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“Not allowed on roof terrace”

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Hotel San Francesco al Monte
Ranked #20 of 185 Hotels in Naples
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 August 2007

We booked hotel to enjoy views over Naples bay but due to the many weddings at the hotel we were not allowed onto the roof terrace or use of the pool during our weekend stay. Poor breakfast. Rooms well appointeted and an interesting building to stay in.

Stayed: July 2007
5  Thank elvisEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 June 2007

During a week's stay on business, my colleagues and I found this hotel a welcome refuge from a challenging city. It is perched up against the mountain side, above but close to the grime and bustle of Naples' old centre. Tremendous views of the city and bay are to be had from every room, the terrace restaurant, and the roof garden. The hotel lived up to its four-star quality in most respects and its heritage as a converted monastery gives it a unique shape and character that can't help but add to your stay.

My room was excellent. It had an dld-fashioned décor and quality furniture. The queen bed (really two singles pushed together) was harder than most but well clothed. The bathroom was large and had a combined shower/jacuzzi tub. Two large, opening windows offered great views. When both were open, there was a nice breeze. Well-concealed amenities included a safe, LCD TV, mini-fridge, and air con unit. The air con unit was quiet but too weak to cool the large room. This was a problem only if you prefer to sleep with the windows closed and locked.

The rooms vary in size, shape, and amenities. For the same rate as I, my colleague had a room twice the size with a large private patio. Another colleague had only a shower in a small bathroom. The variation is likely due to the building's heritage. Rooms on first and second floors may be noisy since they are close to the busy road in front. My room on the 5th was quiet enough that I woke to the sound of swallows each morning. In general, the hotel was very quiet. However, this made jet aircraft noise more noticeable. Departing jets seem to climb out directly over downtown Naples and early morning departures are frequent.

A delightful perk for all of us was the mini-fridge stocked full of free beverages: two each of beer, juice, water, Coke, and soda water. These were welcome refreshments in a hot city. Two chilled glasses and a bottle opener were included and the fridge was restocked daily.

The terrace restaurant on 4th floor is a lovely setting for breakfast, drinks, or a fine dinner. The outdoor dining area has a pleasant breeze and unmatched views. Our room rate included a buffet breakfast which was adequate. The restaurant had very good dinner selections, but they were a little fancy for regular business-trip-style dining where a good bowl of spaghetti will do. Staff were attentive.

The hotel's public areas were fascinating. Stairs and corridors seemed to lead everywhere and nowhere. Some nooks and rooms are set aside as museum pieces. Many of these are cut right into the rock, including a cavernous banquet room. Décor is consistently amazing. The roof garden, which offers stunning all-around views, seems to be a popular venue for weddings and banquets. This meant it was effectively out of bounds on both the Saturdays and a Sunday during our stay.

The hotel's location on Corso Vittorio Emanuelle turned out to be pretty good. The Corso is narrow, chaotic, and busy, but it runs above one of Naples roughest inner neighbourhoods: the Spanish Quarter. While it is possible to walk through this quarter via steps to get to the desirable parts of downtown and the piers, this route is quite obviously unsafe for visitors. "If you walk there", said one taxi driver, "take off your watch and keep your eyes wide open". Fortunately, the hotel is within walking distance of two funicular railways that bypass this quarter. The funicular station 10 minutes walk to the west on the Corso deposits you right on the Via Toledo shopping street, or, if you go up, in the heart of Vomero, an up-scale suburb above the mountain. The funicular station 10 minutes walk to the east connects to the Metro and the Cumana railway. The 1-Euro ticket is good for 90 minutes on the Metro and the funiculars, which are clean and safe.

It was in Vomero, two blocks from the funicular station, that we had our best dining experience. At the Trattoria Vanvitelli (on Piazza Vanvitelli) we had superb dinners with antipasto, wine, and dessert for under 30 Euro each. By 9 pm, this busy and large place was full of local couples and families.

Walking west 15 minutes from the hotel (past the funicular station) the Corso Vittorio Emanuelle becomes a relatively pleasant road flanked by upscale apartments and shops on one side, and on the other great views of the bay and the two castles below. At 147 Corso Vittorio Emanuelle, I found a great little wine and spirits shop that offers good local product at local prices.

Minor problems:
- If traffic jams up on the narrow Corso Vittorio Emanuelle (as it did on several occasions), you can be delayed getting to or from the hotel by taxi.
- Exit stairs on some floors are not well marked.
- The many varied hallways and stairwells, and the two separate elevators, can be confusing. It took me until the third day to find a way down from my room without using the elevator.
- The air conditioner was too weak to cool the large room to a temperature suitable for sleeping (with the windows closed to keep out noise and light).
- Given the lack of space on the road, taxis don't wait at this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled on business
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9  Thank NW_Raven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2007

We recently stayed for 3 days at this hotel. As others have remarked the hotel is a lovely building with views that couldn't be bettered. The roof garden was fantastic and breakfast on the terrace ample and delicious although one day when we came down (with only an hour to go) much of the serving table was bare. We had to keep requesting things such as milk, cups, spoons etc. and were made to feel as if we were being a nuisance by the staff on duty at that time.
However our big problem was with the air conditioning which was totally inadequate and although it was only late April it was hot and the nights became uncomfortable, I wouln't recommend a stay here in the summer if you are not able to cope with these conditions.
Many of the staff were polite and helpful.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank spottydog59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2006

Four of us stayed here in late September. The hotel was fine, the staff were very helpful during our stay. The rooms were OK, but don't forget it is a converted monastery. We had an intermittent bad smell in our room now and then (our friends did not). Bathroom very small; TV could not be viewed from the bed if that is important to you! The views are brilliant particularly during a superb night thunderstorm. Breakfast was fine but dinner was only average the one time we did eat there.
It is a 10/15 minute walk down to the shopping area which we did one evening as night was falling - very interesting but probably not to be advised if of a nervous disposition although we had no problems. We walked back up the hill to the hotel most evenings along the most lit and busy road and had no problems at all.
We would stay again

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Shliben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2006

While the view from the terrace is first-class, and the building's past as a monastery is fascinating, the hotel was not a place we would stay again. We loved breakfast and evening drinks overlooking the city and Vesuvius in the distance (particularly after climbing it). However, the rooms were quite ordinary, the air conditioning faulty, internet access inadequate, and staff attitudes mixed.
The hotel is not in a neighborhood for walking or just strolling. Going anywhere involves either being picked up by a cab, or walking a few dubious blocks to one of the funiculars and taking it down to the central city. (The front desk strongly discouraged us from walking down to the city because of the neighborhood.)

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Madeleina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2006

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Maxxxine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2006

8  Thank A42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel San Francesco al Monte

Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele 328, 80135, Naples, Italy
Region: Italy > Campania > Province of Naples > Naples
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 185 Hotels in Naples
Price Range: £98 - £232 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel San Francesco al Monte 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seemingly carved into a mountain side, a 16th century monastery once home to the monks of Barbanti (due to their flowing beards) is now home to a timeless retreat. Hotel San Francesco offers serene views over the Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius ana Capri Island and easy access to the colourful Naples street life. ... more   less 
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