We returned yesterday after 10 days at L'Approdo and we had the best holiday in recent years.
San Marco di Castellabate is two hours drive from Naples. It is an unspolit resort favoured by Neopolitans for their summer break. English and other nationalities are in the minority. This does have its downsides. Being unspoilt means very few restaurants in the village of any note and only the most basic of supermarkets. But if you have a car then this isn't a problem.
The Hotel itself is typically Italian. The rooms are lacking in frills and are functional but comfortable. They are spotlessly clean and they all have views of the beach or harbour, all with private balconies. We had a 'top suite' with half board. This meant one bedroom for us and two single beds for our young children in the kitchen diner area. As a combination for the afternoon siesta/ night it worked very well. Aircon only works for July/August for siesta and nightime up to 2am - this wasn't a problem for us.
Being half board we were able to choose between lunch or dinner. Lunch was definitely the better option. There was a selection of fresh seafood and various cuts of meat which were cooked to order as well as a selection of antipasti and first courses. Wines were very reasonable with a selection of excellent local whites, though nothing special for the red drinkers. Dinner was often just adequate. There were some good dishes, but there were also some distinctly average dishes. The pasta tended to be a bit disappointing but the main course more often than not left you satisfied. If you chose dinner for your half board option then getting a lunchtime snack at the hotel was very hit and miss. We got some superb freshly made caprese paninni some days, but some average pre-made ones on other days. The waiting staff had a smattering of English, but one of the head waiters was fluent and was always on hand if we had a query. As so often when abroad, we found that making the effort to try and communicate with our limited foreign vocabulary reaped dividends. All of the staff went the extra mile to try and help.
Evenings had entertainment on every night (though this is in season - July/August). There are a group of dancers from a Roman dance academy that come for the two months every year. They were fantastic and put on some really amazing shows. They also organise pool exercise sessions, step classes, run the children's club, organise beach activities, days out to the local beauty spot of Punta Licosa, archery sessions, volleyball, organise the music at the pool, take photos during the day (on sale later in the evening) and run a special children's show once a week. English was limited, but enough for the children to be able to join in with the predominantly Italian group. On a couple of evenings there was also a pianist/vocalist who had a superb range of songs.
Reception staff all spoke good English and were able to book restaurants/boat trips form the harbour, advise on travel times for ferries and trips to/from the airport. They were also excellent in helping us out when our son fell and broke his arm (nothing to do with the hotel - all his own fault!)
During the day, the on-site facilities were just right. There is a children's pool a short walk from the main site, but next to the private playground and activity area. The main pool was more used by teens/young adults as it had music and activities. The beach was more relaxed and that is where most of the families with younger children spent their time. There is no rush for sunbeds at 6am either - every room gets allocated one sunbed and one deckchair for the duration of the stay.
There is plenty to do within a short drive if you feel the need to leave the hotel - we only did once to Paestum, a wonderful pre Roman site with some outstanding excavations.
I would have no hesitation in returning to L'Approdo and would recommend it particularly for families with young children right up to teenagers.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Residence L’Approdo is situated in San Marco di Castellabate, a fishing village, 120 km south of Naples, in one of the Italian National Parks.The builiding offers 41 Junior Suites and suites and 36 apartments (self-catering) for 4 or 5 persons, swimming pool and private beach, restaurant (ground floor), reception (24h), bar. All rooms and apartments have balconies with sea view. Entertainment crew in high season and centralized air conditioning (July to August) ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- l Approdo Hotel Residence