Just spent a week in the Villa Garden and we were delighted with our choice.
Some compromises are unavoidable in this very crowded part of Italy. It is a ten minute walk to the railway station and 30 to Sorrento. The pavements are narrow to non-existent. Trees often take up so much pavement space that single file is the norm. And in alleys where cars and busses do not penetrate, the scooters roar by in a cloud of blue fumes. But the Villa Garden is on a block jutting out to the sea and an oasis of quiet. Powered shutters cut out even the least noise and we had completely undisturbed sleep. When you get to Sorrento and encounter the barrage of traffic noise and pavement jams, you appreciate the wisdom of staying in Saint Agnello.
The hotel looks out on the Bay of Naples and a pavement viewing area attracts young couples all evening long. Sunset was glorious. We never entered or left the hotel without wandering to the rail and gazing out.
The final block to the hotel is difficult to access for large busses in the dark and we were dropped by Thomas Cook at the intersection and directed down the poorly lit lane with our luggage. It felt a little strange, but in a couple of hundred yards we rounded the corner and there was the hotel.
The hotel staff were all very friendly and helpful. Their English was good. The room was immaculate and attractively decorated. The bed was large, if a little firm. The bathroom large and the shower as expected hand held. Strange when it would be quite simple to arrange a screen and wall bracket.
A small safe was large enough for wallets and phones and documents, but no more.
The television was flat screen, but the “satellite TV” is only BBC World News and CNN. Plus five Italian channels, which were pretty dire. But no matter, there are swings and seats in the hotel garden and drinks are brought to you while you watch the stars come out.
The pool is on the small side and in mid-May on the cold side. But refreshing after a hot day.
The breakfast and the breakfast room were just as good as reported by others. A side benefit of the Villa Garden is that it is at the end of the pickup schedule for excursions. We were always last to be picked up and first to be dropped off. Saving a lot of time in traffic going round the hotels and always giving us time for an unhurried breakfast before setting off.
With the Euro the way it was, it is easy to run up a significant bar bill, but it is hard to get worked up about it when the staff were so attentive. They even bring you plates of little biscuits while you sunbathe.
For evening meals we divided our time between Moonlight, which is two blocks away and Taverna Rossa which is five blocks away. Moonlight worked out around 55 euros for two for three courses and a bottle of wine. Rossa was a real find and worked out at half that for two courses and a ½ litre of the house red. The house white at Moonlight and the house red at Rosso were far better than I would have expected and superior to the more expensive bottle of Lachrymia Christi we tried. Rosso is small and busy but the starters and pasta were very good. I don’t think it’s a dessert place. On the other hand Moonlight was airy and attentive with good pasta and tiramisu. Taxis from Sorrento can be 20 – 30 euros at night, so we never bothered. It was much easier to use the local restaurants.
The local bus stops one block from the hotel and has the schedule posted. It comes about every half hour. You buy the 1.10 euro tickets in advance at the Tabacci shops or reception. Pay attention to the bus marked C Marina Piccola. That takes you right down to the harbour, where the boats leave for destinations all over the bay. It’s important to use the C bus because you would have to have a death wish to try and walk down the narrow hairpin road to the harbour. It has no pavement. We caught the bus at 8:16, bought the tickets and boarded the 8:45 to Capri with five minutes to spare. Be warned the boat company would not accept a credit card for the 60 euro fare ( for 2 ). I had trouble using my cashline card, but the credit card did work in the bank machines.
San Agnello itself has no great centre. Just the busy Corsa Italia and little shops. The Vesuvio train was fine, though do check the destination on the front of the train as some of them only go part way. It would be absurd to pay 30 euros for an excursion to Pompei when you can get there on the train for 3.1 euros and have as long as you want. We did pay for the Amalfi drive excursion because the queue and over-crowding on the public bus to Amalfi looked wretched.
The Villa Garden is a small hotel, which retains many characteristics and furniture of a family mansion. And the friendliest and most competent staff we have encountered. Recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Garden is a refined boutique hotel located in the Peninsula of Sorrento, on a rocky spur directly above the sea. The breathtaking panorama one enjoys from the Belvedere encompasses the entire Bay of Naples, with the majestic Vesuvius, the gentle hills and the picturesque villages dotted along the coast immersed in the luscious green vegetation. A real corner of Paradise, where the ancient Romans built a splendid villa and where the great European painters of the 17th and 18th century came to seek inspiration for their magnificent paintings. Today this is the ideal place for relaxing and romantic stays, to discover Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and other gems of this blessed land. The villa has been completely restructured but in full respect of the original architecture. It's 19 rooms are finely furnished, many of these have balcony and sea view. The personal care of the owners, the courtesy of the Staff, the intimate and elegant atmosphere, make of Villa Garden a "Hotel de Charme". ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Garden Hotel Sant Agnello
- Villa Garden Hotel Italy/Province Of Naples