Hotel Porto Roca
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TravelPod Member ReviewsThe Pines House Grantown-on-Spey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews The Pines House Grantown-on-Spey
This Hotel Averages to 4 Stars
A 5 star location and view. 5 star common areas, staff and restaurant. (OK, the restaurant isn't 5 stars, but it's pretty good and the best we found in Cinque Terre.) But the room itself was disappointing. Basic and smallish. What you'd find in a 3-star. Except, of course, for the 5-star terrace (view again). All in all, it averages to 4 stars. From what we saw, it's the best choice in Cinque Terre. As for the steep walk: this is Cinque Terre, get used to it. And if you're staying here, insist on a room with a view.
Attractive Hotel, Terrible Room
The hotel is lovely, perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Which is fantastic, but be prepared to hike up and down that cliff every time you want to get into town. Not for the faint of heart or the elderly! And, as lovely as the hotel is, it is extremely pricey in the summer months (particularly given the location) and the back rooms are TERRIBLE. My friends and I stayed in a triple, which was the size of a shoebox. The bathroom was equally tiny with only a shower stall. Adding to the sense of claustrophobia was the fact that our room was located on a corner and didn't have any windows. There was a small balcony, but the famous Cinque Terre hiking path winds around the hotel. After being unpleasantly surprised in a state of undress by hikers, we decided to leave the doors to the balcony closed. An attempt to change rooms was met with shrugs from the hotel staff. After glimpsing the front rooms (bright and airy with a sea view) through open doors, our dark dungeon seemed even more depressing. The decorations were bland and unattractive, and the room had a musty odor. This is considered to be the preeminent hotel in Monterosso. I would not recommend the hotel, but if you choose to stay here be absolutely sure to book a room with an ocean view. It's not worth the price otherwise.
Best choice in Cinque Terre
I enjoyed staying at the Hotel Porta Roca and would stay there again. With all hotels, I like to be informed of the pros/cons and decide if that works for me. Pros -- great location, with lovely sea views, friendly staff, helpful with tourist information, taxi service to/from the train station with phone call; complimentary pass for beach service down the hill (5 minutes)
cons-- small room with average interior decor, location on the hillside requires a 5 minute walk from town up a somewhat steep drive (not a big issue for me), no swimming pool (nor did I see any other hotels with pools in the Cinque terre area), wimpy a/c on a hot summer day.
Overall, I did not see another hotel in Monterosso or Vernazza that I would have preferred.
5 Stars in our Book!
We just returned home from a five day stay in Monterosso and a most relaxing stay at Hotel Porto Roca. The staff was very accomodating, the breakfast delicious (especially the capuccinos), the views breathtaking and the beds quite comfortable. The only "complaint" I would have were that the showers were miniscule, but certainly over-lookable, given the graciousness of the hotel, overall. True, the walk up the hill is challenging, but in all honesty, if were were able to manage it several times a day (in our mid-50's with some major health issues), most guests would be able to manage without much difficulty. Actually, we feel more fit now than when we arrived in Monterosso! Some reviewers would say that Monterosso is too touristy--we beg to differ. The village was a true working town of locals, who manage to live their lives quite authentically,and simply accomodate the visitors with welcome arms. We attended concerts in the local church, open air dances with live bands, ate at fabulous restaurants , most side by side with the locals. We highly recommend one restaurant--Al Pozzo--we liked it so much tht we had dinner there three nights (why search for something else when you've already found perfection?) The seafood ravioli was divine, as was the grilled mixed fish, the seafood risotto, and of course, caprese salad! Each 5 Terre wine was better than the last...Can you tell we are great fans of Monterosso, particularly Porto Roca, and look forward to returning soon!!--Oh, as an aside, the hotel was able to arrange for a physical therapist to come to my room for electrical stimulation and massage for my back--his name was Giorgio--a charming young man with a gentle, yet therapeutic, touch.
The Hotel Porto Roca is the only place to stay in Cinque Terre Hands down. Away from the train station, it gives some amazing views from your balcony (The balcony was bigger than the room practically). Staff was hospitable and met all of our needs, and the hike begins right off of the hotel which is a must do. Hit the bar right down the path, and enjoy some gnocchi and pesto at any one of the restaurants (pesto began in that region). Also make sure you take advantage of the complimentary cabs to and from the train station as with luggage it could be a little straining.
Only Place to Stay in 5 Terre!
Staying at this hotel, and meeting this staff was one of our favorite memories. From the first email to the last goodbye, they were responsive, helpful, sweet and funny. The hotel is lovely, sitting on the cliffs, and our room was sizeable with a fine balcony overlooking the sea and the Monterosso harbor. It is only a 5 minute walk down the hill into town. We loved the location because of the spectacular views, and had no qualms about a little walk after dinner! The town is divided into old and new town, and they are also a short walk apart, so there's no dead center place to stay anyway. We did check out some other hotels in town and Porto Roca is by far the best. Cinque Terre is not about urban amenities, it's a a charming getaway where tourists and residents living their lives intermingle gracefully. Many of the other hotels were more like hostels. Monterosso was our favorite of the 5 villages, and we will always return to Hotel Porto Roca.
We stayed at the Porto Roca for 3 nights in October 2003 and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The weather was still nice so we were able to take advantage of sitting out on their terraces and marveling at the incredible views since the hotel is perched up on a hill. Our double room was pretty good size, though the bathroom was a little on the smaller size compared to other hotels we stayed at. Our room had a nice balcony and view of the ocean and town. Staff was very pleasant and helpful, and especially accomodating when we needed to stay another night due to a last-minute train strike. We also had an excellent dinner at the hotel's restaurant. The hotel is perfectly situated in the old town right next to the beginning of the Cinque Terre trail for those who choose to hike between the 5 towns. It's also a quick walk to the center of town. Was glad we were based in Monterosso as there seemed to be just the right mix of activities/action still with a relaxing resort town feel.
Memorable stay 3 nites
Hotel is in a 5 star location up a small hill along the cliff about 5-6 minute walk to town. We arrived in town by taxi and phoned hotel who sent a small car to move our 3 suitcases and us along the pedestrian-only beach road.Room was 3 star max,but we really loved the fresh seafood in the restaurant and all staff were friendly.Superb outlook from our sea view balcony.Great base to visit cinque terre ports by foot, ferry or rail.Our next hotels were splendido and villa d'este so we know what a good hotel is .Will eat in restaurant again this year on a day trip .You must be reasonably fit /normally healthyto tackle the Cinque Terre area by foot.
Stay somewhere else
We had a terrible time, the air conditioning was so bad we slept out on our terrace one night. The hotel manager was no help at all and finally had 2 repairman come into our room to work on the system the last day of our stay. We had no idea that the walk from the hotel to the town and beach would be so steep up the hilltop and the hotel courtesy bus only picked up twice a day.
We did enjoy the view from out room and the breakfast eating area but for the expensive cost we were very disappointed. This was supposed to be the highlight of our 16 day trip and we were extremely disappointed.
The rooms and bathrooms were very small too compared to the other hotels we stayed at on the trip that were 1/3 of the price and the air conditioning worked! The hotel manager offered to take $50 off our total bill for compensation for no air conditioning for 3 days and inferred that we Americans had meant to do this to get money off the room ---UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! Our room charge for the 3 days was in excess of $1,100. This is not a 4 Star hotel except in price and the manager was completely unprofessional.
A perfect spot
We visited Hotel Porto Roca two years ago and found everything about it perfect. If possible spend extra and get the seaview rooms. The balcony is larger than most hotel rooms and totally private with the one of the prettiest sea views possible. We visited in June and crowds are not too bad. August would be awful. Its fun to use the boats or train and visit other villages but Monterosso is the best for home base. The hotel's restaurant is nice but would op for the village restaurants for more atmosphere. The staff were very accommodating and low key. We are planning to return as soon as possible.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Pines House Grantown-on-Spey
Travel Blogs from Monterosso
We have breakfast at the hotel. Breakfast is in a large covered terrace with a spectacular view. There is a conventional toaster which I can work out how to use.
We have decided that today we will do some hiking. We have read that this is one of the very best things to do in Cinque Terre. There are hiking trails between all five villages …
We sleep in and skip breakfast. We decide that today we will mostly relax. Yesterday was a long day, and we seem to have found a place that would be very good for relaxing.
Although we mainly want to relax, we do feel the urge to at least do some gentle exploring, so we set off down the hill to Monterosso. The key to the hotel room weighs …
I wake in a cold sweat. I remember what I wrote in the blog last night, and think that it is probably offensive to a few entire countries with sizeable populations. I hope that no one has read it yet. I quickly press the unpublish button and do some editing. I think that from now on blogging should always come before beer.
Today is the …
Today we have a very long day of travelling, starting with some driving, followed by lots of changes of trains, interspersed with some walking.
We wake up early and ring home. Scott and Emma have organised an extended family gathering at home for Troy's birthday and we are keen to ring in to the party. Issy looked at a photo of home …
... five lands," is a remote stretch of the Italian Riviera. Five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare) line the coast, each connected by a foot path a couple of miles long. You can only park so close to the Cinque Terre until you are forced to abandon your vehicle for the traffic-free, scooter-free roads and pathways of the Cinque Terre. The area has been referred to as “the five lands” since ...