I could find very little information about the Maristella prior to booking our stay there, so it was a bit of a punt based on its location, a few basic reviews and the fact that it had been mentioned in a positive way in my old Rough Guide to Italy. The biggest attraction for us was the fact that we could get a room with a sea view in a characterful hotel in September for 62 euros (through booking.com) - so we gave it a go.
It's actually quite a nice little hotel - in its brochure, it describes itself as being pleasant and homely and this is about right. We were a bit underwhelmed by the shabby exterior (we're very tolerant of these things but some fresh paint would work miracles on what is a lovely complex of old buildings); once inside, its old-fashioned charm became more apparent and our spirits lifted. Reception was brisk and friendly, there was a lift and we were given a room at the south-western corner of the top floor.
It was simple but spacious with entry via double doors, and featured a dual aspect and two large windows with shutters (so in warmer weather, you could sleep with the shutters locked and the windows open to let in the sea breezes). Pleasant outlook from both windows, particularly the one facing the sea - a great view between mature palm trees to the water and coastline.
Cleanliness was acceptable - the bathroom at least was spotless and we easily forgave a little bit of dust elsewhere (we know what old buildings can be like). The furniture was modern and bland, but there was a vintage armchair which gave it some character. I did peek into a couple of other rooms on the same floor and they were quite different - it looks like the building is being done up slowly on a room by room basis, so how you feel about the hotel may depend largely on which room you get. For 62 euros for the room that we had, we were happy.
The Maristella is set back from the Corso, so there is hardly any traffic noise (but there is a short road to a public car park between the hotel and the seafront, which might be busy in summer). We were in the building furthest from the sea, but could still hear the sound of waves rather than cars at night. The hotel also has free off-street parking although it seems to be on a first-come, first-served basis and the number of spaces depends on the parking skills of the other guests... But we had no trouble finding somewhere.
Breakfast was typical and plentiful and the waiters amenable; they were especially attentive towards families with young children, it was a joy to watch them in action with the kids. With this, and its location, we felt that the hotel probably offered very good value for families travelling on a small budget. I think that the hotel also offers full or half board; we walked into town for dinner, about a 15-minute walk to the marina area - there were closer restaurants but we felt like stretching our legs.
If you like slick, contemporary hotels with all the bells and whistles, then the Maristella most definitely is not for you. But if you like older-style hotels with character, your budget and expectations aren't too high and you would like to throw open the shutters in the morning to welcome in the sunshine and sea views, then the Maristella is a very appealing option for a San Remo stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC