice.

I would happily pay £1000+ for this hotel which is definitely one of the best I have stayed in and would certainly recommend it as I wouldn't think twice about going back myself.

The best thing about this hotel is the service which is second to none and apparent from the moment you walk in, when you arrive tired and drained from the flight you are warmly welcomed by the staff and a glass of champagne, then simply hand your passports over at the reception and sign in which takes all of 5 mins, you then get to go straight to the restaurant with the hotel putting it on for lunch/dinner when you arrive which is very nice especially with the lack of decent food on Thompson flights, also they take your cases and deliver to your room for you.

The staff are excellent namely Angelo the Head waiter and Carmine the Bar manager, you will no doubt get to know these 2 characters during your stay, they go out of their way to ensure you have an enjoyable stay and have a great rapport with all the guests, all of the staff are also very polite and helpful and show great enthusiasm the only one I dint like was a waiter called Claudio who had a very strange sense of humour that was not funny in the slightest but he may be to some peoples tastes.

The Thompson rep Alessandro is brilliant, I never had to deal with him for any complaints but I found his welcome meeting and tour of Sorrento very helpful, I would recommend both 100% he is a local lad from neighbouring Salerno so he knows his stuff and gives many helpful tips and advice he has lived in England so his English is very good, he is also friendly with lots of local business owners in Sorrento and on the tour you will visit them, there is no pretence of buying anything and at every one you are welcomed with a free drink whether it be limencello or wine as well as a discount card on leaving he also talks about local landmarks etc. And the history of Sorrento. He made it very interesting and humorous and its a great way to get your bearings in the town.

The hotel itself is in Piano di Sorrento, which is a bit out of Sorrento centre and if you use the circumvesuvio train line there is separate stops for Sorrento and piano, its probably about 5km away but the hotel is located up a winding hill road so isn't particularly accessible, a taxi to the town centre would cost about 40-50 euros, The hotel Does provide a courtesy shuttle bus which is excellent, it runs very frequently at convenient times leaving the hotel at 08:00 them almost every hour from then until 21:00 and returning from 10:00 then about every two hours up until 23:30, its completely free of charge apart from some times the hotel advises to give the driver a tip of one Euro, personally though I always tipped as it was a very helpful service that I used nearly every day and never had a problem with, the drivers are very efficient and always leave on time and the hotel will run the bus regardless of number of passengers.

The food in the hotel is superb, we went out one night for a meal in Sorrento at the restaurant Bagni Delfino which is rated no.1 in Sorrento here on trip advisor and it wasn't half as good as the hotels food, Every mealtime there is waiter service and dinner is from an extensive menu of about 8 main courses a night and it seems to be different for 14 days so you don't need to worry about getting the same thing twice, As well as the menu choices for dinner there is also a buffet serving appetizers and deserts the bruschetta is tremendous and has different toppings every night, dishes I tried for dinner were entrecote steak, grilled salmon on a bed of Sorrento lemons, mussels in a white wine sauce, carved leg of beef etc. There was always plenty to choose from with different meat options as well as fish and vegetarian, They all come well presented and taste delicious and are better Quality than what ive had at many restaurants. The buffet breakfast was by far the best I've seen for all inclusive, there was hot options the usual bacon, eggs sausage etc. As well as pancakes and omelet's made to order, a number of breads were available for toasting and the jam comes in serving size glass jars, there is also cereals and yogurts, as well as continental options such as cured meats pastries and smoked salmon as well as lots of fresh fruit, one thing I really liked was the drinks, there is a tea box filled with different kinds of teas, a coffee machine or fresh coffee served by the waiters, a juice machine, or my personal favourite a fresh orange squeezer, the oranges are grown in Sorrento and would probably get knocked back in Britain due to their unsightly appearance but the juice they produce is delicious. Lunch is equally as good as dinner, it takes place next to the poolside or in the restaurant in bad weather, it is a huge buffet with a number of options my personal favourites being authentic stonebaked pizza and barbecued meats as well as all the salad items, there is about 20+ options at lunch which is sometimes too much for people like me with hungry eyes the serving times for food are also very helpful as they are flexible for everybody, breakfast from 07:00 right up until 11:00 if you want a long lie then lunch from 12:00 - 14:30 then dinner from 19:00 - 21:30 which allows you to still eat at the hotel even if going out and about in Sorrento or elsewhere. The hotel will also provide a packed lunch on request which although nothing special is a nice gesture and free of charge.

The only letdown I had all holiday food wise was the "al fresco le syrenuse" a la carte restaurant, you receive one complimentary visit here during your stay but take my advice and give it a miss the food in the normal restaurant is 10x better, if you do fancy it go down and have a look at the men before booking I certainly wish I did, Its strange that the a la carte isn't as good as the main restaurant and I don't know why the hotel lets it be like that, My meal and experience simply wasn't anywhere near as good as when dining in the main restaurant, the menu is limited and the food for me is poor, I had the entrecote steak which to my bemusement was served with crisps !, a steak and a packet of crisps is not what I would've expected, I had the same meal in the main restaurant and it was far superior, also the drinks such as wine are served by the glass rather than by the bottle in the main restaurant which detracts from the experience , on my visit the a la carte was run by a single waiter, the afore mentioned Claudio who is a very strange character indeed, he has some poor jokes such as asking for your room number then adding a number on the end insinuating your partner has another room as well as giving you the opposite plates from your order, I don't have a problem with humorous waiters and had lots of banter with some of the others but I really just didn't find him funny at all, a strange decision by the hotel to have him overseeing the a la carte restaurant in my opinion.

The waiter service is a welcome change to the all inclusive experience, ordering off a menu and getting bottles of wine or prosecco chilled in a bucket at your table not just glasses as part of the all inclusive makes it feel like dining out. The restaurant is always very presentable and most people wear shirt and trousers, the waiters themselves are well presented also in dinner suits or waistcoats serving, the tables are always neatly prepared for you arriving and the waiters show you to your seat, the hotel has theme nights which are very nice, I don't want to spoil it for you by saying what the little touches are but they are a pleasant surprise and a lot of effort must go into them.

The bars are equally as enjoyable as the restaurant, the sunset bar being on top of the occhio Marino resort has a great view onto the bay of Naples and has lots of chairs and sofas to sit down on and relax and enjoy the sunset before the evening meal, The main bar has a classy feel to it, there is an abundance of staff and it is rare you will ever need to leave your seat and visit it as the waiters are very attentive and will serve drinks all night, drinks included are decent and include both local and international brands such as smirnoff, absolute, Malibu, Johnny walker etc. There is an extensive list of drinks not limited to the usual all inclusive style with cognac and many cocktails on offer something I've rarely seen

The rooms are very nice, we stayed in the occhio Marino resort on the ground floor, Room 416, the room had its own patio area which was spacious and had a decent table and 2 chairs not the usual plastic rubbish, the room itself had a four posted bed with sheets changed daily as well as another two quality chairs and a table, there is a large dresser table with a TV and mirror as well as a wardrobe and a safe free of charge, the bathroom was nicely decorated in full marble, my only complaint is that the shower head was very strangely situated in the middle of the bath rather than at the end, Its hard to explain but his meant it faced across the bath rather than along the length of it so it was quite uncountable and awkward, it wasn't a huge problem for me but if you were older I imagine it could be dangers as you either had to squeeze in side on or point the shower head out and cover the floor in water.

The pool and poolside are situated greatly overlooking Sorrento towards the sea, there are plenty of loungers for everyone all with cushions, there are also a few bed type loungers for couples, there's also a separate Jacuzzi enclosure and relaxation areas in the hotel grounds, perfect for lying in the sun reading a book, also the hotel very kindly has a small library with books you can borrow for free.

Entertainment is provided by the very talented resident jazz duo d'n'a and is a nice way to enjoy a drink, it doesn't vary much from that but personally I enjoyed it all the time anyway, there was also a movie night and a dance night.

As well as night time entertainment the hotel has a full events programme running daily, the first day is helpful with a hotel tour, the walk about Sorrento with Alessandro and an Italian lesson, the other days are all varied and I regret not doing more of them, there's activities in the hotel such as yoga, games tournaments, pilates, wine tasting, pizza making, spa pamper taster and a cocktail party, There is also events outside the hotel like visiting a local olive oil farm and a photography walk.

The hotel also has its own excursions every day, trips such as Pompeii, Vesuvius, Amalfi drive, Rome in a day, Capri, Ishia, Herculaneum etc. These are reasonably priced although probably slightly more expensive than a normal operators but they would be a lot more convenient, I never actually went on any myself as I prefer to go at my own pace for instance I visited Pompeii using the circumvesuvio train from Sorrento and hired my own guide there, I done the same for Vesuvius meaning I was able to spend as much time as I wanted to look around, it also works out cheaper than the hotel, I spoke to a couple who went on the Pompeii half day excursion through the hotel and they said they wished they had went themselves to spend more time, I wont criticize the hotel though as I never went so can't comment and I imagine if you want convenience booking through the hotel is the way to go, you can also book cars through the hotel although I don't think any brits would be mad enough to consider driving in Sorrento.

My birthday fell during my stay and the hotel accommodate a little celebration for a small charge, my girlfriend got me a cake and a bottle of wine, however when we asked one of the waiters to keep the cake for us after our lunch we were told it was binned when we come to collect it, This wasn't a huge deal for us and was a simple mistake by the young waiter probably due to the language barrier. My girlfriend had paid 50 euros though and was disappointed so spoke to the hotel staff, they sent up a bottle of prosseco and another cake to our hotel room the next night with a card apologising which was a very nice tough and shows they care about customer relations

All in all this is a great hotel well worth every penny and if you are thinking about booking up I wouldn't hesitate, I certainly would say anybody who has given this hotel a bad review has been extremely unlucky or is simply moaning unnecessarily

Room Tip: The Occhio Marino rooms appear to be better from what ive heard
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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36  Thank Kyle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

If this review was just based on service, food, wine and views then it would most definately get a 5 star rating from me.
The main thing that lets this Hotel down are the rooms/balconies which vary greatly in size. Overall the standard rooms are small, we had a small room with a huge balcony which was nice, in fact the balcony was bigger than the room but I have to say a bit more space in the room would have been preferable especially as unfortunately we had terrible weather during our 2 week stay and it rained heavilly for 8 days! I would also add that the room next door was also small with hardly any balcony space at all so it really does just seem luck as to what you end up with. Thomson wrongly advertise the picture of the standard room on their website, the actual picture is of one of the modern style superior rooms - very naughty of Thomson. Its annoying as we happily would have booked a superior room but we didn't bother as we thought from looking at their pictures the standard rooms looked fine. Aside from this the rooms are decorated nicely with good lighting, large showers and nice and clean.
The only other not so great thing about this Hotel is the pool area, aside from the fact it was freezing, it was quite a small area with lots of beds crammed together and certainly doesn't have that luxious feel like that of 5 star Hotels I have stayed in.
Now for the plus points. The restaurant is AMAZING and exceptionally well run. The staff are very professional and the food, service and ambience was incredible - by far exceeds exceptations for an all inclusive restaurant. The all inclusive wine was also very good and we never felt a need to 'trade up' and pay extra for a better one. The bar area was really atmospheric with some excellent entertainment and the in-house duo were very good. The sunset bar is really worth visiting as the views are to die for - really quite breathtaking.
Overall I would certainly recommend this Hotel, especially if you don't intend spending much time by the pool/in your room as the good points far outweigh the bad and its location is great for seeing all the local sights, Amalfi, Pompei, Capri etc.

Room Tip: If you don't want a small room its definately worth trading up. Most of their superior rooms are decorated in traditional Italian style and are in the separate annex. If you prefer a more contemporary style then request one in the main building.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank SJW050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

We stayed at Nastro Azzuro from October 12 - 19 2012. We had a beautiful holiday, the Manager Carmine and all the staff were absolutely wonderful it was like staying at a 5 Star Hotel. The food, wine was fantastic. The hotel was beautiful. Great entertainment. Sorrento was beautiful I could live their tomorrow. I would recommend this hotel, a couples hotel to anyone and we will be back again one day. Deborah Isabella Lynn

Room Tip: All the rooms at the hotel were excellent we had a great view of the scenery and also the sea, we could not ask for anything better.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Deborah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

Travelled here for a wedding - had a wonderful week! All inclusive, fabulous surroundings, wonderful service from Carmine and his team. The food was excellent, particularly during lunch service. Public areas all maintained to a very high standard.
The rooms are great, be sure to ask to see another if you feel yours isn't large enough; they are all different. All refurbished to a high standard; the mood lighting was a lovely touch.
Views of the surrounding coastline and the bay of Naples are breathtaking. I would definitely stay here again! Perfectly placed for exploring the region and the Amalfi coastline.

Room Tip: be sure to ask for a terrace or balcony, or ask to see larger rooms if you feel yours is small - they are all differently sized.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank happy75london
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

After our long Airport ride (but worth it) we arrived at our hotel which was situated on a mountain with fantastic views! We were greeted with helpful and friendly staff who checked us in very quickly. Unfortunately it was raining (heavily!) when we arrived and the staff handed out drinks and generally greeted us. Upon arrival of our rooms (at the Annex) I was really impressed it was about a 5 minute walk away (I had believed this to be some walk after reading reviews on here!) and the room was huge! Lovely huge beds, tiled flooring, flat screen telly, DVD players in the rooms (with DVDs at the front desk to choose from) lovely bathroom and the rooms generally had a 'holiday feel' to the room and we had a balcony which over-looked the pool. The only negative is that I would have liked more English channels to watch as it was very limited.
The food at this hotel is fantastic - some of the best all inclusive I've come across in Europe! It was fantastic, faultless; always plenty of fresh food with lots of choices and authentic Italian cuisine. It was exciting to see what we could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as we were never disappointed. Also upon arrival we told the manager Carmichael all about our sister's nut allergy he put her at ease straight away and offered for her to meet the chef and that they would personally cook her food separately from the rest avoid cross contaminating with possible nuts. I can't thank him enough because not only was he really friendly but he went out of his way to inform staff wherever we ate about my sister's nut allergy and it was much appreciated.
The reception staff were also really friendly and helped me out when I was bitten quite badly so again fantastic customer service.
Some quick things about the hotel, the grounds were kept absolutely gorgeous and there was a lovely pool (that was freezing cold and hardly used!) love seats in the shade that you could sit in and there was 3 Jacuzzis too which we loved!
There is a free shuttle bus (it has set times and you need to pre-book) that takes you into Sorrento (beautiful, typical Italy) on the bus which is about a 20 minute away and really convenient. Thomson offer a walk around tour on your first day which is well worth doing because you get your bearings all week!
Also this hotel has GREAT evening entertainment - really good stuff on for the adults! We had a jazz night, DVD nights outside, live music inside and themed nights too.
We did 3 excursions:
Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius in one daytrip - fantastic! Very enjoyable guide who made the trip. Just enough time in each place - not too long. The mountain had stunning views and it felt like a real achievement climbing to the top! Pompeii was incredible! Not to be missed!
Daytrip to Capri - we got the courtesy bus to the hydrofoil (very simple 5 minutes walk from the bus stop) we booked tickets (the reception gave us times the night before) and we got a whole day to enjoy shopping and eating in Capri. The guided tour in Capri was non-stop being taken around to old sites with no time to yourself to enjoy the day and wander around. Would highly recommend you do this yourself than take the guided tour!
Daytrip to Positano, Almalfi and Ravello through Thomson. We avoided the organised boat trip around Almalfi and instead got to to sit and enjoy/wander around Almalfi which was the highlight of the day. The drive is stunning. Would recommend booking a private tour for this as the guided tour isn't necessary - its a nice place to enjoy.
Overall an amazing week here and would happily return!!

Room Tip: Definitely go for the Annex, the rooms are so lovely and big and its a pleasant walk away. If you have walking difficulties then you'll need to stay in the hotel.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank Vicki52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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