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“An Amazing Experience” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of San Martin Hotel

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San Martin Hotel
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Giovinazzo
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
93 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“An Amazing Experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2011

This converted monastery is located within the historic center of Giovinazzo and within walking distance of many interesting sites. The breakfast buffet was extremely well done and consistent during our four day stay. The only gap in an otherwise outstanding stay was the air conditioning which was on the blink and unable to keep up with the 35+ C heat and humidity.
We received excellent recommendations for lunch and dinner from the reception staff who were extremely patient with our many questions. If you are looking for character and charm, this is the place.

Room Tip: The rooms vary in size and exposure so you may wish to ask for something that has a view and good ai...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 55nrdtofly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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144 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Groningen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
192 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2011

A former monastery, and pittoresque too!

Did you ever hear of Giovinazzo, south of Barletta and north of Bari, on the shores of the Adriatic? The neighbours, Barletta and Bari, have their qualities (especially if you are interested in the castles of Frederick II and the life and miracles of St. Nicolas from Myra), but the real gem is Giovinazzo, with its precious old town, wonderful Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and spectacular harbour and seaside views. The old city center is small, but every corner, every building, is a feast for the eye. It's pittoresque - let's say that, and hardly anybody knows about it. If you go there, the former monastery of St. Martin (eleventh century) is the place to be. Right on the seaside, it's a stylish hotel with an interior of passages, corridors, balconies and a courtyard where the nuns used to contemplate on life, death, and maybe what's for dinner tonight. The rooms and suites are brilliant, tastefully decorated, well done and well kept; the staff is very helpful; they have an astonishing roof terrace; and they prepare an excellent breakfast. In summer you are grateful to architects and monastery builders who gave a thought to coolness and intimacy in a characterful atmosphere. No restaurant (but there are plenty around, and good ones too), no swimming pool (but you just plunge in the sea), and yet a great experience, worth all five stars. Never heard of Giovinazzo? That's where St. Martin is! - Anton Brand & George Mulder

Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank GeorgeMulder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2011

There have obviously been big changes since 2007 when your reviewer was very disatisfied. We loved the hotel, they recommended excellent restaurants and we had a seafront patio close to our room where usually we were the sole occupiers. Breakfast was great and there was plenty for me to eat despite being on a gluten-free diet. All that spoilt our stay was a cold wind off the sea that we really hadn't expected but that is hardly the hotel's fault. There had been a storm the week before along the whole coast.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DavidCheslin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2009

I traveled to my parent's hometown of Giovinazzo with my husband and mother-in-law and stayed at the Hotel S. Martin for 9 nights in July 2009. The hotel was in a great location (walking distance to the piazza, shops, beach, family) and was very clean. It was also very quiet…the only noise we heard were the church bells.... which we loved! We enjoyed everything about our stay. The only negative is that the air conditioning (if you can call it that) didn’t work very well. We were told that it was working at its full potential but our room was HOT. After a few nights they offered to move us to another room but it only felt slightly cooler than our original room. The new room was a suite and much bigger than our original room so that was nice. The breakfast each morning is a Continental Breakfast and consisted of the same thing each day so don’t expect eggs and bacon….but traditionally an Italian breakfast is very simple as the main meal of the day is eaten at around 12P. They serve breakfast inside the hotel or you can choose to have it in the beautiful courtyard. The staff doesn’t speak too much English but you should be able to get by. The hotel is located in a beautiful old stone building with great detail and is kept very well. We would definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WSA4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago,IL
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2008

I booked this lovely old monastary through icastelli.com and everything went smoothly. This facility had old world charm yet modern conveniences and a friendly staff. Definitely request a sea view and you will get it. We stayed in this small town of Giovinazzo (Bari) because it was 10 minutes from Bari (Palese) airport. We were able top walk to the center of the town from this hotel. We had a great seafood dinner near the piazza and enjoyed being on the adriatic. Thanks.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank carmelina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2007

I urge all travellers to give this dark, dank and just plain creepy hotel a miss. My husband and I booked a room in this hotel for 7 nights during the "Festival of Madonna" in August. We lasted only 2.

Location is about the only thing this hotel has going for it as it's situated in Giovinazzo's beautiful coastal "old town". When it came to everything else, this hotel really took the biscuit.

Upon arriving at the hotel, late in the evening after a long flight, my husband and I were greeted with a grunt. After checking in we took the world's slowest elevator (which I was to soon find out only worked half the time) up to our third floor room, which was so small you couldn't even swing a cat. The shower was dirty and there was no toilet paper. When I asked for some I was given two rolls and told that should be enough for the entire stay. I laughed thinking the housekeeper was joking. He wasn't.

Breakfast however WAS a joke (by the way,stale croissants DO NOT a breakfast make!). My husband asked for some milk to have on our cereal, as the main table had run out, and was given the smallest jug, half filled, barely enough for himself. When he asked for some more for me, it was like a scene out of Oliver Twist. This behaviour from the manager, no less.

This same manager we saw later in the day, yelling at a couple at the front desk in full view of staff and other guests. The poor woman he was towering over was in tears and the gentleman with her looked like he was doing everything he could to stop himself commiting a murder. Wouldn't blame him. This I found absolutely appalling behaviour.

My husband and I immediately set out to find altenative accommodation. We stayed the second night (out of necessity rather than choice ) and informed the manager the next morning that we would be making an early departure. Well, did he launch an attack!! My husband and I were so truly disgusted that when he overcharged us for our stay we couldn't even be bothered arguing, we were so desperate to get out of there.

The manager even had the audacity to tell us we should be ashamed, as we were the third couple in as many days to up and leave early before our booked departure date. If this clown had half a brain he'd put two and two together and realise there was a pattern emerging for a reason!

Anyway, we booked an apartment at the Riva Del Sole which had a full kitchen, lounge room, balcony and was beachfront for less than the S. Martin. It had a huge pool, lovely restaurant, pizza bar and it's own lido and the hotel staff were AMAZING! The manager in particular was an absolute gentleman. The hotel is located just outside of town so they offer a free shuttle into and out of the main square and Bari airport which I thought was fantastic.

The S. Martin needs to clean up its act, and it could start by taking a leaf out of Riva Del Sole's book.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ElmosMaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StefFra_12, Direttore generale at San Martin Hotel, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Dear Guest
many times I've seen your post and at last I couldn't stay still without giving you some news about the S.Martin.
Since January 2010, ADRIAGEST, a company (that I own) took over the managing dirrction of this wonderful hotel.
It has been a hard job to renew... first the image and the dignity this hotel deserves.
Ater these years I can truly say many things have changed so please take a look to our new site (www.smartinhotel.i) and check it out I'm sure you will appreciate. At last I really look forward you will be our guest again whenever you'll plan a next trip to southern Italy.
Stefano Romanazzi
Managing Director
ADRIAGEST
S.Martin Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2007

We stayed in S. Martin Hotel in March 2007 for two nights. The hotel is a wonderfully renovated Benedictine monastery built in the Middle Ages.

Our room (with A/C) on the third floor (there is an elevator) was rather small but furnished with pretty italian antiques. The bathroom (with sea view!) was very nice, too, with a modern shower. Everything was very clean.

The staff was friendly but it is quite useful to speak a few words italian or have a travellers guide with some phrases ready at hand. Only some of the staff could speak English or German.

We cannot say much about the breakfast, as we rather had a lie in (the beds are comfortable :-)). However friends being with us said that it was quite nice (considering being in Itlay, where breakfast is usually rather simple). In high season there is also a restaurant in the hotel.

Giovinazzo itself is a small town on the Puglian coast with a great old city. Lots of small alleys and nice restaurants guarantee a lovely italian feeling.

We asked for prices via the hotel's website by email and even got a reduction of the official rate. So it was 100 euro per night for a double.

It is helpful to have a car in this area. As the hotel is located in old city there are no parking spaces. But it is only a 3 minute walk from the public parking area.

  • Liked — Location, room with sea-view
  • Disliked — Rather small room
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MrsDee_in_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Martin Hotel

Property: San Martin Hotel
Address: Via S. Domenico Maggiore 28, 70054 Giovinazzo, Italy
Location: Italy > Puglia > Province of Bari > Giovinazzo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Giovinazzo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — San Martin Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
S.Martin hotel is an ancient monastery (XII century) dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, placed in the full center of the historical town of Giovinazzo. Only 9 km. From the Bari- Karol Wojitila - airport and 20 km. From the central train station and the port of Bari. The 20 rooms and suites are fitted of every comfort and more of them have a wonderful sea view. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Martin Hotel Giovinazzo, Province Of Bari, Italy

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