Throughout my visit to La Medusa Grand Hotel I kept wondering how it was possible to maintain, and to such a high standard, a resort like this in the squalid region in which it is situated. Once you enter the gates, you are in the 18th century world of palatial villas, manicured arbors and gardens, impeccable tranquility, attentive servants and peaceful, idyllic pastimes. The terraces, the lemon groves with fountains, the large and splendid pool, the structured plantings all beguile the visitor.
Our room, with sea view and balcony faced out at Vesuvius and a commanding view of the Bay of Naples. The room was ample, bed linens were of high quality, the bath was spacious, palatial even, with loads of storage space and big, thick, plentiful towels. This is top-tier hotel stuff and I am frankly puzzled by the numerous reviewers who felt put off somehow by noise (there wasn't any at night), the "barking dog" (we did hear a rooster...once), and various other complaints. It was hard to fault the surroundings, the cleanliness (especially in a town as committedly filthy as Castellamare) and the general helpfulness and good attitude of the staff.
One felt, lazing within the compound, like one of the Bourbon Kings of Naples, fenced off from the teeming mass of Neapolitan humanity outside the palace gates. The La Medusa Grand Hotel is situated on a ridge which, in antiquity, was built up with enormous private villas of the rich and famous all of which were obliterated when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, and one assumes similar lavish antique villas are buried under this property. Like the wealthy imperial era Romans who built these pleasure palaces to amuse themselves in the cool and lovely surroundings overlooking the Bay of Naples, so were we enchanted by the peace, solitude, tranquility and luxury of this well-run auberge.
The drawback, if it is one, is that as a guest one is effectively confined to the grounds of the property, not because you are not allowed to leave but because the surrounding area is entirely without any charm whatsoever, and driving in the area is a nightmare, even by Italian standards. So it's a bit like a Club Med in a not-so-good locale: you want to stay inside the gates trading beads for drinks if you're smart. We came to see the neighboring excavations and so found the location all we could ask insofar as that went, but any venture into the town was, to put it mildly, uncomfortable and uninviting. That said, if what you want is to sit by the pool, have drinks brought to you, relax on your balcony without a care in the world, this is a fine spot to do it in.
The restaurant is very good of the "appeals to foodies" style. Dishes are sometimes traditional, but more often involve fusion, sprinkles (you know, plates dusted in the blank areas, odd mixtures, and so on) and there is nothing to complain about in this area except the often chaotic service we encountered. A recitation of the minor issues that came up would detract from my overall appreciation of the place. So what if your "captain" (do they call them capos?) asks if you want wine without having brought a wine list, then when asked for it departs for ten minutes never again to return? On the whole you'll be served decent food if you eat on site and in a lovely terraced area with indoor and outdoor dining.
This place offers excellent value for the relatively modest room rate. I got the impression (no idea how) from their website and reviews here that it might be a little down-at-the-heels but we needed a place in Castellamare so overlooked this in making our selection. It is not at all true, everything is very well kept and we were impressed with the constant effort being made to maintain the impeccable plantings, grounds and public areas. I swore an oath never to set foot in Castellamare again, but if I ever had to visit this infernal location, I'd book the La Medusa Grand Hotel in a heartbeat..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Superior four-star Hotel is a romantic villa "fin de siecle" made up of 49 rooms, whose restoration is constantly in balance between the respect for the past and the influence of contemporary style.A unique and authentic place made of beautiful old trees and surrounded by green surfaces, that admires the spectacular Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.On one hand, the common areas, characterized by an unmistakable style and a wonderful elegance, which completely respect the important classical style of the structure; on the other hand, the rooms, a continuous alternation of contemporary and classical Design.A Hotel, on its own, marked by a deeply individual style where the care for details, quality and hospitality represents the common denominator.The ceramics of Amalfi Coast hand-painted with an exclusive design, the antique furniture and tapestries characterize the lobby, the bar and the restaurant situated on the ground floor of the hotel; so quiet places, that make possible living in a private and protected dimension... Where each detail becomes a pleasure to be relished. The huge glass windows in Liberty Style divide the building from the secular park: an explosion of flowers and colours, a wide open-air sitting-room completely equipped with chaise-longue, easy-chairs and gazebos; an unforgettable atmosphere beyond every expectation.Around the park full of flowers, the outside Fitness Corner represents an opportunity to keep oneself fit in an uncontaminated and healthy environment; the wellness swimming-pool with geysers, the sun beds, the large solarium represent an occasion of certain and pleasant relax. From here just a step to get to the Pool Bar for an aperitif, and another for sipping a vintage wine at the outside restaurant Il Gazebo & Le Terrazze in the middle of the citrus grove.Here the Chef suggests a refined, precious Mediterranean and International cuisine, a perfect balance among tastes, smells and colours.Excellent services like a Mercedes shuttle bus to the city centre or the close beaches, the free parking, the opportunity to rent a yacht or book private excursions and much more... Will make your stay unforgettable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Castellammare Di Stabia
- La Medusa Hotel & BoutiqueSpa Castellammare Di Stabia, Italy - Province Of Naples