Nettuno Suite Hotel is a small hotel in the very centre of Sestri Levante. Our guide told us that the building had been a casino before, converted into hotel later. It is managed by the Balbi family – the same family, which manages big Villa Balbi hotel, located opposite Nettuno.
Nettuno Suite Hotel is an interesting combination of excellent and surprisingly bad. There are some definite “ups”, as well as obvious “downs”. “Ups” are mainly about the hotel itself (physically – building and location), while “downs” are shared between hotel features and service.
• Beach location. There is no road between the hotel and the beach.
• Large hotel beach. There is enough space between chairs, everything is clean. The beach bar is very nice with good drinks and snacks selection.
• The room where we finally settled (more on this below) was big, light, with nice interior, comfortable beds.
• Generally, the place is absolutely clean, everything shines; beautiful art nouveau interior.
• Fast and free Wi-Fi connection.
• La Terrazza restaurant – despite of rather meager breakfast, it is a very good place for both lunch and dinner with a sea view (Please see separate review in “Restaurants” section).
Now, the time is about what is diplomatically called “areas for improvement”. If you are looking for a warm welcome, friendliness, good service – it is not easy to find all of it in Nettuno. Out of several duty managers there, only one (Marino) is reasonable (besides, he is the only one who knew where to find rent-a-car. Others either did not know, or decided to hide it from us). We got an impression that other managers simply do not know how be welcome and friendly. Some hotel design specifics also influenced our impressions.
1. The first two-level room which we were given cannot be called a place for staying. On the hotel’s front photo, one can easily see rotated square window on the very top above the entrance – this is that room’s window. I could not see the street from there at all – and I am 189 cm tall. Large king size bed takes the whole room space, leaving minimum space for movement. Additionally, space is taken by the table, which top is in turn taken by TV set. There is literally no space to put bag and suitcase – there is only one small wardrobe. And, finally, to get to the living level from the door, one must climb about 2.5 meters steep staircase, with very narrow steps. This room is not for living at all. I would like to see how the designer, who designed it, could stay there during vacations.
2. We asked the manager to change the room. After long resistance, we were set in another one. Very spacious, one-level, even equipped with additional tables and sofa. The air-conditioner was not loud – it was super-LOUD, making sleep impossible. (Besides, by default, the air-con is controlled from the front-desk – you have to guess that you need to specifically ask to switch it to room control.) But the main, rather silly feature was revealed next day. This room is on the first floor, and this floor is quite low, and the windows face the main street. Everything inside the room is clearly visible from the street both in the daylight, and in the evening. Not very comfortable – especially, when one is standing in front of the wardrobe, located right beside the window (and it happens often that people do not have a lot of clothes on, when choosing what to put on). The main curtain does not help – there is not enough light in the room, so we had to keep it open. The easy solution could be a sheer curtain, which was absent. We thought that it had been taken to laundry. However, it turned out, that there is no sheer curtain for that particular window neither in Nettuno, nor in Villa Balbi! At the same time, sheer curtains were hanging absolutely on ALL other windows in the building! The manager was adamant, saying that it was totally impossible to find a sheer curtain for the window in our room – even impossible to take it from the windows in the corridor, which were facing only the treetops.
3. Finally, we moved to our third room – excellent, big, light, nice one. The wooden shades controlled from the bed were like from another world. No claims, except for a few functional uncomfortable things, such as:
• Bad bathroom ventilation – the humid air does not go away unless you open the door to the living room;
• No hooks, not railings to put the towel to dry;
• Water is leaking on the floor from both bath, and the shower cabin (yes, there were both there!);
• Only one keycard available;
• Safe was not working, but luckily was quickly replaced;
• The phone cord was constantly falling out of the socket;
• Toilet and bidet were placed very inconveniently.
4. We had to go through hotel’s large main hall to get to our room. There was a small business-conference during two days in that hall. In order not to disturb the conference, we were directed to go through the side fire exit. So, each time we had to go first to reception, then together with manager and the key to that side fire exit – rather inconvenient. If I was the manager, I would have at least written a note to hotel guests, with polite apologies and some compliment form the hotel. Bottle of excellent Ligurian wine would have been more than enough – we would have been fine with it. But, at Nettuno, they obviously believe that hospitality and courtesy are unnecessary, so they simply put a note on the wall “Do not go through the hall. Use side fire exit”. (Even without “Please”).
5. During the evening before our leave, we got a “present”: The laundry receipt was “stapled” to the blouse which we had put to the laundry – as a result, a nice hole appeared in the blouse. It was good that Marino was on duty that night – he quickly put together a note, guaranteeing that they would handle it with insurance company. It took then two and half months and 19 emails from me to get the reimbursement.
All these stories significantly spoiled the impression from overall good hotel. I cannot definitely say if I go there again. When on vacation, I would like to enjoy it – and not waste my emotions and energy on inconvenience and discussions with management. And, of course, cordiality, hospitality, smile - this is what a tourist expects when going somewhere from home. It is also very much appreciated when host is intending to either prevent a problem, or to solve it quickly, when it happened. We did not see anything like this at Nettuno at all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautifully overlooking the marvellous Baia delle Favole,in Sestri Levante, this historical Art Nouveau building ensures an unforgettable stay to its Guests, just along the shores of the Ligurian Sea.Newly restored, the Suite Hotel Nettuno has preserved the original atmosphere of the Belle Epoque and its floral patterns, combined with modern facilities for the most demanding Guests.Enjoy a breathtaking view, tasting the typical ligurian dishes seated at one of the table of our internal restaurant "La Terrazza".Let yourself be fascinated by the diversity of every room, unique in its own kind, with original frescoes of the early 1900s, bright interiors, each equipped with A/C, minibar, TV with 12 free Sky channels, electronical safe, telephone with direct external dial, opportunity to have your favourite newspaper at your door every morning.The free private parking place and the free WIFI in all the structure are at your complete disposal, as the staff of the hotel.During summertime, take advantage of our beach. ... more less
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