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“The curate's egg”
Review of Hotel Raya

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Hotel Raya
Ranked #9 of 9 Hotels in Panarea
Reviewed 13 June 2012

Panarea is a fantastic getaway from absolutely everything in May and June before the hoardes descend. We stayed in Raya for 3 nights on our honeymoon and it was a brilliant place to relax.

Highlights included the amazing saltwater heated pool with wonderful views to Stromboli; the view of the sea and islands off Panarea from our room; the very thoughtful (free) bottle of champagne and fruit for our honeymoon. We also loved our room - with beautful handmade wall hanging and bed cover. The grounds are fantastic with beautfiul plants and flowers. For us, it was pretty near perfect.

So what might there be to dislike at Hotel Raya? Or rather, who might it not suit? The food at the hotel is not excellent - it's certainly not to be sniffed at - but this isn't a foodie destination. That said, there are plenty of restaurants on Panarea. The service is a little hit and miss - certainly when we were there it felt like the staff were absolutely trying their best, but perhaps there were not enough of them. There is very little to do (perfect for honeymoon!) - boattrips and strolls are possible but this is more of a complete relaxation holiday. And it feels a bit like hotel Raya is trying to sell all the contents of the room to you!

Finally, it feels (deliberately) a little rough around the edges - sort of shabby chic Indondesion glamour. If you like it (I did) then great.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank London_Lucy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 - 54 of 168 reviews

Reviewed 28 November 2011

These are the dream islands, the water is truly azure, the people are beyond friendly and this rustic/glamorous accommodation is earthy, functional and has touches of fairy dust everywhere you look...

Room Tip: They are all fabulous rooms, each one is quite a hike, but yikes they are worth every puff!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Shayne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

A number of friends had told me I would love this place. And, as someone who hates over-pompous hotels, the idea of a straightforward simple place in a beautiful location and with honest food seemed perfect. No problem for us that it might be reasnably expensive for such simplicity. BUT BUT BUT .....

I went online and found their site didn't enable us to check availability or how exactly to get there (a little complicated as requires taking a boat). No problem with that. But needed to know and, as someone who has so little time to do this sort of thing due to mega-work pressures, decided to call. First time, no answer. Second time, the same. Third time, got through - GREAT! No. Sadly not. For I got told to hold, was then put through to THREE different people. The third time was a women (the WITCH) who I asked about availability, she said "Yes" but when I asked for more details (just wanted to know which rooms, the rate and how to get to the island) she replied " I cannot spend time talking to you now, e-mail or call later'. I started to explain I didn't have the time to call back and she cut me off and put me on hold for 7 minutes. Then someone picked up the phone and just put it down. However good its reputation, how can anyone stay somewhere with staff like that? Especially on a small island, where it is hard to leave if you find you have made a mistake.

SO BEWARE OF THE WITCH OF PANAREA - who I thank for saving me making the mistake of booking at the Raya...

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank DemandingAlbion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2011

You can still appreciate the beautiful Paolo Tilche's landscape architecture; our room at Raya Alto had very large terraces with breathtaking view. The pool and Jonathan, the boy attending at it, are lovely. Francesca at the roomservice is very nice.
As for the rest, the hotel lacks a real management.
What a pity!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ClaraItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2010

My wife and I have stayed at the Raya on Panarea every year for the last four years including our honeymoon and we think it's magical. While the hotel may not be for everyone (yes, it's an uphill walk, and no, there is no TV) the beautiful, unique rooms and panoramic terraces (Number 32 & 42 are knockouts) with spectacular views of the sea and the volcanic eruptions on Stromboli offer romantic seclusion.

The owner Myriam and Robert, who runs a gift shop full of treasures imported from Bali, are gracious and wonderful hosts. Breakfast in the restaurant overlooking the water is a great way to start the day and appertivo hour on the outside deck is an amazing way to start your evening. The recently completely infinity pool (with satellite healing pools) is spectacular.

Panarea is a magical island with an authentic feel. (There are no cars) The water and the people are beautiful. You can party to your heart's content (The Raya's disco is the place to go on the island) or have a quiet romantic getaway. Yes, the Raya is on the expensive side but considering the overall experience it is definitely worth it.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank gopicturesny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2010

Don't stay here, unless you enjoy being ripped off. Don't get me wrong, this hotel is in a stunning setting, with some gorgeous views. There is such potential to make this a stellar hotel. However, it is so over-priced for what you get it's outrageous. My husband booked this for the grand finale of our, otherwise perfect, honeymoon. He knew the rate was incredibly high (540 Euros per night - gulp!), but figured it would be the pinnacle of the trip. Sadly it was a massive anti-climax.

Had we been paying a quarter/third of the price we could have coped with having no shampoo etc in the room, the lack of effective ac, the big hike to get to our room, the underwhelming breakfast etc, but at those eye-watering prices it's tough to swallow. We decided to move (to the more reasonable Quartara) and in fairness to the Raya, they offered us a discount for the one night we slept there and didn't try and tie us in with their cancellation policy. They were fairly gracious in defeat. We got the impression that the staff realise that it's a rip-off, but they have to bend to the eccentric owner's out-dated whims.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MissRoya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2009

I read some of the other reviews and have to say that I am shocked with the negativity. I went to Panarea 2 summers ago and stayed at La Raya with my husband and my two teenagers. My two kids stayed in a room on the lower part of the hotel that sits near town on top of the shop and we stayed on the top of the cliff. Our room was much better than theirs and had an amazing view. However, their room was much cheaper and more fun for them because they could just go out to town without the walk. I realize their room was hotter , they don't have central air, it's wall units and not always 100%.No tvs THANK GOD!!!!! I mean, you don't go to Panarea to watch tv do you? The food of the hotel was amazing and breakfast was really special. Every morning we had our perfect omelette which the waiter already knew what we wanted and brought it always with a great smile! Everything is organic! I don't know if people realize that this is tiny island and things need to arrive by boat...I only had fresh , delicious food all over the island and at the hotel. The day we arrived we were greeted at the bar with champagne..very nice touch!
I met the owner on the second day and talked to her, a very pleasant and intelligent italian lady who dives from the cliff every morning into that amazing ocean (she is probably in her 70s). I can't say enough, I have lived in 3 different continents, I travel a lot and La Raya was a great experience for me. I do speak italian though , among other languages. The service was great, the rooms were beautiful , the food was special..the only thing is ...it's not cheap but it is a treat to do it once in a while! I guess that if you are looking for perfect air conditioning and a tv or internet connection in your room....just stay in the States!

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank earthangel622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Raya

Address: Via San Pietro, 98050, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Islands of Sicily > Aeolian Islands > Panarea
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 9 Hotels in Panarea
Price Range: £78 - £185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 30
Also Known As:
Raya Hotel Panarea
Hotel Raya Panarea, Sicily, Italy

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