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“If only it could be like this everyday....”
Review of Hotel Raya

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Hotel Raya
Ranked #9 of 9 Hotels in Panarea
Reviewed November 28, 2011

These are the dream islands, the water is truly azure, the people are beyond friendly and this rustic/glamorous accommodation is earthy, functional and has touches of fairy dust everywhere you look...

Room Tip: They are all fabulous rooms, each one is quite a hike, but yikes they are worth every puff!!!
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shayne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 55 of 168 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2011

A number of friends had told me I would love this place. And, as someone who hates over-pompous hotels, the idea of a straightforward simple place in a beautiful location and with honest food seemed perfect. No problem for us that it might be reasnably expensive for such simplicity. BUT BUT BUT .....

I went online and found their site didn't enable us to check availability or how exactly to get there (a little complicated as requires taking a boat). No problem with that. But needed to know and, as someone who has so little time to do this sort of thing due to mega-work pressures, decided to call. First time, no answer. Second time, the same. Third time, got through - GREAT! No. Sadly not. For I got told to hold, was then put through to THREE different people. The third time was a women (the WITCH) who I asked about availability, she said "Yes" but when I asked for more details (just wanted to know which rooms, the rate and how to get to the island) she replied " I cannot spend time talking to you now, e-mail or call later'. I started to explain I didn't have the time to call back and she cut me off and put me on hold for 7 minutes. Then someone picked up the phone and just put it down. However good its reputation, how can anyone stay somewhere with staff like that? Especially on a small island, where it is hard to leave if you find you have made a mistake.

SO BEWARE OF THE WITCH OF PANAREA - who I thank for saving me making the mistake of booking at the Raya...

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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17  Thank DemandingAlbion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

You can still appreciate the beautiful Paolo Tilche's landscape architecture; our room at Raya Alto had very large terraces with breathtaking view. The pool and Jonathan, the boy attending at it, are lovely. Francesca at the roomservice is very nice.
As for the rest, the hotel lacks a real management.
What a pity!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ClaraItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2010

My wife and I have stayed at the Raya on Panarea every year for the last four years including our honeymoon and we think it's magical. While the hotel may not be for everyone (yes, it's an uphill walk, and no, there is no TV) the beautiful, unique rooms and panoramic terraces (Number 32 & 42 are knockouts) with spectacular views of the sea and the volcanic eruptions on Stromboli offer romantic seclusion.

The owner Myriam and Robert, who runs a gift shop full of treasures imported from Bali, are gracious and wonderful hosts. Breakfast in the restaurant overlooking the water is a great way to start the day and appertivo hour on the outside deck is an amazing way to start your evening. The recently completely infinity pool (with satellite healing pools) is spectacular.

Panarea is a magical island with an authentic feel. (There are no cars) The water and the people are beautiful. You can party to your heart's content (The Raya's disco is the place to go on the island) or have a quiet romantic getaway. Yes, the Raya is on the expensive side but considering the overall experience it is definitely worth it.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gopicturesny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2010

Don't stay here, unless you enjoy being ripped off. Don't get me wrong, this hotel is in a stunning setting, with some gorgeous views. There is such potential to make this a stellar hotel. However, it is so over-priced for what you get it's outrageous. My husband booked this for the grand finale of our, otherwise perfect, honeymoon. He knew the rate was incredibly high (540 Euros per night - gulp!), but figured it would be the pinnacle of the trip. Sadly it was a massive anti-climax.

Had we been paying a quarter/third of the price we could have coped with having no shampoo etc in the room, the lack of effective ac, the big hike to get to our room, the underwhelming breakfast etc, but at those eye-watering prices it's tough to swallow. We decided to move (to the more reasonable Quartara) and in fairness to the Raya, they offered us a discount for the one night we slept there and didn't try and tie us in with their cancellation policy. They were fairly gracious in defeat. We got the impression that the staff realise that it's a rip-off, but they have to bend to the eccentric owner's out-dated whims.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MissRoya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2009

I read some of the other reviews and have to say that I am shocked with the negativity. I went to Panarea 2 summers ago and stayed at La Raya with my husband and my two teenagers. My two kids stayed in a room on the lower part of the hotel that sits near town on top of the shop and we stayed on the top of the cliff. Our room was much better than theirs and had an amazing view. However, their room was much cheaper and more fun for them because they could just go out to town without the walk. I realize their room was hotter , they don't have central air, it's wall units and not always 100%.No tvs THANK GOD!!!!! I mean, you don't go to Panarea to watch tv do you? The food of the hotel was amazing and breakfast was really special. Every morning we had our perfect omelette which the waiter already knew what we wanted and brought it always with a great smile! Everything is organic! I don't know if people realize that this is tiny island and things need to arrive by boat...I only had fresh , delicious food all over the island and at the hotel. The day we arrived we were greeted at the bar with champagne..very nice touch!
I met the owner on the second day and talked to her, a very pleasant and intelligent italian lady who dives from the cliff every morning into that amazing ocean (she is probably in her 70s). I can't say enough, I have lived in 3 different continents, I travel a lot and La Raya was a great experience for me. I do speak italian though , among other languages. The service was great, the rooms were beautiful , the food was special..the only thing is ...it's not cheap but it is a treat to do it once in a while! I guess that if you are looking for perfect air conditioning and a tv or internet connection in your room....just stay in the States!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank earthangel622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2009

My wife and I went to Panerea for a long weekend and were very excited to stay at the legendary Hotel Raya...Given all the negative reviews, I was very happy to find that the hotel was very responsive over email...We arrived at the port and met a smiling porter who took us to the reception...From there it was a 10 minute walk to the main hotel...We were aware that most of the hotel rooms were up the hill so we were not surprised....We were led to our room by a slightly eccentric Italian woman who after a very brief tour of our room said "well that's it" and left the room...i chased her to ask her some additional questions and she promised to call us back...We had to call the reception twice to get the information we were looking which was a bit annoying but we thought nothing of it at the time...The rooms have a great view of the neighboring islands and the main part of Panera but are relatively small and spartan...Tthankfully there is air conditioning but no TV...In addition there is a small bar in where you can get a light meal, breakfast or a drink....There is a large infinity pool that I understand to be a relatively new addition...The pool is very warm and I believe is fed by from a volcanic source.

We woke up the next morning and had breakfast. in the part of the hotel by the port...Breakfast is conveniently served untl 12 but had a very limited variety and it was difficult to get service...After breakfast we picked up the boat that the hotel arranged for us to rent...It was a relatively small boat but had some cover from the sun and a big enough motor that allowed us to get around pretty quickly...We had a nice day on the boat and were looking forward to the special dinner that was being served for Ferragosto, the Italian summer holiday...We confirmed the dinner reservation and were the second people to arrive at 9.15...We were informed that there was a price fixed meal for the evening, asked some questions about the wines which the staff could not answer and were told that the risotto that we ordered would take 20 minutes...we were given our Antipasti relatively quickly and then waited for the next course...we ended up waiting an additional 25 minutes before asking where the pasta was...we were basically ignored and asked again in another 15 minutes and were told that it was on its way...After another 10 minutes we did something that we had never done at a restuarant...We simply took our bottle of wine and left the table...We were going to tell reception that we were leaving and would only be paying for the wine when the waitress ran after us and apologized making all types of different excuses....We told them that we didn't appreciate being ignored and that if we were Italian we wouldn't be treated like that..If there was a delay in the kitchen because of the large amount of people that evening then they should have told us and managed our expectations not simply pretend that we were not there...The hotel didn't charge us for anything but that was not the point...we didn't need to waste 1.30 hours of our time to have a plate of antipasti, some wine and to be ignored.

The next morning we were leaving relatively early to go back to Naples and made sure that someone would pick up our bags to take them to the port as we had a small time window...We came down for breakfast and again enjoyed the same slow service because the breakfast table was not completely set...The hotel was nice enough to pack us a sandwich for the ferry and we ran off to make the boat.

The whole experience was very weird...Some employees were very helpful while others appeared to be very rude/incompetent...I understand its a laid back place but for the money they charge, there should not be any basic service errors and we encountered some major ones...The island itself is lovely with amazing scenery and water...I would recommend a visit but make sure to stay somewhere else if you want consistent service...The hotel does have a lovely setting and a very nice pool but we would not go back...We considered staying at the Quartara and heard good things about that hotel while we were on the island

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank bobd72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Raya

Address: Via San Pietro, 98050, Sicily, Italy
Location: Italy > Sicily > Islands of Sicily > Aeolian Islands > Panarea
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 9 Hotels in Panarea
Price Range: $108 - $257 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 30
Also Known As:
Raya Hotel Panarea

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