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Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria – Sorrento, Italy | Hotel Review

Beautiful Hotel, Not so Beautiful Service


Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria – Sorrento, Italy: Hosting its first guests in 1834, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is one of the oldest hotels in Sorrento and considered to be one of its best. This hotel’s location is hard to beat. Situated atop a cliff and above the port, it provides a spectacular panoramic view of the Mediterranean. It is also in the heart of Sorrento, close to many shops and restaurants and next to the old-town. While Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria still possesses class and beauty befitting a luxury hotel (not to mention, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World), its past glory seems to be fading, if not over.

First Impression/Lobby: We arrived in Sorrento by boat and were met by two bellmen who escorted us from the boat to the hotel. The hotel sits high above on the cliffs so we had to take the elevator from sea level up to the hotel.

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The property is gated with an entrance that spans 200 meters long and has manicured walled gardens that serve as insulation. You will have to pass by the hotel pool to get to the main hotel. The hotel’s lobby was small but nicely appointed with arches and antique pieces, as well as elegant lounges and parlors.

Reception: We did not get a warm welcome from the hotel staff. The receptionist had a cold attitude and had no concept of service at all, much less 5-star hotel service. She simply checked us in and did nothing to make us feel like we were in a place we paid for with good money.

Concierge: Concierge service was decent from the start but when we tried to book a restaurant, our first concierge, a young woman, was no help at all. She seemed clueless as to what to recommend. Later in the day, we had one of the older gentlemen assist us and he gave us a few recommendations.

The Suite: We had the Antique Suite – it was not really our style, but it was gorgeous in most standards. For those with more contemporary tastes, however, the decor might be a bit outdated.

The room was very spacious, had high ceilings, and well-appointed large windows that provided an airy, bright and relaxing ambiance. The interior was mostly traditional Italian with antique furnishings, provincial fabrics and carpeting, and period trimmings. Details of the floor were tiled with artful terra cotta. We had a large terrace with a fairly good view but still did not come close to the views we witnessed during our stay in the Amalfi Coast.

We had a four-poster bed that was comfortable and firm with soft and fresh linen decorated with nice patterns. Our marbled bathroom was fitted with a tub and shower that was spacious enough but could do a little more cleaning and maintenance.

Room Service: When we ordered a bucket of ice, it took multiple calls to actually get through to someone, and then we had to wait for almost 30 minutes for the ice to be delivered. Imagine, having to wait that long for a bucket of ice! Not only that, but when the ice did finally arrive, they wanted to charge us Euro 7.00 delivery charge! We wanted the ice for the sparkling wine they had put in the room as a welcome gift. The sparkling wine ended up being a low, low, low quality wine, which was so bad we did not even finish it.

Housekeeping: The housekeeping did a fair job and did all the basics of cleaning and putting things in their proper order, but it was far from five-star luxury hotel service. They did not go the extra mile.

Pool: The pool area was extremely crowded and everywhere I looked it was one group of people after the next. The pool was large but not inviting at all and was poorly located and lacked the fantastic views it could have taken advantage of.

Restaurant: Grand Hotel Excelsior has one Italian restaurant and a bar with piano entertainment. It also offers informal al fresco dining in its pool restaurant where we got a chance to eat. While their menu was substantial, their food had nothing remarkable to rave about or even anything interesting to rant about—it was simply blah. The service was also slow and unorganized. It was a disappointing experience at a disappointing restaurant.

Overall Impression: The hotel property was glorious; it had well-maintained rooms, immaculate design and décor, but the service of the hotel was cold, unwelcoming, and unprofessional—definitely traits that do not make a luxury hotel, or forget luxury even, just a decent hotel. After all, the hotel business is a service business. For this, I rate the hotel Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria as Somewhere Between Bombastic and Not

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