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“Enjoyable, great views, could have stayed longer”

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Grand Hotel President
Ranked #17 of 100 Hotels in Sorrento
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Enjoyable, great views, could have stayed longer”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2009

We had a sea-view room (504) just below the swimming pool and with great views of Vesuvius and part of Sorrento. The room was spacious but no inlaid wood furniture (didn't know other rooms had these) but it was pleasant enough. The 'balcony' could be updated a bit and the light outside really wasn't bright enough to do anything but sit and enjoy the view.
The computer on the tv didn't always work but nice to be able to watch the news anyway. There wasn't anything to say there was a charge to use the fridge, just a polite notice asking us not to use it for our own stuff - we put the odd bottle of water in there overnight though but the room was cool enough to keep water out. Handy to have the safe, once we worked out how to use it (would be handy to have instructions) especially as one afternoon we found workmen doing pipework outside our room with our door wide open! We weren't happy as you can imagine but within 5mins we received an apology from the hotel and a complimentary bottle of wine chilled with ice-bucket. If there had been other problems we would have made more of a fuss but we accepted their apologies as there wasn't really much they could do. Turns out the workmen were building new rooms (505 & 506)!
Lots has been said about the expensive drinks, bottle of water 3.50 euros, same for coke which although pricey is probably equivalent to London hotel prices. I had a malibu & coke, which cost 8 euros, the slices of coconut were a nice touch and it certainly wasn't a single, I'm not even sure if it was a double as it was fairly strong and was only slightly more expensive than a double in a London pub. Coffee was 3.50 euros but you also got nibbles, gorgeous chocolate and jellies and in the evening nuts and other nibbles.
Staff were friendly (even the workmen!), didn't really use the reps but the entertainment team not bad. Yes they did seem more keyed up to the old brigade but try and go with the flow and you'll enjoy it more. Would have liked some comedy in the evening but that's just me (there may have been some but we could have missed it). Enjoyed the quizzes if a little hard but then everyone else seemed to have low scores too and it was just a bit of fun (unless you desperately wanted that Thomsons 2010 diary!)
Food was good, not much choice of veg which really was disappointing but it was all tasty and I enjoyed it all and I'm quite fussy. Breakfast was buffet with a fair choice, the cooking of the omelettes weren't rushed but very tasty. Hard if you wanted just a snack at lunch - a sandwich was about 4euros.
The walk down to Sorrento was a good 20mins but fun and didn't leave you dependent on the courtesy bus. You get a courtesy bus timetable on arrival which is helpful and although there is a gap of 4 hours to go back to the hotel early afternoon this is enough time for you to have a good wander, shop and a bite to eat for lunch before heading back to the hotel. Would have liked a slightly later last bus back, 11pm (had to miss the end of the football!) as the cabs are really expensive and didn't think we were fit enough to do the walk back up!
Didn't do any of the excursions (apart from Desiree's walk into Sorrento. Interesting but the furniture shop was pointless as it was all very expensive and not many people actually go furniture shopping whilst on holiday!). Did Pompeii and Herculaneum by train (preferred the latter) and the tickets only cost a few euros each so much cheaper than the excursions where you still have to pay the entrance fee. Go into the MAV museum half way up the hill from Herculaneum - it was surprisingly fun and we were basically the only ones in there - the voices in the street part were eerily spooky!
Would consider going back but would be worried about what room we got, definitely go for a sea-view as it really is worth it.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Breezerbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Teesside
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2009

Just returned from staying here. It was our first time with Thomson Gold and we were disappointed with the lack of some room facilities associated with 5 star. Luigi the restaurant manager told us it was only a 4 star.

There were some good points and these were the views from the hotel which were stunning and took your breath away. The refurbishment was very tasteful and we especially liked the shade of green in the restaurant which was beautiful. A roof terrace and bar has been recently added which was really nice and relaxing. Unfortunately the swimming pool was very cold and not many people used it.

The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful and the entertainment from Evie, Robyn,James and Harry was excellent and very professional. The best I have seen yet in any hotel. Wish I could say the same about one of the Thomson reps who we found to be quite irritating and on one occasion very rude.

Food was ok but not exceptional. Some meat dishes were a little dry and could have been better with a sauce and the variety of veg was very limited.

Drinks in the hotel were very expensive so thankfully we weren't alcoholics.

We stayed in Room 301 which was just below the kitchens. Avoid it if you can as we were awaken each morning around 5.30 - 6 by the staff moving about and machines starting up as well as clattering of dishes. We did think about asking to be moved but others had mentioned that it wasn't always that easy and we would probably have to pay extra. Our sea view was a scene painted on tiles affixed to a wall in front of the balcony.
Apart from the view and noise the room was spacious and tastefully decorated and was cleaned daily. We thought the hand towels a bit strange as they resembled my teatowels.

We booked 3 trips with the rep which we thought were overpriced for what we got, especially as they didn't include entrance fees which were extra. (We did Amalfi select, Pompeii and Vesuvius and Capri by night.) The Capri trip was a rip off as a lot of time was wasted waiting around for the guide.

I would recommend doing your own trips most of which are quite easy. The train goes to Pompeii, and I believe you can get to Versuvius from there by bus. You can also get the train to Herculanium. You can get a trip on a local bus to Positano, Amalfi and Rovello if you don't mind the kamakazi drivers and there is a ferry which will take you to Capri or Ischia.

The courtesy bus from the hotel could run more regularly. Walking from the hotel into the town takes about 20 mins but you have to avoid the scooters. Never tried walking back although it is possible if you are fit.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TrishTeesside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2009

ok, just got back from staying here. I will do good points first: ItaIian staff are very friendly (reception and resturant in particular), views from the hotel are spectacular, I think the best in Sorrento! The refurbishment is very tasteful and the roof terrace is a particular plus. Bad points: WAY overpriced. This is no way as good a hotel as Thompson rave on about, it is a decent 3 star. We paid an extra £400 for a superior room. It was on two floors and at the end of a corridor (106). It had no windows and the only light was from the doors on to the balcony. The reason I upgraded was so we could have a balcony as I had read the views are amazing. We overlooked a run down, ratty old villa who's window looked directly into our glass doors and balcony. We complained and asked to be moved but were told the hotel was full until Monday but we could speak to our rep about moving then. We did, three times. Finally we were told we could move on the Thursday (the day before we left) but would have to pay more as the only room had a seaview and these were £400 more on what we had already paid. So we stayed put in our dark, dingy "superior" room with the shutter down over the doors so the people in the villa couldnt see in. The TV was crap and you needed a degree to work out how to switch it on (there was no instructions on ANYTHING - times of meals, times of gym, how to use the TV etc etc). There was tea and coffee and kettle but you were rationed to one tiny pot of milk a day and it never got filled up, so every day I had to go to reception and say our milk and coffee hasnt been filled up and I got an apology and our one sachet and milk ration handed to me. The food was good, although also rationed in the evenings (a distinct lack of veg or salad). Breakfast was a buffet so no rationing although I take great exception to being served tinned fruit in a region like Sorrento. If a cheap as chips travellodge in the UK can provide fresh fruit at breakfast then I am sure a "gold rated" hotel can! In addition the nearest shop is about a 20 minute walk, there are no vending machines or shop in the hotel so all drinks have to be bought at the very expensive bar. However if you do the 20 minute walk to the nearest shop and buy a bottle of water Thompson will charge you 5 euros a day to put it in the fridge in your room - how is that for service!!!! Thompson reps were bored and distinterested, the trips rip you off in that they are so expensive but they dont tell you about the extra add ons (so you have to pay for entry into the sites, extra if you want lunch, extra if you want the boat ride to point were you realise you have just paid Thompson to sit on a bus when you could have done that independently yourself). Also dont take the "free" walk around Sorrento with the local Thompson rep - she takes you to a furniture shop (probably her uncle or dads) and they try to sell you furniture. The entertainment reps were better and were very good, if you like that sort of thing. I agree with the previous poster on here - if you are part of the blue rinse, hugs and kisses brigade this is the place for you. If you are younger, they are not interested! I will never do package again (I prefer independent travel) and I will never ever do Thompson again!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nathaliejane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manchester england
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2009

first of all im writing this on behalf of my wife a due to illness was not able to go and she had to go with a friend instead.
it was superb the hotel staff the view from the room the meals in her her words were to die for.
special mention to luiji {think spelling right}the matra di for looking after them both and to henry from thomsons.
the food was good. the view over the bay was brilliant the only gripe was the times of the bus but hey its free and the tiles in the room lousy colours
thank you once agin for looking after my wife and i am sure we will return

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank nigelpam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sorrento
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2009

I wanted to treat my Mum, Dad and husband to a relaxing holiday of a life time and boy did we get it. We went to The Grand President strangers and came away with friends for life. We ate top cuisine food, with fabulous warm welcoming waiters, a lovely team. Entertainment, Evie, Robyn, James, and Harry Individually the best singers I've had the pleasure to listen to, together in their shows, mind blowing joy, you Never wanted to end. After we danced, mixed with our new found friends, my family loved every minute getting to know Evie, Robyn, James and Harry. Then I must mention James and Adrien the wonderful singers in the piano bar, where Guisseppe and the bar staff never let our glasses empty. The days fun were endless games and quizes, no pressure to join in but when you do, you laugh compete and make the most wonderful friends, who become your fascinating atmosphere of great pool time fun which carries on into the whole hotel. Our Thompson reps were second to none Cheryl and Kerry amazing girls. John took my Dad, husband and most of the male football fans to watch Sorrento play their last game of the season on his only day off that week, all those men came back well watered and buzzing with yet another fun day. Tony the hotel bus driver is a sweet adorable safe driver who also shared the happy news of his engagement. And to end you still have Sorretto to explore. We had a Grand time! Im going back in September with my mum and counting down the hours. Back to the best hotel in Sorrento.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank berrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2009

Good and bad from Sorrento folks!

We went with Thomson who were ordinary. We flew to Naples which is a total dump, as is most of the Neapolitan Riviera sadly.

The Hotel is outside Sorrento and is bit of a nightmare to get to quite frankly. If you fancy walking into town its a steep downhill journey through a winding street and the return jouney must be made by bus or taxi or you'll die trying to walk. The hotel bus dont run through the afternoon!

Sorrento itself is in need of a good tidy up but there are a few nice streets with shops, bars, cafe's etc.

The Hotel is decent. Our room was large with good views of the town and Bay of Naples. Nice bathroom and good sized bed. Room 422.

The Hotel staff were very good and the Food is 1st class. The restaurant is very good and the service is excellent. Views from the terrace are lovely.

The pool area is pretty average and we didnt use it all week. We used the Solarium which is basically on the roof of the hotel. The views from here are very good too.

Unfortunatly the hotel lacked atmosphere. This was probably due to the average age of the guests being very high. It was a bit of a nursing home to be honest.

I am a little disappointed with the Thomson staff and entertainment team. They seemed to do their utmost to keep the older guests happy and it was as if the younger guests at the hotel didnt exist. This was pretty annoying. We didnt go on holiday to make friends with the rep's (unlike the older guests who were all hugs and kisses) but I was made to feel a little 2nd class and I feel its because my wife and I are younger.

Anyway...

GOOD: Weather, Hotel Staff, Food, Views, Capri excursion

BAD: Hotel Location, Thomson staff, Sorrento town, Local driving, Pool area, Pompii & volcano excursion.

All in all an OK holiday. Pity about the nursing home atmosphere.. DONT GO IF YOU ARE UNDER 35..

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AberdeenMcLean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2009

My wife and I stayed at this hotel 1-8 May. Whilst we must agree with all the previous comments about the friendlyness of the staff etc, this is not a hotel for anyone who wants to spend their time at the poolside- there are very basic sunbeds crammed into every available space around the pool with only inches between and no mattresses supplied. So we had to spend our time in the solarium and while this was impressive we would have prefered the poolside!
The shuttle bus could also do with running more often ( there is a big gap in service between the last morning bus and the first afternoon one.)
My wife found the bathroom hand towels pretty useless- no bigger or substansive than what we use as dish towels.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank humptybloodydumpty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel President

Property: Grand Hotel President
Address: Via Colle Parisi 4, 80067, Sorrento, Italy
Region: Italy > Campania > Province of Naples > Sorrento
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Sorrento
#16 Luxury Hotel in Sorrento
#26 Romantic Hotel in Sorrento
#29 Family Hotel in Sorrento
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel President 4*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Hotel President, 4 star hotel in Sorrento Italy, overlooks the Sorrentine Peninsular and the Bay of Naples offering one of the best views in the world . A view which has inspired many artists and song writers for centuries. The splendid terraces of the Grand Hotel President with their sea views, the swimming pool, the beauty and fitness centres and the refined panoramic restaurant are all part of the services that combine to guarantee the full attention of the staff which is always attuned to satisfying the desires of the guests . The tranquil atmosphere in which the Grand Hotel President is immersed , accompanied by the scent of flowers and scrubs from the hotels very well maintained gardens, make it the ideal place for a relaxing and restful holiday. The centre of Sorrento which is only 3 klms away, is easily reached thanks to the free shuttle service of the Grand Hotel President. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Sorrento
Grand Hotel President Sorrento

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