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!).
- 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