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“Expensive, dirty and poor service”

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Grande Hotel Santa Domitilla
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Ponza Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 August 2009

Although we read the reviews prior to making our reservation, I decided to disregard them, mainly because the hotel appears in the Karen Brown guide to hotels in Italy, and she made it sound wonderful. When we arrived to check-in, the Front Desk staff told us our room number, gave us the key - and pointed. The gruff man who'd picked us up in his clunker from the ferry seemed irritated to assist us with our luggage but he finally showed us the way to our room. It was so disappointing. The bed was made, but the cover was put on it crooked and it was rumpled, made us wonder if the bedding had been washed. Everything seemed a little dirty. No one showed us where the pool or restaurant were located. When we explored on our own, we were disappointed with the grounds which were unkempt (dead grass, pasta and other food strewn about on the sidewalks, dirty outdoor furniture, cigarette butts everywhere). It wasn't until we saw the pools that we were informed that our two-year-old daughter could not go into the one with the caves which is heavily sold on their website. Our stay, which was $350 Euros/per night - approximately $500 US dollars per night, included a one-day pass to this "special wellness pool" however now we were being informed it was for adults only. The other pool offered a dangerously narrow stairway down into a pool that was about 5 and 1/2 feet deep all around. No shallow end for children. Every day 1/2 dozen large red mattresses, covered in mold, were stacked on a landing above the pool to dry in the sun. These were from the disco they turn the pool area into at night. I felt bad for guests whose rooms faced the disco. . . fortunately ours did not.
The front desk staff was forbidden from telling guests about any restaurant other than the one located at the hotel, or another restaurant owned by a relative. If you asked them about any other place, they would act confused, and repeat that the only restaurants were those two. It was almost comical.
Breakfast was included in the price of our room, thank god. However, there is a surly woman who is assigned to watch guests as they fill their plates at the buffet. I asked for two glasses of orange juice to bring one to my partner, and after scolding me by waiving a finger "no", she gave me one. My partner had to come get her own juice! In addition, one morning we brought the tray of food to our room, when we returned to get some fruit, we were questioned how many people were in our room. We said three. They said we were taking too much food and needed to call room service to pay for it. We told them we were willing to pay. They rolled their eyes and said, "Dingo!" Whatever that means. We interpretted it to mean that we could take the food but we were being rude and greedy. After seeing how much food other guests were consuming we could not believe this interrogation - what is the purpose of making guests feel bad about returning for a few pieces of watermelon?
The rooms, as previous reviewers have noted, are small, dingy, and have thin walls. One night, we were awakened at 1:30 in the morning by a loud and violent-sounding argument by the guests next door. They were intoxicated and yelling at one another for approximately 45 minutes which woke our daughter. For the remainder of the stay, we heard a dog, kept in a room at the other end of the hallway, barking and whining for hours on end.
The island of Ponza is beautiful, and we had a wonderful time there. If we are ever fortunate enough to return, we will not be staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank ParkCity_UtahJender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 34 of 402 reviews

Reviewed 2 October 2007

We stayed here for five nights in August in a room with a sea view at circa €300 per night.

The rooms are tiny and you can hear everything in the corridor or the room next door. The shower leaked water all over the bathroom. Furthermore, the sea view was there if you stood upright on the terrace and looked over to you right, the immediate view was a tree and a building!!! The rooms are very basic and not what you would expect.

The hotel has two pools, one that is okay and one that is very beautiful and built into the rocks. However, it is free to use the okay pool but €30 per person per day to use the other pool that they call a spa or wellness program!! Even if you turn up at the end of the day and stay for 30 minutes they charge €30 pp.

Breakfast is served inside or outside in a pretty garden and is okay at best.

The staff are very kind but the place is too expensive by a long way.

  • Stayed: August 2007
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3  Thank Globe24/7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2007

The quality was not in line with a 4-star hotel, but more reflecting a 3-star hotel.
The room was small and not very clean, the bed for 2 small (190*160 cm), the terrace was not facing the see, the breakfast quality and service was poor, price was very high.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank giovanni c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2006

We stayed in this hotel in Ponza for one night at the end of June 06. The room was about 240 euros for the night , so naturally we were expecting something a little special. We were very disappointed with the very average room and bathroom, and only a garden view. We have paid 80 euros in the past in Italy and have had much better rooms - for example we spent 70-80 euros in the island of Salina and had a big room with a breathtaking sea view and balcony. The bathroom was also nothing special and the shower didn't work very well. Also as we had booked into the nice restaurant Orestorante (a definite must if you are staying in Ponza) we had brought nice clothes to wear, only for my boyfriend to find that the entire hotel didn't have one iron so he could iron his shirt. Even cheap hotels have irons in every room!

The communal areas were quite nice, the pool area was nice for relaxing if the pools were small. The bar area was also nice. We didn't eat there except for breakfast which again was very average for the price of the room.

The location was good with only a 10 minute walk to the harbour.

I understand we were on a very posh island in peak season, but this hotel was still disappointing. The next time we're in Ponza we'll stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed: June 2006, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank debi.in.london
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed yesterday via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
Thank 01799528
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Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Ivano D
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017
Thank stefanooo1989
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Additional Information about Grande Hotel Santa Domitilla

Address: Via Panoramica snc, 04027, Ponza Island, Italy
Region: Italy > Lazio > Province of Latina > Ponza Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Ponza Island
Price Range: £87 - £246 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grande Hotel Santa Domitilla 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Grand Hotel Santa Domitilla, one of the most prestigious hotels on the island of Ponza and the whole Mediterranean coastline.Our elegant and refined common areas have a cool Mediterranean décor and our splendid gardens with their abundance of Mediterranean and exotic plants are surrounded by typical Ponza-style terraces.Two seawater swimming pools are hidden behind a mass of purple bougainvillea, and our fabulous Wellbeing Course winds between lemon trees and fox grapes to the picturesque Roman Grottos with their different temperatures (from 19 to 37°C), numerous hydromassage jets, and the exquisite Arabic style and chromo-therapeutic lighting of the Turkish Bath. Then there is the prestigious restaurant and wine bar, “Il Melograno”, that offers gastronomic delights in wisteria draped bowers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grande Hotel Ponza

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