We stayed for one week near the end of July when the weather was very hot, so we were happy to be so near the ocean. I had expected no beach fees based on other reviews, but we were advised upon checking in that using the beach, including one umbrella and two loungers, would cost us 20 euro per day. We knew there were public beaches which we promptly decided to use instead, until we went to check them out. There are at least 3 public areas along the Maiori beachfront and all are narrow strips in less desireable locations than the private beaches, with large rocks and very little space for sunbathers. We tried the public beach to the left of the Sole Splendid beach against the cliffside for an hour and decided to spring for the 20 euros every second day, alternating with sightseeing days. The beach loungers and umbrella afford shade when desired and the water is clean and beautiful, being skimmed every day for any debris floating on top. Your spot is chosen for you each day and seems to be based on what you've paid for your room - whether you're placed in the front row shoreside or further back up the beach. We picked up beach glass and polished stone and tile pieces from the shore every day, but mostly just floated in utter comfort and relaxation on the water. Glorious! (Note: when we checked out, we were billed at 10 euro per day rather than 20.)
We were given a room on the fourth floor (there are five total) with partial ocean view, but mostly looking out over the town and surrounding cliffs and lemon groves. Maiori's main road curved around below our terrace and was noisy 24 hours a day. Closing the terrace door and shutters negated most of the sound, but we could not leave the doors open at night because of the traffic. The air conditioner cooled well when it was working, which was sporadic. When we would call to advise it was not working, the front desk would restart it within about ten minutes. A fan over our bed provided a deliciously cool breeze, but was so noisy we couldn't use it at night until after the third day, when my 6'2" husband noticed a rubber washer was in the wrong position and stood on the bed to move the washer. After that it was silent - thanks, sweetie!
The bathroom was beautiful, newly tiled and quite spacious. There's a bidet but no bathtub, with a glass shower big enough that you don't bump your elbows. The towels were large and fairly fleecy and were changed daily, with amenities such as soap and shampoo kept in supply. The bathroom had one power outlet as did the main room. The main room consisted of two narrow beds pushed together to achieve approximately queen size, and we were constantly pushing the top matresses back together. As well, there was a large wooden wardrobe with shelving and hanger space and a desk with chair. A small fridge had a wee TV on top, which some days got English-speaking CNN. Though it was fuzzy, it was comforting to hear our native tongue again. The fridge was unique in that when you opened the door, the top of it had a safe inside, just big enough to hold our mini laptop and camera. We kept the fridged well stocked with fresh fruit and drinks from local grocery shops. We loved the colourful handpainted tile throughout the room and it was swept and/or mopped quite well each day. The hotel did not have internet, but provided us with a business card for an internet shop about six blocks away.
The included breakfast started at 8 am and we were always there early when most tables were free. It was consistent daily: espresso or cafe americano, one croissant , one roll, one pack of 2 toast-like crackers, one pack of 2 shortbread-type cookies and several packets of jams, honey and a nutella spread.
Sole Splendid staff were polite and spoke little English. They seemed well-versed in common hotel enquiries but in answer to questions about other areas, responses did not quite fit our questions. We made good use of our phrasebooks and hand gestures at the hotel and everywhere in Maiori, where locals were pleasant and patient. We did notice that locals received priority service in shops, for instance in a deli with a long counter, if we had been waiting for service and a local resident walked in, they would always be served first. I suppose it makes sense to the vendor to keep his regulars happy. We noticed this improved for us over the week as we visited shops more frequently and we were recognized upon entering.
We enjoyed Maiori and hope to return. Walking around with Sole Splendid as a base was easy and pleasant and getting to nearby towns and cities by bus or ferry was simple and fairly quick. If you enjoy a slower pace than nearby Amalfi or Positano and especially Sorrento or Salerno, it's a good choice. If you like more excitement, choose somewhere else.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC