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“A Special Place (but watch out for the Wasps!)..”

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Belmond Hotel Splendido
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Portofino
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
155 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 396 helpful votes
“A Special Place (but watch out for the Wasps!)..”
Reviewed 13 October 2009

I stayed here in for a few nights in early September 2009 in a room with a balcony and stunning sea view (sea view is "must have" as this is what you come for!).

My overall experience was good. I pretty much knew what I would be getting as I have dined at La Terrazza restaurant before and the food was very good, and the view was magnificent.

So, it came as no surprise to me that the prices are very high and the rooms are small. Nevertheless, this is a special place due to its stunning location and magical environment.

Overall, service was friendly and professional, from the reservation agent through to the pool staff (I didn't experience any of the tip-based favouritism that another reviewer complained about below..). In particular, the man in charge of the cars, who has worked in the hotel for decades, provided the perfect welcome.

Most of the concierges were very helpful. My only bad experience was with a "stand-in" concierge (I think he is not a permanent concierge as he doesn't wear the same outfit and does not have the "Cle D'or" badge) who dealt with one of our meal reservations. Though we had booked a week before to eat in the hotel's restaurant in Portofino (Chuflay), he tried to pressurize us to eat in another lesser establishment as they had lost our original reservation. Eventually he did manage to get us a table in the terrace at Chuflay but rushed us to get ready and leave within 15 minutes (shower and all!). He seemed very unhappy when we were downstairs in 20 minutes and was fairly unpleasant. But apart from this single negative experience, the other people at the front desk were helpful and friendly. Incidentally, the food at Chuflay was pretty unimpressive - go to U Magazin and get a table by the water = "real" Italian food with water by your feet, literally!

The other concern we had were the large number of bees/wasps/hornets that enjoyed the grounds of the hotel. There are so many that you will spend most of your breakfast in their company. Also, we noticed that they also enjoyed the lunch buffet. As they sometimes got stuck in the food, this added a nasty/unhygienic touch to the 35 Euro spread! I think that there is a hornet's nest in the gardens and I am surprised that the hotel did not have any anti-wasp devices anywhere. Also, the restaurant by the pool with the buffet spread should cover up the food. These are pretty basic precautions and I hope that the hotel will take the necessary steps - otherwise, some guests who might be allergic to wasps might find themselves in hospital if they get stung...

Apart from these observations, the hotel was very nice and there were some special touches (bottle of Prosecco upon arrival and Evian to spray on your face by the pool). However, I wouldn't rate it as high as Villa D'Este in Como (more stunning) or Il Sirenuse in Positano (more quaint) or it's sister hotel, Villa San Michele in Fiesole (more atmosphere being an old monastery), all of which I have stayed in (see my recent review on Villa D'Este). I am also not sure if the supremely high prices that it charges are justified (our room cost more than one of the top villas in any Aman resort in Bali - all of whom I have stayed in..). Nevertheless, it has wonderful views, friendly service and great ambience (and of course, a lot of wasps!).

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
3 Thank Titillator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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St. Pete Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2009

We stayed in many wonderful hotels on our recent trip to Europe (Munich, Northern Italy and Monaco). It's hard to pick a favorite but I think this is it. The attention to detail made this almost worth the money :-). The only reason I rate the Value a 4, price was quite steep but it was obvious why as soon as we arrived in Portofino. We were treated like VIPs before we even arrived when we asked directions from the local police officer on the street and were directed to an attendant/porter at the offsite parking structure who knew our name and was expecting us. Other touches/highlights were Frette linen foot mats and bottled water provided at turndown and the included breakfast-to-order delivered to our room daily. It was nice not having to clean up and dress to take advantage of the included breakfast. We enjoyed breakfast each day on our balcony and could watch everything going on in the little town, a great view. The bathroom amenities were abundant and some were by Bulgari. Separate shower and private water closet were also nice. The location of Splendido Mare is perfect, walking distance to everything. We thought we would make the trip to the main Hotel Splendido for the view but never felt the need. I'm glad I splurged to stay here.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 24theRoad2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
52 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2009

My husband and I loved the Splendido! The views are incredible and the location is fabulous. We had a beautiful room looking out over the bay with a balcony where we had breakfast. The pool was quiet and relaxing. Lunch and Dinner at the restaurant with a were delicious. A great, charming, romantic hotel.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank lovetotravel702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2009

My husband and I spent 2 nights of our honeymoon at the gorgeous Hotel Splendido. The hotel is really beautiful and so was our room, but I would not stay there again. First of all, the bed was literally hard as a rock. Firm does not even begin to describe it. Also, the sheets must have been linen and were probably ironed with a ton of starch because they were like sandpaper. I could not sleep. You'd think over a grand per night would at least guarantee comfy bed. I've heard that Europeans prefer beds that are really firm, but the beds at the other three hotels we stayed in during our honeymoon in Italy were fine. Also, the staff at this hotel could be called polite, but they definitely were not friendly. On the evening we decided to dine in the hotel restaurant, it was obvious that our server was annoyed that we didn't each order a selection from every course on the menu. I'm not sure who in the world could eat 7 courses in one sitting, but we certainly could not. We still spent $400 on dinner that night! The food was delicious though....as it should have been. Lastly, if you are under the age of 40, you will be the youngest person staying at this hotel. I'm 34 and my husband is 35, and during our stay there were probably 4 other guests we saw at this large hotel under the age of 50! If you do decide to stay at Hotel Splendido, don't miss the hilarious lounge singer. After dinner both nights we enjoyed cocktails at the hotel lounge and were entertained by hilariously bad covers of bad American songs by a middle-aged, French, Rico Suave wannabe, lounge singer. The old folks loved him and were singing and dancing away (also hilarious). Bottom line, if you are over 50, play polo, enjoy yachting, sleep well on the floor (or an overly firm mattress), and love cheesy lounge singers, then this is the place for you!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank VABecs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockton Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
188 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2009

I'm not sure how qualified I am to be writing a review on the Splendido as I did not actually stay there - I was there as part of a wedding on 8th September but was so impressed I felt I wanted to share my thoughts.

I arrived (as I was bridesmaid) at the Splendido around 10am on the morning of the wedding along with the other bridesmaids to meet the bride and get ready together. Initial impressions are very good as the location is so beautiful with amazing views over the sea.

We had a quick walk around the hotel and I have to say almost every member of staff said "Bonjourno" and were incredibly polite and friendly. We arrived as the breakfast buffet was still being served and it did look fantastic. I have to say though - I know what the breakfast buffet costs per person and I don't think it is worth THAT amount of money!!!

The room (not sure what exactly it was but was definitely some kind of suite) was very very nice and spacious. Again, I know how much it cost and it does seem extremely expensive (even though it was beautiful), but to be totally honest I think if you can just not think about how much the whole experience at the Splendido costs then you will enjoy it so much more!!!!!!!!

When we arrived back from the ceremony in Santa Margarita at Villa Durrazzo we had canapés and champagne cocktails just above the pool. Again, the staff were lovely and helpful and the cocktails and canapés were really delicious. We had the whole of the downstairs pool terrace to the wedding party which was lovely, and the hotel had made the area look really pretty and romantic. The food for the wedding meal was absolutely amazing. It really was impressive. I have never had a good meal when they are mass catering, no matter how nice the hotel, but this meal was something very special. The main course was rack of lamb which was cooked to such perfection for everybody there that the Chef really did deserve commending.

We all went back upstairs later on in the night and caught the end of Vladimir, the resident hotel entertainer. Unfortunately we missed most of it - we only caught about 3 songs - bit he seemed very very good and extremely entertaining. We were all very disappointed when he had to finish.

I have no idea what kind of prices the meal/champagne etc cost but when we all ordered drinks from the bar when the wedding had ended we were quite surprised how expensive they were. I don't know why we were surprised as they were obviously never going to be cheap!!!!!!

Overall, it is obviously a very very expensive hotel, in every way, but if money is no object or you are fully expecting to pay high prices then it is perfect -especially for a wedding. Portofino itself is very romantic so it is in a lovely lovely location. Beware however that you are probably best getting the free shuttle to and from the town as it is quite a walk away.

  • Stayed September 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stocktonhfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2009

There are several aspects of this hotel worth noting, not least of which is the price, which is unbelievably high. If you're able to disengage yourself from the price, and I mean fully hypnotize yourself not to think about it, this hotel will give you an absolutely astounding experience. If you find yourself thinking about money, you'll be swimming in a sea of hyper-critical thoughts like, "I paid xyz and the rooms aren't larger? The elevators are this small?" It's a losing battle.

So after hypnotizing myself into thinking I got an amazing Internet discount rate (which I didn't) , I had a great 2 nights there. The complimentary breakfast was excellent, and delivered to the room each morning. It was ordered off a full menu and fresh and outstanding and I miss it. Real maple syrup too.

The hotel overlooks the ocean and town of Portofino. It's a stunning view if you pay for the ocean view. It's even more stunning if you ask for a balcony. When I was there they were offering an incredible internet discount rate on the balcony ocean view rooms, (lie) so I sprung for one. Free wifi in the rooms.

There is a nice salt-water swimming pool on the grounds. There is also a shuttle running guests into Portofino every 20 minutes or so. If you feel like walking, there is a dedicated walking path, which is a nice 10 minute walk down stairs into town. Must be in shape to make it. It's a 1:20 drive to Cinque Terre, which was one of my day trips. The front desk was extremely helpful making recommendations, reservations, etc.

One negative, the bed wasn't all that comfortable. It was more like a board than a bed. Also, I slept with the balcony door open on the first night and woke up with 8 mosquito bites on my feet. (Yes, I counted them) The hotel is old, in a charming way. Winston Churchhill stayed there, and there was an amusing picture of Don Johnson on the wall as one of the former celebrity guests. Don Johnson! As a rule of thumb, I'll stay anywhere Don Johnson stayed in his Miami Vice hay days. My taste and his seem to strangely align despite his being 25-30 years my elder.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HessMug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
77 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2009

We stayed at the Splendido Mare on a long weekend to Liguria...The hotel has a perfect location, directly on the main harbor/squre of Portofino...The hotel is relatively traditional and the rooms, although large, could use updating...For us, the most positive thing about the hotel was the fact that its guests had access to the Hotel Splendido's pool and grounds...The Splendido has a great location; on a hilltop with a great view of the sea and of Portofino...The pool is magnificent and I could have spent a month lounging around the pool and looking out at the stunning scenery....The Ligurian Riviera is really gorgeous...It is very lush and the water in the sea is extremely clear.

We did have one service issue with the Splendido Mare..We arrived in the late afternoon on a Saturday and there was a line to get into Portofino...We waited about 10 minutes without moving and called the hotel and asked them what we should do...They said that they would call us back and never did...About 20 minutes later we made it into the parking garage and the Splendido's porter was nowhere to be found...We parked the car ourselves and dragged our bags to the hotel...When we got to the hotel we gave the manager an earful and he promptly apologized and amended the bill...Although we expected better service, the manager handled the situation very graciously and the issue did not take away from the positive aspects of the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bobd72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Hotel Splendido

Property: Belmond Hotel Splendido
Address: Salita Baratta 16, 16034 Portofino, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Liguria > Italian Riviera > Portofino
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Portofino
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Hotel Splendido 5*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched on a hillside over Portofino, Belmond Hotel Splendido is surrounded by fragrant pine trees and peaceful olive groves. Belmond Splendido Mare is a little bit closer to the action, being right on the world-famous Piazzetta. A continuous complementary shuttle service is offered between Belmond Hotel Splendido and Belmond Splendido Mare. Belmond Hotel Splendido - Set in four acres of romantic tropical gardens with superb palm trees, Belmond Hotel Splendido overlooks the bay of Portofino. It boasts 67 guest rooms including 1 single room, 23 double rooms, 31 junior suites and 12 suites. Most rooms have balcony or terrace offering views of the Bay of Portofino. Guests can relax by the heated salt-water pool or at the wellness centre, enjoy a game of tennis at the tennis court or explore the gulf with a private boat, while children have fun at the dedicated Kids’ Club. La Terrazza Restaurant serves delicious Ligurian specialties with a view over the Gulf of Portofino, while the Pool Restaurant is perfect for an informal buffet-style lunch, snacks or a pizza. The Cocktail & Piano Bar offers aperitifs, after-dinner cocktails and live piano music every evening. Belmond Splendido Mare - Belmond Splendido Mare has 16 rooms including 10 double rooms, 4 junior suites and 2 suites, all elegantly decorated and furnished. Most have balconies with superb views of the harbour and the village. Dining at the Chuflay Restaurant, bordering the Piazzetta, is a true Dolce Vita experience. Belmond Splendido Mare shares all the facilities with Belmond Hotel Splendido. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Splendido Hotel Portofino
Splendido Resort Portofino
Hotel Splendido Portofino

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