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“A Disappointing Romatic Getaway”

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Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese
Reviewed May 8, 2013

This was a very poorly run hotel. On arrival the concierge only showed us our room, no mention was made of the solarium or roof terrace. The winter restaurant was closed but the romantic restaurant in the grotto was open. This was superb. Wonderful food, attentive staff and amazing setting. However the rest of the hotel was a let down. The safe didn't work and there was no offer of replacing/mending it, or an alternative option. The heater in the room was broken. The maid walked into the suite without knocking (I was still in bed and my husband was in the bathroom), then she turned up again an hour later and asked if she could make up the room. She did the same the next day. We were overcharged for the room, according to the price list, but were not offered a refund. The breakfast room was awful - 1970's style blue glossy floor tiles and yellow glossy wall tiles, with windows that were too high, so didn't allow guests to appreciate the wonderful view. This place was ridiculously over-priced. We found a lovely B&B down the road which was a much better standard for 59 Euros per night, rather than the 200 Euros we were charged.

Room Tip: The characteristic room was OK, the rest were very poor and not worth the 100 Euros.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Munfsrule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 5, 2012

If you are in Puglia in Italy, you MUST come to this little town (Polignano al Mare) and you MUST come to this hotel/restaurant combo... for a drink. The hotel is build right on the cliff to the sea, and the salt water has eroded a large section of the cliff into what is now a "grotta" (cave) restaurant. The views are amazing - the restaurant is built on a large wooden deck (20 + tables) inside the grotta, but above the sea. The tasting menus are pricey and not worth it; out of the five dishes, we had 2 that we would definitely order again (the fish was AMAZING). For 100 euros/person, all five dishes should have been stellar. Ah, well, I certainly don't regret any second spent at the restaurant, regardless of the disappointing food. The views are that amazing. The restaurant (and maybe the hotel, too?) closes for one month Nov - December, so if you are traveling in winter, call ahead.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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6  Thank itisasmallsmallworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012 via mobile

we ate at the restaurant and or ecperience was superb. the location is breath taking and food fabulous. Service nrillisnt with very attentive staff. meal not cheap at €100pp for degustation.. however for a treat it leaves an impression on both yr taste buds and in yr heart.

simply stunning experience and well worth the expense for the experience.

we went for lunch and had the added bonus of the entire restaurant to ourselves.

enjoy.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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3  Thank cindi m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2012

The views are absolutely breathtaking and if they renovated the rooms, they could charge 4 times more. Lots of reviews complained about the quality of the rooms, and they are correct. But that's how this place stays affordable, I think. We had a room with a sea view, and it was not one of the ones pictured on their website. It looks like an old Holiday Inn room, but it has a spectacular view. You can decide if it's worth it to you. I think you could enjoy the view from the restaurant and stay somewhere else in town, but it is nice having the view when you wake up. It is truly as memorable as I hoped it would be, even after reading all the bad reviews. And if you can afford it, the restaurant was spectacular--the food was pretty good (at exorbitant prices-- without wine you have to pay at least 70 euro per person for food as 2 courses are required) but the experience of eating in the Grotto was unforgettable.

Room Tip: If you can afford whatever they charge for the 1 renovated room in all the pictures, go for it...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 532rome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

I stayed here on business and cannot comment on the price as that was paid for by someone else, but what a location, the setting for this hotel is stunning. The character of the town itself and the very narrow streets combine to make you realise your in a very beautiful part of the world. The room I had was fairly basic but had a sea view and nothing beats sleeping to the sound of the ocean.

The breakfast was good with excellent coffee, as it was the low-season the famous restaurant in the cave below was closed but they let us go down and see the cave which was pretty amazing, it must be a special place to eat.

Room Tip: The ocean facing rooms are obviously the better ones
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank haggisinlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2012

The old saying about "location, location, location" is certainly true here, as the location of the Hotel Grotta Palazzese is nothing short of spectacular! Located atop a cliff that rises directly out of the Adriatic Sea, its situation is absolutely stunning.

In addition to rooms in the main building the hotel offers a few "Characteristic" rooms, which are just across the tiny street. These rooms are formed out of the ancient caves that perforate the cliff, and they previously served as cliff dwelling homes for generations of Polignano residents. With rock walls and curved ceilings these rooms are evocative of a bygone era, thrilling to anyone with a sense of history. The "Characteristic" rooms have tiny, cliff-side balconies suspended directly over the sea. We were fortunate enough to reserve one of these rooms. Yes, the bathroom was small and some furnishings may have been dated, but the room was very clean and comfortable, more than adequate in every way. The evocative atmosphere of this one of a kind accommodation makes even mentioning those things seem like nit-picking. To lie within ancient walls and leave the balcony door open all night so that we could fall asleep and wake up to the sound of waves crashing onto the rocks below is an experience to be savored and treasured.

Dinner at the restaurant is nothing short of breathtaking. The restaurant is actually located part way down the cliff in a sea cave. Seating is at tables placed on a natural rock bridge that spans the sea. Having dinner here at dusk is magical. As the natural light dims and waves crash on the jagged rocks below, causing water to surge under the natural bridge, table lights come on that wash the cave walls in shadows. This may well be the most romantic restaurant in Italy. In fact, while we were eating our dinner the young man at the table next to us got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. It's just that dream-like kind of place!

While good, the food wasn't the best we ever had in Italy. And yes, it's very pricey. But sometimes it's the intangibles you pay for. An unparalleled location, a magical atmosphere, an incomparable dining site, and unique, historic rooms will command a premium price. The Hotel Grotta Palazzese is worth the splurge.

Room Tip: The Characteristic rooms across the street are worth the price. They're historic, quiet and hav...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank bkb6060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

We arrived without a reservation but the Duty Manager was great, taking us around and showing us rooms. We had a room across the narrow alley from the hotel, perched right over the sea. I spent ages just sitting looking over the narrow balcony... Spectacular.
Dinner in the restaurant grotto was great - not especially the meal, but the setting. Waves washing into the grotto, walls softly lit, the ocean just out there. A definite highlight of our month in Italy.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank Don5013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese

Address: Via Narciso 59, 70044 Polignano a Mare, Italy
Location: Italy > Puglia > Province of Bari > Polignano a Mare
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 9 Hotels in Polignano a Mare
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Ristorante Grotta Palazzese 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese Hotel

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