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“Disappointing”

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Grand Hotel President
Ranked #18 of 100 Hotels in Sorrento
Certificate of Excellence
Yorkshire
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Disappointing”
Reviewed 13 May 2010

We found this hotel to be very disappointing and would not stay here again! There is nothing Italian about the food in the restaurant. Examples include; veal, rabbit, octopus, squid, and shrimps. Being allergic to seafood, I found it very difficult to find something I could eat on the menu. The maitre d' was unhelpful and at a push I managed to get some boiled pasta. The Thomson team were, if possible, even more unhelpful, one suggested I go down to the town and get a pizza.
The hotel is a long way from the town of Sorrento, and the courtesy bus does not run very frequently. My friend and I found ourselves feeling stuck in the hotel on an evening, and really quite isolated. Drinks at the bars or in the restaurant were unfortunately incredibly expensive, €3.50 for a can of diet coke, right up to €8 for a beer.
The excursions: do not underestimate how easy it is to make your own way to these attractions at a fraction of a price. My friend and I got the train to Pompeii and saved €50 each, took the short walk from the bus stop to the port and saved €38 each. We hired a car to see the Amalfi coast, which was also cheaper than the excursion. We had booked an excersion, and not heard anything about it from Thomson so the day before we went to ask what time we were meeting for it in the morning, only to find they had cancelled us of it. The reason being, was that we didn't pick up our tickets after the welcome meeting.
On the plus side, the room was very large and clean. We also had a jacuzzi in our bath, and a seperate shower (sea-view superior rooms). We had a fantastic view of Mount Vesuvius and the bay of Naples. At first the deck chairs by the pool looked cheap and uncomfortable but they were great, you could use the extra fold-away part to keep your face out of the Sun. The pool was a simple affair, but it had a working jacuzzi in it, and a seperate, shallow children's pool. However, it was far too cold!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BackPackBex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (494)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2010

This was the first time my husband and I had booked a Gold thompson holiday. We liked the fact entertainement was provided and no children!
The thompson entertainment was a great team who worked very hard and always had time to speak to everyone and look cheerful even though they must have been shattered.
If you don't drink the bottle of wine at dinner the waiter will put it away for the next evening.
Only superior rooms have kettles!
Drinks and snacks are very expensive in the bar but so is Sorrento, we paid 6 euros for a small coffee in Capri.
All in all we have a great holiday and may go back in the future.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank oxgull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fleet, Hampshire
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2010

We stayed as part of a Thomson Holidays trip. The staff were excellent and the welcome very pleasant. The hotel's location is wonderful, overlooking Sorrento and the Bay of Naples to Vesuvius. However, it does mean it is isolated from the town and it's a good 20 - 30 minute walk down the steep hill, or a shuttle coach trip to the town. The food was very good - we found we did not need lunch after breakfast, and dinner was more than sufficient. The menu was varied and interesting. We went on many of the organised tours offered by Thomson - unfortunately, they were quite expensive, and they were not very good at telling you about hidden extras during the day, but that is not the fault of the hotel.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank zimbotog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2010

Although it was a bit of a walk down to Sorrento you could get the courtesy bus back at certain times of the day, The views were fantastic, food great, drink expensive tho'. Usually room at the pool and entertainment was good although it finished a bit early. The trip to Capri in the evening was lovely and Amalfi coast stunning. Sorrento exxpensive but certainly worth a visit. Staff and reps were very helpful.

Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank AnnmarieL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2010

My boyfriend & I stayed at the hotel in June 2009. We are in our early 20s. We fell in love with this place! There were a few other young couples and honeymooners but mainly everyone was older.

The views from the hotel are stunning!!!

The food was amazing and the waiter service is a nice touch. If you get there early enough you can get a table outside.

We loved sitting out on the terrace at night with strawberry champange cocktails and watching the twinkling lights of Sorrento below....But you must go into Sorrento at night too! Great for people watching, its amazingly busy at night. And we found a great cocktail bar with a happy hour too.

We did a few excursions through Thomson....Firstly all of the guides are excellent! We went to pompei half day which was great, worth a visit. very interesting and fascinating. we also did the did to capri.....loved it!! we took the chair lift up to the top- you have to do this! when your up there your in the clouds! we went on the optional lunch which was enjoyed by all and at a reasonable price. We also went on the optional boat trip around the whole island. bit choppy at times but highlight of the day. we also did the almalfi drive excursion. can also recommend this one and again did the optional lunch, this was lovely. we also took the guided walk in sorrento which was nice, helped us get our bearings in town and see sights & lots of free samples of drink on the way around!

we walked to the marina closest to the hotel one eve, marina grande, and watched the sunset, its a lovely spot to visit. the walk down is fine in the evening but catch the bus in the daytime its too hot otherwise.

Can highly recommend this hotel!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Leise86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2009

A lovely hotel with a nice ambiance and really lovely helpful staff in all areas of the hotel. Lovely room kept spotless but with very hard beds which left me in the mornings with sore hip joints. Even my husband who likes a firm matress said it was too firm. The fridge caper in room with threatening to charge 10 euros a day if you used it for your own food or drink wasa bit absurd as it was there and on and half empty anyway, think it was to hopefully force you to buy their drink at an exorbitant price. I am sure they would not have charged the prices if there had been some bars or cafes nearby. The roof terrace was a really lovely place to spend time in the sun, very quiet and relaxing and we loved it up there.

The food was disappointing and while it was on the whole quite acceptable and the breakfast were very nice it was very geared to the British or should I say more so to the English taste and we had expected more of an Italian variety in the cuisine but this only showed through in the starter pasta dish on the menu each evening and while at times there were really nice things on menu it was always spoiled by being accompanied with boring veg, namely potatoes and cauliflower for the most part although others were occasioinally interspersed. Felt this could have been more varied.
Even on the Gala night (a buffet) they still tried to restrict what you took by running to ostensibly assist you in putting it on the plate for you, thus keeping the quests intake within a restriction. This did not go unnoticed by guests

The courtesy bus could have done with just a few extra times on it's schedule as it stopped at 12.30 and did not run again till 4.15 to bring you up from town and the shops did not close till between 1 -2 if in some cases at all - not a big gripe but a small one.

Then we come to the horendous noise every evening of the entertainment put on by Thomsons. The sound was so loud it distorted all the music no matter what and made other quiet areas of the hotel noisy too. The only grace was that it was all quiet by midnight.

All in all whilst we loved to location with the views and in general the ambiance of the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our 1 week there I doubt that we would return.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank amber54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton Keynes
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2009

This was our 5th Thomson Gold so my wife and I are well into the culture, and this hotel didnt disappoint.

We knew it wasnt going to be a cheap holiday so saved money by getting a basic room without a sea view. We reasoned that we we weren't going to be spending a lot of time in our rooms and we could enjoy the vies just as well from all the other areas of the Hotel , which is the way it turned out. So we probably got one of the worst rooms at the back of the hotel with no balcony and facing a wall. However it was as big enough with all the usual facilities except a bath. However as we have showers at home 99% of the time I could hardly say this was a problem either.

As others have said prices are high 8.50 euros for an evening drink be it Gin and Tonic or Southen Comfort and Lemonade etc Bottles of wine were between 15 and 30 euros.
lunch time snacks again were expensive . Most days we ate by the pool cafe and typically the bill would be around 30 euros. Like i said its not cheap But that isnt entirely the Hotels fault.
In previous years we have budgeted to spend around £100 a day between so around £1500 spending money for two weeks . This year we upped that to £150 because of the very much weeker pound and to our delight came back with 450 euros.

The food at the hotel is brilliant. There is always a wide choice and the portions can be huge particularly if you choose one of the pasta dishes for starters...but they are delicios.
A welcome departure from the usual gold standard of catering is the waiter service at dinner. This helped me enormously as I'm a real fan on puddings. if there are 10 choices on a buffet I have to try at least 6 of them even if I have tried the same 6 the night before! Being restricted to one helped the waistline no end. The staff are very attentive and soon get to know your preferences for wine /water/and seat..

Breakfast is the usual buffet with plenty of choice and they have an egg chef that turns omellete making into an art form. We've tried doing the same at home but its not the same.

As stated before this is our 5th gold holiday and I just love the entertainment and the games. Now I know they are not everyones cup of tea but I'll play any game going
They are a great Ice breaker and you quickly get to know a lot of people and the entertainments staff. Harry, Evie Robyn and James are excellent performers but they are also great "people2 person. They must see thousands of holidaymakers in the season, get asked asked all the same things and probably heard the same jokes from guest hundreds of times but they made us all feel very special. We managed to win two full sets of Thomson Gold goodies and got mentioned in dispatches at one of the weekly "Bafta" award.

Gold Holidays are aimed at couples as no children are allowed. There were some honeymoon couples probably in their mid twenties who may have found the entertainment a little dated but with so much else on offer I'm sure that wont have spoiled their holiday.

We booked Three excursions through the reps. Capri by night/ Amalfi Coast and Vesuvious and Pompeii. All three could be done cheaper by yourself but the guides were very knowledgable so if you do want to know about the area thyen I would still recommend then as good value


To sum up If you enjoy Gold Holidays and are prepared for the higher costs because of the poor exchange rate then you are not going to be dissaponted. We would certainly come back again.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Advocatus
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 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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Sorrento
#17 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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