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“Will keep going back. (Ciao, Antoinio!)”
Review of Hotel Continental

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Hotel Continental
Ranked #28 of 100 Hotels in Sorrento
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 September 2013

NOTE: having left this review for too long, Trip Advisor's format means I had to put the date of stay as close as possible (at Oct 2012) to the date of my (latest) stay (this review), which was actually JUNE 2012.

GENERAL: Because it says the most, I begin by saying that this was our second stay—two years apart—at the Hotel Continental, and that we were as pleased with our stay this time as with the first. And we will be back.
Entering the hotel the first time was, as I vividly recall, really a bit of a shock, right off—but in the best way. The first sight of its richly startling interior, with its warmly welcoming red marble and well-polished brass-railed staircase is apt to make you wonder, as it made us, whether we made a mistake in the booking. (Wide-eyed, I turned to my wife, and said, “Did we make a mistake? I don’t think we can afford this!”) Needless to say, we found we didn’t and that we could. Really, I don’t understand why the Hotel Continental is awarded only four stars. It certainly looks and feels like a five-star. The impeccably well dressed and mostly English-speaking staff is ever-courteous and welcoming.
With any hotel, a changing staff hints at management problems; and an unhappy staff is a portent of an unhappy stay—so we were glad to see the same friendly faces as before. The especially engaging and friendly Dining Room staff makes the hotel’s dining experience that much more special.
LOCATION: Some visitors to Sorrento like to stay in the hotels high up on the cliffs—giving them a fifteen-minute walk and more into town. My wife and I, however, like to have the town at our toes. (Even when in the middle of town you are still high above the sea.) We chose Hotel Continental because we saw little point in going to the Bay of Naples only to look out our window and see only the walls and windows of other hotels. (There are lots of those in Sorrento.)
Sorrento is divisible, I suppose, into two towns: old and modern. The Hotel Continental is perfectly situated—in the old town, but two minutes walk to the new one. With such sea-and-landscape to be in constant awe of, visitors to Sorrento can forgive the surprising lack of grassy areas in the town itself—but again; where there is parkland, it’s nice to see. Thus, the Hotel Continental faces directly onto one of (as far as I have yet seen) the only green area in the older part of town. (There is a larger park, but in a much more modern area.) Perhaps two cosy acres of palm trees, benches, a monument, iron railings, marble balustrades, and cobblestones, a sculpture in its own right, in an area that hangs dizzyingly from its own marble cliff some sixty to eighty feet directly over the harbour and well-outfitted beach, to peer right out over the sea, the Piazza della Vittoria is itself a serene retreat. A stunning view, it comes free with Hotel Continental—a forecourt to its forecourt. Another bonus, the beach and main harbor are directly accessible from the hotel by elevator and whimsically adventurous tunnel cut through the cliff. Thus, from hotel room to sandy beach entailed about twenty-five feet of hotel corridor, an elevator ride, and about a hundred feet of tunnel. (How do you say “Voila!” in Italian?)
The Piazza della Vittoria aside, a short (if steeply stepped) walk from the hotel and down a cobbled alley (another little adventure) takes you to what I take to be the original, pre-tourist-era town of Sorrento—for it certainly seems the oldest and most charming. Why this area is called the Marina Grande (Grande Harbour) I don’t know, because it is much smaller than its modern cousin. Don’t miss this. It seems strange and yet the Hotel Continental, being on the edge of “two towns” is yet right at the centre of both.
FORECOURT: The Hotel Continental has a large, comfortable and commanding forecourt area, tastefully done with quality modern wicker in a parasol setting and on (variously, depending on exactly where you are seated) marble and hardwood decking areas. Thus, the forecourt provides a gently seamless visual and walking transition between the actual hotel and the Piazza della Vittoria—hence to Sorrento itself. No stepping out, here, from hotel lobby directly onto a busy public thoroughfare. Serene is the word.
VIEW: Half of the Hotel Continental’s perimeter is bounded by other hotels, so if you want a sea view—ask—for a room on the front or (as looking from the inside) the front-left-corner. All the sea views will then be to the front and/or angled slightly off to the left. The hotel’s two fifth-floor penthouses aside, there are four occupiable floors. Needless to say, the higher up your room is, the better. Otherwise, your view may be partially blocked by mature palm trees. (There are worse things in life.) The fourth floor corner suites have wrap-around balconies so large you could have (theoretically) going on, on them, simultaneously, two and possibly three games of ping-pong. (Really!) The third floor corner room balconies are smaller, yet still spacious; but be prepared to pay, also, for any of those rooms. With their table and two chairs, the hotel’s standard-room balconies are, at about one meter x three meters or more, still much more spacious than what seems the average for Sorrento hotels. There are no rooms facing the back. (See Pool Area.)
DINING: It’s hard to think of any reason for the Hotel Continental’s lack of a fifth star. Perhaps it’s the ready-boiled eggs, which are by the time you get to them, very hard. Their fried eggs too, are pre-cooked. It would be nice were diners able to order a freshly-fried or boiled egg. Baring only that, the Hotel Continental’s breakfasts are as A-M-A-Z-I-N-G as is the sunny, spotless, and cheerful Dining Room. And voluminous too. Forget having to squeeze past other diners, you’d have to be seven foot wide to bump elbows here.
At breakfast, diners are presented with what seems an endless choice, both decadent (yum!) and healthy. (Incredible coffee—in proper coffee pots, I didn’t see any machine-made java here.) I can’t testify one way or the other, however, as to actual dinners. As my wife and I like to “spread the wealth” the hotel got our patronage for room and breakfast—but the rest of Sorrento and its surroundings gets us for dinners. It is only reasonable to assume, however, that the Hotel Continental’s other meals are as inviting as its breakfasts.
ROOMS: Very clean, the rooms are generously-sized, air-conditioned and with fully king-sized beds. Ours had them, anyway. So many hotels fall down on the quality of their mattresses and pillows, but not here. Both were top-notch. Decorated white tiled floors were cool and the balcony was accessible by fully-opening double doors. (In the corner suites: two sets!) Cabinets and other fitted furnishings were notably a class above. Two overstuffed-style chairs and an occasional table completed the furnishings as did the digitally lockable safe. (Recommendation to all visitors going anywhere on the continent: take with you a universal plug adaptor.)
POOL & SUNNING AREA: Deep at one end—sorry, no diving—the large external pool (I’m guessing: averaging 75’ x 30’) and its even much larger Sunning area, its clean and convenient changing area are internally accessible by the hotel’s elevator. Well-oriented to the sun, the surrounding Sunning area is spacious and well outfitted with loungers and parasols. A pleasant space, its orientation allows for a permanently shaded flower-and-leaf-lined area along one long side of the pool for the protection of the more sensitive sun worshipper. I don’t recall any additional charge, but the signed-for towels are available at the poolside. You are requested not to use the room towels.
OTHER: Perhaps the point that looses the Hotel Continental its fifth star concerns its external finish. Somewhat at odds with its stunning interior and, were the hotel a pre-WWII building, this would fit in well with the broader Italian experience; but on a fairly modern building this ... I’ll be gracious and call it a “patina” ... doesn’t look nearly as well as the inside. It’s neither bad nor unattractive, but the outside could use a paint job. I hasten to add that there’s no way I would let this rather small point get in the way of my returning to what, for me, has to be the very-best-situated, all-round best-value-for-money-AND-THEN-SOME hotel experience in Sorrento. After all, were it to get its fifth star, its prices would surely rise and I’d never be able to afford the Hotel Continental again. That would be a tragedy.
(This review, btw, was in no way solicited and is entirely bona fide.)

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank DanielOHA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 September 2013

This is nice small hotel with a perfect location, within easy walking distance of all the important areas in busy Sorrento. This an expensive tourist town, but the hotel and the town are very charming. Lots of nice shops, good little restaurants. We did not book parking at the hotel, and you should, as the garage that took the car was several blocks away and they will only take the car as you arrive and deliver it as you leave, E30 per nite, is very expensive. If you need the car between arrival and departure you have to walk or take a taxi to the garage. The hotel could improve its offering by bringing the car as required, at that price, this service should be gratis. The roads are crowded and narrow in Sorrento, but for any confident, competent driver , would be fine.
The breakfast is mainly continental, pastries and breads. The Italians seem to boil rather than dry the bacon. The scrambled eggs here were ok. There is a lovely little park, right in front of he hotel and the front desk is heavily staffed with helpful staff.
I am surprised that he level of English spoken in most areas is quite poor. Not sure why this should be, give the massive tourist industry here and the length of time they have been welcoming so many English speaking clients.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Justintforfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Good location however:
Room was small and the walls were paper thin and you could hear everything next door plus in the corridor
The hair dryer was a joke and the bed was extremely hard!
Breakfasts had very little except cakes and eggs ! Get there early as they did not replenish the food when it's gone it's gone!
The balcony was in the centre of the hotel which was overlooked by many others
The hotel had allowed a very large wedding party to book together and the poolside was so noisy and rowdy most of the other guests abandoned the pool area until the party left midweek
The management did not intervene and kept on happily supplying them drink fuelling the problem
I have travelled twice a year for many years to hotels around europe and can say I would never
return to this hotel I am surprised it gets a 4 star rating

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Brian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2013

Wow, what an amazing place and when you add in the unbelievable staff (Antonio head waiter, Giovanni waiter / bartender and the chef) this hotel made our family vacation to Italy. We spent three wonderful days and celebrated our daughters fifteenth birthday where the chef made a traditional italian rum cake for her. Great location with beautiful sunsets where everyone comes to watch the sunset even if they aren't staying at the hotel. The rooms were comfortable with nice accommodations and the hotel has beautiful italian marble throughout with gorgeous chandeliers. The pool is a nice diversion on hot days instead of going down to the beach. Can't wait to return.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the Bay of Naples
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank J S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2013 via mobile

The setting of the hotel was lovely, right by the coast and a five minute walk from the main square of Sorrento.

The foyer was nice but when we got to the room it didn't match up to the pictures. The room was small - we couldn't move around without having to side step each other. The balcony was overlooked by a number of other balconies and we couldn't see the view properly.

The rest of the pictures did not seem to entirely match the rest of the hotel either.

It was a shame as we had spent a lot on the holiday and the hotel was a disappointment. It was an okay hotel, but I wouldn't recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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4  Thank Grace L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

Myself and my boyfriend had a 7 night stay here and to be honest i could have stayed forever. The location was amazing and our room fantastic, but what really makes the place is the genuine hospitality from the staff. The waiters at breakfast had wonderful banter and Antonio has got to be the nicest man in Italy!! The breakfast choice is vast and there's something different every day.
Try and get a room with a sea view so ask for a higher floor. The view will be breathtaking.
The room itself that we had was spotless and fully air-conditioned and the bed firm but comfortable.
Attention to detail seems to be paramount and as we had an early flight on leaving they even prepared a complimentary packed breakfast.
Its definately somewhere i want to stay again and again.

Room Tip: ask for a higher floor preferably front
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PervinC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2013 via mobile

A really nicely situated hotel in the centre of Sorrento old town.
Loved the friendly feel of the place and they do an excellent breakfast.
Be careful when choosing a room though as we had rooms 116 and 117 which are described as "Classic" which means just about big enough to sleep in and they overlooked a large renovation project in the neighbouring building.
The main service was great, thanks girls, and the rooms kept spotless.
Tip: Pay for your drinks as you order them to avoid any confusions that running a tab can cause and find a Buffalo Inn Resaurant and try the Buffalo Stew. With going to Italy just for that.
Really enjoyed our 10 day stay so thanks to all at the Hotel Contintal and the friendly people of Sorrento

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank geoffraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Continental

Address: Piazza della Vittoria n. 4, 80067, Sorrento, Italy
Region: Italy > Campania > Province of Naples > Sorrento
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Sorrento
#24 Luxury Hotel in Sorrento
#27 Romantic Hotel in Sorrento
Price Range: £117 - £393 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Continental 4*
Number of rooms: 80
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Continental Sorrento

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