Hotel Alpha, Sant Agnello Sorrento.
This is a small, family run hotel of 67 rooms with air conditioning, situated in a quieter suburb of Sorrento called Sant Agnello. It sits at the junction of two roads which although busy, do not experience as much traffic as roads in Sorrento centre. It is a ten minute walk from the Circumvesuviana train station (more on this later) and ten minutes in the other direction to a small beach at the bottom of the cliff. The hotel has some rooms in an annex, which is the original villa, but the majority of rooms are in the modern hotel building itself. Our peaceful room at the back of the hotel overlooked the small gardens full of citrus trees, which, although not really accessible was very pretty. Insect repellent is a must here as the mosquitoes bite all day.
Facilities: One lift to the three floors. Underground garage for parking at 15 Euros per day. Internet facility in small room in lobby (not sure about wi-fi). 24-hour reception, with money exchange facilities 09.00 – 20.00, a small to medium sized pool open 09.30 – 18.30, with free sun beds and a bar 09.00 – 18.00 (pool towel charge of 3 Euros). The roof terrace on the third floor has just a couple of sun beds, but this is not really used and requires some maintenance and also the big air-conditioning and kitchen extractors are here and they are noisy. However, there are some good views here to the mountains and Vesuvius, as well as some lovely sunsets. A main bar in the hotel lobby 17.00 – midnight. The pleasant terrace area with chairs and tables can be used all day, including for meals and this is adjacent to the single restaurant. We stayed on half-board basis. Breakfast is a self-service buffet 07.00 – 10.00 (mainly continental breakfast although scrambled eggs, frankfurter style sausages and continental style bacon – lightly cooked, is available and there is a toaster and egg boiler). Lunch time snacks from 12.15 – 14.00 available. Waiter served dinner is 19.30 – 21.30; we experienced two set menus in our week and choices on other days. Dinner was generally good, but plates were cold and hence the food could have been hotter. Some meals were better than others, but on the whole good Italian style fare. Tuesday we were serenaded by two men with mandolin and guitar and a “Gala” dinner night is held on Thursdays, which basically means piano music and waiters parading Baked Alaskas with lit sparklers. Evening meals can be swapped for a packed lunch, or you can buy a packed lunch for 12 Euros. Room service is available at a charge.
Rooms – Ours was quite spacious and well furnished with serviceable period reproduction furniture. The bathroom included a bidet and a very sensible shower over bath on a long hose (I hate the fixed over head type). Beds are OK. Third persons are provided for on a put-up-bed. The room was kept very clean and linen changed regularly as were towels if left in the bath. The room safe free is of charge. If you ask at reception they will empty the room mini-bar fridge at a charge of 5 Euros per day, so you can purchase your own drinks (for consumption in the room only. Supermarket near the train station). Just a point, the room fridge does not have a motor, so as to be quiet, and takes 24 hours to chill anything. A big gripe is the air-conditioning. This is centrally controlled and is available June to mid September 05.00 – 10.30 and 16.00 – 24.00, supposedly. However it is very weak in inefficient and went off earlier at 23.00 If your key-card is not in the room slot the air-con is not on in the room at all, hence if you are not in the room (at dinner) it heats up unbearably and nights are very uncomfortable. I think this issue should be addressed by the hotel, because if it’s a cost cutting measure it’s a no no! Checkout is by 11.00, but a room extension to 15.00 can purchased at a charge of 30 Euros, but ask the day before at reception to make sure they can do this for you. Otherwise baggage must be left in the hotel lobby by the lift till you leave. All hotel purchases are charged to your room and settlement is by cash, except for larger amounts which can be settled by credit card.
We did not use the local busses, but did use the train a lot. The station is a ten minute walk from the hotel and trains run all the way to Naples in one direction and Sorrento in the other. Don’t be put off by the graffiti, but as always watch your pockets. Blank train and bus tickets are available from the hotel reception or tobacconists. Tickets must be purchased before boarding the train and time starts from the moment they are validated, this is done by inserting them into a machine at the station which prints details on them. A ticket from Sant Agnello to Sorrento (one stop, taking five minutes) is 2.40 Euros each way (cheaper for locals at about 1 Euro) and is timed for journeys of up to 45 minutes. Pompeii is about half an hour and strangely cost less, at 2.10 Euros each way for a 100 minute ticket. For Herculaneum, a journey of about three quarter hours, the ticket cost the same, 2.10 Euros. Both excavations are close to their stations, Herculaneum being about a ten minute walk and Pompeii right opposite.
Our experience of the hotel was very good; it is clean, convenient and friendly, with the staff at the hotel being its greatest asset. Without exception we found everyone to be courteous, hard working and efficient. Our special thanks in the restaurant to Salvatore who is charming, Giovanni with his great sense of humour, Sara and Igor, and at reception Francisco (forgive my spellings of names if not correct) who was most helpful with advice on travelling around.
I recommend The Hotel Alpha as a good smaller hotel with high standards, great staff and in a quiet but convenient location.
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- Also Known As:
- Alpha Hotel Sorrento
- Alpha Hotel Italy/Province Of Naples