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“July 4, 2012 ...Everything and More!”
Review of Hotel Porto Roca

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Hotel Porto Roca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 July 2012

This was our 20th anniversary and our experience at this hotel was outstanding! Our room was great. The view was priceless. I am so glad we selected this hotel because nothing in the area even compares!!! Our room was clean and up to date. The hotel is immaculate and the view is breath taking. Great breakfast in the morning with many choices.The staff is very friendly and accommodating. Their is a private beach with umbrellas and chairs for those who stay at the hotel so you don't have to fight for a space on the beach. I just LOVED this place! We will definitely return. It was one of our favorites when touring Northern Italy for our twentieth anniversary.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jetsetgirl43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 July 2012

This was our "other" stop on a recent trip to Cinque Terre and it was almost decadent. The staff were numerous and (with one exception) eager to please. The sea view room had a small balcony and the setting (perched on a cliff high above the sea) was like a magnet. Watching the nearly-full moon as it shimmered across the water at night was the perfect ending to each day.

One high point of service is the free taxi to/from the train station. Did I mention the cliff? Our visit started with a hair-raising ride along a single-lane (but two-way traffic) crowded with beach visitors than hurtling up a steep, winding track along the cliff to the hotel. Given our luggage burden, this was a necessity, but it was not until much later in the trip that I noticed the small signal lights that prevented head-on collisions.

Another feature is the private area on the beach. We had our own umbrella and beach chair waiting for us each afternoon when we returned from the hills and were ready for a relaxing plunge in the clear blue water. The "beach" is a bit pebbly, but after a day of hiking there were no complaints.

The bar service was prompt and efficient and the barman even allowed us to open our own wine to go with the snack fare as we sat on the outside terrace. (We had stumbled across the Buranco winery on one of our hikes and loaded up on excellent local wines.) Breakfast each morning was on a large open air veranda and consisted of eggs, meats, cheeses, pastries and pretty much anything you might want. The only negative there was the lack of fresh fruit (though that was available for a surcharge).

Throughout our stay the various front desk staff were helpful with dinner reservations and local advice. They even helped me deal with a "lost and found" issue from the place we stayed in Manarola.

The one negative was an absolutely obnoxious head waiter at the restaurant. He was the picture of arrogance and completely unhelpful ... even rude. DInner in the restaurant was overpriced in any case, but his attitude alone would have kept us away. He was not much better at breakfast time, but at least we could deal directly with the more helpful junior staff.

All in all, this is a great place to stay. In fact, we extended our stay rather than leave on schedule. The whole area is enchanting, and I would probably stay here again if I return to Monterosso.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are more expensive, but you really need to choose one anyway. The rooms in back...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank VirtuallyAnywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2012

This hotel is located atop a cliff overlooking the Liguarian Sea. The views are unbelieveable. The hotel is probably a ten minute walk from the train station. The hotel will pick you up but the walk is manageable. The hotel staff was wondeful. They spoke perfect English and were very helpful. They even helped me print out my boarding passes for the plane ride home. Our room, sadly, did not face the sea, but rather faced a large rock in the back of the hotel. We did have a nice outdoor seating area but did not have a great view. The room was fine. It was nicely decorated but not very fancy. The bathroom was decent but the shower was small. The air conditioning worked great. Breakfast was really nice. It was on their terrace overlooking the sea. They had a nice array of breads, pastries, meats, cheeses, etc. The cappuchino was good and the service was friendly and effecient. One of the biggest perks of this hotel is the reserved beach chairs with umbrellas a little way down the hill. We were always able to find a chair and really enjoyed relaxing by the beach. Overall, I think this hotel is great and would recommend it. We did not eat dinner at the hotel, but did enjoy the enoteca in town and the Smorfie Pizza.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2012

We spent 3 nights at this lovely "Inn" style hotel, on the most breath-taking vantage point of all Monterosso . We stayed June 21-24, enjoying a Terrace Jr. Suite, on the second floor, for two nights, then switched to a first floor regular room, for night 3 (which we knew prior to arriving due to reservations from others already made). We planned our stay for the end of our nearly three week trip through 3 countries, and it did not disappoint.

What a restful, relaxing place this was. We have traveled extensively, staying in some very nice hotels. We found it to be very typical of some older Italian places, with a friendly, helpful attitude from all the staff we encountered, great attention to details, and with views that can't be beat. Many rooms are recently renovated, but I see from an earlier reviewer, some may still need updated. That was not our experience, with either of the two rooms we enjoyed.

The front desk folks were willing to share activity ideas, maps, and hiking route suggestions (based on desired level of difficulty you may want), and answer any questions, help with arrangements etc., as requested. We found them friendly and helpful.

We enjoyed the breakfast provided in your hotel cost. Some reviews we'd read complained about having to pay extra for eggs. They did have eggs on the buffet during our stay. Scrambled or soft boiled, and they did have an omelet station. The omelets were an extra charge, but never saw anyone order those...no need with the other food options. I have a restricted diet, and was relieved to see that along with sweets, and croissants, they had fresh fruit, cheeses, meats, and yogurt I could eat and enjoy. Additionally, cereals, fresh juices, and a variety of pastries completed their options.

We enjoyed it so much, we chose to eat all three dinners at the hotel restaurant. There can't be a better view in Monterosso. :-) It's convenience added to the appeal.

There IS a steep road/walk way connecting the hotel to the town itself. That, along with the hiking up the mountains in the area, indicates that one needs to be able to ambulate well to enjoy what this area has to offer. If you have physical limitations with walking or climbing, this area might not be as enjoyable for you. They do provide a cab service to pick up and drop off, as needed, coming or going . We did not need that service. but imagine many do take advantage of it.

They have the ferry boat schedule at the front desk, which is one optional way to reach several of the other towns along the Cinque Terre region. Train is another option, but we had to go to a station to get that schedule. Many visitors, such as my husband and I, enjoyed the hiking between towns. Be warned, they are rated, with the toughest route being between Monterroso and the next closest town of Vernazza. It is suppose to take about 2 -2 1/2 hours, but is very challenging , lots of stairs, twists and slippery slopes. A seasoned hiker can manage this just fine, but for older visitors, or those not use to climbing, you might be advised to consider a less difficult hike, say between Monola and Riomaggiorie. The beach area was enjoyable, but instead of sand, the beach is rocky....typical of the entire coastline. Still, they have a private area for patrons of the hotel, and we found it a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

One other note on Vernazza: Floods in 2011 nearly wiped out the entire town, and as of last week, only a small number of businesses, and restaurants were open. Travel writers like Rick Steves always said Vernazza was his favorite of the Cinque terre towns. We found it our least, but considering what the town has been through, we wanted to support their efforts and did shop the few shops that we found there. Hopefully by the end of this year, more shops and restaurants will reopen.

No problem with WI FI (free in the room). There are in-room mini frigs, stocked with mini-bar goodies, but enough space to add a few odds and ends you may pick up and want to keep cold. There is also a small room safe, in room. A pool is being built to be completed in a few weeks, as another option of things to do.


I would spend the extra money for the terrace, in the Jr. suite, if you can. The space is wonderful, a couch adds seating in the room, besides a desk and chair also present. But the two chaise lounges and 2 sling chairs on the partially covered, umbrella deck, is an inviting space for all ages, and gives an even greater sense of space to the room. We didn't spend all that much time in the room, but it was nice to relax on that terrace in the morning and evenings.

We would stay again, without question.

Room Tip: Higher floors offer the terraces and Jr. Suites.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Brewer4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

I travelled with two friends to the Hotel Porta Roca from 15th to 18th June. When I made the booking in March I phoned and specified that both of these friends have slight mobility problems and asked if the suite that they were proposing for us to stay in was on flat ground and that there were no steps. The lady I spoke to (unfortunately I did not take her name) assured me that the garden suite is on the flat and that there are no steps. You can imagine our horror when faced with several flights of steps to get from the garden to our suite. I immediately notified the receptionist who was doing the arrival that this was in no way acceptable. Firstly she said that I could not possibly have phoned as if I had spoken to any one of them who work on the reception (all women) they would have told me it was unsuitable, therefore she practically called me a liar, later she said that I must have mis-understood when they explained that the suite itself is on flat ground…once you have reached it down twenty or so steps that is. They offered us a triple room but as the suite was spacious and had two rooms we preferred to stay there notwithstanding the enormous disadvantage for my friends going up and down these steps several times a day.

The next issue was the en suite bathroom in the master bedroom. The whole suite as such was newly refurbished and pleasantly large with two single beds in the lounge ,off this is a small bathroom with w.c .and washbasin, the master bedroom separated by sliding doors is also very spacious and nicely furnished with a huge walk in wardrobe behind the bed and plenty of space for storage. The en suite bathroom however has not been re-done. The tiles around the bath tub are chipped and the grouting between the tiles is mildewed and the bath tub is old…totally unhygienic and an eye sore, there is also a large chip out of one of the floor tiles by the bath. I complained straight away about this to the head receptionist who says it is not their fault as they had intended to renew the bathroom but after the flooding in October 2011 they couldn’t find any workmen available to do the job as they were all involved with the re-building …but then they admitted that the suite had been renewed several years ago, so why didn’t they do it then I asked….no reply.

On the last day I cornered the manageress and asked her what she proposed to do about our bill seeing as we had suffered several mishaps during our stay, this being referred to the steps and the bathroom. She asked to see the bathroom and accompanied me with the porter who it would appear doubles as a maintenence man, she said that she had had it re-grouted after my first complaint, when I showed her the still old grouting she said that she had got it done under the bath rim and not above it, but you could see very clearly that this was not true and I said so. The porter became very aggressive and told me that I was calling him a liar and accusing him of not having done the work!!!! He became so nasty that I stepped back in case he put his hands on me. In the end I let it drop as it was obvious that with these people there was no way you could win. The manageress insisted on presenting me with 2 bottles of wine as compensation, which I did not want but she thinks she has settled her score like that.

The position of Hotel Porto Roca is a breathtaking view from above the rocks of the sea below and absolute quiet at night (except for the local tannoy music in the square over which I imagine the hotel has no control) you are well out of the tacky tourism of Monterosso and the crowds. The road up is a bit of a climb but give them their due there is a small minibus which runs from 8am to 8pm and can be called any time within that time frame. Obviously in the evening when one might use it to go to a restaurant and back it doesn’t run, that way they hope that you eat in the hotel restaurant. This we did once not wanting to make the walk down and back or take an expensive taxi ride for less than a mile €7.The position of the restaurant is superb with views out over the bay, the restaurant staff very efficient and professional…but the food is nowhere near up to standard for a four star hotel , sadly lacking the quality and the ‘catch of the day’ fish was definitely not very fresh. It is also very expensive for what it is.
Breakfast is very good and with an excellent choice, the only down note the fruit salad is canned and not fresh which in a country where fresh fruit is excellent and not expensive I find ridiculous.

To sum it all up this appears to be a huge tourist trap, they take a lot of money for what they offer and the guest is never right and cannot complain because they have an answer for everything.
I have been married to a hotel manager (now retired) for 32 years, he has run 4 and 5 star hotels for almost 40 years, my son is a Front Office Manager in a 4 star 250 room hotel in Milan part of a famous chain but neither of them has ever dared treat guests this way…their motto is the guest is always right….at Porto Roca it is exactly the opposite.

Reading the reviews on trip advisor I noticed that never once have they replied to any of the guests comments…that in itself is a confirmation of how little they care. A real manager admits mistakes and promises to do better and improve here they just couldn’t care… as long as they take your money that’s all they care about.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Dollytwoshoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 1 July 2012

First and foremost ,
the reason why we do not always reply to the comments on Trip Advisor is because we prefer taking care of the guests at the hotel and those are often personal opinions and as such we feel there is no point in replying. Nevertheless we feel we must reply to offensive comments, especially when unfair, above all regarding the staff.

To be honest the first impression everyone got was this lady was already annoyed when she arrived . When we double checked the date of departure , as we always do when people check in, she namely said" Why ? Do you want to kick us out earlier ? " She has always reacted quite annoyed from the very beginning and shown intolerant to everything, which is actually not typical of people on holiday, rather of those who are looking for any kind of compensation, what she actually got.
We always try to help people , listen to guests and try to sort out problems, which is not that easy when one has to do with people like this.
Despite of the steps, her friends ( or clients? ) never reacted so annoyed. They appreciated the wonderful view one has from the Garden Suite ( which is very requested right because of the view ) whereas she might have not, being so focused on the tiles, taking pictures of them instead of the view onto the bay. Staying in our garden suite is namely like being on a cruise, as one can enjoy the spectacular view onto the gulf from the huge window in the living room.
Speaking about the tiles, things are a bit different than told, as we have had so much water last October during the flood, therefore so many infiltrations that the effect came out with the time.They were not evident at the beginning of the season we the hotel re-opened. As soon as we were told about the tiles being chipped, we saw to it,filling the holes. But this has been denied. This is what the person who did the work contested, certainly not trying to put his hands on anyone ! He was simply steady in stating he had done the work required and this cannot been denied, as the Manageress herself was there.
This lady has been quite unpleasant to a receptionist too, not only to our worker. She addressed this girl saying she was still young and would have learned how things go with the time when she tried to explained that our worker had fixed the tiles.

As far as the shuttle to the bottom of the hill and back is concerned , this is offered from approximately 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. because this is the drivers' shift, whereas taxis are available all day long, but of course those are to pay for...So nothing to do with forcing people to have dinner at our restaurant. She/ you can ask all people who have stayed here how often we book dinner elsewhere for our guests. We are namely pleased to suggest other restaurants in order to let people learn about the local culture and therefore also cuisine so that they will carry nice memories of the whole area, not only of the Porto Roca itself. These guests have been booked a table at a restaurant in town as well ! Had dinner at our restaurant just once.
It is weird to hear about the quality of the food at our restaurant only now, as they never complained with the maitre d' hotel . Strange, being this lady so focused on contesting and telling people about her husband being a hotel-manager and her son running a over 200- room-hotel....this is what even the waiters at the restaurant have been told about. The maitre d' hotel intentionally asked her about the food, whether everything was all right , as he always does being he in charge of the restaurant, and she replied that everything was perfect. She simply said that she does not agree with matching fish and broccoli.
Speaking about the restaurant, people reserve tables at Le Terrazze del Porto Roca even though they stay elsewhere, we actually have so many people coming from outside that we really do not need to force our guest to have dinner here.

All said and done, we care so little about our guests that the percentage of people appreciating the hotel, its staff and service is much higher than that of those complaining about their stay. This lady's friends seem to be among those, as when they paid the bill they thanked the Manageress for the wonderful stay . Of course and luckily enough not all the people are the same , nor are all the hotel guests...

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Reviewed 20 June 2012

We had the most amazing four day stay here, the location is just stunning with fantastic views across the ocean. The hotel is not large but the facilities and service are excellent, staff all friendly and helpful and restuarant is staff by an amazing team headed up by Jean Paul , customer service is excellent and the food is excellent in choice and quality.
The rooms are a very good size all rooms have an ocean view and a balcony. Rooms and bathrooms is immaculate and the showers are just superb with adjustable shower heads - great after undertaking some of the walks- particularly the two hour walk from Monterosso to Vernezza the next town [this is the most difficult walk is quiet steep- views along the way are amazing!] At this time there are only two of the Cinque Terre walks open this one and another one which is an easy 20 minute walk. The hotel is built into a cliff and has commanding views of Monterosso and the ocean- a photographers delight- even if you are not a photographer sitting in the the resturant on the veranda the views are just superb.
We had half board while staying here breakfast excellent choices and good quality and the evening meal choices are excellent something to suit all tastes- if you enjoy seafood the hotel has seafood on the menu much of which is caught locally.
To access the hotel when you arrive at Monterosso train station just ring the hotel and they send a taxi to meet you, Monterosso is predominantly a pedestrian area taxis are available locally, but the reality is that walking around Monterosso is not difficult. Monterosso has a very good rail service so travelling between the Cinque Terre is easy with frequent trains- travel between towns is between 3 minutes to 9 minutes. The other mode of transport is using the ferry service between towns which runs a regular service.
Back to the hotel I felt sad to leave we had a superb stay in beautiful friendly surroundings- JUST ADD THIS HOTEL TO YOUR LIST OF PLACES TO VIST YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

Room Tip: We had a room on first floor which was superb.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tasannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2012

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights in an double ocean view room. The Hotel is fantastic and rooms with the ocean view and balcony are great. We would highly recommned the extra money for a room with a view. The rooms are not huge but very adequate and have all facilities you really need and also free Wi Fi. When the hotel finishes building its new pool and spa area it will be out of this world and a must to stay at. The hotel is a little walk up the hill from the old part of town but well worth it, because of the views back over Monterosso. The only thing that doesn't meet the high stanfdards of the hotel is the restaraunt for dinner, we were a little disappointed and there are far better restaruants in town.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms with balcony are the best and if you can get one at either end of the building e.g...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ollie30367
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Porto Roca

Address: Localita Corone 1, 19016 Monterosso al Mare, Italy
Region: Italy > Liguria > Italian Riviera > Cinque Terre > Monterosso al Mare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Monterosso al Mare
#9 Romantic Hotel in Monterosso al Mare
Price Range: £131 - £523 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Porto Roca 4*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Porto Roca is located 200 metres from the historic centre of Monterosso and at the start to the 5 terre path. Its extraordinary location between land and sky on the sea offers a relaxing oasis far from noise and stress of everyday modern life. It boasts 40 air-conditioned rooms and 3 suites. Our chef offers traditional and typical local dishes in our panoramic inside and outside restaurants overlooking the sea and harbour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porto Roca Hotel
Hotel Porto Roca Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy

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