We first stayed in this hotel in October 2008 when we were in Bonassola on an organised walking holiday on and around the Cinque Terre trail. We loved the area and the hotel and had always wanted to return, so we booked a week for just the two of us in September We flew into Genoa airport and took the train down from there - very easy.
The hotel is family-run by Enrico and Roberto Benardin, who are both seemingly ever-present, ensuring everything runs smoothly. They both speak excellent English, are welcoming and extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We had a fantastic room on the the third floor, large and airy and with a sea view. The hotel is super-clean and fresh and, since our last visit, now benefits from having a roof-top terrace where breakfast is served each morning. It is also used as a bar in the evenings for pre- and post-prandial drinks.
The food is very good. Breakfast can include cold meat, cheese and hard-boiled eggs as well as croissants, focaccia and rolls, with cake and tarts also on offer. The evening meals consisted of the traditional three courses plus fruit, there being two choices of first and second courses, with the menu changing each day. The food was always freshly-cooked, with home-made pasta featuring as well as fish and meat. My only criticism as far as the food is concerned is that the bread rolls offered at breakfast and at dinner are not good; we noticed that, like us, hardly anyone was eating them. To be honest, though, this could hardly have been said to have spoiled our meals - there were always bread-sticks!
Apart from Enrico and Roberto, I have the highest praise for the rest of the people working in the hotel, who were all extremely friendly, courteous and helpful.
Bonassola is north of the Cinque Terre villages and, as a result, is far less frenetic and touristy. We went swimming on an average of at least once a day and thoroughly enjoyed the ambience and the whole experience. Since we were last there the tunnels, through which the old railway lines used to run, have been opened up for use solely as walking/cycling tracks, with no vehicles permitted. This means that you are able to walk/cycle through to the villages either side of Banassola, without having to go by train, which is more-or-less what you had to do before if you did not wish to leg it over the hills.
We were glad that our stay had been such a success and, as a result, have booked again for next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is in front of the sea,all the rooms are redecoreted,some with sea wiew and some with balcony, particulary attention to the restaurant, lift, nightporter. ... more less
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