We went to the Pallazzo Belmonte as part of a group of some 65 people for a "Passion for Puccini" event organised by Noble Caledonia.
The singing was performed on three nights, in the courtyard of the palace, which provided a brilliant setting for the performances.
On the first night, after the performance, we all descended on the restaurant at once, which clearly overburdened the system and dinner was a near disaster. It is good to report, that this did not happen again and the problem was immediately resolved. The restaurant, which is al fresco, underneath large sun umbrellas, is a very pleasant place to be and worked well. During the week we were there, it never rained and the temperature was a constant 25 to 30c.
The menu offered a choice of three dishes for each course, which is fine for me, I like menus like this, it gives one confidence that the food is freshly prepared and cooked. We were presented with the menu at breakfast and asked to indicate our preference for dinner, which some people may find a bit strange for an hotel of this calibre but I have no problem with this. In brief, I enjoyed my dinners at the Pallazzo.
The wine list was rather short, mainly local wines, I tried many of them and whilst not great, they were perfectly acceptable.
Breakfast was served under cover in the pool area, continental style with a wide choice but nothing hot.
Rooms, I cannot comment on the rooms in the Palazzo itself as I didn't see them. We opted for a room in one of the two villas in the garden. The room was of a generous size, good bathroom and had a very nice balcony. By peering through the trees, we were just able to see the sunset over the sea. This was a pity, because if the trees had not been allowed to grow so large, the view would have been magnificent. As this is part of a national park, perhaps there is a problem in cutting the trees back, however, they need it.
There are some gorgeous beaches around but don't get excited about the Palazzo's own bit. It's OK but that's it.
Very helpful service from Angela at the front desk and from Tofi, the head waiter, who had previously worked at Boodles in Pall Mall.
I gave up on the wi-fi and used my i-phone instead.
The Prince, an elegant Italian gentleman, was usually in evidence. He was very happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have (he did not impose, as suggested by a previous reviewer). We had one of our Opera evenings at his "other" palace at Punta Licosa, about 5ks down the coast, where he was the perfect host.
The gardens, quite extensive, informal English style, took me a day to find my way around and at night you need a torch (provided beside your bed) to find your way back to your room after dinner. Not really recommended for anyone with physical disabilities, lots of steps.
To sum up, if you are expecting an all bells and whistles modern hotel this is probably not for you.If you want to enjoy a part of Italian history in an ancient building, tastefully restored to a high standard where you are welcomed as a guest, then go there. We did and we had a lovely week!
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- Also Known As:
- Palazzo Belmonte Hotel Santa Maria Di Castellabate