No, this hotel is not perfect by any means, and we found a few things wrong, but first and foremost, the staff is extremely friendly and helpful about trying their best to put things right for us, so I have nothing but praise for Giuseppe and the rest of them.
As you read through the issues we had, bear in mind that we had a wonderful holiday in Sorrento and the hotel was part and parcel of that, with lots of good stuff I am mentioning too that more than makes up for said issues. By the way, when I say friendly, I don’t mean they are going to be laughing and joking with you the whole way through your holiday, or be there to socialise with when you’ve run out of things to talk about with your partner. They smile, they are helpful (remember if you complain grumpily to anyone, you are hardly likely to see them at there best, but “ask” for help and people are normally happy to fix things for you), were completely approachable and were always professional and courteous.
So, we arrived late after delays to other flights which left us sitting on a coach for an hour and a half in the heat outside the airport. It might have been nice if the Thompson reps had at the very least got the driver to turn the aircon on in the coach while we waited, but I guess you could always wait outside the coach in the comfortably furnished (please note the sarcasm here) car park in the sunshine. When we finally set off there was no rep on board either which surprised me. For the start of the holiday, not many points on the plus side for Thompson. I know they cannot be blamed for flight delays, but as usual the feedback was always geared to make things sound better rather than tell you what is actually going on – i.e. “It’ll be about a half hour wait”, when in fact it was triple that.
Anyway, we were arriving at the hotel late, and perhaps a tad grumpy so when we got to our room (Room 22, ground floor at the back, which is down a level from reception) a few things were there to gripe about which sent us back up to talk with reception. Firstly the aircon was not operating and we were “mafting”, there was no light next to the mirror (for blokes that don’t understand this comment, it’s a lady thing to do with makeup application), and the extractor fan wasn’t doing anything in a bathroom that smelt a little funny. The main thing being the aircon, as being on the ground floor we didn’t really want to sleep with the doors open for obvious security reasons. Anyway, we asked if there was any chance of an upgrade to a higher up balcony room (we were happy to pay the extra involved) but sadly the hotel was full so no joy there. Reception did say it was a change over day the next day, so would try to sort out another room the next day.
To cut a long story short, we noticed later on that the doors had slatted shutters on the outside so we could sleep with those locked and still get ventilation, the next day we had a new table lamp, the aircon was fixed, together with a blown bulb we also commented on, an ashtray had been brought down for me (filthy pariah that I am) and they had even found a handheld hairdryer for my wife (as the built in one wasn’t powerful enough for her. And still they were trying to sort out another room. At which point we conceded that they had done enough to make the current room absolutely fine for us and asked if they would be glad to see the back of us. To which they replied happily that it was “no problem. It is your holiday and we want to make it right for you”.
So 10 out of 10 for service so far!
One other minor point about the room which would be cheap for the hotel to fix was the lack of anything to hang towels on in the bathroom. Just a hook on the back of the door would do.
Other than that our room was spacious with high ceilings, very nice furniture (including a bureau which I loved) and comfy enough beds. It would have been nice if there was a second “comfy” chair other than the dinning table style one at the dressing table, as I do spend a bit of time in the room while my wife is doing the war paint, but that’s a minor point. There are plenty of sockets about including a “thick” pin one in the bathroom to take a hairdryer or such. (Most of the sockets in the room are thin pin – which most euro adapter fit – but are designed for lower power consumption, but there are a couple of thick pin ones in the room too – just not by the dressing table).
The bathroom has both a shower cubicle and a bath (with Jacuzzi, but I never trust those so didn’t try it), and a bidet, which is a novelty to most Brits. Towels are provided: 2 bath, 2 hand and 2 bidet one.
On the terrace outside are two hammock style chairs which are nice if you want some peace and quite to sun yourself in the afternoon. Hedges to either side give the terrace a bit of privacy, but the view straight out is to a wall, albeit covered in greenery with the orange trees popping up above it. There’s also a small plastic table to put your drink on.
Other rooms further up in the hotel looked to be much smaller when we glanced through the open doors as they were being cleaned. How much you need lots of space is up to you versus the desire for a balcony room at the extra cost.
We were on a half board basis, and the evening meals have been fairly good with a three course meal that is waiter served from a choice on a menu of 4 starters, 4 mains and two desserts. This menu varies each night but if you are there for two weeks you will start to see repetition. It certainly is a change from the buffet style eating I’m used to in half board or all inclusive places I’ve been in before. There is also a good wine menu to go with the meal with house wine at 20 euros a bottle or 5 euros a glass. In general though, the starters seemed to be so much better than the main courses, which occasionally suffered from using poor cuts of meat and boiled to death broccoli. On a few I asked for two starters instead of having a main - a request that the hotel was happy to accommodate. I was happy with most of the things I ate but I am not a particularly fussy eater, whereas my wife very rarely managed to enjoy the main course at all. Any drinks you want with dinner are added to your bill. Desserts could do with a little cream to go with them for my taste, and we only found out on the last day that the staff were happy to add some ice cream to the side if you asked, although I have no idea if this would be an additional charge or not as I found out to late to try.
Breakfast isn’t quite so good, and although, again, it was fine for me, I can understand some of the previous reviews not rating it highly. It is a little limited compared to most hotels I’ve stayed in, but for me breakfast is just about stoking the boiler for the day, so it didn’t worry me too much. The buffet for breakfast never varies (then again, I have rarely stayed in a hotel where the breakfast menu did) and if you want any type of egg other than scrambled, then it’s an extra change. So cooked breakfast is scrambled eggs, very streaky bacon, bite sized hotdog style sausages, tomatoes and beans in sauce (do not expect Heinz here by the way). On the cold side there is one (occasionally two) type of cheese, ham, salami, breads, a small range of fruit, corn flakes, bran flakes, muesli, one pastry type, croissants, a few sponge cakes and fruit tarts, jam, honey, yogurts, and a few other bits I might have forgotten. There’s a coffee machine and tea or fresh fruit juice available too.
You have a table allocated to you but it’s not shared so there is no time restrictions to when you arrive to eat within the operating hours (7 to 10 am and pm for breakfast and dinner respectively) and the dinning area is nicely presented with white table clothes and fabric chair covers that help deaden the echoing that plagues many hotel dinning rooms. Be aware though that your allocated table is only really reserved for dinner. Although the little tag with your room number on it stays on the table the whole time, anyone can sit anywhere for breakfast. It does get a tad warm of an evening in the dinning room and it probably would be a lot more pleasant in there if the windows had been opened on those warm days. However we never asked for this to be done so I don’t know if the hotel would be just as obliging about this if we had as they were about everything else.
So in summary, as far as eating is concerned, if you are at all a fussy eater then I’d look elsewhere (and ask why are you going half board to start with?) but if not then hopefully you should be able to eat OK here.
The pool is nice as it has some shape to it rather than a boring rectangle, and the surrounding terraces have sun beds and some comfy wicker style sofas. The top terrace is outside the bar looking down onto the pool where there are shady dinning tables and some easy chairs and sofas if you are just having a drink or escaping the sun for a bit. The sun beds have an attached sunshade that can angle over your head but there are no parasols at all so if you want full shade you have to nab the few sun beds that at least are shaded by trees in the morning. By afternoon you are either a sun seeker, have slapped on factor 200 sun block, or retired to the bar. In general though, I liked the pool area because of the terracing, greenery and shape of the pool. The whole effect makes it a pleasant place to be, unlike a few hotels I’m been to where the pool area is a bare white rectangle of a courtyard round a rectangle of water. You get towel tokens to exchange at the bar for towels for the sun beds. Don’t think you haven’t been understood if you get given what look like tablecloths instead – these really are for the sun beds.
The bar itself is a pleasant, with an antique feel to the furnishings and has not got a pool table, but something very similar but without any pockets (not sure myself what that game is), and the room next to it seems to be a traditional games room with a green felt card table and a chess/draughts table. One end of the bar has a window opening out to the pool side terrace so you don’t have to go inside to order drinks.
We found that of an evening there were very few people about at the bar to the point that it felt quite dead in their, but that may be to your taste and may change with the people staying on a different week, but I think bar prices might have had something to do with it as although not particularly overpriced for Sorrento area, with places like Tony’s bar where a 250ml mini bottle of red wine is 3 euros of Donna Rosso where ½ litre is 4 euros, most people are not going to pay 5 euro per glass to sit in the Hotel bar all evening. We used it on most nights just for a single night cap before going back to the room. So I think my advice to the Hotel would be to try to get the drinks prices down a tad to encourage more use of the bar.
One other general thing that would be nice is a courtesy bus into Sorrento. It only a mile to walk but other Hotels in the area do offer this service and the Thomson brochure still stated there was one when we booked even though the staff said they hadn’t had one for several years, which disappointed us as it was one (albeit not major) point in our choosing the hotel in the first place.
All in all I was very happy with the Hotel and enjoyed my time there. It’s beautifully furnished in the public areas, the rooms are clean and spacious, and the staff are great. The meals are not quite as good as I might have hoped, but certainly I was completely happy doing a two meals in, one meal out approach, so the hotel as a whole is certainly one I could recommend.
For buses from S. Angello into Sorrento there is a service that runs about every 20 minutes on a good day. It’s even timetabled, but the information on that timetable is worth about as much as a single old Italian Lira, so do not rely on the bus if you really must be anywhere at a certain time. We waited one night for an hour and a half before giving up and deciding we didn’t want to go into Sorrento that badly after all. However most times the bus did come within about 20 minutes of waiting and it takes about 15 minutes at most to journey in to the centre of Sorrento. To be honest, by the time you have walked from the Majestic Place up to the main road, waited for the bus, and then done the journey, you can generally always walk there in the same time if not quicker, but sometimes you just want to save your legs. So to get the bus you need first to purchase a ticket (1.20 euro at time of writing) from the shop next to the bus stop sign (opposite Tony’s bar) and when you get on the bus you need to insert the ticket into the machine near the driver to “stamp” it as used. This is the same for train tickets too – you can get them at the same shop and you need to stamp them in the machine before going on the platform to get on the train. Not sure how big the fine is if you forget to do this, but I wouldn’t suggest finding out.
Coming back from Sorrento there is a shop that sells tickets right next door to the info point on the corner of Via Correale and Corso Italia by Piazza Tasso and you can get on the bus at the stop on the opposite side of the road. The bus is the local Linea A in both directions, usually a small orange bus but occasionally a different colour. If in doubt just ask the driver of each bus that stops “Sant Agnello?” in a querying voice when the door opens. Keep an eye out for Tony’s bar again at the crossroads where it stops for getting back to the hotel.
Taxi’s we were told would cost about 15 euros each way. I can’t confirm this as we were too tight, so either walked or took the bus into Sorrento.
For trains turn left along the main road, dropping in at the shop again for the ticket, and keep going along the main road until it opens out on the left and you can see the Circumvesuviana station to the left set back from the main road. The Sant Agnello station of this line only has the one platform and trains go in both directions so if you are heading for Sorrento take a train going right to left as you stand on the platform, and if you are heading to Naples (e.g. for Pompeii or Herculaneum) wait for one that runs left to right.
This review together with more information on some bars and restaurants, and some trips and tours can be also found at:
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Immersed in a big park by citrus groves and beautiful villas, the Hotel Majestic Palace welcomes its guests in a refined and warm atmosphere at the same time. Thanks to its location, within walking distance from the sea and the main square of Sorrento, the Hotel is the ideal starting point for discovering the most beautiful and evocative sights of Sorrento area, Amalfi, Capri, Pompeii, etc., to spend in short, a seaside vacation culture or relaxing moments. Built in a Mediterranean style, the Hotel Majestic Palace has large indoor and outdoor spaces. Attention to even the smallest details, the Majestic Palace Hotel offers to the guests excellent services and facilities: pool restaurant at lunch, pizzeria, Don Geppi Restaurant open for dinner, swimming pool with Jacuzzi, solarium, beauty center and possibility to enjoy beautiful excursions by sea and by land. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Majestic Palace
- Majestic Palace Sorrento
- Majestic Palace Sant Agnello
- Majestic Palace Hotel Italy/Province Of Naples