We spent a long weekend at Grand Hotel Aminta 5-9 July 2007.
* Exceptionally clean
* Friendly, accomodating staff
* Beautiful views of Bay and Vesuvius
* Convenient for visiting Ercolano (Herculaneum) and Pompei.
* Lots of road and other noise in room and at poolside. We slept using earplugs every night.
* Walk down into town is 20 minutes. We never had the energy to walk up the hill back to the hotel. A taxi from town was 20-28EUR.
* The one dinner we had at hotel was quite acceptable, but not great. Service was 'relaxed', but the staff were so nice we hardly cared.
We stayed in the Villaminta annex away from the main hotel. We liked it. It was only a couple minutes walk to the pool and main building through lemon and olive orchards. You receive a few amenities (safe, free internet, free coffee) you may not get in the main building. The room was spotlessly clean. Two single beds combined to make a huge kingsize bed that was double (or triple?) sheeted so the gap was not an annoyance.
The perfect weather meant we wanted the balcony doors open at night (in spite of a few mosquitos), but road traffic, barking dogs, and roosters welcoming the dawn made it awfully noisy. I suspect that no hotels in the area are any more quiet, and most are probably even more noisy. Sorrento is a densely populated place. Solution: bring ear plugs and don't worry about it.
We liked the people best of all: friendly and willing to help. The front desk had clear, accurate information whenever we had a question. The staff in the restaurant always had a friendly word. The bartenders were funny and mixed great cocktails. Sometimes the restaurant service was a little slow or orders weren't delivered exactly as requested, but when pointed out, the problem was quickly and smilingly corrected.
Breadfast contained the thing we happen to like: eggs made to order, ham, melon, chocolate coissants, yogurt, fruit (yes, canned, ho hum). We had a mixed experience at dinner -- parts were good, especially the pasta. Main course was acceptable, but not great ... I can't even remember what we had.
Walking down into town is easy and allows your own schedule. Use the "rural path" and not the main road. The free hotel shuttle doesn't run between 12N and 3pm or so, which was when we usually found ourselves leaving. We walked to the train station in about 30 minutes. Each night after dinner, we caught a taxi back to the hotel that cost between 20-28 EUR. Walk to the end of Corsa Italia that's closest to the hotel if you want the lower rate.
We never found a bad restaurant in town. The hotel will recommend Zi'annonia Marc at the waterfront for seafood. It's good. If you ask, the restaurant will give you a free courtesy car ride back to the Aminta.
If you have to choose between Ercolano (Herculaneum) and Pompei, I'd choose Ercolano. It's better preserved and is more compact. We spent more than five hours in Pompei and did not see all the 'must see' attractions. We loved exporing both places. It was a boyhood dream of mine to visit them; they didn't disappoint.
If you have the time, the hydrofoil ride back to Naples is fun. We used that service to return to the airport. It was 15 minutes by taxi from the hotel to the marina (Marina Picolo), 45 minutes on the boat to Naples, 30 minutes by taxi to the airport. (You may want to allow more time for the airport taxi ride; we were lucky with traffic.)
Grand Hotel Aminta - clean, friendly, convenient. We liked it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Aminta occupies a commanding position overlooking the Gulf of Naples with breathtaking views, just 3.5 Km from the centre of Sorrento to which it offers a courtesy bus service. Complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Sorrento
- Hotel Aminta