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Sperlonga: Hotel Aurora

Via C. Colombo, 15, Phone: 0771.549266

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Reviewed by: Caryliz from NY, review #745

When: June & September 2004

Beautiful and friendly family-run hotel on the beach in Sperlonga, convenient to the old town center. Highly recommended.

We first visited the Aurora Hotel in June, during a 2-week trip to Rome with my 18-year-old cousin Michael. We arrived in Sperlonga without a reservation, but knowing we wanted a hotel right on the beach. After visiting each of the hotels along Via C. Colombo (the main street along the beach in the new section of town), we chose the Aurora. All of the 4 or 5 hotels along this strip are 3-star hotels with private beaches, and although the décor differed, all were spotlessly clean. We chose the Aurora because we thought it was the prettiest, and had the nicest room available; also, it was the closest to the old town.

During the third week of June, we paid €180 for a triple with a balcony (two chairs, small clothesline) overlooking the old town of Sperlonga. We returned at the end of September and spent the last night of our honeymoon at the Aurora; at that time we paid €145 for a double with a large terrace (table, chairs, sun loungers, lots of plants) again facing the old town of Sperlonga, but also with a view of the sea to one side. Both visits were midweek, and prices included parking in a secure gated lot and a generous buffet breakfast served in a sun-filled dining room overlooking the beach.

Note that rooms facing the beach directly have only what the hotel calls “French balconies” – that is, French doors that open inwards, with an iron railing around what is perhaps one step forwards from the room. You get a great view, but not a spot where you can sit outside.

The entire hotel is very tropical feeling, decorated all in white and shades of turquoise, with plants and flowers everywhere. There are numerous lounging areas, including one inside, near the reception area, with an Internet station, and a beautiful garden courtyard with a fountain. In addition to the restaurant where breakfast is served (and, I think, dinner in the high season), there is an airy seaside café/bar that is open all day and late into the night, and which offers both indoor and outdoor seating. We ate lunch there twice, and loved the selection of meal-sized salads, something we didn’t see too much of elsewhere in our travels.

The rooms we had were not huge, but neither did they feel cramped. During both visits our rooms had luggage racks for two suitcases, ceiling fans, large windows, mini-safes for valuables, and plenty of closet space. They were decorated with seashells behind glass and large color photos of aquatic life. The towels were nice and fluffy and the bathrooms spotless; my only gripe is that the showers in each case were the kind that are not separate from the rest of the bathroom. In other words, there is a fabric curtain around the shower area, but because there is no shower stall, per se – just a drain in the center of the bathroom floor – there is no way to prevent the entire bathroom floor getting wet when someone takes a shower.

The owners (the Gagliardi family) are very friendly and helpful, and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Although they were very appreciative of our attempts to speak Italian, it is worth mentioning that they all seem to speak fluent English!

If you visit Sperlonga and want to be on the beach while you are there, I can’t imagine a nicer place to stay than the Aurora.

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

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