This was our 64th hotel stay on an extended around-the-world trip, and amongst our favourite hotel so far. We had a double superior room for 8 nights, for an average of EUR98/night (USD/AUD $122). I found the cheapest prices on Venere.com and booked the day before my stay (had I booked a few days earlier, the rate would have been cheaper). Breakfast included in the rate. The hotel is on the third floor of a complex, with a lift (and stairs also) from the foyer.
What’s good: Our room (#8) was on the same floor as reception (some rooms are on the next floor) was extremely large, light and bright colours with lovely ceramic tiles, and had a desk and partial view of the cathedral tower next door. Two twin beds mounted in one frame also made for a very roomy and comfortable bed. Free wifi in the room (and also accessible on the terrace) worked well. Room was airconditioned (critical in summer), and the large window also opened for fresh air. Windows are double glazed so once closed, there is no street noise from below. You will likely hear the nearby Duomo cathedral bells (they ring from 7am until 10pm), and the tiled floors act as an accoustic amplifier if there are noisy guests in the hallway. We use earplugs at most hotels to ensure a good nights’ sleep.
Staff (including housekeeping) were incredibly friendly, helpful and genuine, and always offered a greeting. Reception is staffed 24 hours a day and staff speak English reasonably well.
A stocked mini bar fridge was in the room at extremely reasonable prices (EUR2 for a beer), and a kettle with tea/coffee making items also in-room (unusual for Europe). The bathroom was large, clean and has a bidet although the shower (a pod type) was quite small. Water was hot with good pressure.
Breakfast included in the rate, was a large range and included several juices, cereals, breads and toast, Italian pastries and cakes, platter of cold meats and cheeses, beautiful fresh fruit and yoghurt and they’ll make a fresh cofee for you (latte, expresso, capucino). Trays are available to take your breakfast from the terrace (the top floor), whilst looking out over lovely views of Amalfi. We spent several lovely evenings on the terrace sipping Limoncello (with Lemonade), often with the Terrace all to ourselves.
The hotel offers a daily program of (free) guided walks around Amalfi and nearby towns. Check at reception.
We liked this hotel so much we wanted to extend for an additional five days. Unfortunately they were fully booked so we had to settle for another hotel in Amalfi (and had a less pleasant experience).
Nearby: There’s a supermarket next to the hotel on the ground floor (they close for siesta time) - ask them to put together an antipasto collection of sliced meat, cheeses (don’t miss the fresh buffaollo mozzarella), and a container of olives. Best with a cold beer on the waterfront as the sun sets.
We found a few good restaurants providing great food and friendly service for reasonable prices, without what unfortunately seems to be a common Amalfi practice of deliberate overcharging. Great places include Maccus, Pizzeria Donna Stella (fantastic pizzas) and the Cafe Duomo was more upmarket with good service and reasonable prices. There’s also a laundrymat with wash and dry service (EUR6/ kilo) off the main Amalfi thoroughfare, although we found they rounded up the weight of washing to the nearest kilo, and were amongst the rudest people we’ve encountered in 10 months of around-the-world-travel. See if you can get them to smile! The delicatessen on the main street, a few shops down from the hotel’s walkway have the cheapest refrigerated drinks in town (EUR1.30 for a soda).
Places to Avoid: Bar ‘Lo Scugnizzo’ - EUR5 for a small toasted ham and (plastic-covered packet slice) cheese sandwhich, and Il Pianeta del Gelato – the gelato shop next to the fruit salad shop - depending on your nationality, you’ll likely be overcharged as I was, with the price of the same gelati increasing from one day to the next.
Transport: I caught a train from Rome to Salerno (EUR36 per person one way – buy the tickets from any Biglietti (ticket) machine (instructions available on the screen in English) and don’t forget to validate them in the yellow boxes at the station before boarding the train. It’s then either a SITA bus from Salerno (crowded buses leave right outside Salerno station), or a more comfortable and scenic ferry ride (EUR7 each person one way, plus EUR1.50 for baggage) to Amalfi (35 minute trip with amazing coastal views). It’s a three block walk from Salerno train station to where the Amalfi coast ferries depart. The hotel is a five minute walk up through the main Amalfi town and cobbled streets from the ferry terminal.
If you’re looking to check out the local area, local buses (SITA) and/or ferries (to Capri and Positano), leave Amalfi from the ferry area, with tickets from an office also down there.
For Pompei or Vesuvius, you’ll either need to book an ‘escorted tour’ – approx. EUR36 per person, or catch several modes of transport from Amalfi. Either take a local SITA bus (reception has a timetable), or the ferry from Amalfi to Salerno. There are several train stations in Pompeii (on different lines), and the train from Amalfi to Pompeii stops a very long way from the Pompeii attraction. As an alternative, take a CTPS bus (#50 or #4) from outside Salerno train station which stops next to the main Pompeii ruins entrance gate. An EVA bus (EUR10 per person) runs from outside there to Vesuvius and return. Staff at the Amalfi bus ticket office had no useful information about how to get from Amalfi to Pompeii.
Sadly Amalfi has become tourist-saturated with hundreds of cruise ship visitors each day, and the general unfriendliness and deliberate tourist price gouging makes me hesitant to recommend it as a place to visit. To minimise disappointment, I’d recommend a stay at this hotel to cast at least cast some pleasantness on what would otherwise have been a disappointing experience.
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