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“Not a 5 star hotel - be warned”

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Grand Hotel la Pace
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Sant'Agnello
Reviewed 31 August 2011

Firstly, I would like to make a point of saying that I do not usually write reviews. I am not a snob of any sort however; both my husband and I have stayed in some lovely 4 and 5 start hotels.

We got married in Italy and have been back on many occasions, so we are aware that Italian hotels are basic in terms of rooms but the views, service and food often outweigh this fact.

Having recently returned from this hotel for a 5 night stay (thankfully not longer) and we were ultimately disappointed. We stayed in the Capidimonte last time around which is a 4 ½ star hotel and having experienced the La Pace hotel, I can tell you that the Capidimonte feels like a 7 star hotel in comparison.

We booked this hotel based on its star rating however; this just proves you can be stung even in a 5 star hotel.

The location of this hotel was advertised as near Sorrento town. It isn’t! We had a car and thankfully we did as we would have been faced with a 30 - 40 minute walk each day. There was a shuttle bus but we never saw it and the last one came back at about 9pm which was when Sorrento town was at its liveliest so we saw no point in using this service.

The hotel lobby is nice and on arrival we were quite happy. We don’t travel light due to my shoes so we had quite a large suitcase with us. We were offered no porter service but instead told to get to our room but walking down some marble stairs to get the lift. We assumed there wasn’t a porter service. Upon checkout we weren’t offered a porter service again but once we got to our car to leave with our luggage as if by magic a porter came out of the hotel!

The halls and rooms are dated and have old furnishings. This is surprising as the hotel was only opened 10 years ago but expected as Italy has a very classic feel to it. In general being dated doesn’t really bother me but it was run down. The bathroom had rust and mould all around the shower and bath. The towels smell of cooking fat as the laundry is based next to the kitchens. The bedding throw really smelt very bad.

There was no book in the hotel to give you a guide of the hotel amenities or locations but instead we were given a photocopied piece of papers and a few leaflets in an envelope on arrival.

The room had little ants all over the dressing table. The bedding and furniture had clearly not been cleaned in a while as the whole room reeked of musk which turned my stomach.

We never had a balcony as most rooms have French windows. They only have a few rooms with balconies. I like to look out at a view when on holiday so I was upset to find out that I was given a French window overlooking two large hills and a derelict building with barbed wire around it. It sounds better than it actually was. It was an absolute waste of a beautiful country view. The French window was never cleaned and full of bird poo so we rarely used it.

I smoke and I didn’t want to throw cigarette butts out of the window so I used a glass as there was no ashtray. The next day the glass was taken away by the cleaner and not replaced with an ashtray but instead placed over my bikini top on the dressing table!
The rubbish was never cleared away in the room. In fact the cleaner just replaced our towels and remade the dirty bed every day. One day she took our beach towels without replacing them so we went on a wild goose chase to get these back!

The mini bar had a limited variety but when we took a bottle of water out of it, it never got replaced. We took another bottle of fizzy water out of it the next day and yet again we weren’t given any more. The empty bottles were just left in our room by the cleaner.
The room also had carpets which were mouldy and faded. I believe some rooms had marble floors. Our room believe it or not was an “executive room” . I never heard the cleaner use a hoover once whilst we were there. Literally the whole room was full of dust. Toiletries were never replenished and you don’t get much so if you do go take your own and don’t rely on this hotel to provide a fair amount of shower gel or anything for that matter.

On a plus we were given a pair of wafer thin slippers but that was the only perk we had when there.

The food was awful. You would think that part of the world would provide amazing produce but I’ve honestly stayed in 3 star hotels with a better breakfast. Think soggy scrambled eggs, two types of bread rolls and a donut. This is as good as the breakfast gets. One day at breakfast a gentleman felt so strongly about the hotel we heard him complaining about the hotel and he said “it’s not exactly a 5 star hotel is it”. I agree whole heartedly. I had a caprese salad one day and I was provided with what tasted like tinned tomatoes, dry mozzarella I could get in Tesco and sprinkles of dried basil. Where ever you looked this hotel skimped on quality.

The service overall wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t top draw quality that you would expect.
The swimming pool has a few beds around a small decked pool which quite frankly was rubbish. The decking made it look cheap and when you were in the pool you could see the underneath of the decking which was dirty. The pool was not worthy of a 3 star status let alone a 5 star. Most days there was a dirty hose feeding into the pool that you had to walk round. If you actually get a bed around the pool you will find it too intimate as you are literally stuffed around this small pool looking at other people with no space. It really was like sitting around a hot tub in your garden.

The pool could be potentially dangerous as there is a massive step all around it which a few people nearly hurt themselves getting in for the first time.

We usually based ourselves on a bed away from the pool but instead of the sea view we were promised we got a brick wall. It appeared that the sea view rooms didn’t really get a sea view either.

The bar snacks, drinks and mini bar process were certainly 5 star prices. 10 euros for a salad is a bit steep especially since most of it was pre packaged economy food!
Our holiday was amazing but the hotel put a downer on it. We wouldn’t return to this hotel. It was old, dated, not the cleanest and wasn’t really a 5 star. I would really like to meet the person who classed this hotel in the first place as they were clearly blind!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank The-Boils
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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738 - 744 of 1,204 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2011

A quirky hotel overall, some of the art pieces are very good, the entrance and public areas quite stunning in a 1930s art deco way, the staff try hard and are generally good especially cleaning and restaurant. Tonio on Reception is good but some younger staff need training and attempted to charge twice for the single trip arranged through the hotel!

The pool is rather small and children were disruptive at times, why can parents not ask them to run, the decking is low grade and shaky. The pool area bar is expensive and we never saw a price list. The old ruin at the side of the hotel is an eyesore and pigeons have inhabited. Would not have liked to eat food so close to this as would be expected. The impressive indoor bar was always closed though the hotel was full, why?

As there are no pavements, you take your life in your hands when walking down to the centre and back, many drivers appear to be extras from Death Race 2000 and the scooters/ mopeds are just suicidal. Italy-- civilise your roads, electrify all scooters/ mopeds and introduce 20mph speed limits.

Photo smog was evident most days around the Gulf, pollution levels must be very high and we had not seen this since LA in the 1990s. Not really what you want to see on holiday.

Ischia is pretty but the people serving in the shops and cafes are awful, hateful crones.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank seasoned_2_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2011

This is a lovely hotel with a fantastic reception and pool area.
The hotel is situated in Sant Agnello which is about a 10 minute bus ride or one stop on the train away from Sorrento. We like the fact that the hotel was situated on a slight hill and the pool area was overlooked on both sides by mountain views. You felt like you were away from all the noise and bustle of Sorrento which we preferred especially on the days we relaxed by the pool. It is only a short walk (10 mins ) from the railway station which we used all the time. The walk is on the road without a pavement so you have to really watch out for the mopeds. The trains are great as they go from Sorrento to Naples. Along this line you can stop off at Pompei and various little towns. We went to Naples for the day which we found very interesting!!! Local transport is very cheap (except the taxis which are not !!!)
The hotel staff were really friendly and the breakfasts were great with lots of choice.
The pool area was fantastic and we could always get a sunbed no matter what time of day we went there. The only thing I would say is that the pool closes at 7pm which is early when it is so hot - it would be lovely if it stayed open to 10pm so you could enjoy a swim after a day out.
The hotel offers a free shuttle service to Sorrento which we used in the evenings - the last bus back is 10pm which is always crowded and you often have to stand. Good service though.
Would recommend a visit to The Moonlight Restaurant in Sant Agnello - great food and service and not too expensive.
I would recommend this hotel and would stay here again if we come back to this area. The best way to get to the hotel from the airport is to use the Carreira bus service (you pick this up outside the arrivals hall) It costs 10 euros per person and it takes about an hour to get to Sant Agnello square. It is then about a 10 minute walk to the hotel although we took a taxi and paid 15 euros for the privilege!!
Great hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Karen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

Hotel location:
We chose this hotel because it was not in the centre of Sorrento, or Sant'Agnello.
35-40 min walk to Sorrento through the pretty side streets of Sant'Agnello.
5-10 min walk to main Sant'Agnello square.
For those not wishing to walk, the hotel offers a free shuttle service, it can be very busy, particularly on the last shuttle bus from Sorrento at 10.00pm.

Reception area grand.
Room was clean, tidy and a good size.
Beds a little on hard side, but not uncomfortably so.
Room view (standard room at rear of hotel) very pretty and rural, very quiet.
Bathroom adequate, bath with shower.

Fantastic views.
Plenty of sunbeds.
Pool little on small side, but view makes up for that.
Nice shaded bar area, albeit quite pricey for food which was available lunchtimes only.

Only dined once in the restaurant, the food was not to UK 5 star standards. Plenty of it, but quality lacking, better food available at other restaurants locally and in Sorrento.
Breakfast buffet was plentiful, but again does not match a UK 5 star expectation. Great selection of fresh fruit and pastries however.

Definitely a 5 star service from all staff.
Particular mention to the Reception staff, of which Marinella was stand-out, especially for English speaking guests, nothing too much trouble.

Peaceful location, stunning views, excellent staff, comfortable accomodation.
We wanted to embrace Italy, and travel independently, this is all possible with good transport links to all the major local historic sites. Bus stops and train station 10 min max walk from hotel, and very cheap. Taxis available but very expensive.
Wonderful stay overall, memorable.

The entrance and lobby to the hotel is grand, with a sweeping staircase that looks all its 5 star rating.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Karyl H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2011

from the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome and special. we were offered a glass of bubbly at check-in and it just got better from there. the room was a good size and had a fantastic view over the bay. the food was excellent and the staff were fantastic - very friendly especially with children. the pool was clean and well maintained and there were ample sunbeds to go round. the only slight niggles we had was that there was no free water available anywhere and there was no daily paper - both of which we would have expected from a 5* hotel. the hotel is set out of the main town and is around a 10 minute drive from Sorrento. however the area is very pretty and it is worth the walk down to the sea for the view. avoid the bar overlooking Sant Agnello beach as the staff are very rude. Also, if you are going to Vesuvius do not use the taxi firm at herculaneum as how he didn't kill us I dont know - go from Pompeii instead. overall this was a brilliant holiday - we even used the public transport which was cheap and very efficient - worth the effort to get a feel of the real Italy.

Room Tip: can be quite noisy in the mornings but sea view is fabulous
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rainywalesCeredigion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2011

We stayed in this fine hotel for a week during July 2011. The reception area is welcoming and luxuious. Our room on the 6th floor was spotlessly clean and very comfortable, the bed was hard but very comfortable.
The breakfasts were fantastic, with a huge choice to eat. The pool bar provided a great range of drinks. All members of staff we dealt with were polite and helpful especially Marilena on reception.
The housekeeping service is one of the best we have experienced with out room being kept spotless.
Whilst the hotel is set up from the main road it is only an 800 metre walk to Sant'Angello where there is wide choice of local restaurants and bars.
The free bus to the centre of Sorrento is great.
Having stayed in Sorrento many times before we found Grand Hotel La Pace a relaxing haven set away from the busy tourist area. The residential areas around Grand Hotel La Pace means there are a lot of places to eat frequented by locals ( a real sign of a good place to eat).
We can't wait to return and have already recommended this hotel to our friends.
Having read some of the reviews on here I am surprised people were writing about the same hotel. The hotel can arrange an airport transfer, however the public bus service for 10 euro each way is great, leaving you in Sant'Agnello centre where you can either walk to the hotel ot take a taxi for 1o euro.
The wifi internet is available for 9 euro for 24 hours provided by an outside company.
There are pleanty of sun loungers round the pool with fresh pool towels provided every day.
Stay in this hotel for great value, great staff and great breakfasts.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank terpat_belfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2011

We stayed here for 5 nights on our honeymoon and we're dissappointed. It was good, just nowhere near what they advertised.

After a long drive, we were excited when we pulled up. The outside is quite "grand" and inviting. At first, we weren't given a sea view room, even though we had requested one through our travel agent. The front desk "manager" was not helpful and claimed the hotel was full - it was quite clearly not. However, for an extra 50 Euros a night, we could move to a sea view room.....we guessed the place wasn't full after all! It was our honeymoon so we did. This made the world of difference. We had a little balcony over looking the pool. The sea was quite a distance away.

The rooms have yellow tile floors and the bed is very hard. The shower in the bathroom could have used a good bleaching and it was pretty small.

Positives. The hotel offers a very convenient shuttle service a few times a day into Sorrento. We used this every day. The breakfast was delicious, especially the omelettes each morning. And the pool is clean and a nice treat after a long day of being out in the sun. Many people seemed to gather there.

We would have a much more pleasant review if the hotel sold itselt accordingly as a 3.5/4 star hotel and the prices were a bit more reasonable.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank adamnat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel la Pace

Address: Via Tordara 10, 80065 Sant'Agnello, Italy
Region: Italy > Campania > Province of Naples > Sant'Agnello
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Sant'Agnello
#10 Romantic Hotel in Sant'Agnello
Price Range: £159 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Hotel la Pace 5*
Number of rooms: 109
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Hotel La Pace has been built combining extraordinary ideas from the past historic luxury and today’s contemporary amenities. When you first step into our magnificent lobby, with its grand scale and splendid detail, you might think you’ve been transported back to the 20th Century, when great Hotels were built with marble and stone, not glass and steel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Sant Agnello
Grand Hotel La Pace Sorrento
Grand Hotel La Pace Italy/Province Of Naples

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