Stayed here three years ago for just one night with a pal of mine but this year decided to return for a rather traditional family holiday with wife and two children (nearly 15 and just 13). My 13 year old son took one look at the view of the terrace, pool and sea at the back of the hotel and pronounced it 'awesome'. The hotel is, a bit like Venice (very easily do-able as a day trip by public transport), a somewhat fading glory. The lobby and bar are really quite stylish (though the bar was rarely attended and expensive, so we stopped using it). The rooms and bathrooms were adequate: a slight problem with the bath plug was reported to our Thomson rep and immediately mended. The shower was powerful and the air conditioning worked well. Overall, though, the place felt like it would have been a palace compared to the competition when it was new (perhaps 45 years ago?) but was now in need of a refurbishment to the bedrooms.
The pool area is very pleasant - probably as good as it gets in the resort and the pool bar was good and reasonable value - about half the price of the expensive main bar in the hotel. Sun-lounger hire is EUR 3 per day which annoyed me slightly until I realised that this charge pales into insignificance when you are paying EUR 9 for half a litre of wine, EUR 5 for 92cl of mineral water and EUR 8 for two small bottles of Pago fruit juice every evening in the restaurant. It all mounts up!
Turning to the restaurant: dinner is served from 1930 to 2100. This means you really want to be there shortly after 1930 and certainly no later than 2000, as it is a buffet and when Mr Giannetti decides people have finished their starters, the starter buffet is cleared. This is not really a problem, however, as you will be punctual, for the simple reason that the food varies from good to truly outstanding. There was a great deal of lobster, scallops, prawns, squid and other excellent fish and crustaceans. There were always at least three pasta dishes, varying from merely good to sublime (they were cooked in reasonably small batches for a large crowd, therefore they did not go soggy). Then there were large, baked fish, deep fried squid rings, chicken, guinea fowl, duck, saltimbocca and two or three roast meat joints. I didn't try the meat as the fish and fowl were so good and the weather was a bit warm for roast pork etc. Genuinely, it was all pretty impressive and the at-table drinks service improved once the waiter realised you wanted a 'standing order' in place for every evening.
Breakfast was all-encompassing. Hams, salamis, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, doughnuts, full English (not bad at all for Italy). It would be very easy to over-eat.
We got the impression that many people come back here year in year out. To my surprise, since we had not done a package holiday for at least 10 years, I thoroughly enjoyed this hotel and, particularly, the food. Once you hit your rhythm, it becomes very relaxing. Although you have to eat light at lunchtime (which is not the Italian way!) following a proper breakfast (unheard of in Italy) and ahead of a very large evening meal, this is really the only way they could offer half-board of this standard.
In terms of cost, our 14 night holiday for four with Thomson cost about £4,400 for flights, transfers and accommodation for the last two weeks of August. If we had just slobbed by the pool all the time, and not bothered with lunch (we could just about have done this), we could probably have kept the overall cost down to about £5,000. As it was, including lunch in a restaurant every day, sun-lounger and pedalo-hire, drinks, ice creams etc., a week's car-hire with a tank of diesel, trips to Venice, Burano, Treviso, Cortina d'Ampezzo and Lake Garda, with some water-ski-ing thrown in, we spent about £7,000 all-in. That may be why people nowadays prefer renting a 'villa' and doing everything themselves but it's not as restful as a hotel like this.
Finally, I should add that all the staff were extremely efficient and polite and that the hotel offers free bicycles to allow you to explore the resort. The special evenings of entertainment, however, leave much to be desired.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Four star hotel directly on the beach. Pool for kids and grown up persons. Equipped beach with sunumbrella and chairs. Breakfast and dinner are served on buffet. Free parking and garage (extra charge). Free bikes at guests' disposal. WI-FI.For informations and reservations please contact our reservation center ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monaco And Quisisana Hotel
- Monaco Quisisana Hotel
- Hotel Monaco Quisisana