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“Unexpected Beauty”
Review of Hotel Raya

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Hotel Raya
Ranked #9 of 9 Hotels in Panarea
Hamilton, Bermuda
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Unexpected Beauty”
Reviewed 20 August 2012

I was pleasantly surprised upon my recent trip to Hotel Raya. Although it is not an easy place to get to, it is worth the trouble. However. the hotel is not for everyone! There is a tremendous amount of walking in and around the island and hotel, as the island is one big hill.
The members of the staff at the hotel are lovely. And, Miriam Beltrami, the wonderful woman who started the hotel in the 60's, is always pleasant and lovely to talk to.
The rooms have spectacular views! Even though they are a bit outdated, you must realize that you are not on Panarea for creature comforts. You must be quite relaxed to really take it all in and enjoy the full experience.
The hotel so wonderfully organized a boating trip for us with Blue Adventure and it really made us fall in love with the amazing beauty of The Aeolian Islands! Our boat captain Mario Cosenza made sure we saw all the surrounding islands and the baby eruptions of Stromboli.
Overall, a trip to Sicily is not the same without trip to The Aeolian Islands

Room Tip: Try to book a room as high as you can! There might be more steps involved, but the magnificent, pano...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank misaliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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160 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
London
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank London_Lucy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
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!!!
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shayne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
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
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank DemandingAlbion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Italy
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ClaraItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank gopicturesny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MissRoya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Raya

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 30
Also Known As:
Raya Hotel Panarea
Hotel Raya Panarea, Sicily, Italy

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