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Sorrento: Atlantic Palace Hotel

Via Capo, 76

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Reviewed by: Mandric from England, review #1424

When: April 2006

Also known as 'Grand Hotel Atlantic Palace' {4 stars}

Shoes Off!, photo by SAF artisan

We selected this hotel as part of an 'expedia' package in their online selection process, because of its location and inexpensive grandeur on a budget feel. We booked 'Best Internet Rates' meaning we didn't include a breakfast in the price (so that we could rise when we wanted), and got a very grand double room with a large balcony, very inexpensively, for 6 nights, leaving on the 7th day.

Total price of our holiday for TWO, over 7 days, including flights, hotel, insurance and taxes was 695.76. Book via their own hotel site, and depending on the season and how you choose to get there, I'm sure you can even stay here cheaper than that if your budget is as tight as ours was. And I must say the hotel had a totally luxurious feel and decor, considering this low cost.

The service was marvellous, multi-lingual, friendly and welcoming. The room was spacious with ensuite bathroom which comfortably housed a toilet/bidet/bath/shower/basin with wall mirror/hairdryer. They employ easy-use dual-taps (if your hands are arthritic or over use a computer they're grrreat!). And there's plenty of lighting options, none too harsh (except in the bathroom where I guess it's needed).

The sheeted bed was super king size and luxurious, with the right hardness, and blankets were provided. There was an extra single bed too but we didn't use it.

There was a mirrored wardrobe, containing a discreet safe with clear, user-friendly instructions on how to use it, a television and telephone, bedside cabinets, a drawer unit, and a beautiful chair and wall paintings.

Outside, partitioned balconies run along the hotel, and ours had a table and two seats, with space for a couple of sun loungers. We overlooked an area that had a lemon grove being quietly prepared by workers, but some rooms overlook Mount Vesuvius. The swing doors to the balcony consisted of both shutters and framed glass panels, so you could let either the air or some light in, or both.

There is a heater or air conditioning at no extra cost. The floor was handsomely tiled and clean.

There was a wonderful restaurant and a bar below, frequented nightly by one particular group, I noticed who liked a dance, and there is a swimming pool (unfortunately only open from May).

Mid-mornings we ordered Americano and Cappuccino coffees at 2 each from the American Bar, which you can have delivered or collect in person. We ate in Sorrento's local restaurants during the day or evening, so were quite full.

There are, in fact, two restaurants side by side not far down from the hotel on a road that branches off walking up, maybe 10 minutes walk, which offer the best Pizza I have ever tried, and the pasta selection looked rather lovely, too. Looking head on at these two restaurants, the one we ate in sits inward to the right, you walk through an arch like structure. The stroll down from the hotel to the edge of Sorrento centre itself must have taken us only 15-20 minutes, and there we reached a mini supermarket/deli for pack lunches and water, with an off-licence next door; everything was so accessible.

There are some extra services available in the Hotel which you can ask for at reception or via the phone. These are at minimal cost and there is an Information Booklet provided in the room which details these and gives prices. But our extra's (i.e., coffee) were simply 'put on a tab' until the end of our stay, and we paid this minimal amount by card before we left. (Our fee for the room had already been deducted from my card as I had booked online.) We could have paid up for our 'extras' by euro.

There is a lift service or stairs up to the rooms. Rooms are cleaned daily anytime between 9am and midday, but they are very discreet and allow you to lie-in if you are not ready!

There is a free bus service to and from Sorrento centre (you are asked to donate 1 euro to the driver), and they organise tours on occasion. Tour times are displayed on a poster, by the door, in the foyer. We chose to walk to and from the Hotel taking in the marvellous scenery and did not find the climb too taxing, although we were basically on a cliff edge road. We made sure we kept to the left side on-coming traffic so that the many Vespas and Piaggios and Buses could see us! This also meant we could see Vesuvius and the many other harbour sights as we wound round on a daily basis - breathtaking.

All in all I fully recommend this hotel as a most comfortable stay should you be personally mobile, but would advise those hard of walking to invest in the bus service provided to get to and from the Sorrento centre. You can check the hotel out in more detail online, but will find all the staff most welcoming and informed and ready to offer advise should you be there.

We had such a relaxing time there, and the only noise came from the odd reveller or our own bathroom noises, or a spot of TV. In general, it was quiet, clean, and incredibly comfortable. And Yes I miss the Bidet. ;)

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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