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Camogli: Hotel Casmona

Salita Pineto, 13, Phone: 0185.770015.6

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Reviewed by: Amy from MA (moderator), review #1998

When: Summer 2007

Pleasant small hotel directly fronting the seaside. Simple, comfortable rooms. {3 stars}

The hotel directly fronts the seaside promenade in Camogli. Our room was on the first floor, but the windows kept out any nighttime noises. The room was simple, clean and comfortable. There's a very nice terrace over the (overpriced - go elsewhere for your cafe and cornetto) breakfast patio.

You can't drive directly to the hotel to unload baggage -you briefly park on a street above, and go down stairs to the hotel entrance. Note that the street leading to this time-limited parking space is one-way for part of the day. Parking in town is tight during the summer - you need to be patient to find a free space.

Reviewed by: lkmaloney from PA, review #1490

When: May 2006

A lovely experience we will always remember! {3 stars}

Hotel Casmona - the main building with trees over the terrace, photo by lkmaloney

First of all the town of Camogli is like a place in a fairy tale book. It sits on its own little harbor on the Paradise Gulf. Everywhere you look there are beautiful vistas. The town itself, like many along the Ligurian coast, has brightly painted vertical buildings rising on different levels. Many of them have the painted architectural details that I found fascinating to look at and photograph. I would love to find out how this tradition started.

The tourists here were overwhelmingly Italians and Germans. Our first day in Camogli was a Sunday and there were a lot of Italian day-trippers in the town. It was quieter during the week, and we really appreciated the peaceful and sane ambience of the town after we day-tripped through some of the Cinque Terre towns.

Hotel Casmona was as wonderful as we had hoped it would be. When you arrive at the train station, walk out the front door and turn right. Approximately two blocks down on the level Via XX Settembre there is an open piazza overlooking the sea. Just past this is a flight of stairs down to the door of Hotel Casmona. Getting your luggage from the train station to this point is no problem, but for some people maneuvering down the stairs with it might be an issue. I think that you could probably go down the stairs and ask for help at the desk; the people who worked there were very pleasant and helpful.

The lobby is a large sunny room with the breakfast table area and bar that look out over the water through floor to ceiling windows. Each morning a buffet spread is laid out on a long table that offers a pretty good variety of things to eat. They include cereal, breads and rolls, juices, something reminiscent of a quiche, and fresh fruit. The friendly man at the bar makes espresso, coffee, or cappuccino for you, and brings it to your table. After the first day or two he remembers what you like. It was so pleasant to sit there that we lingered most mornings for as much as an hour. We noticed many other people did also. Most of the voices around us seemed to be speaking German. Unlike Cinque Terre, I canít remember seeing or hearing anyone else who seemed American in Camogli except for our new slow travel friend, AllisonK.

Our room had windows over the promenade, and looked out to the Paradise Gulf. The room was basic but clean and had a roomy bathroom with all the amenities including clean towels everyday. The beds were very comfortable and we discovered after a couple of days that we had a little stocked refrigerator hidden behind a cabinet. The view through the windows and the sound of the waves crashing made the room a wonderful respite from hiking and day tripping. There was some noise from the promenade at night from people walking by, but we were always so exhausted it didnít keep us awake. Also, the sea sounds sort of muted other sounds. Our room was in the main building, but across a terrace there is a second taller building that also belongs to the hotel. The terrace had some breathtaking views of the sunset.

On the upper floor of our building there were rooms that opened onto a terrace. The rooms were in use, so I didnít see them, but I did go up to the terrace and I think next time we go to Camogli, weíll book one of those rooms. They rent at a higher rate, but the terrace is a very nice place to watch the sunset over sea, and it sets the rooms back from the promenade so they are probably quieter at night.

The staff at Casmona was friendly and helpful and the rates for the rooms were very reasonable. We booked a few months in advance and they gave us a better rate for early confirmation. Our double bedroom was 125E a night and our sonís single bedroom was 94E a night - breakfast included. We definitely plan to stay in Camogli and Hotel Casmona again when we return to Liguria.

Reviewed by: Marianne from USA, review #1144

When: June 2005

Perfect hotel in perfect town on the Italian Riviera. {3 star}

I thought a long time before writing this review. My temptation was to keep this hotel and this town to myself before it gets overrun by other tourists. But I decided not to be selfish.

We were looking for a place to base ourselves and explore the Riviera di Levante (Genoa, Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, and the Cinque Terre) by train. I picked this hotel because you could get a sea view and terrace for relatively little cost. I was a little apprehensive because I found little comment about it on the web. The photos on the website looked good, though.

Well, it was better than advertised; the website didn't do the place justice. The hotel is in the middle of town, just steps and a flight of stairs from the train station. The town itself and its beach in particular are popular with Italian visitors. I think a lot of them are daytrippers from Genoa. It has tall buildings marching up the hillside with many trompe d'oeil paintings. There's a picturesque castle and church at the north end. And there are a number of restaurants.

We had a very large room with 2 sets of French doors out to a very large terrace, all for Ä148 per night. The terrace (which was shaded by a pine tree) was furnished with 2 sun-shaded chaise lounges, a table and four chairs, and an umbrella. And there was room to spare. It overlooked the beach and had a good view of the town, especially to the north. The room, which appeared recently updated, had one large bed and a sofa that I suspect opened into a bed. Everything seemed almost new and sparkling clean.

From Camogli, in addition to exploring by train, you can take a boat to San Fruttoso and switch to another boat for Portofino. If you're very energetic, you can hike over the Portofino peninsula to the town itself.

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

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