Art Hotel Gran Paradiso
Travel Blogs from Sorrento
This morning we were planning on going to Capri but after a bit of a sleep in changed our plans to Pompeii instead.
We stopped at a bakery on the way to the train station and had lemon tart for breakfast before we ran to catch the train. After half an hour on the train we arrived at Pompeii and bought our tickets (I got half price for having an EU passport). We walked through the bathhouses, ...
... the earthquake that happened before the volcano. One gross thing about Pompeii is that because there was so much waste in the streets that they had to build stepping stones across the roads. After looking around the city we got back in the bus and drove up to Mont Vesuvius. Once we got to the base of the mount we had to take a jeep up. It was a bumpy ride with many bumps and potholes. When ...
... arrival date. Cancellations after that time or no shows, will be assessed at one night room rate, plux taxes and recovery chargesTreatment of Personal Data
We would like to inform you that in agreement with the art 13 of D.L. 196/03 concerning privacy, your personal data will only be used to fulfill our legal ...
... didn't explain some things in English my head would just spin... After classes the same bunch of us and a few more went to our next and one of the best "cultural" experiences yet, we met at a gelato factory and shop. Pics to follow... We were able to "make" lemon sorbet, and hazelnut, they were very delicious, the owner is third generation and quite passionate about the whole thing, very insistent on using the best and freshest ingredients, ...
... him some turkey. I had to suffer cat lady jokes for the rest of the day from my friends though. But he was so cute and so skinny. Oh by the way the sandwhich I got was probably the best one I've had here. It was turkey with fresh mozzerella and lettuce. I literally watched them slice my mozzerella it was so fresh. Everything is so fresh here. You don't even have to try to eat better here. Everything is healthy and fresh and natural. I love it. So after lunch and coating myself ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Art Hotel Gran Paradiso Sorrento
Very Inconvenient / bad breakfast / not helpful
This Hotel is up a steep hill and very inconvenient. Forget about breakfast!! (bread ,cheese, cold cuts, cold hard boiled eggs, stale cereal etc). You are better of with a hotel in town. I definetly would not recommend this hotel ! !
The hotel staff is not helpful or very accomodating. While there is a courtesy shuttle to the main train station, the schedule is very strict and they will not deviate, even upon check out. Good luck on trying to get late check out. Check out is 10am. Taxi will cost 15-20 Euros, your tough luck if you happen to leave between shuttle runs. Shuttle does not run on Gala night (tuesday) after 6pm. If you want to return to the hotel after 11pm. You have 2 choices walk, then climb the steep narrow dark hill (can be risky) or pay for the taxi.
You have been warned.
Steep Hill Alert!!!!!!!!
I stayed here in June 2003 with my boyfriend, A tour company took us there, from the outside of the hotel my first impression were that it looks a bit drab, however when I entered into the lobby of the hotel it seemed like now my hotel has started! We went into our room it was light and airy, which is exactly what you need to escape the baking weather outside. The room was clean which is what you want really. They have a nice swimming pool and from the pool area you can take in amazing views. My boyfriend and I used to like going there in the late evenings (as it was much cooler then) to take in the amazing views of the bay of Naples. Staff at the hotel seemed friendly, went for dinner which was average, but you share a table with other members of the hotel which can be uncomfortable at first but then you get an insight into their time so far and a few useful tips. Overall, I speak for my boyfriend too here, we were both comfortable at this hotel, only downside was a steep hill to get up which was a pain with the heat beating down on you, however, once you capture the amazing views the hotel has to offer it all seems worth it...
Paradiso by name and by nature
The views are spectacular, the staff are exceptionally friendly and courteous
and our room was clean well furnished and bright. The location was quiet and peaceful and the courtesy bus service fast efficient and on time. Bruno and Guiseppe run a very tight ship. The food was varied with plenty of choices and the gala dinners were superb! A great holiday.
Avoid like the plague!!!!
The view is fantastic, but unfortunately the hotel is not. Two stars at best!!!
The hotels own website reveals that this is a newly built hotel - yes back in the 60's as there is an award from 1965 on the wall. It also looks like little money has been spent on it since then.
The rooms are basic and if you don't get a sea view you get the view of a wall or better still the 'Sorrento gardens' which turn out to be an overgrown olive grove containg Geese, Hens, dogs and a cow as well as a farmer who likes to use his chainsaw in the early hours of the morning along with his generator! Their own gardens are a complete mess of weeds and mud if they have a gardener then he's lost in the jungle.
The food is appalling, breakfast is very poor - tinned fruit in an area renowned for fruit and equally evening meals that have frozen fish in an area renowned for it fishing.
The courtesy bus is great, if you believe fitting 42 people onto a 28 seat bus is safe.
Likewise if you believe that your breakfast including cheese and cooked meats should be left out of refridgeration for up to 3 hours is safe then this is the place for you. I won't even mention flies.
Did I forget that you order your evening meal 10 hours in advance and guess what besides a choice of frozen fish you get tinned vegatables, real 4 star luxury!
And the management full of promises but no real follow up its all smiles to your face and two fingers to your back.
Ameneties, pool doesn't look too bad but was only cleaned once in the week I was there. Towels changed daily but these look like they have been washed daily for the last 40 years - somedays a good towel others an old sheet. Air conditionining well I don't know when it comes on or goes off but that decision was certainly out of my hands.
Sorrento is lovely don't let this stop you going, just don't waste your time and money here, for a little extra you should go to the Capo de Monte where four star really is four star and its actually in Sorrento without the need for the bus and with a better view.
Annoyed yes! With myself for being conned by the web description for this hotel, be warned I was not the only one who felt this way but probably one of the few willing to do something about it and save others the frustrations I felt.
I could really start to find more faults but I think I said enough - avoid like the plague!!!!!
What a view
The view from the Gran Paradiso was excellent and we miss it now we are home....we arrived not knowing quite what to expect after reading the reviews on here and were pleasantlly surprised with everything at the hotel....everyone couldn't have been more kind and helpful.The staff work exceptionally long hours but always had a welcoming smile and adored our 2 yr old grandson who came with his parents to join us on our 2 week break. What would we have done without the shuttle bus??????? I agree with one writer here though that the pool-side "snack-bar" could have been open for longer hours and perhaps a BBQ evening ? An internet room would be nice ...perhaps in the games - room which was seldom used ? The pool and terrace were adequate but there seems to be a lot of empty space around it which could be put to better use. The bedroom we had was OK..it looked out onto a wall...but so what...how long did we stay in the room...and at least we weren't overlooked....we had a good time and will probably visit again...even to see if there is any changes !!!!!!
Very dissappointed with service. This hotel does not quialify for 4 star service. For example: Airconditioner somehow turns off at 7am, and nobody "seems" to know why ("don't worry we willl fix it"). It took us 3 days to figure out that it is regulated manually with switchboard. Overall, you feel fooled all the time. No rule sare written and they are being created right on spot. But you see nice smile and polite words, but do not expect that somebody will take few extra steps to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Adequate accomodation with view/ NOT Sorrento though
I was here in late May '04 with my two kids on a tour with Cosmos (another story... I suppose a good tour for the money, but Cosmos tour operator at hotel was quite ineffective, just go it alone as much as possible.) Grand Paradiso has a true european flavor and that wonderful Italian managment style (grossly ineffcient at worst and warm and wonderful at best.) But like the Italians, the service is all over the place. With a tour group, the food is definitely watered down American style. I hope you like your fellow tour members because you won't be sitting at table without them. We loved our group members.
Good points about Hotel are the exquisite view... high on hill with unequaled view of Bay of Naples with Vesuvius in background. You might be priviliged enough to have a room with such a view. (If you don't and one of our fellow tour members was shoved in a horrid, dark, hovel of a bug ridden staff room which surely was given to anyone the hotel would want to quit.) Our tour member and several others of us had to demand loudly and often, for a day and a half, to get her room changed.) But "we" had a wonderful view and this made the stay at the hotel worth the aggravation of transferring to Hotel shuttle, and scrunching down mountain drive, side swiping other cars (hey, it's Italy after all) to then transfer to another bus (with tour) or continue to town. If you miss the shuttle, count on a 15 euro fee to grab cab the mile and half back to hotel from downtown Sorrento. DO NOT WALK THIS. A bus almost side swiped my daughter on the walk back and I was quite happy to pay any taxi fees after that close call. If you are a heart patient you won't be wanting to walk up the hill to the hotel, from the road. We were granted a ride by a kind Italian at that point. Do save your legs and by all means climb Vesuvius. It is like going to the moon, otherworldly. (Watch out for thieves, they are like fleas on the Circumvesuvian RR... at Ercolano and beyond to Naples.)
Sorrento is a great port of call for seeing all the wonderful sites of that part of Italy. But, Gran Paradiso is NOT in Sorrento, it is outside of town by a serious a mile and a half of navigation. Just a bit of warning.
Sorrento's little jewel
Grand Paradiso made our holiday. When we arrived up the VERY steep hill (about 20 mins walk) in the coutesy bus we were met by Bruno, the manager. He was very welcoming and put us in room 109. This was a reasonably large room with a bath and a shower head in the bathroom. The only down side to the room was the balcony. It was tiny and looked straight at a brick wall. We asked to be moved as the balcony is quite important to us as a family. Bruno said that we had not paid the extra supplement, (Cosmos did not give us this choice when booking) but he would do what he could. We went down the next morning and he said we could move into a room on Thursday, 6 nights into our 2 week holiday. And so we did, although it would have been good to have it from the beginning so if you desire a balcony with a sea veiw, be sure to ask and pay for one either when booking, or by phoning, faxing ect. Bruno about it.
The pool was lovely over looking beautiful views of Naples Bay. On a clear day, you could even see Capri.
There was a bar and a snack bar by the pool as well as an outside toilet, shower and changing room.
At dinner we would have a three course meal (except for Tuesday, the gala night when you have four) which you order in the morning at breakfast. The food was very good and Guiseppi, the head waiter couldn't have been more charming. They were also very understanding about children and if there was nothing the children liked on the menu, they would happily make pizza or omelette instead.
We had a greal holiday at Grand Paridiso and we really settled in. I would recommend it and Sorento to anyone and everyone who wants a relaxing holiday, but with variety and a bit of exitement too!
Perfect location for our first holiday in Sorrento
It was our first time to Italy and after long discussions we finally decided on Sorrento as our destination. When we arrived at the Gran Paradiso on the Friday - Bruno the Manager was fantastic he gave us a room with a sea view even though we hadn't requested one. (As Cosmos hadn't given us the choice when booking) We were exceedingly lucky. The setting for the hotel was perfect as it is set quite high and the views are just pitcuresque from the side or front of the hotel. The rooms are of a good size, only downside is the bathrooms - some have baths and some have showers we were lucky enough to have a bath, other couples had a shower and it was a bit of a tight squeeze for most of the men thus they were unable to close the door while showering otherwise they couldn't move. Our only gripe with the hotel was the food - we felt that it should have been more authentic Italian Cuisine at dinner time and more choice. The pool and sunbathing terrace were fantastic you just moved your lounger round and you had this wonderful panaramic view of the bay of naples, Versuvius and Sorrento and on a clear day you could even see Capri. The hotel have a free shuttle service to/from sorrento throughout the day, which is great we used to walk down to town but always catch the bus back as the hill is just too much on a hot day. The staff at the hotel are wonderful, Marco who works behind the bar couldn't be more helpful and charming. Alexandrios & Emilie our waiter/ess were fantastic, along with Guiseppe the matre d' and his dazzling smile, Mario and Raffaello our shuttle bus drivers were always kind enough to pick you up along route if you hadn't quite made it to the bus pick up point. On the whole the hotel was perfect, we just wish they had more authentic italian meals for dinner and had the terrace bar open for longer hours during the day for snacks say 10am - 4pm rather than 12noon-2.30pm. Location is very peaceful and a great way to relax we spent a week there and it felt like a fortnight and we felt we could happily stay there forever.
This hotel made our holiday
When we arrived in Sorrento, we were originally booked into another Thomson's hotel called the Villa Pina, we didn't stay there for long as it was a complete dump! We were moved on our second day to the Hotel Gran Paradiso and from the minute we stepped into the place we were treated like royalty. Bruno the manager and other reception staff, Gianni and Emilia went out of their way on several occassions to make sure we had everything we needed while staying at the hotel. On one occassion we missed the shuttle bus into town and Bruno insisted that one of the staff drive us! The Restaurant staff were fantastic especially Guiseppie and the food was second to none. The hotel pool has amazing views over the bay as it is on a cliffside and the rooms were comfortable with air conditioning and a large balcony. The actual location of the hotel is about a 15 minute stroll from town down the cliffside which is fine to get down but not so easy to get back up! My only complaint would be that none of the rooms had a bath which would have been very welcome as I did get a bit sunbuned! As it was our first holiday together, we wanted it to be perfect and the Hotel Gran Paradiso made sure that's just what it was, perfect!