10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Solid hotel. Even the rooms on the top floor have their benefits.
"Stayed at the Bellevue Syrene for 6 days. Generally solid hotel. A couple of responses to the negative reviews:
1. The beach is still open. But, the elevator down stops in front of a private beach. You walk about 100 feet to the hotel beach. Note that the beach is not great. There is service down there and tanning beds, but the position near the edge of the rock (see photos) means the sun leaves by about 3. Roman baths, as described on the website, are now part of a private suite and not available. Spa is still available for pay.
2. Rooms on the top floor are not that bad. Yes, you can lock yourself out, but the balcony is much bigger and more private than the classic French balconies in many of the other rooms. Which you prefer is really a matter of personal preference. We loved ours.
3. Staff is nice. Fresh towels twice a day. Front desk tends to be a bit understaffed, however, but not critically.
4. Restaurant is very accomdating for guests of the hotel. Discounts were given for guests selecting the various fixed price menus. Yes, they do have separate women's menus without prices, as a nod to certain cultures. My wife (we were on our honeymoon) asked if she could have a regular menu, and was given one.
So: is this the finest hotel I've stayed at? No. But, after doing a LOT of research on this site, I was satisfied with the place, even at E300+ a night.
The staff was very helpful if not overly effusive. I would stay here again, but I would certainly consider staying at either the Tramontano (next door) or the Vittoria (down the road towards the marina), given their reviews. The Syrene gets a B overall; the overally negative reviews seem unwarranted.
One other benefit: Sorrento can be a bit crazy for a small city. The Syrene is about 5 minutes walk from the madness which adds to the serenity of the place. Also, if you want to go walk to Marina Grande for a good meal that's less touristy, you're only 5 minutes away."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of October 2005
Everything I had hoped for!
"From the moment I arrived at the hotel I knew it was a place I would come back to. It's not extravagant, but beautiful. The staff was always friendly and helpful. The view's were wonderful. I didn't have a seaside room, but a balcony across the hall (about 20 feet) gave access to all of Sorrento on the sea. My patio had a small table and a couple of chairs, it faced the garden and streets. It couldn't have been a more delightful place."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of October 2005
"Based on recommendations here and elsewhere, I was very specific about the 2 rooms that I wanted. There are only a handful of rooms that have the spectacular views and balconies that other reviewers mention. You must ask for FLOORS 1 or 2 with a balcony (not room numbers).
As mentioned in another review, the hotel layout is confusing. There are 2 floors below the receptionist area that are floors -1 and -2. Floors above the receptionist area are floors 1, 2 and 3. The room numbers do not match the floor number. For instance rooms on floor 1 are 4xx and rooms on floor 2 are 5xx. Make sure they confirm your selection in your reservation. Don't take a confirmation for a "high floor". Make sure they confirm the floor and/or room numbers.
On arrival I was given two rooms on what they consider the 3rd floor. The rooms are converted attic space with very low ceilings and stuffy air. The balcony is a cut out on the roof with little sun and very limited views. There is no closet just a clothes rack. And the bed is jammed in with little space around it.
If this hotel was honest, they would not rent these room unless at a very steep discount. Or use them as storage as the space was designed.
After I spoke to the receptionist about the mistake in our rooms (during which she tried to tell me these rooms where comparable to others!) I was told that rooms on the second floor would not be available until the following day. We had only 2 nights in Sorrento and spending a day/night in the crawl space they gave us was disappointing to say the least.
I will give them a little credit in that they offered us a small discount for our rooms (very small -- from 352,00 Euros/night to 302,00 Euros/night).
I wish I could say the room mix-up was the only problem with the hotel. Unfortunately, it was just the beginning. A few of the issues we ran into:
The door out to the "balcony" on the 3rd floor locks automatically from the outside. My mother was stuck on her roof for 10 minutes and was only able to get back in after jimmying the lock using a credit card she had in her pocket. When we reported this to the staff, they acknowledged there was a problem but seemed to care very little. Just "sorry".
The hotel is understaffed, overwhelmed and understands very little about what a guest might need. There was never a time I did not see at least 3 or 4 people waiting in line trying to get assistance.
I asked for directions to the local train station. They could not tell me the street name that the station was located ("Just take a left at the square".) There are at least 2 main squares and many, many "lefts off the square". A map was not offered to me.
I asked about a boat ride around the Amalfi coast. They looked flummoxed -- as if no one had ever made such a request.
When our TV did not work the first evening, we were told over the phone "sorry" it is too late to get anyone to help (it was 10PM) and it didn't matter because CNN was not available (which was incorrect). I was told, " I guess you'll just have to have a good night sleep".
Also when we decided to take advantage of the views and have dinner at the hotel restaurant, we found the wait staff to be surly and condescending. A waiter actually "tsked" at our selection of wine (I guess a bottle under 100,00 Euro is not acceptable). And the food was fifty-fifty. Only two of our four meals were anything worth mentioning.
Lastly, as a woman who has traveled to many different countries, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the hotel has very old-fashioned views about women travelers. Despite that I had made all the arrangements for our stay, secured the rooms with my credit card and spoke with them at check-in, they asked for my husband's signature on the sign-in papers. Also, the manger when he called to discuss our room assignment asked to speak with my husband and when I told him he was unavailable, he asked me to relay to my husband his proposed resolution to our rooms. And the restaurant menus for the "ladies" do not have prices. Only my husband's had prices listed. None of this was really a problem just surprising in this day and age. And a bit "overplayed".
In the end, even with the views their best rooms afford a guest, I would not stay at this hotel. To enjoy the views, I would have a nice pre-dinner drink on their outdoor veranda and save the aggravation. There appear to be many other hotels very close to the Hotel Bellevue Syrene that have the same view of the Bay of Naples."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of September 2005
"My family and I just returned from a spectacular Italian holiday.
One of the highlights was Sorrento. The Bellevue Syrene's location is not to be beat. Very close to town and the view are unparalled. When you are booking your room make sure to ask for the 2nd -4th floor. Do not take rooms in the lower part of the hotel. Though my husband (a seasoned traveller) didn't mind the rooms I asked for a change. The rooms were more than adequate but I found the hallway to be musty. The top floor is very hot (that's where we were put) The terrace overlooking the Naples bay is just gorgeous, we would end the evening on the terrace with a wonderful glass of presecco. Be prepared to go broke doing so! Room selection is key but I doubt any other hotel has as nice of a location."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of July 2005
Stay somewhere else, or specify a room number
"Although the position of this hotel (right on the water and close to town) are very nice, the hotel itself leaves a lot to be desired. It seems like it caters to weddings and wedding receptions and not to its hotel visitors. The lobby rooms are not well done, and the alcoves where art should be displayed have either empy vases or vases with old apples in them. Obviously, the upkeep is very lacking.
We stayed 3 nights at the end of June along with our friends. The first night, they put us on the sixth floor (the first two floors are below the lobby and reception rooms), so it's really the 3rd floor above the lobby. Don't stay on the top floor. The rooms have low ceilings as do the halls. If you are close or taller than six foot, you have to watch your head. This floor has the feel of a converted attic. The balcony is on the roof, and has solid walls on both sides. You have to lean over it to see the docks and the water. Room 607 gives you the noise of the air conditioning compressor and any wedding receptions going on below.
We asked to be changed to another room (after all we were paying 320 Euros a night, which is quite expensive). The rooms they next showed us were on the -2 floor. The first was a nicer room as the ceilings were high, but the balcony was a tunnel. The second room was in the new addition still on the -2 floor (rooms 103 and 105). These were nicer as the window to the balcony was large and arched making for a very light room. But, you kind of get the feeling like you are in the dungeon. The rooms are now below the veranda where dinner and wedding receptions are held. There is a constant scraping of chairs above you. Even though we didn't go to bed until midnight, it still continued. My husband and friend went up to the lobby to ask for the manager. They waited 10 minutes, but the manager did not show up. This was the 3rd time we had expressed our concern about the scraping noises.
Also, there are other concerns. The lift down to the sunbathing docks is not available for hotel patrons anymore. The docks that used to be available for sunbathing for hotel patrons are now exclusively under a private club. (by the way, the hotel brochure still includes pictures of the private club sunbathing docks). The small dock available to hotel patrons (after a long walk down many steps) has towels available, but limited space, no showers and no food. You have to ask specifically for a nice sunbathing bed with a face screen.
The gym as well as the wireless internet access was no where to be found.
Our friends had stayed here 4 years ago and were very disappointed with all aspects of this hotel on this stay, especially considering the cost to stay. Rooms for the same price vary hugely. I'd say stay on level 4 or 5 and ask for a specific room or you will be disappointed.
It appeared that they only had 1 person on housekeeping staff. When our rooms were made up, the old towels were taken away, but no new ones were left. Calling for them took someone 30 minutes of deliver. Toiletries were not replaced, even if used. If you ask for ice, it comes in a wine glass, and takes a long time. We asked for a wine opener. The man from the bar came up and said he had to open the wine himself and could not let us have the opener. We ended up buying one in town.
Drinks on the varanda run 11 Euros and your waiter does not bring a menu for you to be aware of this before you order. Breakfast is ok, as the veiws are wonderful, but the eggs are runny. Stick with the cereal, hard boiled eggs, or fruit. The coffee was luke warm.
Overall, this was a very disappointing hotel and we will not stay here in the future. I don't think I am unusual to expect much more from a hotel that charges as much as this one. As we were checking out, we asked to speak to the manager again. We were, again, told (very politely) that she was not available. Both we and our friends left long 3 page notes for the manager. I seriously doubt that anything will be done.
To top it off, if you pay with an American credit card, they charge you in American dollars, leaving them to choose the exchange rate. I asked to be charged in Euros, as we had been in our previous hotels. I was told that this was the way the machine worked."
- Travel date: Sat 2nd of July 2005
"I just spent 3 nights in a sea view room with balcony at the Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento and cannot say enough about it !!! A beautiful property with fabulous views of the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvious. The hotel is conveniently located in central Sorrento and it is very easy to walk to the harbor for the hydrofoil to Capri. Do yourself a favor and stay at the Bellevue."
- Travel date: Fri 24th of June 2005
"We had a horrible room at another hotel (the Aminta) so I walked into this place and asked if they had a room available for the next three days. They did. They even showed it too me before I agreed to take it. Room 201. It had a huge bathroom and the drop off from the balcony was straight down the the beach, such as it is.
If you're not there for "beachy" type of activities, this is a great place. We especially like having a cocktail in the evening on the terrace that looks at Mount Vesuvius. I've included a picture of what we had to put up with every night as we wound down from a day of heavy touristing (Pompei, etc.)
Really nice service people, especially at the front desk, and the breakfast is OK if you like watery eggs and dodgy vienna sausages. They have this really annoying, whining fresh orange juice squeezer that the people will stand and operate for ten minutes, one orange at time, to make their one glass of fresh OJ. This was the third hotel of our trip, so I finally figured out how to do breakfast: Toast, fruit, yogurt, granola. Stay away from the other animal proteins.
I would definitely go back here. If you have to spend an extra $50-100 per night to stay here on the cliffside rather than some dump in town, SPEND THE EXTRA MONEY!"
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of May 2005
"A beautiful hotel - the views from the seaward facing rooms are superb - it's quiet enough at night to leave the windows open and listen to the sea lapping on the bathing platforms below...The hotel is central to Sorrento - something that is not always the case with other hotels in this area...
The staff were wonderful, the room clean and well furnished - the one small gripe would be the food - the restaurant is not fantastic by Italian standards - but then, given the amount on offer locally, you're probably better off exploring the streets of Sorrento rather than staying in the hotel to eat."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of May 2005
"What a lovely place to stay. We only stayed one night on our tour of southern Italy but it was a great night. Our room was on the water side with a balcony and a loft bedroom. It was very romantic!!! Close to town so one can walk to shop or eat dinner. Breakfast was included and offered more variety than usual. Hotel staff was very helpful....took care of the car and had it out promptly the morning we left. The common areas of the hotel were very grand....lovely chandeliers. The grounds outside were very well kept."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of April 2005
"We stayed at the Bellevue syrene mid Oct. and were overall very satisfied. The room was small, but well appointed. The bathroom was also small, but clean, and well appointed with plush robes and towels. The location can't be beat! It is perfectly situated overlooking the Bay of Naples, with a breathtaking view of Mt Vesuvius. The walk to restaurants and the main Piazza Tasso was only a few blocks, and the hotel itself was tucked int a quiet corner. Unfortunately the weather wasn't nice enough to enjoy the beautiful outdoor bar and eating areas, as well as our balcony. The breakfast was wonderful, with breads, meats, fruits and cheeses, as well as eggs, and the room was beautiful, also with a great view! Our only issue
was that the first room we were given was one level below the lobby, was quite noisy at night due to the foot traffic on the marble floors above. However, when we told the management, they very quickly, and graciously switched our room. I disagree with some of the other reviewers who complained about bugs and ants. Sorrento was also a great place for exploring Pompeii - an easy walk to the train station, and a 40 min ride. Ferries are also available to Capri, Positano, and Amalfi. We had a great meal at Antica Trattoria[nice service too-elegant]. Don't miss the pizza at Pizza Tasso and the Red Lion! I was less impressed with Z'ntonios. For location and value I would recommend the Syrene over the Excelsior Vittoria."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of November 2004