We stayed at the Art Hotel Grand Paradiso for 10 nights at the end of September. We booked with BA and had been in contact with the hotel directly for a while before we flew out. A week or so before we left, BA called us to say that the hotel had contacted them advising them that some improvement works were going on at the hotel during our stay but that it would in no way whatsoever affect our stay. We decided to go ahead as were confident that our holiday would not be affected. We had a fantastic flight out to Naples and had booked a private transfer to the hotel. This holiday was to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. On arrival at the hotel at 8.30pm after travelling since 10am, we were met by Massimo (whom we now know was the Duty Manager). I gave him our names and our booking confirmation but were told by Massimo that there was a problem. We couldn’t understand why as the booking had been taken in May. No reason was given for the ‘problem’ but that he simply wanted us to do him a ‘favour’ and stay at another hotel for 2 nights. We were quickly escorted off to the other hotel which we were assured was one they use and was a very nice hotel. It turned out to be the Carlton International Hotel which was right in the centre of Sorrento, just behind Piazza Tasso. We were checked in and taken to our room which was basic and the bathroom was very small with a shower tray and curtain. Once we had checked in we rang the BA Duty Office who were absolutely fantastic. They were disgusted with the way the hotel had treated us and had no idea about any problem at all. They took on the complaint and asked us to stay put for that night but they would sort things out. They were, unfortunately, unable to get hold of the Grand Paradiso that evening as no-one was answering the phone! The next day, we had a call from BA who informed us that we could move to another hotel but there was only 1 hotel available in the whole of Sorrento for the remaining 9 nights or we could continue our holiday at the Grand Paradiso for the remaining 8 nights after spending a further night at the Carlton. BA had been advised by the Grand Paradiso that they always double-book due to ‘no shows’! The ‘problem’ was that the hotel had taken double bookings – nothing to do with travel agents or improvement works. The hotel had advised BA that we would be given the ‘best room in the hotel’ for the remainder of our stay and they would give us dinner in their restaurant with wine for one night of our stay.
Whilst staying at the Carlton, we noticed that at least 11 other couples had the same problem with the Art Hotel Grand Paradiso.
Once we got back to the Grand Paradiso after living out of our suitcases for 2 nights not wishing to unpack and repack, we found we had been given a standard room with a side view and balcony, having booked a sea view room in any case. This was definitely not the best room in the hotel as promised! The room was very small and the bathroom and shower were miniscule. The tiles in the shower were mouldy and the chrome was rusty. The walls in the room were so thin that we could actually hear our neighbours on the toilet/coughing/singing!! A couple who were staying above us said that they had no wardrobe or drawers in which to store their clothes.
The courtesy bus is a must as the walk up and down the hill in the heat is not our idea of a holiday (although on many occasions the courtesy bus had to be bump started!) Having said that, it was prompt and ran as and when it said it would, although overcrowded and it was like a scrum to get on the bus for the 9am or 10am shuttle. The hotel is not actually in Sorrento but is outside in the suburb of Sant’ Agnello.
Having said all of the above, the view from the hotel is incredible. The whole hotel and rooms are kept spotlessly clean and our bedding was changed several times during our stay. Towels were changed every day without fail. The breakfast/restaurant staff were exceptional and very professional. Guiseppe is a complete character and ran service impeccably. Breakfast was perfectly good, with juices, fresh fruit, tinned fruit, jams, honey, cereals, fresh breads, pastries, cakes, cold meats, cheeses, eggs, bacon/sausages, tomatoes – everything you would expect. No matter how busy it was, a table was always made available to you.
We found Sorrento extremely busy and it was good to go back to the hotel in the evening for some peace and quiet. It has a chilled out feel in the common areas and is lovely sitting on the terrace with a drink into the evening looking out across the Bay of Naples over to Vesuvius.
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- Also Known As:
- Art Hotel Sorrento