Casa Angelina is a wonderful hotel; let's start there. The staff is WONDERFUL....they are concerned; want to make your stay perfect; and really bend over backwards to meet your needs. Let me start with all the positives -- large rooms; comfortable beds; great views; a nice escape from Positano crowds.
Nestled about 80 steps below the little village of Praiano; Casa Angelina sits (as do most of the hotels here) high above the Med. Sea...when you walk in the first thing that strikes you is that everything is white....Let Rusty write that again ...EVERYTHING IS WHITE! Though throughout the hotel are carefully placed and beautifully crafted Murano Glass Sculptures, (watch your step!).
A tour of the property with a staff member; and then off to your room. If you get a room overlooking the Med.; two things will strike you right away (a) your view is ONLY visible if you stand...if you recline or sit on the comfortable terrace furniture -- your view is blocked by a (um...white...wall)....however (b) you do not have similar blocked views of your neighbors...there is a small (um...white....wall) with some shrubs ....but then you can easily walk through the opening in the wall to your neighbors (um...white...terrace!). They open their doors, or you open yours -- and you get to hear everything your neighbor is saying...doing...listening to; etc. Could really use a more PRIVATE terrace!
The pool is small, but overlooks the Med.; chairs by the pool are comfortable. The Casa Angelina has their own 'beach' area; not sand or pebble beach, but a very nice area with ample recliners; a nice bar and bistro; a very attentive staff and reasonable prices. Take note -- the hotel tells you it is "just 200 steps down;" (it is actually 289 -- Rusty counted them); and keep in mind, it is 289 back up!
Turn down service is great! Don't miss it! Came in one night -- candles; rose petals in the bathtub!
Now...onto areas of improvement.
No carpets or floor coverings....so rooms are not 100% quiet -- not overly loud; but could easily hear the footsteps of other guests in rooms on both sides and one floor above, (see sleep quality below).
Let's start with the food. The breakfast is wonderful. If you buy the breakfast package....all items on the separate menu (omelette items, eggs, etc.) are included and they are very good. A rich variety of cheeses, meets, assorted pastries. But....let's turn to drinks by the pool...expensive. We tried to bring our own wine to the pool but were told that was not allowed -- fair enough; but remember you are paying top dollar for beverages by the pool.
Onto dinner -- here's where the "weird" comes in (see title...). They are either over-staffed, or going for the "Stepford Look." You are greeted not by one, but by several servers....the lighting is dim....one open of the menu and you will need to catch your breath after seeing the prices. We chose (for obvious reasons) not to touch the wine list...and just asked for spring water -- the bottle was delivered by the 'water server,' who carried it as if it was a bottle of fine champagne; carefully unscrewed the top; gave a gentle pour ...for a moment I thought he was going to hand me the screw top to smell. Every time we placed an eating utensil down or our water dropped a bit low....someone "appeared" from out of the shadows. Food arrived....small, SMALL, portions (remember the price!); and every time something was delivered to the table; a server appeared with (I am not kidding here) - a WHITE flashlight, shined it on the plate and explained everything I was about to eat). It was, frankly, just a bit weird. The price and 'over-attention' may be one of the reasons that there were only two other couples in the entire restaurant the evening we ate there, (we did not return).
Away from dinner -- they have a HUGE bar area -- stretches perhaps 50 yards; with loads of white furniture, white walls; a stark black piano (must have snuck in there....!). Every night, this entire area is empty...we were there five nights; and did not see more than one couple in there the entire time. Casa Angelina could turn this around quickly by offering nightly piano entertainment and free (YES...FREE!) adult beverages and light snacks...this would draw folks into a beautiful area that is simply not being used.
Other notes -- very poor internet service. Large television; but only English speaking channels are 24 Hour news Channels. Room service, (which we ordered) is actually much more reasonable than the restaurant or pool area); but there is a 15 Euro charge...and watch that! I asked that when they picked up the dishes they also bring a Sprite to the room -- they agreed, but tried to charge 15 Euro for the delivery of the 5 Euro Sprite -- so a 20 Euro Sprite! The next morning when I brought it up with the staff, they apologized -- readily, and took it immediately off the bill.
So...to sum up....lots of white...LOTS of white...but a wonderful staff with a wonderful setting. Food is very good, but WAY overpriced; bar area is great...but again, WAY overpriced....you can easily get a meal in town; pick up a couple of bottles of wine at the local shop; for far less than a main menu item in the restaurant. If they wanted to double the use of their bar and restaurant; they should cut their prices by 50%.
There nothing they can do to improve on customer care and attention -- AnnaLissa (sp?) was wonderful throughout. The day before we left; she had (without our request) had already arranged for our driver; and double checked on our transportation to Positano!
They could liven the place up a bit with more music; perhaps a bit more color; and a staff that (for lack of a better description) is just a bit more relaxed. Would I return here...yes!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barefoot Luxury on Italy's Amalfi Coast ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Angelina Hotel Praiano
- Casa Angelina Praiano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
- Hotel Casa Angelina