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Historical Traveler Reviews Alpha Hotel Sant'Agnello
Made the right choice
I recently spent three nights at Hotel Alpha with my girlfriend as part of a longer trip to the Campania region.
All in all, Hotel Alpha is a great choice if you want to visit Sorrento without paying over the odds for your hotel room (which as far as I can tell is difficult to avoid in Sorrento proper).
Our room was a good size, comfortable, with a good bathroom and a balcony with a nice view of the mountains of the Sorrentine peninsula.
The staff are great - very helpful and friendly.
A number of the reviews below point out that the location leaves a little to be desired. However, transport links into Sorrento are great during the day - regular buses and 'Circumvesuvuiana' trains take only a few minutes and both stop close to the hotel. We tended to go ionto Sorrento for dinner and drinks, and usually found ourselves walking back. This take about 30 minutes - not that scenic, but not bad either, and handy for walking off big dinners. Sant Agnello is also well connected to all the main tourist sites - we found it a great base for visiting Pompei and Vesuvious.
The hotel pool is great, always plenty of sun loungers and deck chairs. The only drawback is that the snack bar is only open for a couple of hours, so if you want a late lunch, you'll have to get it elsewhere. Huge lemons on display around the pool are an unnecessary but welcome bonus. At the time, we didn't find them as suggestive as the hotel's literature advertised.
There's a private beach nearby (which consists moinly of a man made sunbathing platform), which is good for a day's sunbathing and swimming, if you don't mind paying the entry fee and sun lounger hire.
Overall, if you're looking to visit Sorrento without spending a fortune (and don't mind a walk), Hotel Alpha fits the bill.
OK hotel - Geat staff - pants location!
I booked the hotel beleiving that it was in Sorrento. The brochure described it as being in the middle of orange and lemon groves. I agree, the hotel is in the middle of an orange grove however, it is also on the edge of a very busy road, which has annoying scooters going past the hotel day and night.
It is also worth noting that for the first 3 days and nights of my stay we were highly irritated by the noise of two cannons firing at frequent times during the day and night. The worst incident was an 06.30 wake up call which lasted for 1 hour on Sunday morning. The hotel reception staff told me that it was highly unusal, however they were powerless to stop it, as the two local villages were trying to fend off evil spirits!
Once the cannons stopped, we explored the local town (St Agnello rather than Sorrento) and found two great bars. One specializing in local wines (the Wine Bar) and the other with an unfortgettable view of Sorrento (which is 2K away).
On the whole I would have to say that this is an average hotel, with great staff and a fantastic menu and food, but if you long for cliff top views, look elsewhere. The sea was miles away!
Good hotel, not so good location
LOCATION - I would agree with the majority of the reviews; however, we definitely realized once we checked into Hotel Alpha that we would have preferred being in Sorrento proper. The location was great if you wanted peace and relaxation. Most of the guests we met were from England and were enjoying a relaxing holiday by the pool...they had very little interest in sightseeing or visiting surrounding locations. We, on the other hand, didn't realize quite how far away Hotel Alpha was from the "action." It took 45 minutes to walk to Sorrento's city center. I'm an avid walker but this bordered on dangerous! The sidewalk disappeared around sharp turns and cars/vespas/buses were zooming past at breakneck speed. The commuter train was great (only 3 minute ride) if you didn't mind "down time" waiting around (the schedule was hit or miss) and liked to come home early. We finished our dinner Friday night around 10:15pm only to realize that there was no way to make the last train back to the hotel. Instead, we payed $30 for a 10 minute cab ride.
STAFF - The staff at Hotel Alpha was very helpful with transportation, sightseeing and restaurant questions. Everyone spoke wonderful English at the front desk, and they were more than happy to answer every question we posed. The maitre d' was quite the comic - joking and laughing with everyone. However, I could definitely see his style rubbing some guests the wrong way. We saw him scold two couples who came down to breakfast ten minutes before it was scheduled to end. :)
SERVICES - The hotel had one computer that you could use for 1 Euro per 20 minutes which was helpful...if the websites you needed actually worked. I had no trouble accessing AOL (albeit slow) while my husband couldn't access any of his email accounts. The hotel also advertised room service - although when clarified, they admitted they serve drinks only (no food). While this is not something we do regularly while traveling, it would have been helpful when we arrived late our first night and when we realized how residential the area was...the few bars/restaurants in the vicinity all closed for a long siesta. We had more than one ham and cheese sandwich on the go instead of a sit-down meal that we would have preferred! The food we did have at the hotel was quite good. The hotel serves a limited lunch menu on the patio from 12:30 - 2pm. Their "gala" dinner on Sat. night was entertaining although not the best meal we had in Italy. :) Pants are required, and many couples had on suits/dresses.
ROOM - The room was extremely spacious by even American standards. The "double" bed was simply two single beds put together. I know this is the norm around Europe but these two beds wouldn't stay connected. My husband almost landed on the floor on more than one occasion! That being said, the bed itself was very comfortable. We stayed for five days and expected the hotel to change our sheets at least once. No such luck. The bathroom was our biggest complaint. The shower was dirty and did not drain properly. The maintanence man claimed to have fixed the drain but it was the same two days later. We got lukewarm water...which is being generous! I felt as if I was camping and had to shower in a cold stream somewhere. Forget shaving your legs! I took three minute showers the entire time and shivered for the next 30 minutes. We asked if there was something they could do but alas...apparently, that WAS their version of hot water.
OVERALL - Quiet locale away from Sorrento; helpful staff; good food (when you could get it); spacious room; not so clean bathroom. A great deal for peace and relaxation. A bit of hike if you want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Sorrento!
Overall a nice place to stay
Booked 6 days here in June 2005 based on reviews on TA. I agree with most of what has been said by others. Nice room, very spacious after Rome hotel. Air/Con worked well and was almost silent. Bed was two singles together, the hard mattress made my stay a bit uncomfortable.
Location - Very quite and nice pool area. It is easy to walk to from the St Agnello train (Cirumvesuviano) station, just turn left out of the station then left again (fruit & veg shop on corner) and walk straight for a few hundred yards and its on your right.
Transport - The bus and train is a bit infrequent (every 45mins) so it may pay to note down the timetable to prevent frustrating downtime. It would not be a pleasant walk into Sorrento from here because it is along a very busy, smoggy road and it is approx 2 km away. If you want to step out of your hotel and be in nice pretty streets and shops then this area is not for you. The Cirumvesuviano train is an old light rail train and it was a strain to catch this up and down the coast as it is used as a commuter train by locals and it therefore stops every 5mins. Its not very picturesque and will take you at least 1hr from Naples to Sorrento. We took a tour bus to Pompei and the ride and view was excellent along the coast road.
Staff - reception staff are excellent however the matre'd had a rude attitude. That said, I would however recommend staying here. Also the restaurants we ate at in the Marina Grande area were very good and its a nice quite fishing village that is not so touristy.
Hotel Alpha is great
Having read the other reviews before booking a holiday at Hotel Alpha with Magic of Italy, I thought I'd add my own review.
We stayed in the standard (cheapest) room with a small balcony and our initial impression was that the furnishings were a little tired, although the shower room was faultless, state of the art and spotlessly clean.
However, the standard of service provided by all the staff at Hotel Alpha can't be faulted; nothing is too much trouble and each of our requests was attended to instantly and efficiently by the friendly reception staff. The maid service was superb; standards were very high and every evening we found our room absolutely immaculate with abundant fresh towels. The food is absolutely delicious with a choice of about 6 starters, main courses and desserts every day - can recommend having one of the pasta starters every evening as each was better than the last. Without exception we found the standard of service provided by the waiting staff to be excellent. Each one was friendly, helpful and welcoming. We hired a fridge for the room. The pool was well-maintained and clean with a good depth in the main pool; children's section adjacent. Internet access for keeping in touch with home by e-mail is available 24 hrs a day - I was charged 1 Euro for about 20 minutes.
The hotel is ideally located for independent-minded holidaymakers who don't want to be herded round in coach parties (although these are on offer) being situated 5 minutes from St Agnello train station on the Cirumvesuviano line. Before leaving the UK I downloaded the train timetables and we used the train nearly every day to reach Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento and Naples. It's cheap (especially at week-ends), efficient and on time - the external graffiti similar to London. A bus service passes the door of Hotel Alpha (buy tickets before boarding), it's busy and standing is the norm. Various ferry services operate out of Sorrento itself to e.g. Capri and Naples. If visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum, be aware that discount tickets are available if you visit both within 3 days, and under-16s from EU countries are admitted free on production of their passport. It's perfectly feasible to walk to Sorrento from Hotel Alpha and takes about half an hour, although it would probably take longer with small children and there are a couple of stretches with no pavement. There are two ways but neither is very picturesque. It's one stop by train or a short bus ride.
The hotel's location was absolutely ideal for us; the suburb of St Agnello is much quieter than Sorrento itself but has its own character and amenities - useful little supermarkets, tobacconist (sells bus tickets - SITA bus), chemist, patisserie, Post Office (a.m. only), cathedral, police station, Monday morning market. Prices seemed cheaper than in Sorrento. All the shops re-open in the evening and without exception all the shopkeepers were very friendly and put up with our efforts to speak Italian (most speak perfect English). A fair number of scooters and mad drivers in the day time but quietens down later and nothing like Sorrento itself. What you don't get in St Agnello is the views of Sorrento except from the Marinella promenade (turn right out of Hotel Alpha) which complete with cafe looks over the bay to Sorrento but for us this was more than compensated for by the quiet location.
I would definitely recommend Hotel Alpha for the high standards of customer service, delicious meals and quiet but convenient location.
Rude staff, nice hotel
I stayed here as part of an organised tour in October 2004.
The hotel itself is nice, with a summer feel. My room was nice and had a balcony with a pleasant view, which was also a bonus. Unfortunately, my stay here was really let down by the wait staff, who were very rude. They obviously didn't like having our tour group there and treated us something like cattle - sit there, eat this then go away. They really let the hotel down. Based on my experience, I wouldn't stay there again.
So helpful - they were fantastic
Not normally keen on writing reviews - but in this instance I feel impelled to do so.
Firstly, you cannot go wrong on the location of the Hotel, you are just far enough away from the town centre as to avoid the annoying heavy traffic and noise. The Hotel itself & rooms cannot be faulted on any aspect that you can think off. The cuisine and catering staff are 1st class and they really know how to serve and treat people. The swimming pool was always fresh and clean with a good size kids pool aswell. Finally, we had cause to request a hospital visit for our 2 year old daughter, whom had sprained her wrist, the hotel staff (Francesco & Pauline) were as concerned as us parents in the well being of the child and actually drove us straight to the casualty dept at the hospital, where she was given the all clear. A couple of days later, I myself, went down with severe toothache and thought I would have to wait until I arrived home for dental treatment. Again though, Francesco was on hand to amazingly fix me an emergency appointment at the local dentist up the road - astounding !!.... Anyway you you would have thought that these 2 incidents may have ruined the holiday, but with the help of the very genuine staff, they were merely 'blips' in a quite blissful & relaxing vacation, set in one of the most beautiful & 'people friendly' places I have ever been. Sorrento - Go there !! & stay at the Hotel Alpha.
Sorrento is lovely
the Alpha hotel's best points are the food and waiter service.... excellent. We paid £100.00 extra to upgrade to a superior room only to find when we got there all the bedrooms are the same, so don't bother to upgrade, the bathroom was clean no complaints there. if you are looking for great views of Sorrento this is not the hotel for you.
The reception staff were very kind and helpful, the bar and resturant staff were wonderful, the food was fantastic, and we had a great holiday.
The Nicest Hotel I Have Ever Stayed In
The Alpha Hotel was absolutely, definately the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in. It's the perfect hotel in the perfect location. There are orange and lemon trees throughout the hotel grounds, which smell and look lovely. The inside of the hotel is spotless and very well looked after, and be sure to go onto the roof of the hotel, you can see the sea and mountains and it was the perfect place to watch the incoming thunderstorm!!! The food was so tasty too, in fact it made me feel guilty, although the meals every night were the best I've ever tasted, not one night could I finish, three courses of traditional Italian cuisine with the fine Italian waiters... The location of the hotel is nothing to complain about either, close to many shops and close enough, but not too close, to a train station, which we used every day to get everywhere. The only thing that I was a bit nervous about was crossing the roads, all over Italy there were cars and people on scooters and although there were many zebra crossings, I don't think they mean the same thing over there as they do here! But all in all I loved the hotel and if I were to go to Italy again, this hotel would be my first choice.
A Perfect Holiday.
The Alpha Hotel is the best holiday hotel we have stayed in. The hoel is set in it`s own lovely garden, with orange and lemmon tree`s everywhere, even round the pool. All the staff, from top to bottom are very friendly indeed, and are willing to help at the drop of a hat. The dinning room staff are all dressed in emmaculate white jackets and serve the most delicious food. No faults to be found with this hotel whatsoever, and we will definately be going back.
We were there from 14th May--28th May weather perfect.
TripAdvisor Reviews Alpha Hotel Sant'Agnello
Travel Blogs from Sant'Agnello
... nutella. It made me realize how much I missed a nice, simple breakfast. After we were done we checked out and walked to the train station. Apparently the day before had been an important religious holiday, which explained why the streets had been so empty, but that was no longer the case. The street leading to the train station was packed with people (mostly men) and market stalls selling knock-off shoes, bags and a surprising amount of exercise gear. With people on ...
... and top the jar with about a half inch of olive oil. Store the jar upside down for a week, then turn right side up. Olives will keep for a year. These are delicious! Using a brine cure rather than lye, makes for a much tastier end result in my opinion. After tasting these, you'll doubtless have a difficult time eating those bland, tasteless store bought ripe olives again. Have fun! -Julie ...
... I want it, getting a nice panoramic view of the sea, the cliffs and the mansions perched on top… that's not quite as easy…
I head on to explore "downtown" Sant Agnello, which has one little cozy main street… and then I’m in the next ...
... right, up, down, through car parks, into underground tunnels and everywhere was rubbish piled high, absolutely everywhere, filthy dirty all around. Driver zipped in and out of traffic, around the back of toll booths (we were starting to warm to him) and we held our breath and came out on a freeway (that's what they call it anyway) and we headed south and into Pompei in no time. We got delivered to our hotel safely and no horses heads turned up in our bed so ...
... pizza or pasta – we all elected for pizza and coke light! They give you a full pizza, flat bread and we managed to eat the whole damn thing. They don’t load her up and use a very thin crust, so it cooks very quickly in the wood burning ovens.
Next stop was Mt Versuvias. We drove about 1000 meters up the mountain, then walked the remaining 300 meters. The incline got steeper and steeper, the air was thin and the view was marvellous. There was a bit of cloud cover ...