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Grand Hotel Vesuvio - Napoli, Italy | Hotel Review

5 Star but Still Not Bombastic


Grand Hotel Vesuvio - Naples (Napoli), Italy: A hotel reminiscent of glorious days gone by (once the hotel of choice of such big stars as Humphrey Bogart and Errol Flynn), the Grand Hotel Vesuvio still attracts an upscale crowd, but its glitz and glamour has long been pared down for a more commercial appeal to accommodate tourists and sightseers. While it's far from being the five-star luxury hotel it used to be, Grand Hotel Vesuvio still exudes a nostalgic charm, provides a warm and welcoming service, and spectacular views of Napoli.

First Impression/Lobby: The Grand Hotel Vesuvio is a cross between a glorious old hotel and a modern, upscale hotel. While it does not rival the best hotels in Rome or Florence, it surely stands out amongst the other five-star hotels in Naples. This nine-story building is not so remarkable on the outside, but inside, you will get a hint of its sophistication with its modest but chic interiors, particularly the immaculately marbled lobby and the laid-back yet trendy lounge and bar. Their service was also worthy-of-note, adding to the hotel's presumed luxury. Upon the entering the hotel, the doorman was quick to help us and escort us to reception.

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Reception: The hotel staff gave us a warm welcome. We had no problems checking in as they were efficient and pleasant on every level, and very well-trained. You can clearly see that the hotel took care of their staff with how cheerfully the staff did their jobs.

Concierge: Our concierge gave us excellent recommendations and helped us to plan our tour and transportation efficiently, as well as suggested some sights we might enjoy while staying in Napoli. We were especially grateful for the wonderful recommendation they gave us for La Cantinella Ristorante, a restaurant we thoroughly enjoyed.

The Suite: We had a spacious and relaxing corner suite with high ceilings that added to the over-all airy feeling of the room. While the room was very comfortable with its king-sized bed, feather pillows, antique desks, parquet floors, beautiful carpets, and ample closet space, the room's color scheme of mustard yellow and gold made it feel dated. The view from both the living room and bedroom was wonderful, especially with its location across the road from the sea.

The adequately sized marble bathroom was a welcome sight but could do with a bit more cleaning and maintenance. It was nicely fitted with dual sinks, large tub, stand alone shower and toilet and bidet. It also had a large window that allowed natural sunlight to stream in, making the bathroom feel bright and cheery, as well as giving the illusion of more space. The toiletries were comparably better than other hotels in the area, but do not compare to luxury hotels in major Italian cities.

Restaurant: The Caruso garden restaurant is located on the ninth floor and was named after opera impresario Enrico Caruso, the hotel's most famous resident who spent the last years of his life in the Grand Hotel Vesuvio.

We only tried their restaurant for the breakfast buffet, which was located on the third floor. The breakfast room was large and splendid but the selection was very typical of low-end, 5-star hotels. It had a decent layout with all the basics but nothing to set it apart or make you say wow. The service was also cold and unwelcoming, and the hostess made us feel like we were intruders; she was snobbish and skeptical whether we were really hotel guests or not.

Pool/Spa/Activities: The hotel had a health club that also functioned as a spa, offering aromatherapy, massage, personal trainers, two saunas, a small lounge, and a whirlpool. While the service was adequate, the facilities were only basic and did not offer new stuff or the latest in spa pampering. Serious spa-goers will be highly disappointed and be better off going to specialized spa clubs.

Overall Impression I found that the hotels in Napoli are not as good as the hotels in the major Italian cities, and if you've set your expectations to this fact, then you would be perfectly happy at Grand Hotel Vesuvio. On the other hand, if you are expecting a true five-star, luxury hotel like you would find in Rome, Florence or Venice then you would be let down by this hotel.

Overall, my rating for Grand Hotel Vesuvio is somewhere between bombastic and not.

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