Spent a week at the Minerva at the beginning of May, and really enjoyed our stay.
We had never been down to the Amalfi coast, so whilst I had heard and read a lot, it was a new experience. We came down from Pompeii on the train, which is interesting, and after a little careful investigation found that you could get a bus from the main square in Sorrento, a five minute walk from the station, which stops right outside the hotel [rather than pay upwards of 20 euros for a taxi] A very pleasant hotel in the old style, apparently one of Sorrento's original hotels, and whilst it has clearly been updated over the years it retains a certain style and class. Reception is on the 5th. floor, and was pleasant friendly and professional, before we were shown up one floor to our room. Nice room, very clean with everything you could want for a nice break, king size comfortable bed and nice big pillows [a bit hard for me, but one was changed for a softer one the next morning for me, as soon as I asked], very clean bathroom with excellent shower; but it was all about the view from the small balcony - pretty spectacular! The whole bay of Naples, with Vesuvius centre stage. We ate in the restaurant first night, and several others, and were impressed by the attention and courtesy of the staff. A good menu which changed each night, and a good selection of wines too. Breakfast was a buffet affair with a very good selection each morning. The views from both the dining room and the terrace which runs along the front of the hotel really are very nice.
The hotel is essentially built into the hillside of the coast road out of town, and you have to be a little careful exiting the front door as the pavement is virtually non-existent on the hotel side of the road. From there it is pleasant 15 minute walk down into the town centre, the walk back is slightly uphill and not too bad [the exercise is good!] or you can catch the bus - although beware they are a little flexible on the schedule.
Talking with other guests we got recommendations for several restaurants which we tried and were happy with, either for lunch or evening meal.
We checked on excursions and chose to make our own way for most trips - we walked down to the harbour for the boat to Capri, 20 minutes on a jet foil. Do ride up to Anacapri village on the top of the hill, and take the ski-lift up to the top of the mountain for truly amazing views. We booked a shared big open taxi which was pretty neat, but the bus is a much cheaper alternative.
The next day we walked down to the station again, and rode the coastal bus to Amalfi - this goes via Positano, and stops in Amalfi, where you can walk around and then ride back to Positano. You get off the bus up on the coast road, and take the 10-12 minute walk down into the village seafront, a nice place but not cheap! We treated ourselves to a great lunch at Chez Black right in the centre of the seafront - can thoroughly recommend the food and service! Then we walked back up to the coast road for the bus back to Sorrento....A young couple told us they had been waiting 50minutes, [half hour service] and then we learned that the drivers had decided to go on strike!! It is a very long walk back to the hotel, so it was time to negotiate with a taxi driver who was set to drive back empty to Sorrento - initial bid was 60 euros! but this got reduced to 10 euros each for the 4 of us after a short haggle, which was just fine.
We tried Emelias restaurant down on the small seafront and visible from the hotel, very impressed by their seafood salads, and grilled sea bass. My partner pronounced the home made tiramisu the best she has ever had! The walk down and back to this relatively small family run restaurant is well worth the effort.
Our chill out day, we chose to spend quite a while just relaxing and reading up on the recliners poolside on the top floor - a couple of brave souls had a swim, but it was too chilly for me - be a great place when it warms up a bit though!
Time to return to Naples for our flight home and we opted to take the hotel booked taxi, reasonable for the distance and convenience - would not really have fancied the bus/train combination.
Overall a great experience - would I recommend? - most certainly.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Minerva Sorrento
- Minerva Hotel Sorrento