I and two friends got back from a week's stay at the Riviera yesterday. If you're looking for a comfortable stay in a convenient location at a reasonable price, this fits the bill.
We stayed in a triple room, 58, which is on the first floor and has a balcony overlooking a fairly quiet road, the restaurant and pizzeria Daps and the beach and sea which is at the end of the road.
When we arrived at the hotel it was certainly less than half full and although more people arrived at the weekend, it was still not that busy. I booked the room directly with the hotel via their website about six weeks before we stayed there and was offered a 10 per cent discount.
As others have said, the room was very clean and in a good condition. The beds we had were certainly comfy enough and there was plenty of storage space (including a number of hangers). The bathroom was good too, a decent shower (although a slightly tricky balance between too hot and too cold) and soap and a couple of shampoo sachets provided. We didn't use our air conditioning - no need in the first few days as the nights were fairly cool and for the last few we slept with the balcony doors open (but the shutters shut). There's nothing pretty about the bedroom or bathroom, decked out with practicality in mind rather than attractiveness. But who cares about that when you've prettiness and views galore when you step outside?
We had breakfast three times during our stay - it starts at 7.30am and finishes at 9.15am. It would have suited us much more if breakfast had finished later, ideally at 10.30am, especially as dinner is eaten later in Sardinia and we often didn't finish our evening meal till 10.30/11pm. The fare at breakfast was fairly uninspiring but if you approach it as a way to fill up and get you through to dinner without having to have another proper meal, you won't be too disappointed. We were particularly fond of the 'snail rolls', christened because of their resemblance to a snail's shell. Tuck into a couple of those and dragging yourself up out of bed earlier than you might have liked won't seem as bad!
The hotel is really well situated for the nearby lido beach which is a pretty vast expanse of sand and busy but not packed. It's worth walking to the Maria Pia beach though which I and my friends preferred for its more sloping sands, pine trees and slightly better atmosphere! We bought a parasol for about 10 euros and used this rather than renting parasols and loungers. Well, actually we bought two parasols as the first one broke! But you definitely need something to keep you shaded on the beach. If you walk towards the lido beach and turn right and keep walking for about 20 minutes you'll reach the pine trees and a turn in for the Maria Pia beach. Definitely give it a go, and it's nice to take in Alghero on foot.
Speaking of which, the old town is a really lovely 20 minute walk away, all along the sea front and we went in every evening except one. There's a wide promenade and a lot of life to take in - I wonder how the sand sculpture is getting on? - let alone the views of the sunset over the sea.
The pool at the hotel is a good size and refreshing. We didn't spend that much time there to be honest but it was a nice option, especially for an hour or so in the late afternoon/early evening when you've finished your day's activities but it's too early to get ready to go out for dinner or drinks. Plenty of sun loungers and options for shade although beware the far left corner of the pool area as you come out to it from the hotel - my friend got about six mosquito bites in the space of just over five minutes there having not got any for six days!
The staff were polite and friendly. We asked about buses to the airport the day before we left and Tony on reception produced a file of information for guests, which seemed to include info on restuarants, day trips etc. Would have been nice if a copy of this was left on reception for people to flick through, and if it had been flagged up at the start of our stay. Not a big deal that it wasn't though, just a shame we didn't know about it.
One thing I would change is how easy it is to pluck any of the room keys from reception. Although there were people on duty at all times, that doesn't mean they are at the reception desk all the time, sometimes they are in a separate room behind reception and on a number of occasions it would have been easy for us to take our key or any of the other keys without anyone knowing, from the 'guest' side of the desk. We made use of the safe in our room (10 euro charge plus 10 euro refundable deposit upon giving the key back) but obviously there were items in our room, such as clothes and shoes, that could have been stolen. However, I assume they haven't experienced any problems with keys going missing and items being stolen or they would have changed this I imagine.
Finally, a word of warning - I accidentally trod on the very small dog which belongs to the owner when walking into the hotel one afternoon! Not only is it small but it was lying on a Persian rug and sort of blended in with it, and I was following my friend in so didn't have a lot of forward vision. Unfortunately the owner witnessed me treading on her dog too which was a bit uncomfortable. Some whimpering aside, the dog was fine though. But keep your eyes peeled!
If I went back to Alghero I would definitely consider staying at the Riviera again, for its location, reasonable rates, cleanliness and general meeting of my expectations for the price we paid.
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- Also Known As:
- Riviera Hotel Alghero
- Hotel Riviera Alghero, Sardinia