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“We Loved Agropoli”
Review of Hotel La Darsena

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Hotel La Darsena
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in Agropoli
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We stayed at La Darsena from Oct. 13th to 24th on an Air Transat Holiday package and overall it was a very pleasant stay and one that we would most definitely recommend with the following provisos.

Be aware that the drive from Rome to Agropoli will take approx. 4 ½ hours, some of the group were not aware of this and were upset. Thankfully because of information here on TripAdvisor, particularly some great information from Serenjdipity, both in her review below and in information she sent me, we knew all about the length of the bus ride.

Another thing to know is that from September to the end of October, the guests at La Darsena are 95% French Canadian as this venue is heavily marketed in Quebec by Transat Holidays. If you don’t speak French and there are no other English speaking guests there, you may feel left out as, naturally, the guests are all speaking to each other in French. We used our very rusty and limited French whenever we could and the Quebec guests spoke to us in English when they could. There was only one other couple there from Ontario and we ‘bonded’ and had a great time with them. Apparently in the summer, particularly in July and August, the guests are more multi-national, however we were told that the heat in these month can range from the mid 30’sC to mid 40’sC. Sweltering!

Check-in was very organized and efficient and Monica and Lea both speak excellent English and were extremely helpful during our stay.

The first room we had was room 301 and it fronts onto the street and the train track, so was very noisy. So noisy that for a light sleeper like me, even with ear plugs, it was impossible to get a night’s sleep because the trains run through the night. Thankfully we got a room change after 3 days and after that had wonderful sleeps.

The rooms are spotlessly clean and Maria does a great job. The soundproofing between rooms and in the hallway is not very good and sounds carry. We were there at a quiet end of season time and the hotel wasn’t overly busy plus the guests tended to retire early, so sleeping (other than the first few nights) wasn’t a problem. Also being on the top floor was great because no-one was above.

We ordered a fridge for our room and were glad we did. This is very worthwhile if you want to have snacks, a cold beer or keep water cool and only costs 5 euros a day.

In the restaurant, tables are assigned, so request a window table and if one isn’t available, ask to have one when it becomes available.

The food at all meals was pretty good. Breakfast is serve yourself and consists of cheese, ham, some fruit, pastries, rolls, cereal, coffee and tea and is available from 7:30a.m. to 9:00a.m.. Lunch and Dinner are both 3 course meals with a bottle of wine at each meal and also a bottle of water. The chef did a good job with the food and the presentation was good. Lunch is served from 1:00p.m. to 2:00p.m. and dinner from 7:30p.m. to 9:00p.m. Each day you have 2 choices for meals and you fill out a form with your preference. Pasta or soup is served as a starter with lunch and dinner or you can request a salad. The servers in the restaurant, Alexandra and Susanne are both multi-lingual, and Rita’s English is pretty good too. These ladies were wonderful, and did they ever work hard.

Although the weather was very warm, 24C-28C (high 70’s to mid 80’s) the air conditioning had been turned off for the season, both in the rooms and the restaurant. Thankfully we had a window seat in the restaurant so usually had a little breeze. The interior of the restaurant could get pretty hot. The bedrooms all had shades which kept out much of the hot sun but there were times when we wished for at least a fan.

Agropoli is a delightful Italian town with wonderful and friendly people. The walk from the hotel into town is along the beach walk and we walked it many times. Because this is not a typical tourist town, very little English is spoken here, in restaurants, shops etc., so try to learn some Italian before you go and bring an Italian/English phrase book...really helped me.

From Agropilo, it’s relatively easy to get around, by taxi, bus or train. We took a train to Solerno and then a boat along the Amalfi coast, and spent the afternoon in Positano. It’s definitely worth taking the time to do this trip, particularly if you’ve driven (or been driven!) along the Amalfi coast and then see the same sights from the sea. Both are simply breathtaking.
We took a bus to Santa Maria, a beautiful little town just south of Agropoli. From the town square we then took another bus to the top where there’s a castle/fort/church. The view is fantastic.

If you’re taking a taxi anywhere, have the hotel order it for you. We met some people who were charged more than double what we paid because they called a number that someone gave them, instead of having Lea or Monica at La Darsena order it.

We also took organized trips to Pompei, Mount Vesuvius, Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and our guide, Angelo was fantastic. No question was too much for him and the information he gave us for all the sites was excellent. Grazie Angelo!

A trip to Capri had to be cancelled due to heavy seas and unfortunately we didn’t have another opportunity to go. If you want to organize your own trip to Capri, you can get a train to Solerno (40 minutes) and either take a ferry to Positano (40 minutes) and then another ferry to Capri (50 minutes), or after taking the train to Solerno take a taxi to the marina that has direct boats to Capri. Personally, this is one trip that it would be better to take an organized tour to.

I recommend Agropoli and La Darsena to anyone who wants to experience the ‘real Italy’, yet be close enough to also experience all the other fabulous touristy places (Sorrento was one of our favorite) in the Amalfi area and the Transat Holiday package is extremely reasonable, considering all the inclusions.

If anyone would like more information, I would be happy to answer any questions.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms like 301 or 201 you're a light sleeper. Top floor rooms 308 and 309 are great and i...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank AnneCrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 October 2013

It is very clean, the staff is A1, the food is very good, very good service....
The room is very nice, we asked to change room to have a bigger one, and they accept right away. . We took the ocean view and it Worth it. The manager is very helpful. We felt like home at the hotel. don t hesitate to go to La Darsena....

Room Tip: take the ocean view if you can, it is amazing, so beautiful
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank lpage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2013

This little hotel/residence is well worth the booking. Very well located (very close to the train) ocean front property with a sandy private beach! We also enjoyed the lively little village and easy ferry access to Capri. The hotel staff was friendly and very accomodating. Rooms were very simple but clean. We booked this hotel through Transat Holidays for part of our honeymoon in July 2007. This is not a luxury hotel but the advantages of the beach front and location is what sells this spot! We will cetainly go back to rent one of their little bungalows now that we have a young daughter!

Room Tip: If you can request a room with ocean view access. The one on the top floor has a large private terra...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sandrini_bella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2013

Random Thoughts: I apologize for my grammatical errors in advance... LoL

Italy review:

Airport:Rome
I left Toronto aug 31 10:30pm-ish; and arrived in Rome Sunday.
I booked with Air Transat; and a man with a sign was looking for guests of the La Darsena Hotel just in front of the baggage claim. It's a good thing I spotted him because I am used to meeting with the rep just outside of the airport (based on all of my travel experience). We waited as we were missing other people. We left; and we shared the bus with people who arrived from Montreal 1-2hrs before us. So, while there were still ppl missing, we left because the Montreal passengers have already been waiting long. I don't know if the other Toronto passengers were found and sorted :s Yikes, that would suck if it were me. So, please be on the look out for rep if your pkg includes transportation as it takes 4-5hours to get to the hotel.

Before getting to the baggage area, you have to hop on a indoor train to get where you need to go...just follow the crowd and you will be fine.

Drive to Rome:
Like I said, it takes about 4-5hrs to get there. There was an 30 mins stop so guests could use the washroom and a snack. I got their famous buffalo mozzarella sandwich; I love that cheese. I bought a bottle of 2Lwater for 3euros in fear I won't have access to water at the hotel, as I was not to familiar with the layout just yet.
Honestly, I did not really feel the long drive as I was tired and slept most of the ride. The bus had air and was relatively comfortable.

Hotel check in:
Pretty painless. They give you the key but the girl at the desk didn't really know how to speak English so you sorta have to figure out to direct yourself.
I was in room 211, but the elevator states "1" for rooms on the second floor; and "2" for the third floor. So, I was riding the elevator confused until made this self realization. There are rooms on the first floor but they are mainly the ground floor. There is no one to assist you with the bags; so don't wait around. There is no money exchange or ATM at the hotel so get your euros at home as it was rushed at the airport with big line ups. There are banks 20 mins right from the hotel but there are no money exchange at the banks just ATMs. It will only give you an option of Visa from the list when you put your debit card in; but its ok, they really are referring to your debit card. The first time I had to re-enter my card as I was afraid they were going to charge me on my visa but because I amusing my debit card another tourist told me to just choose the option listed and treated as though it is debit even though it lists visa.

Room:
Decent size for one or two; I wasn't planning to stay there for long anyway, as I will be out and about. I had a side view of Lake Como and I had Juliet balcony which means you can step out but there was only enough room to put a chair out. I ended up sitting on the actual balcony frame to get a better view of the Lake. This room had good exposure to the sun; and so I was able to tan from my room. It was directly above the lobby so I was able to get free wifi most of the time. Free wifi, in general, was only accessible to the lobby but because I stayed in the room right above it, I was able to get signal. You have to get the wifi code from the front desk before getting access, so be sure to get that.
TV had no English speaking channels which was horrible for me, as I like having it on as I change and if I'm in the room. Not even ONE! the hotel should at least get one movie channel. No iron; i had to spray water on my clothes and let the wrinkles air dry. No alarm clock; I used the wake up call and my iPhone alarm. The walls were thin. Lol. You can hear your neighbour. Shower was tiny and I am 5'1 and size small....so for me to say that it is small...it is small. There is an emergency plug you can pull in case of emergency in the washroom but I accidentally pulled it one day; and no one came, so If you think you are going to need it; I would test it out.
My Montreal friends got the upgrade of the sea view; and it was absolutely amazing! The front view balcony alone was enough to sell me on the room; but they were there for 2 wks so there are only a few available. I saw their pics and it was incredible views. There is also free wifi at the bar terrace which had a great view of the lake. Bring DVDs and a. Laptop if you need to watch something in English when you are in the room.

Tours:
Angelo did not come until Monday; and mostly spoke in French. My French friends that met on the bus were nice enough to ask him to please speak English on my behalf. They were great people. Tours either 50euro or 70euro. When one of the guests said that I might as well do it on my own; the prices were dropped to 45 euros the next day. The tours were not organized in terms dates and prices; he had to return on Tuesday to finalize base on what people preferred to go. So if you haven't done your research on where you want to go, you are put on the spot to choose your preference; and base on that, the days of tours will reflect the high demand. I.e if no one wanted to go to Pompeii, the tour will be postponed next week versus doing it this week.
So, I was a bit upset about that because I already lost a day on Tuesday as the dates of tours weren't set; and I leave on that Sunday.

Isle of Capri:
So, I went to Island of Capri on Wednesday for 70euro about 2hrs ride via bus and boat to get there; and another 2 to get back. It was 7am to 6pm tour. It is extra if you want to go to the higher parts of Capri ...11euros for the 3 buses ride up ther; I opted not to go and just stayed to shop the stores at the dock. I also took my time to eat. But I did regret not going up to see what's what. It was expensive but I heard it was beautiful up there. On the boat ride, you will pass the Amalfi Coast and Positano. So because of that, it was worth the 70 euros as you get boat "tour" on the ride over there.

Sorrento/Paestum:
Thursday I went to Sorrento/Paestum for 45euros via bus. We went to the city of Sorrento first but only had 2-3hours; I only had time to really just walk around and take pics; had a gelato; and saw the Dali Salvador Art Gallery Exhibit; the cathedral was closed.
We had to meet back at the bus to head to Paestum, which was about 10mins away from the hotel. Arriving Paestum it was 10 euros to see both the museum and the ruins. You can see the ruins on the outside but it is fenced in, so if you want to take pics, it is the better value to just pay the 10euros. I felt ths tour was very rushed. We left at 8:30am and was back 5:30pm. Sorrento was a bit more energetic than Agropoli and so it would be worth a full day trip to go back if I had the time. But I didn't.

Santa Maria:
Friday was suppose to be the Almafi coast for 45euros. I didn't go as I already saw on the way to Capri. Although I am sure the tour would take you into the citY and give you a better experience seeing the coast. I went to the city of Santa Maria instead. It was about 20-30mins away from the hotel by bus. It was 1.60 euro one way which you can purchase the tix at the hotel. They didn't have it when I asked so I met a couple of ladies going the same way and we went on the bus together; they allowed us to get on and let us purchase the tix at the cafe by the bust stop when we arrived at Santa Maria. So, going back, I purchased the tix at the same cafe for another 1.60 euros to go back; just tell them you would like to be alerted when you are approaching the stop just before the hotel. Just familiarize your surroundings and you will know when the stop is approaching or sit at the front and get to know the driver to ensure he doesn't forget about you.
Note; there is better beach here. So, if you have time make it a full day and bring your swim suit and towels to shop the first part of the day and relax the second half of the day. Trust me...you won't need too much time shopping as it is very small little town. I didn't know how it would be so I didn't take anything with me and left before lunch so I can return to the hotel in time to eat lunch and lounge at the beach there.

Old Agropoli/Lake Como:
Saturday I walked around the city of agropoli. To get to the old Agropoli and village: go up the hill-driveway from the hotel (2mins); turn right, passing the cigar newsstand (which also sells Peroni beers for 1 euro! And 2L water for 88 cent euro); keep going straight where you will see the beach on your right; when you walked past the beach area, you will see an Esso gas station on the right and a statue of Mary on the left (in the cross roads); this should be roughly 20mins from the hotel at this point depending how you walk; make a right; keep going straight where you see a outlet store selling cheap tops and shorts for 3 or 5 euros; keep going straight all the way up until you see shops and restaurants; turn right and you should see the stairs that lead you up to the old castle....if you have a DsLR, take it up with you on this walk as there are great views of the beach and Marina from the castle. Saturday was the tour of the buffalo mozzarella cheese factory and wine ....they show you how to make it; and they also give you the food and wine to drink during the tour. It was 70euros so passed to go on the Agropoli self guided tour which cost me nothing but the things I bought. Sunday was the tour for Pompeii for 45euros but I was already leaving at 7am. There were also a Rome at night tour for 45euro which basically included only the ride as you had to pay for your own dinner etc. I didn't get the details as I would have been gone already.

Food:
People were complaining about the hotel food on the reviews I read before I left; but honestly, I was never hungry! There was nothing I ate where I said to myself, omg that is awful or oh gawd I won't eat that. Everything was great! And the ladies serving us were the same three for the entire week; and they worked the whole day.night; everyday I was there!
I don't like wine and I always opted out to drinking it when I am home; bit over there, I drank the two bottles of wine they served with lunch and dinner Italy taught me how to drink! Lol they also give a bottle of water for both dinner and lunch. Appetizer, Entree, desert. I thought it was an amazing value for what I paid.

Location:
I thought at first, it seemed isolated.
However, because of all the destinations I wanted to go to; it was actually great location! I didn't research the location enough because it was a last minute trip; but if I had, I probably would have gotten more out of the trip.

First impression of hotel: meh :/ dated. Omg did I make the right choice? But after awhile you forget about 3 star quality and you begin to treat as home away from home. Overall, I thought it was an amazing value for what paid.....and I paid single supplements so that speaks volumes!
I would recommend La Darsena and Agropoli. I had a great time...solo and all! I made great friends with other travelers. Lower your expectations and just appreciate the food, culture and scenery! It is worth the trip!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank Serenjdipity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

We went to La Darsena for the last two weeks of July 2013. The holiday went very well. Our tour guide Angelo was well informed and hospitable. The location was very close to town and we loved walking the beach boardwalk. We ate at a table right at the window and we has the same umbrella and chairs from our second day until trips end. The lifeguard will sign you up or the front desk will. This holiday was so much better than all inclusive s in the Caribbean. No fighting for a chair every day! The food was good and you had choices daily. Two bottles of wine daily. We had white at lunch and Red at dinner. The serving staff are wonderful. Ask for an English menu. You can also ask for ice at the bar. This is Europe and they don't have ice machines. No room fridges either. You can rent one but its not cheap. The first floor rooms have kitchenettes so that's another way to do it! There is a grocery store 5 min walk away. Lots of families so this is a kid friendly resort. Next time we will do one week at this hotel and one week in Rome. So much to see! We loved this hotel and this holiday. There were three tours included. Easy! The trains close so you can do things on your own. In Rome the metros easy and affordable. The air transat hotel, ergife is far from everything so use the metro. Taxis cost a lot 25 dollars one way. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Cathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2013

My Wife, 4 year old, and myself travelled to Agropoli with transat holidays in early may. I'm always a little sceptical about taking transat over an ocean, but they were ok. The flight there was pretty lousy just because it was an older plane, but the flight back was better because we were on one of their new planes. Needless to say travelling with a 4 year old on a long flight is difficult, so a modern plane with personal entertainment is a plus.

La Darsena is a nice little hotel in an unfortunate location. It's not very close to anything, the bulk of downtown is a 15 minute walk, and the train station is about 40 minutes walking. The old city is about 45 minutes walking and the port is further still.

Agropoli is a nice town, the old city is pretty nice, but there are probably nicer places to stay in the area.

As for our room, we had a second floor room with a nice view of the ocean and old city. The bed was large enough and they put a cot in our room for our son. Flat screen in the room if you want to see what tv in other countries is like. I think there are two english channels. They have wifi at the hotel but you have to pay, I think it was about 3 euros for 4 hours. The room also has a ridiculously small shower that leaked unless you closed the doors right. My wife also found it small, and she's very slim. Overall, the room was fairly standard.

The restaurant at the hotel was pretty good for an all inclusive, my wife is a vegetarian and she had no problems if she told them in advance what she wanted. We didn't eat at the restaurant very often because we were out sightseeing during most of the meal times except breakfast, which was fairly standard cereal, fruit, and some sweets, with coffee from a machine. Mealtimes are pretty short, so if you miss them, you are out of luck. Ask for your lunch packed the night before and they will make you a couple of sandwiches, fruit, and water to eat while you are travelling. it's a pretty nice touch.

it was too cold to swim while we were there, but the beach looked ok. Sand was soft and dark, they cleaned the beach every day. If you are looking for calmer seas, go further down the coast to salerno or amalfi, as Agropoli is considerably windier than these towns.

The staff at the hotel were all very friendly, though they didn't speak a lot of English. French is a little easier, so if you have some highschool french, you might have to try it out to see if you can get what you want.

The train is pretty good, but you have to get a schedule because there are a few hours each day when trains don't go. Buying tickets can also be a little difficult, but we didn't really have a problem, just remember to cancel your ticket in the yellow machine or you will probably get into a very confusing conversation with the ticket checker.

You might want to check out la mare hotel, it's the same owners but it's closer to downtown. We tried to get it, but they couldn't put 3 people in a room.

As for sights that you need to see while you are there: Pompei is amazing, Salerno is a pretty nice town with some great food, Amalfi and Positano are very nice little towns. Paestum is kind of neat, but compared to pompei, it's not quite as impressive. There are also some pretty nice restaurants in Agropoli, just walk downtown and stop in for some very affordable and great meals.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Tripkids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2013

We were at this hotel at the end of May, 2013. The hotel is immaculately clean, has basic necessities, nothing fancy. The food was delicious and the staff was very helpful and accommodating. We were given 1 bottle of wine at lunch for 2 persons and another bottle of wine at supper.
However, southern Italy has litter everywhere, it is generally a mess. There was a storm and the garbage from the street gutters washed down onto the beach. It looked as if a garbage truck dumped its load there. Four days later, the garbage was still not cleaned up and you couldn't find the sand due to all the filth on the beach. I watched the maintenance man rake the beach the first day we were there before the storm. He dug holes in the sand and buried the litter. There were metal pieces in the sand. Wear your shoes.
If you are interested in seeing marvellous sights , this is a super location. If you want to sit on the beach, go elsewhere. We went to northern Italy after this stay, what a difference, very clean.

Room Tip: Ocean view is good, no road noise. 710 or 711
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank schatzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel La Darsena

Address: Lungomare San Marco SNC, 84043 Agropoli, Italy
Region: Italy > Campania > Province of Salerno > Agropoli
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Agropoli
#4 Romantic Hotel in Agropoli
#7 Family Hotel in Agropoli
Price Range: £54 - £81 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel La Darsena 3*
Number of rooms: 70
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