12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"If you want a relaxing holiday in Sorrento with your partners definitely the Hotel Riviera is the best solution in Sorrento. The hotel is on the coast of Sorrento, very close to the main square and the main street. The views over the bay is amazing ( you can see also the Mt Vesuvius), the staff are polite and helpful, the room, the hall are clean and location is perfect. The prices for food and drink are reasonably ( 4,50 â¬ for a beer , 2 â¬ for a cup of the ). But the priced sunbeds ( 6 â¬) for me is too much: if you pay a lot of money for the hotel for me itâs not correct ask to pay for sunbeds! "
- Travel date: 12th December 2008
Good Hotel - Bad restaurant
"I booked the Grand Hotel Riviera two days before we went, having emailed the hotel, they responded very quickly, despite it being 2am! We booked our flights through lastminute because of a ten pound saving over the BA flights, from Gatwick (this proved to be the biggest mistake of the holiday). We arrived at Naples airport and found the information desk to be accomodating pointing us in the direction of the bus to Sorrento, 6 Euros each person and an hour later we were there. This is far cheaper than arranging transport from the hotel (90 Euros!) and the coach is air conditioned. Keep your eyes peeled when you enter Sorrento as the coach goes passed the hotel. Remember the route to the bus stop as you will have to walk this way back to the hotel, its about a ten minute walk (15 with luggage). We were allocated one of the best rooms in the hotel (307), it is dual aspect and has an L-shaped balcony, this meant that we had two doors leading onto a big balcony (see pictures at ). It is worth spending the extra to get the sea view as at least from our room, we had vesuvius ahead of us and from the left side of the balcony you can see over to the marina. The hotel is expensive, but then that is Italy. Yes you have to pay 5 Euros per day for the sunbeds, but if you are that money conscious, take one of the many deckchairs, they are free and the poolman (Nello) is incredibly friendly and will do all he can to accomodate you -- he even turns the beds around to face the moving sun around 1pm. The minibar is not expensive, the lunch is far better than the dinner, we ate at the hotel once and it wasn't cheap, each course arrived as the previous was taken away and the food was (possibly) the worst we had in Italy and that includes the ham and cheese toastie we had at the beach! There are many decent restaurants in Sorrento, you just need to find them. We ate at :- Restaurant Caruso (just off the Piazza) - 5-Star Food: 3 courses (plua complimentary sparkling wine, hoea d'oeuvre and petits fours) and a 45-euro bottle of wine for 119 Euro in total excl. service. Il Buco - another great meal with fantastic waiting staff Photo - (on the road from the hotel to the piazza) - beautiful garden, modern upbeat bar with finger food. For good honest pizza, we recommend San Antonino. Run by an Italian who emigrated to Hayes and back again and his London-raised son, you certainly won't have to worry about language difficulties here. The Circumvesuviana is the local train that goes to Napoli, we took this to Pompeii Scavi (note NOT Pompeii station as this is the wrong one!) Back to the riviera, everyone speaks of hidden charges at many italian hotels, there were NONE here. If you arent sure about something, pay cash. Although I have scanned a copy of our bill (http://hotelriviera.fotopic.net) and you can see that whilst expensive, Sorrento is expensive. As is Capri and any of the major tourist haunts. The hotel is a walk from Sorrento town centre, it is 10-15 minutes, but the walk takes you through a square with beautiful palm trees and passed possibly the best view of the bay. I would heartily reccomend the hotel riviera for any of the following people :- Honeymooners - Although there are no "special" honeymoon facilities. Couples - There is only 1 suite in this hotel, so very few children make it VERY quiet. Single folk - A great relaxing quiet holiday. If you get a choice of B and B or Half Board (B and dinner), take the B and B option. Now, the reason to book directly with BA for the extra 10 pounds! We arrived at the airport ten hours early as BA had told us we could exchange our flight home, alas because we booked through Expedia we would have to buy NEW flights (288 each!) to travel early, despite the check in person saying the flight had loads of spare seats! Hope you have a great holiday!"
- Travel date: 10th September 2005
"We have just returned from our honeymoon at the Grand Hotel Riviera - what can I say - absolutely beautiful. My partner booked it as a surprise for me, he mentioned to the hotel staff that we would be on our honeymoon in advance and although they did not go to any effort e.g champagne, flowers etc, we had a beautiful room, large and with a balcony overlooking the sea, Vesuvius and Capri (room 210, this was 2 floors above restaurant so we had no problem with noise). We did pay for a superior room which you have to in most hotels to get the best views! The room was beautifully decorated and always kept very clean, with a turndown service in the evening. The staff were friendly and welcoming, reception were always very helpful. Breakfast was what you would expect, same every day but perfectly adequate, we did not have dinner in the hotel. We too objected to paying 5 euros for a sunbed when you are paying so much to stay in the hotel, you are even charged this if you get down to the jetty at 5pm!! The guy who is in charge down there reserved the best positioned sunbeds for certain people which annoyed us. There is a bar service and light snacks are available on the 'beach' as well as by the pool. We found Sorrento very romantic, yes there are the tourist bits, but you just have to explore and you will find wonderful little roads with amazing views - we walked for miles. We recommend the San Vincenzo restaurant which is to the left of the Square - great food, above average in price but worth it for a special occasion. If you are travelling independently there is a air conditioned coach that runs from just outside arrivals at Naples Airport directly to the Centre of Sorrento every couple of hours, takes about 1hr20 and costs 6 euros. Have a great time!!"
- Travel date: 31st August 2005
Spectacular Views Make it Worth It
"We stayed in the Grand Hotel Riviera in July 05 for 4 nights. We went for a room with a sea view which wasn't cheap but it really was worth it. We had a nice terrace with wonderful views of the Bay of Naples and Mt Vesuvias. The room (504) was clean if sparsely decorated. Only downside with the room: 504 is under the restaurant so you can hear tables and chairs being dragged on the tile floors above from early in the morning. The lift down to the sea/sun loungers was close by. The chap who looks after the sun loungers down by the sea is friendly and cheerful. But why should guest have to pay â¬5 each to use a sun lounger by the pool when you're already a high paying guest?? The hotel is a 15 min walk from the centre so you're away from the noise. Breakfast was fine - fruits, crossiants, eggs etc. We had dinner in the hotel on our first night - absolutely terrible. Bland, tasteless food. The hotel is quite large and you get the feeling that it could get overrun with large tour groups but that wasn't the case for us even though we were staying there at a peak time. The restaurant at Hotel Lorrelly just down from the hotel offers simple homecooked food with fantastic views. Treat yourself to a meal at the Restaurant Carrusso - you won't be disappointed. Really good service and fantastic food."
- Travel date: 3rd August 2005
"I have just returned from the Grand Hotel Riviera where I spent two weeks on Honeymoon. The hotel itself is beautiful but some of the views from the rooms can be far from impressive. On arrival we were allocated a room with a view of a stone wall! The Hotel Reception Manager insisted Honeymooners means nothing to them so we wouldn't have the chance to unless we paid a considerable amount of money. You would think such a grand hotel would have decent views from every room. The hotel prices are ridculously expensive. A small beer is 4.50 euros and you can not buy wine by the glass it is by the bottle and prices start at around 18 euros! If you look around it is possible to find places a lot more reasonably priced but we found even if the food is reasonable the drinks were often very expensive. Local wine is cheap so I suggest you take a cork screw to enjoy a couple of drinks in the room before your evening meal and just buy water with meals. The food is ok but I found the main courses were often on the rather adventurous side and the portions were very small. Sorrento itself was not like we expected. It was very very busy and not romantic in the slightest. Overall I think Sorrento is overrated and very expensive and I definately not be going back again. If you are thinking of honeymooning there I would think again!"
- Travel date: 1st August 2005
Top Marks - again
"This was our 4th time at the Grand Riviera and this is our first review. Most of the staff we knew from previous visits and whether they recognised us or not, they acted as if we (and by observation, everyone else too) were their best clients (some guests had been coming back for over 14 years!). The hotel has been refurbished and everything looked sharp and clean. The rooms have been re-decorated as well. I still object to having to pay 5 euros for a sunbed (but then this is a particularly Italian thing) however the poolman was the epitome of courtesy, helpfulness and 'nothing is too much trouble'. I agree with all of the other positive comments in other reviews but one word of warning about the food if you're a vegetarian. They don't put a 'V' on the menu against dishes - you think you're ordering something with no meat or fish but then you find tiny pink pieces of ham - even salads can have bits of meat in. My wife often had to send things back - the staff couldn't have been nicer but it was still off-putting. If you ask them however, they'll tell you whether a dish is vegetarian or not. Overall though, well worth a '5 blob' rating; we'll be back."
- Travel date: 27th June 2005
The Beautiful Riviera Hotel
"The Riviera Hotel is without doubt one of the nicest hotels in Sorrento. The moment you walk in you know you are somewhere special. Immediately your eye is drawn to the large terrace area which has spectacular views over the Bay of Naples and of Vesuvius. The gardens are beautifully landscaped with a large pool. There is also a private beach/jetty which is stunning and the service and food is also excellent there. Our room was bright and tastefully furnished with a balcony overlooking the sea. The hotel is well located within walking distance to town, about 10mins away. All the staff were fantastic, but I would like to give a special mention and thank you to Mr. S. De Gregorio, who I dealt with when making our booking and who looked after us while we were there. It was lovely to meet you and thank you for all your help. I would highly recommend this hotel. Theresa, Ireland"
- Travel date: 20th June 2005
Loved the hotel
"Stayed in room 501, with friends in room 502 from 22 May to 26 May. This is the sea facing room one floor below the breakfast room. The views are spectacular, the room large and as we went on the tours we were up early and did not hear any noise from the restaurant above. It is a full 10 minutes walk to the centre of town but that did not matter. The staff could not have been more polite and helpful. They helped us arrange the various tours and any time we asked for anything it was met with courtesy and a smile and was not refused. Had no problems with the breakfast, I suppose it depends how fussy you are. I would definitely stay there again and would recommend it to anyone."
- Travel date: 30th May 2005
Beauty plus friendly service
"We stayed at the Grand Hotel Riveria for five nights at the end of April and could not have been more satisfied with our choice. Our quiet, comfortable room had good beds and seemed spacious after a hotel in central Rome. The view over the Bay of Naples from our balcony was stunning, and the beer in the room bar was reasonably priced so that you could not resist sitting out there in the late afternoon. Best of all, the staff was extremely helpful and friendly. We had our pocket picked in Naples, but Ciro, the wonderful desk agent, helped us sort things out and calmed us down so we could continue to enjoy our vacation. They were also very helpful in making any touring or travel arrangements you wanted. Breakfast is served in a large beautiful room overlooking the sea with an excellent selection including pastries, eggs and sausage, cereals, fresh fruit and breads. Some reviewers have given breakfast a mediochre rating, but I wonder what they could possibly be looking for - eggs Benedict and oysters? Dinner is another matter. Institutional food efficiently served to tour groups, many sitting at tables of eight. The age of the German group which dominated the dining room the only night we ate there made it feel somewhat like dining at a nursing home. It was a full four course meal, with three choices for each course: bland, dull and uninspired. There are many good restaurants in the town center. One thing which makes this hotel different from many on the waterfront is its location at the end of the road. It is quiet, and rooms not on the sea look into a lemon grove. Most hotels have a quiet sea side and a noisy road side (at very different rates). The fifteen minute walk into town along the sea is very nice, but can seem long when you go into the town center for dinner. It is about a ten minute walk to the train station for the Circumvesuvia to Pompeii, Herculaneum and Naples."
- Travel date: 24th May 2005
Location! Location! Location!
"The location of this hotel is fantastic. A ten minute walk into the centre of Sorrento, but more importantly the hotel is perched on the edge of the cliff which gives you the most stunning views from the Terrace looking out directly onto the Bay of Naples and on most days you can see the foreboding presence of Vesuvios (still very active, but apparently 'sleeping'). The hotel staff, without exception, all work terribly hard to ensure that they are looking after all of their guests, all of the time. I loved (despite what the other reviewer said!) the breakfast buffets - an amazing array of foodstuff to suit most nations' breakfast tastes! And, the 'beach' (actually a pier) is wonderful - direct access via a 55 second lift trip (and feels like a trip to the centre of the earth...) to the crystal clear and very warm water of the Med. The average clientele definitely fall into the more mature bracket, so if you are looking for hustle and bustle in your nightlife, you won't find much in the hotel. But, then I guess you wouldn't chose to go to Sorrento either!"
- Travel date: 11th October 2004
Luigi's and Claudio's toasties are legendary
"A lovely hotel, staff are the most organised and helpful that we have ever met. Meet Claudio and his team in the bar or on the terrace overlooking the bay of Naples with Vesuvius and Ischia as a backdrop, the sunsets are awesome! Meet Luigi down on the 'beach' a typical Italian deck for swimming, snorkling in the sea, toasting your body or eating one of luigi's famous toastie's all together the most perfect place."
- Travel date: 4th October 2004
I would urge everyone to go to Sorrento ...
"I would urge everyone to go to Sorrento at least once in a lifetime. The chances are, if you go once, youâll go back whenever you can. It has to be said that this is not the cheapest place in the world to visit, but this is one of those occasions when it really is worth the extra money to treat yourself. The Grand Hotel Riviera is about 10 minutes walk from the centre of the town, close enough to be near all the action but far enough to be peaceful and relaxing for the end of an evening or soaking up some rays during the day. The hotel is perched on the edge of a cliff, giving superb views across the Bay of Naples towards Vesuvius. Pan left to look across to Capri and to Sorrento town itself. From the terrace, you can sip a drink, by the pool, as you watch the yachts and luxury liners come and go out of the bay. A lift takes you down to the bathing platform and the pleasantly warm Mediterranean waters. I preferred the stone ledge at the foot of the cliff, where the shade protected my red head from the fierce heat of the sun. Many a glass of wine and champagne did I enjoy here, relaxing with a book or just watching the world go by. On entering the hotel, it feels marvellously opulent with a huge sitting area, marble floors and a wonderful collection of artwork. As you would expect in a hotel of this class, the rooms are light, airy and clean. A pleasant surprise was that the mini-bar was not overly expensive either. The restaurant is perhaps a bit large and lacks the cosiness of some of the local eateries. The food is very good, but not exceptional, and the portion sizes generous. The wine was all excellent too, as you would expect in Italy. The town itself is delightful. There are a number of bars and restaurants around the main square from where you can simply sit and 'people watch'. Nearby are the narrow streets with plenty of art and craft shops, as well as designer gear to take home. My favourite part of the town is the Marina Grande, perversely the smaller of the two harbours, with its collection of small restaurants, which has a wonderfully relaxed ambiance. From the larger harbour, the Marina Piccolo, you can catch a boat to Capri, Amalfi, Positano or Naples. Capri and Positano are definitely recommended, particularly the restaurant at the left of the beach in Positano. There are plenty of trips available to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Monte Cassino, Rome. However, I enjoyed Sorrento and Capri so much, I couldnât be bothered going further a field. Maybe next time. There certainly will be a next time."
- Travel date: 31st July 2003
Grand Hotel Riviera is also called
- grand hotel sorrento
- grand hotel riviera sorrento