My husband and I booked a night in this hotel during a short trip to the Ligurian Coast, after friends recommended Claudio's Michelen-starred restaurant. It was wonderful, but it's very special and much of it can only be experienced first-hand. I will do my best to do it justice.
Firstly, I don't understand the bad reviews here but I expect they come from people who a) have not traveled much in Europe or b) didn't come for the food. This is not a normal hotel for normal people. This is a place that you come to for the experience of a Michelen chef, to gasp at the extraordinary cliff view down to the sea, and to relax in peace and quiet. It is not a spa - the staff will leave you alone unless you need assistance. Breakfast is included with the room and there is a swimming pool and deck chairs if you don't want to go to the beach
Many reviewers have said that the staff are grumpy and unfriendly. No...they just get tired of trying to speak in English to guests who are demanding this, that and the other thing. A smile, a little Italian and compliments on the food were all we needed to have them warm to us and the service was excellent.
We had a large room - possibly a junior suite - with a private terrace, a very comfortable and large bed and elegant furnishings and linens. The view was breath-taking, and the beach in Bergeggi is not to be missed. Sadly, we had a very loud and active couple in the room next to us who didn't appear to care who else heard them at all hours of the evening and night. Classless, to be sure.
The bathroom is very large, but dated and I expect that, in time, it will be refreshed. However, everything functioned perfectly well and the staff had provided fluffy bathrobes, towels and olive-oil based body products.
The food is out of this world. Claudio specializes in fresh, local seafood from the mediterranean. Everything is carefully chosen and beautifully prepared. As is typical in a high quality restaurant, it is best to order one of the chef's set menus, although an à la carte menu is also available. Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth it and they will make sure that you eat well and are not rushed. We ordered the menu that started with tuna and shrimp carpaccio and raw oysters, followed by a large mixed selection of shellfish (all menus are for min 2 people) including shrimp, langoustine, lobster, and crab. It was devine! Along the way, you have delicious local wines, and a gorgeous selection of desserts and coffee, if you still have room in your stomach. The service is top-quality at dinner, as one would expect. You must book in advance as people come here to eat - I believe most tables were full and many were occupied by people other than guests of the hotel.
During the day, there's a little shuttle bus that stops in front of the hotel once an hour (1€ per person per ride) that will take you down the cliff to the beach, where the sand is hot and the water crystal clear. As we had checked out of our room before going to the beach, we asked to leave our car in the garage and shower at the pool afterwards. Claudio was very accommodating and even provided us with clean towels for our shower.
If you're looking for a food experience, and an incredible view, this is a great place to stay high above a beautiful Italian coastal village.
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