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Sestri Levante: Grand Hotel dei Castelli

www.hoteldeicastelli.com

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Reviewed by: caodog from CA, review #1711

When: May 2006

Unbeatable setting on promontory above Sestri Levante, but easy stroll to town. {4 stars}

This hotel has a spectacular location and a lot of acreage and gardens, perched on the saddle on the promontory above Sestri Levante, surrounded by water on 3 sides with views in all directions. It is a 1920's re-creation of a castle/fortress which stood and this spot and owns the whole end of the peninsula which is criss-crossed with paths above the sea.

Our good sized room and bath did not appear to have changed much since the 1920's - original furniture, one central light fixture, a tiny tv, and a typical Italian bed with no box springs. The rooms have views, but no balconies. There is a large sun terrace on the third floor. There are a lot of public rooms with an eclectic assortment of objet's d'art - some of which are really nice, and others really kitsch. There is ample parking right on site.

The hotel has 2 elevators through the rock - one down to its own private beach (which was closed while we were there - too early in the season they said), and the other down to the level of the town which is a short stroll away. The place was beautifully maintained, and the staff agreeable and attentive.

The hotel restaurant had huge picture windows which were opened to the breeze. While dining you had a view of the whole bay, and could see all the way to the cruise ships lined up outside Portofino. The food was great. We booked directly with the hotel, and I thought the price reasonable for what it was.

Would I go there again? In a heartbeat. Think of it like going to the Ahwahnee or Timberline Lodge - a place frozen in time. But if you want modern "luxury" go elsewhere.

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

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