After staying here I am surprised the rating isn't higher. I had originally booked the de la ville, but due to a 'booking error' (I was told they didnt realize some guests were extending their stay) we were moved to the Ambasciatore. This was fine w/ me since it's a more expensive hotel and unlike the de la ville, is actually right on the cliff facing the sea.
I have just 3 complaints:
1. The de la ville desk clerk assured me I'd have a full ocean view room at this hotel -- the room category I'd booked for de la ville. But when we got to the Ambasciatore we were put in a room with a side sea view. I asked the man at Ambasciatore reception if they had full sea view rooms available and was told no, nothing. This was clearly a lie, bc when I then called the de la ville to tell the man I was not getting the room I'd booked, he called the Ambasciatore and within 10 minutes we were moved to a full sea view room. The view was indeed awesome.
Yes the balcony was tiny (this was in the 600s) ; I noticed rooms one level down had bigger balconies, but whatever - it's not like we were throwing parties out there. There was room for 1 table and 2 chairs. I wasn't able to use it much anyway given the constant smoking of other guests on their terraces. (note to smokers- you truly do ruin everything, not that you care). Luckily the restaurants are all smoke-free (indoors).
2. Ants. The reviews indicate this is a hotel-wide issue which is understandable given the fact that the maid frequently left our balcony doors open after cleaning. However, given how expensive this hotel is (overall I do think it's overpriced) you'd think they could fix it. Luckily the ants were confined to our shower - they were coming out of the vent over it. I put shampoo up along the tile to block their path which helped confine them. When I complained, I noticed afterward that there were fewer ants, though they werent totally gone. I never saw any in the room outside the bathroom. This isnt a deal breaker for me; it's not like I had a line of them across my pillow as I've had in the caribbean.
3. Food - it's deplorable, but then there are so many restaurants w/in walking distance of the hotel, why would you eat here? We only did on the first day/night bc of exhaustion. The pizza I ordered for lunch at the snack bar by the pool was basically a hunk of dough that fell apart when I lifted it. The fish I ordered at dinner had been frozen (oddly much of the fish on restaurant menus here is frozen) and tasted of rubber, yet was over 19 euros. Vegetarian options are nil.
The restaurant atmosphere was stuffy and looked like a retirement home. I think I counted 4 people under age 70 in this place. EAT ELSEWHERE. (Except for the free breakfast; this was fine and comparable to other hot/cold buffets I've had in europe, though I wish they knew what pancakes really are).
As for basement/jail cell rooms, I see what people are saying. The hotel is longer in back than in front bc it descends the cliff, so there are 2 floors above reception, the rest 'below ground' beneath reception. The ocean view rooms on these low floors still have balconies and sea views but I cant imagine the rooms w/out the view down this low. We went down there once and the hall smelled very musty. Avoid; request a room above reception level.
Room decor - the rooms are not the homiest or most comfy, unless you like lots of gold and LIberace-style decor. The beds were very low to the ground but comfy. It just had a very cold aspect to it, not a welcoming kind of room and seemed sparce. Here's what was in it: round small wooden table; 2 french chairs; large bureau w/ drawers and the minibar, flat screen tv, 2 wood endtables, a 2-shelf marble suitcase thingy and a large wooden headboard attached to the wall. The closet was large and there's a safe inside operated by a key.
A nice touch was the remote-controlled screen that came down from the balcony so that you could completely close out all sunlight if you wished, or open it just enough to get fresh air.
The good outweighed the bad for me:
1. Location. You're pretty much going to be at the train station every day if you plan to see the amalfi coast/pompeii/vesuvius etc, so it seems foolish to stay far away from it., e.g. via capo hotels. This hotel is just 10 minutes walk. The royal is a lot closer, but I didnt want to pay that much. If you dont mind paying more, I'd reco the royal for location alone. It also looked very nice.
2. Grounds and lobby are very attractive
3. Beyond the ants the room was very clean and the maids were friendly.
4. the women desk staff were very friendly and helpful; one even xeroxed some book pages for me for free. The men are another story, however.
5. Room size was fine; not the biggest I've had but I can't complain. There is no carpet, which I dont mind though at these prices you'd think a robe/slippers would be provided.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Characterized by the uniqueness of its position close to the city centre, the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori, is a prestigious 5 star rating Hotel, immersed in the green of a luxuriant secular park, on a cliff overlooking the sea, with a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Naples and Vesuvius. Quiet location, exclusive private beach, Wellness center and parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Sorrento