We were very much looking forward to our trip to Elba to stay at the Hotel Paradiso during September 2005. As the hotel was not close to the local town of Porto Ferrairo we called ahead to check that the hotel's menu was sufficiently varied (as there are no other restaurants nearby) and were told that the evening meal consisted of three courses, including four choices (including a fish dish) for the main. Sadly we were disappointed, veal was one of the main course choices every night we were there and on one evening veal (cooked in two different ways) was on the menu twice! The anticipated delicious Italian desserts did not materialize either as the choices were generally cheap ice-cream (the plain sort you scoop out of a tub) or fruit. There's nothing wrong with fruit, I eat it all the time at home - but on holiday you want to treat yourself! The lunch time choices were very restricted and after spending time in Rome and Florence enjoying the Italian cuisine a few days before arriving in Elba, we were very disappointed with the few choices on offer (plain spaghetti with olive oil, sliced up fresh tomatoes and a few basil leaves was one of the choices, unarguably fresh but fairly unimaginative).
Whilst our room was clean and reasonably furnished it was absolutely tiny, with only a space of about 2-3 feet all the way around the bed (with a chest of drawers and wardrobe crammed into that space on one side) and the bathroom was tiny. If the weather hadn't been so terrible (it was stormy, cloudy and rainy while we were there) we probably wouldn't have been so bothered about the size of the room as we wouldn't have been in it so much. The swimming pool had a strange cloudiness in it so we didn't get in. The small beach (accessed via some steep steps) was quite nice but strolls along it would take you about 2 minutes as it is surrounded by rocks.
That said, the hotel does have several terraces from which you can view the sunset over the sea, and the views were undeniably breathtaking. If you want a fairly simple hotel with very little to do other than sunbathe during the day, and relax with a drink in the evening then this place is for you. If, after your dinner, you prefer to have a wander around shops, or around a port for example then you'd be better off staying in Porto Ferreiro.
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- Also Known As:
- Paradiso Hotel Portoferraio
- Hotel Paradiso Elba Island, Italy