12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Hotel Santa Caterina, clinging to the Am...
"Hotel Santa Caterina, clinging to the Amalfi cliffs exeeded all our expectations. Brochures are very often deceptive, but not in a positive way. Santa Caterina's brochure/web site however underplayed the beauty of the setting by a fair margin.
On the service front it really lived up to its star rating and in particular the restaurants were excellent. Especially good for people with dietary requirements such as Ceoliac as they couldn't do enough to take care of guests' needs. The resort location has breathtaking scenery and some fun places to visit.
Only downside for the trip was BA who failed to provide any announcements for a two hour delay on the return leg. Plus Naples airport is a bit third world. BA had poor ground staff, and very, very poor signage making us think why not use Easy jet in future as there seems little between them.
- Travel date: Tue 25th of July 2006
The best view in the world!
"I've stayed in alot of hotels and this has been the best. The service is second to none. The hotel and facilities are fantastic. The views, well, all I can say is wow and look at the attached photos. This is not a cheap hotel but if your wanting something speacial and a treat, this is the one.
One word of advice, if you ask the hotel to book you a taxi they will do but will charge you 20 euros or so for doing it. There are plenty of taxis on the front of Amalfi, take one of their business cards and deal with them direct.
Also, the walk from the Hotel to Amalfi will take you 10 mins but is worth doing at least once.
The hotel restaurant is very expensive but also very nice; had the Red Snapper which was so nice. We ate one night in the restaurant and ate out the rest of the time. Lots of nice ones in town. If you can afford it, eat there at least once.
Amalfi has lots of nice shops and restaurants and cafes and is a good centre for catching boats to Capri, Positano etc.
I will definately be back there, it gets my 10 out of 10!
P.S. Also went to Ravello for the evening at went to a classical concert. Very good but nothing to look at in Ravello apart from the great views."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of May 2005
"It is strange, that people staying at the same property at about the same time period could have such two different views. We had booked deluxe rooms at the Santa Caterina, but were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves upgraded to a mini suite. My sister-in-law and her husband were also upgraded. We had a section to ourselves with a private entrance to the two suites. Both rooms were amazing! We had lovely balconies and stunning views. Our bathrooms were very modern and extremely well appointed. In fact, ours had a spa tub large enough for four and a huge shower, that could easily accommodate two people. We had a sitting room, large bedroom, lovely veranda, and huge bath with separate w.c. facilities.
We had complimentary fruit beautifully presented in our sitting room and yummy biscotti on our dresser. Sicilian blood oranges are the most famous, but those on the Amalfi coast were scrumptious.
Yes, the pool was closed, but it was off season. We were a week shy of the Easter crowd. We heard some construction noise for about 1/2 an hour and that was the extent of it.
Our dining room experience was a culinary delight. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the wine list was exceptional. We were told that we did not have to dress for dinner and to be relaxed, but the tone of the dinng room was such, that we did. Some guests were casual and some were more dressy. The service was very attentive. Breakfast was a delight!
We felt very warmly welcomed and very comfortable with all of the staff, who went out of their way to make certain, that our stay was outstanding, which it was. My in-laws forgot their electric toothbrushes and they were sent to our last destination without charge by courier. They would have sent them on the the U.S., if necessary.
We are looking forward to another stay at the Santa Caterina."
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of April 2005
Hmmm not that great...
"We arrived for a four day stay at the end of March. Booked in and they upgraded us to a deluxe room, which we initially thought was a really nice of them. Only after putting our bags in the room did we realise that they were doing major refurbishment work to the superior rooms, which we were right above.
They we discovered that the gym and pool was shut as well. More refurbishment. Obviously complained and they upgraded us to a suite. It was ok, but I would have been very disappointed if I was paying the price that they advertise them at!!! The bed was awful.
The staff were very nice. Breakfast was good. Overall the hotel looks pretty dated. Quite 70's in places, with dashes of 80's, then 90's updates.
Could do with a complete renovation. Wouldn't really recommend it for the price."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of April 2005
"This is without doubt, the best hotel I have ever stayed in. The staff are fantastic and the food is divine. The view from our room was absolutely stunning. Quite pricy, but worth every penny!!"
- Travel date: Tue 25th of January 2005
Nice but not Luxe
"We recently celebrated our 10th Anniversary here for 5 days and enjoyed the hotel and the area very much. The hotel is in a wonderful location, about a 10 minute walk into Amalfi, and about a 20-30 minute drive to nearby towns like Ravello and Positano. The service, for the most part, was excellent. The hotel is not luxurious but typical of a high end resort in this area. The ambiance is wonderful - everything overlooks the ocean, and is very wide open and airy. The views are spectacular and everything faces the ocean.
The room was a little disappointing, especially for the very high cost of the room (we were there in the high season and it was extemely expensive). We asked to change rooms because we were right near an elevator and stairwell and over the restaurant. They told us that they could change us the next day but showed us another room with a strange layout right near a stairwell. So we stayed where we were. We asked a few more times for a room change but they said they were full. I thought they could have tried a little harder to change our room or at least bought us a drink at the bar to show they wanted us to be happy. But they didn't do so.
The rooms were spartan and the beds were not very comfortable. The linens should have been higher quality and there should have been more amenities (more luxurious towels, better quality toiletries etc). Everything was very clean and done in white and colored tiles. There was a huge jacuzzi tub but the shower was small and the shower curtain was flimsy and kept blowing inside when you took a shower. The air conditioner was extremely loud, making it difficult to sleep at night.
The breakfast was wonderful, served on the terrace overlooking the water. But we didn't eat dinner at the hotel because the prices were very high. The wait staff were terrific and very accommodating. The pool area is wonderful (right on the ocean) and the gym is small but fine.
The hotel is really nicely situated but it does help to have a car. We often had dinner at restaurants about 5 or 10 minutes drive from the hotel and took day trips to Sorrento, Vietri sur Mare, Positano and Ravello.
I would recommend the hotel because the views and the atmosphere are unbelievable. The rooms were fine but just be prepared, its not like staying at a 5 star American hotel. But its worth it for the service and the location and the wonderful ambiance."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of October 2004
A Wonderful Experience
"A first class hotel in all respects - decor, service, facilities. Even taking the lift down to the pool area was an experience.
Make sure you have dinner on the terrace at least one evening - it is magical having dinner overlooking Amalfi's lights and listening to the church bells.
Breakfast is wonderful, with a huge choice. Even although there were lots of fresh fruits, one guest asked for strawberries and within 5 minutes a huge bowl of fresh strawberries joined the display. Champagne is included with the buffet breakfast which you can drink or make into a Bucks Fizz.
There is a hotel shuttle service to/from Amalfi (5 minutes max) which runs every 30 minutes, however it is more like a chauffeur service.
There is no doubt that it is expensive, however it is a wonderful experience and without a doubt was the right choice for our 3 nights in Amalfi.
It may be a 5* hotel, but it is not pretentious and it is easy to feel comfortable and relaxed."
- Travel date: Fri 15th of October 2004
"We began our honeymoon at this hotel. It was fantastic.
Room: We reserved a Superior room and were upgraded to a Deluxe. The room was large and the bathtub was the size of a large hot tub. The whole place was done up in a hilarious light blue that we really liked. Our room has a small terrace and overlooked the ocean and a little courtyard.
Facilities: A top-notch resort. One of the only hotels I've been to where it seems appropriate to talk of the "grounds" of the hotel. Everywhere there are terraces, little walks, etc. The glass elevator ride down to the beach is like a Disneyland ride. I really couldn't have asked for a more beautiful hotel.
Service: Again, top-notch, old-school resort quality. I heard the head waiter speak perhaps six languages over our time there, and never saw him in anything other than tuxedos. The staff was extremely helpful.
Food: The breakfasts were great -- quite a feast. I can't really say the same about the dinners and lunches. There are much better places to eat in town (including a one-star restauarant), especially for the money (SC is very pricey). Skip the food here and head to town.
Cost: Not cheap. The was by far the most expensive hotel we stayed in during our one month tour of Italy -- we had many rooms that were as good for half the price. Amalfi is expensive, though, and this place was great, so I don't regret our decision."
- Travel date: Thu 7th of October 2004
Fantastic setting and total privacy arou...
"Fantastic setting and total privacy around the pool as it is set down the dramatic cliff face - you reach it by a lift or a long meandering walk through the hotel gardens.
Our room was slightly disappointing in size considering the price, but the rest of the hotel made up for it with tiny 'rooms' hidden away for a quiet drink, or a quiet conversation.
The restaurant again was pricy, but the food and the staff made you forget about that! The maitreâd was the best I have come across outside of London.
The short walk into the town was great going there, as it was all downhill but a long drag back - luckily the hotel ran a minibus which was a great service.
Would definitely go again, but would probably eat out in the town more to make the price less of a shock at the end.
Easy to book independently and the hotel can arrange a car to meet you at the airport which was great."
- Travel date: Tue 31st of August 2004
like a dream...
"After four blissful nights on the isle of Capri, my wife and I (on our honeymoon) were a little concerned that anything that followed would be anticlimatic at best...we were wrong. The Santa Canterina is right out of a dream. The views alone made this hotel a magnificent choice. The most compelling reason for staying at the Santa Canterina is the gorgeous setting. The hotel is situated just above the sea, perched on a cliff and surrounded by lemon groves and peaceful gardens. You are never quite certain if you are officially inside or out when wandering the corridors and public areas for every turn of the walkway or entry of a public room is greeted with flora, arbors, fresh sea air and sunshine. If Kinkaid painted only the Amalfi, every work would resemble the Santa Canterina. Although our room (a "superior") was smallish, the bathroom was fine and the view made up for any feelings of being just a little cramped; however the balcony was less than private and when we go back, we will definetly opt for something other than the "superior" class of room. The hotel restaurants (elegant main dining room and a glorious al fresco lunch restaurant just steps up from the pool and the sea) were exceptional as was the service. The pool deck, well, think James Bond meets Jackie Onasis--Splendid! Although it is a healthy, and sometimes treacherous (crazy drivers) walk into Amalfi, the hotel runs a shuttle to and from town every 30 minutes and taxis are easy. As a side note, I also recommend "Eolo" a small, elegant and sophisticated restaurant in town that is run by the same family that owns the hotel. Be sure to ask for a window table as the view of Amalfi and the harbor at night will linger for months afterward. If there were any drawbacks (beside the small room), it would have to be the concierge service and public events. The concierge desk is run by a separate company and as such, I found them to be a bit pushier than usual--always volunteering to hire a car, make arrangements, etc. rather than waiting for the request. Don't get me wrong, they were very friendly and accomodating, just a little too...aggressive. As for the events, some of the travel sites and books cautioned that the hotel often hosted wedding receptions, etc. Sure enough, we arrived mid-afternoon on a Sunday and the lobby and main dining room were overrun with festive locals demanding much of the staff's attention. Getting unpacked, having a delicious lunch and a bottle of wine cured all territorial feelings of personal space and soon we were on our way to one of the most enjoyable three days/nights a newlywed couple could imagine. Notwithstanding a little drawback here and there, even the most discerning and demanding travellers cannot go wrong by staying at the Santa Canterina. P.S. make sure you get up to Ravello for some late afternoon shopping and a romantic dinner...you will not regret it."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of July 2004
"First of all,if you haven't been to the Almafi Coast it is Must See Destination. Picture postcard perfect. The hotel was delightful. Lovely rooms with tile accessories. We didn't really care for the location of our orginal room, and the staff bent over backwards to get us a room with a better view. Nice shuttle service into town, but Almafi is only a ten minute walk which is convenient also. The town is wonderful with great shops and fantastic local places to eat. Enjoyed it much more than Positano which we felt was larger and more commercial. The buffet breakfast which is included in the room was superb. A wonderful, wonderful place."
- Travel date: Fri 9th of July 2004
Wonderful Experience at the Hotel Santa Caterina!
"I can't say enough good things about this hotel. It made our trip to Italy. We stayed in 5 star hotels throughout our trip and all were beautiful but the Santa Caterina was amazing. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous. It is actually prettier than it looks on the web pages. There are little lounges all over the property where you can enjoy the amazing view of the sea, lemon groves, and the Amalfi coast.
We could not book one of the suites because we were traveling with 5 and it was so expensive, so I booked a double and triple deluxe sea view room. I was very apprehensive because I know that with the smaller hotels, every room is different, so there is no guarantee. Well, I need not have worried. Our rooms were beautiful with a terrace that was absolutely huge, covered with flowers and had the most amazing views of the sea and the coast. Our room was a little noisy but that just added to the attraction. It was above the kitchen, I think, and close to the main road that winds along the coast. Between listening to chefs yelling at each other in Italian, pots and pans clanking, and motor scooters going by, I really felt like I was in Italy. And the smell of the fresh baked rolls coming up from the kitchen was heavenly. When we closed the windows, the noise disappeared and I slept like a baby.
The bufffet breakfast was the best we had in Italy. The pool area was relaxing and gorgeous, and the sea water was clean and clear. The excercise room was wonderful. But the best part of this hotel was the service. Everyone was polite as in all of the hotels we stayed at, but the staff at the Santa Caterina went above and beyond. On our first day, my daughter had an abdominal spasm (not food related) and was in intense pain. At the time, I thought it was appendicitis. The wonderful concierge Pierre, I believe, called a doctor who came immediately, he translated while the doctor confimed that she didn't have appendicitis, and he obtained the medicine that the doctor prescribed from the local pharmacy that had her feeling better almost immediately. The hotel charged nothing extra for all of this. The doctor cost less than an emergency room visit would have cost in the States with my insurance coverage. Needless to say, I've never had this kind of service before, and I have traveled all over the world.
Lest someone think I am this total optimist that thinks everything is always wonderful, I assure you that I am a very picky person. To be fair I will point out the few negative points for people who are considering this property. I would have to agree with some of the reviewers that the Santa Caterina is not a hot spot of activity at night. That is just the way we liked it, but I would not recommend it if you are a twentysomething party animal. In addition, the food is very expensive. That also did not bother us because we went into Amalfi and found lots of reasonable places to eat.
We spent 12 days in Italy which is, of course, not enough time to see this wonderful country, but I would have been happy to spend all 12 days at this hotel!"
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of July 2004