We had a very enjoyable holiday with only minor negatives, which were mainly at the start of the holiday. We booked with Thomson and found the transfers rather too long for a one week break. This was largely due to the fact that it was October and ferry services were not as frequent as in the height of the season. A 6.45 flight from Gatwick meant we arrived mid morning in Naples. We were quickly shown to our minibus driver, who whisked us off to the port, where we were unceremoniously dumped with suitcases and bags and told the ferry would be at 2.20pm. As it was only 11.45, we wasted two hours on the quayside in the burning mid day heat. Fortunately there was a small bar/cafe, so we were able to get a drink and something to eat. The ferry left half an hour late, so our arrival in Ischia was late afternoon.Our lovely rep, Mina was there to greet us and we eventually arrived at the hotel. Taking into consideration that the departure was 5.50am the following week, we felt we had only really had 5 days there-something to be considered if you only go for a week.
Our first impressions of the hotel were good and the staff were very friendly. Our room (303) had a lovely view across to the castle, but was rather small. There were no easy chairs, or space for them, so we were glad that the good weather meant we didn't have to spend much time in the room. The shower was powerful, but very cramped. We discovered very quickly that the air conditioning wasn't working and after a number of attempts to fix it, we were told someone would be round the next morning.I pointed out that we wouldn't be able to sleep with the doors open becase of the mosquitoes and to their credit, they managed to get an engineer in whilst we were in dinner.
Much has been written about the food already. Suffice to say, we found it excellent. Breakfast provided a good selection, and dinner beautifully presented and tasty dishes. Some have said the portions were not large enough, but the buffet-style first course was more than adequate and with the addition of breadsticks and bread, we were very satisfied with the meals. The staff were both courteous and knowledgeable and this made for a happy dining experience.
We chose to use the local buses rather than risk the perils of driving around the narrow streets in hair-raising style as the locals did. Without exception, ALL the cars were scraped and dented! Leaving the hotel, a right turn into the park (through the double gate posts), leads you to the main road, which takes you to a bus stop. Tickets can be purchased at the kiosk (not on the bus). The number 5 will take you to Maronti Beach, with wonderful views on approach. We went there three times-definitely worth a visit and so much nicer than the local beach. Just be prepared for the joys of bus travel-only a few seats, so mostly standing and often crowded. A visit to Sant Angelo further round the coast is worthwhile and you can get a water taxi for 3 euros across to Maronti beach. Or of course, do it the other way round. Either way, both places can be reached by bus.
A walk to the port will take you to the Bus Station and a number of options for travel. All bus travel was very cheap ie. under 2 euros per journey. We found this a really good way to see the island. Taxi travel is expensive.
A day at one of the thermal spas is a must. We went to Poseidon (the only one still open). It can be accessed by the number 2 bus from the bus station. Go early and make the most of it.
We also used the thermal pool at the hotel. A pleasant experience apart form the beds, which had mould patches-maybe an end of season thing? The hot tubs in the outdoor pool area were a bonus, but not really hot enough and not completely functioning.
It was a surprise to be offered breakfast before our really early departure of 5.50. Apart from the hot food, everything was laid out as normal and the night porter took our orders for tea and coffee. Six fresh rolls for the six of us who had booked breakafst were also provided. What a pity the couple who arrived first had to be so greedy and snaffle them away and fill them with cheese and ham etc. for their journey. You know who you are you selfish pair!
All in all, it was a very favourable experience and we left feeling relaxed and rested .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located close to La Mandra Beach and the ancient fishing village of Ischia Ponte, Hotel Villa Durrueli Resort offers a thermal swimming pool and a spa center. The grounds are full of exotic plants and flowers. The Resort overlooks the pine forest and has a fantastic view of Ischia's Castello Aragonese. Guests can relax on the sun terrace, take a dip in the large, thermal pool or in one of the smaller pools with hydro-massage and aromatherapy. Rooms are complete with all modern comforts, including free high-speed Internet access and wifi. Some rooms have a balcony or furnished terrace and an LCD TV. The spa center was opened in 2007 and includes an indoor pool, Turkish bath, and a variety of massages and beauty treatments. Meals at Villa Durrueli's restaurant are often accompanied by music from the piano. The dining menu includes fresh fish dishes, local specialties and a generous buffet of starters and vegetables. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Durrueli Hotel Ischia
- Durrueli Hotel Ischia