Hubby and I went with another couple for four nights in late May and were very pleasantly surprised. Trovami anche in italiano al fondo del messaggio.
MARIA. Maria isn't as described in the bad reviews here--if you know a mother who is Italian, Indian, Jewish, African American, or Southern, or any other culture with super-moms, you know what to expect. She wants you to eat, enjoy yourself, and get the best deals, and is determined to tell you what she thinks is best. She saved us 40Euros (10 each) by us going through her for our transfer to Capri (we spent two nights there at Hotel Weber) rather than booking thru the boat kiosks on the beach. (We compared prices before agreeing to it.) Maria didn't pester us about it, she'd mention it each morning at breakfast to make sure we didn't forget (the mom-thing again). And it seemed like everyone in Positano wanted us to go up to that restaurant on the mountain, not just her--but we didn't go. We just thanked her for the suggestion and said we'd think about it. No problem.
HOTEL. As for the hotel itself, we had rooms 501 and 504, which are on the entry level--one level above the street. There's only one street in Positano that allows cars, and this hotel is on that street. But it's not noisy at night, surprisingly. Our rooms had balconies slightly elevated from the breakfast terrace (which also serves as the corridor for leaving/entering the hotel) so we had the same great view of the town and sea. There are flowers in containers everywhere--so pretty! We made good use of the communal terrace, buying cheap wine from Maria (3Euros), and she provided free glasses even when the wine wasn't hers. The rooms are tiled and cool, and the wooden/glass shutters block out all light and all noise. The rooms were huge, even by US hotel standards. Bathroom big, but the lack of a shower curtain is as annoying as previous reviewers mentioned (I'll admit, I thought those reviewers were just being difficult, but the water from the shower goes EVERYWHERE. The same in the other room--their toilet paper got soaked. It gets rather slippery!) Everything very clean and plenty of furniture.
LOCATION. As I said, only one car street in Positano makes for a very walking-friendly town. I'm so glad we stayed here rather than Amalfi (super touristy!) or Sorrento (a city). Very pleasant, lots of beautiful scenery/houses/terrace gardens. A very short walk (5 mins) to the bus for Sorrento or Amalfi, and an even shorter walk (2 mins) to the internal bus stop (goes around Positano in half-hour loops--very convenient!) All the shops and restaurants were within a ten minute walk, even the beach, and the uphill back to the hotel wasn't bad at all. We never took the steep steps mentioned in other reviews--the cobblestone inclined streets were nice and gentle.
Positano makes a great base for the entire Amalfi Coast--we took the ferry as much as possible, though the schedules are very limiting, so we ended up taking the bus as well (not good for motion sickness, obviously!) The water is calm for boats. I highly recommend the ferries--faster than the buses, and much better views of the cliffs.
FOOD. The breakfast is fine--why stuff yourself when there's pasta and pizza to be eaten later??!! There's yogurt, fresh toast, cereals, pastries, and individually wrapped cookies and crackers that we took for snacking later. Juices, coffee (cappuccino, mmm) . . . plenty good, with room for lunch. :)
For dinner, we ate at restaurants with outdoor seating: Brunos (ok), Bucco di Bacco (good) and Da Vincenzo-- twice (AMAZING! Mama, pappa, and son are so nice, and there are free appetizers and limoncello, delicious pasta, nightly specials--such good food!! Highly recommend. Prices the same as other moderate places. Get dessert--fabulous). For lunch we ate in other towns: Ravello at Cumpa Cosimo (sampler plate with 5 different pastas is perfect!) Amalfi at La Perla (real a-holes working there, pasta sucked, but pizza was great). Don't be afraid to ask for "acqua da rubinetto" (tap water). If a place is touristy, they won't serve tap water (Amalfi, Sorrento, Capri) but if not touristy, they'll serve it (Ravello, Positano). (Da Vincenzo gave us a big pitcher!)
VALUE. For the views, location, and size of rooms, I think this was a great value. We paid E130 per room, booking thru the hotel. The hotel diagonally across the street was three times the price (I'm sure it was more luxurious, but this hotel more than adequately met our needs.) We felt very safe and comfortable. Our room was right under the family apartment! No noise, except in the morning when Maria would come down the stairs . . . but then silence again. I highly recommend this hotel!! You'll love it, and love Positano, and feel like your mom is there with you (at least at breakfast).
In Italiano: questo posto e bellissima, si sente come si sta con famiglia. Maria e una Mamma brava, e lei vuole assicurare che tutto e a posto. Le camere sono grande e ben puliti, ma la doccia mett'acqua dapertutto nel bagno. Le camere non sono rumorose, e la vista del terrazzo (mare e villaggio) e incredibile. Lo raccomando a tutti.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Albergo California Positano
- Hotel California Positano