Grand Excelsior

3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 Stars

Via Papa Leone X, Locality Pogerola, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, 84011, Italy

1 Review

Excelsior Grand Hotel
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 31% more than similarly rated 3.5 star hotels

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  • Couples72
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    Italian Fawlty Towers


    The Excelsior cannot be beaten in terms of views. They are simply stunning. The rooms were clean and tidy, with balconies overlooking the sea, with Amalfi town far below. The entertainment begins in the restaurant (see other reports). Armed with the info about getting a good position in the restaurant on the 1st day, we rejected the table offered, only to be allocated one right at the back! The head waiter, with toupe, was clearly in the wrong job. Food choice was restricted and largely used tinned vegetables in its creation. Omelette was a regular, unless they ran out of eggs. The meatballs with spaghetti is worth a smile too. Ours looked like deformed sausages, served, like the other food on plates covered with silver salvers, which were removed with a flourish by the waiter with a cheery "Bon Appiteto"! Dersert is always "cake", but if you ask you can get fruit or ice cream. The chocolate ice cream is the best option. Beware of the green coloured variety that smells like toilet cleaner. I never did discover what flavour it was meant to be. All roads along the Amalfi coast are narrow and punctuated with hundreds of blind bends and hairpin bends. Buses are the safest option, and cheap too. The trips to Pompeii and the Isle of Capri are well worth taking. Mid October seemed an ideal time to visit, with temperatures in the low 70's. If the price is right, I would recommend the Excelsior, but you must have a sense of humour. Finally it's not 4 star...

    Unique Quality: As well as great views, the Excelsior has peaceful terraced gardens below the hotel, when you can sit and read. One level has Jasmine growing above the path over a wooden structure. The scent is magical. The hotel pool was not used while we were there, but seemed clean and inviting.

    Directions: High above Amalfi town on the road to Pogerolla.

More about Grand Excelsior

Worst hotel i have ever had the misfortune to stay at

by A TripAdvisor Member

There is nothing grand about Grand Hotel Excelsior, it is an appauling establishment that is nowhere near the 4 star rating it has somehow received, at the very best i would rate it 2/3 star.
My partner and i booked Grand Hotel Excelsior with some concern, as we had seen the bad reviews on this website but went ahead with the opinion that 'it cant be that bad' - we were wrong, it was worse.
The facade of this hotel resembles a youth hostel and the decor is so dated inside that i am certain that it has not been redecorated since it was built. The rooms had strip lighting, ancient furniture that did not match and no air conditioning (you must pay a fee every day for this use). Balconies were practically comunial as they had no walls so you could see all the way along the other balconies on either side.
The breakfast was disapointing to say the least, stale bread and cakes with a small offering of runny, cold scambled eggs.
The pool area is tiny with not even enough room to accomodate all the guests. There are no sunloungers to use at this hotel, only extremely uncomfortable deckchairs which were impossible to sit in for longer than 5 minutes, in the end i had to use a table to elevate me legs as i was so uncomfortable, other guests decided to lay on the concrete floor.
To add insult to injury the staff at this hotel are the worst i have ever incountered, unfriendly, rude and not in the least bit interested in serving the guests.
What i will also mention which nobody else on this website has, is that the hotel is situated in the middle of nowhere and you are forced to take the bus into Amalfi every night, this is not a pleasant journey, it is all vertical and incredibly bendy and takes around 15 minutes.
My partner and I booked this hotel for 7 nights and stayed for only 2, checking out as soon as we found alternative accomodation - a beautiful 4 star hotel in Priano further along the coast. Having paid up front for Grand Hotel Excelsior we incurred severe extra costs, all i can say is that it was worth any amount of money just to be out of there.


honeymoon on amalfi coast

by A TripAdvisor Member

My husband and I have just returned from our honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Excelsior for 7 nights half board. On arriving we were shown to our room which was fairly large, extremely clean and had a lovely balcony overlooking the sea and the local lemon groves. We ate at the hotel for the first 5 nights and found the food to be good. We cant say it was A la carte restaurant standard but by far the best Italian hotel food we have experienced. There was a choice of three items for each course, all of which was explained in english. The majority of the staff were extremely polite and helpful, especially the restaurant and bar managers. They work very hard to make everyone feel welcome and could converse well with all nationality of guests. The wine and bar drinks were fairly expensive but no more than you would expect to pay at a 4star hotel. The views were fantastic and we were treated to a great view of a feast fireworks display in amalfi centre whilst eating dinner on our first night. Our only complaints would be that the reception staff seem to have a lack of communication as they would give different answers to requests. We were told on one evening that we could swop our next evenings meal for a packed lunch as we would not be back in time. When leaving the next morning we were informed that they did not do that. We have very few complaints about our stay but did leaving feeling that the standard of service did decline as it got busier.
Amalfi had a lot of things to see but our favourite was Ravello. Bit of a walk but more than worth it. We found Positano ok if you liked clothes shops and the beach. Too touristy for us. We felt that as far as the coastal towns are concerned, Amalfi is definatley the best but found that other people either agreed with us or preferred Positano for the beaches. Depends on which you like. Would definately stay at the Excelsior again but would try to stick to slightly out of season for better service. Bus services were very prompt.Much needed when staying out of town.

Faded grandeur

by A TripAdvisor Member

Over the past 15 years we have stayed on several occasions, each time for 14 nights, mainly during August, but this year in September. This year we were surprised to see that the hotel does now seem to be on a downward slide. The hotel has and still does benefit from extremely picturesque views, BUT over the 15 years there has not been any investment or improvements to decor or accommodation. In fact it reflects a 50's atmosphere. This year in particular the meals in general were very bland and repetitious, at best on some occasions the evening meal was not palatable. Breakfast was very basic with scambled egg, cold and watery. In addition whilst the majority of the restaurant staff are always helpful and friendly, it has got to be said that the current Maitre De (Pasquale), is very rude and arrogant. His manner is surly and completely indifferent. The saving grace is that Antonio, the Restaurant manager, is the complete opposite, helpful and very friendly. The new Head Barman, Marcello, has a very ingratiating manner, and always gives the impression that he is having a joke at your expense. One of main areas of complaint is that during the 14 days there was NO form of entertainment of a evening, other than some CD's playing on a small system. The bedrooms and balconies have not seen any decoration for untold time, in fact our own balcony the table and chairs were almost falling to pieces and additionally the paintwork was peeling.
We cannot understand how the Grand Excelsior has retained a 4 star rating, in our opinion, at the most a 2 star rating under the current circumstances would be more appropriate. We definitely will not be returning to the Grand Excelsior, which is tragic, when in the early 90's it was a much more pleasant, customer friendly hotel.

Great Views, Adequate Rooms, Easy w/ Car

by TripAdvisor Member NJZeke

First, let me say, that the views were amazing. The hotel is on a cliff and my room had a small ledge with a drop down to the sea that was sooo cool! Not for people that are scared of heights though! Parking was also very easy at this hotel in October. I believe October is towards the end of their 'season' though and the pool, that looked wonderful was basically closed. Too cold to swim anyway! The hotel was a little outdated looking, but I found the hotel to be clean and the staff was friendly. The only minus (for me) was that the hotel was not within walking distance of the 'town' area with the restuarants etc. As I mentioned, it's on the cliff - about a 7 minute drive to town. It's not a walkable distance with the roads/cliff. Parking in the center of town wasn't bad BUT it might be during their peak season. I think the hotel had a shuttle but we used out car.
Finally - if you are looking for a 'resort' - I imagine lying by the pools or on the beach (elevator ride down) would be great here. I'm more of a sight seeing vacationer, so I would have prefered to be closer to the town center - but the hotel was still fine for my purposes.

Would recommend

by A TripAdvisor Member

7 day stay - just returned. If you are looking for a quiet (but remote) hotel then this is for you. The views however, are stunning. There is a regular hotel bus service which runs in to town + an efficient local bus service. We found the staff to be attentive and the food was typically Italian and of good quality. The hotel is a little dated (60's) but comfortable. Nice pool and terrace areas. Overall I would recommend.

Great views, medium Hotel

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at the Excelsior for 3 nights in June 2005. The hotel is a bit hard to find, because it`s a 5-10 minutes drive outside of amalfi and you need to know the right exit, as there are no signs. The hotel is a bit outdated, esp. the bathroom has 50/60`s style. Also the furniture is in old style, which we don`t like very much. You can hear exactly, what your neighbours are talking about, so thin are the walls. Apart from that the room is clean, warm water availible without any problem.
The food was nearly average, but not more. It seems like the food is every day nearly the same, nothing fresh or very good tasting. There`s a very friendly waiter and another one, who really thinks it`s not necessary to have one friendly word with the guests. You get one table at the beginning of your stay and you kep it till the end, if you don`t protest to get a table on the outside, where you have a really great view. All in all we would not stay there again, esp. as the hotel is far away from amalfi and you need the car or the bus for everything.

Awe inspiring beauty & traditional charm

by TripAdvisor Member Sibellius

We booked the Excelsior independently from its website (no we hadn't first read the poor reviews here thank goodness) and stayed there as part of a driving tour encompassing Rome, Naples, the Amalfi coast & Fiuggi (in Lazio about an hour from Rome).
We had such a great time at the Excelsior - I wouldn't have missed it for the world. The drive up from Amalfi is amazing & although the Italians are 'adventurous' drivers they are also by and large more cheerful drivers and have better road awareness than many Brits who drive as if they will never encounter a hazard & don't know how to react if they do. At least the Italian style of driving teaches them to expect a hazard around every hairpin bend! I also didn't witness a single episode of road rage throughout the many hundreds of miles we drove.
Having booked a standard room on the website, we were upgraded on arrival to a suite with a beautiful and very large terrace built amongst lemon groves with plenty of room for private sunbathing or enjoying the shade of our own olive tree. Additionally of course there was a gorgeous view of the amalfi coast. It was very quiet and just everything I could have hoped for.
Although this was a short distance (a few flights of stairs really) from the main hotel building, there are lifts & I really don't understand complaints about this being an 'overflow' - if anything these suites are a beautiful addition. The suite was on two levels with two bathrooms - ideal for us and our 13 year old daughter - and the lower level had a jacuzzi. Our air conditioning worked great & indeed this was the only Italian hotel on our trip where it did - even the 5 star 'leading world hotel' we stayed at in Fiuggi couldn't match the temperature comfort of our Excelsior room.
I found the public areas to be very spacious & really quite charming and of course everywhere had those amazing views. I truly felt like I was in a Fellini movie & I guess the romance of that just bypasses some people. It's not a shining temple to modernity & not luxurious in the way 4 star hotels are in, say, Singapore but charming nonetheless & with a great deal more character.
As for the food - thank goodness for a proper dining room with waiter service in the evenings. I am so fed up of the dreadful buffets which so many European hotels offer which turn dining rooms into canteens with people piling their plates high with the same food every night and shovelling it down as if dinner were an endurance test.
We're not particularly easy to please as I'm vegetarian & my husband is a carnivore but we ate at the hotel every evening out of choice as we had only booked B&B. The champagne risotto was particularly gorgeous and I thought the vegetarian choices were pretty good overall and occasionally adventurous - in a good way. Occasionally my husband asked for 'off menu' items & always obtained them or a good alternative. Maybe it's in the way you ask? I thought the breakfasts were pretty good & didn't encounter watery scrambled eggs or stale bread - I would have politely commented there & then if I had though.
We didn't notice any particular seating plan on the terrace or in the dining room & got the table we wanted each morning/evening. I don't know if having booked it independently made us less prone to 'herd mentality' but really what's to stop people asking for another table. We only encountered charm & efficiency from the staff.
I was also glad not to have 'entertainment' every night. I really would hate to detract from the ambience & let's face it such entertainment is often really dire. You really can't beat the sheer pleasure of a long leisurely dinner with exquisite local wines on a terrace high above one of the world's most beautiful coasts. La Dolce Vita indeed.
On the last day when I asked for help with the luggage & the receptionist replied (just a little tartly) that she would see if her one available colleague could free himself up from his other tasks - I chose to take this lightly & engaged in a bit of banter - she laughed along & sure enough the porter materialised within minutes.
I really do recommend this hotel highly and we plan to go back next year. I think it's important to do some homework first though & make sure it is right for you - remember it's secluded & built on several levels to take advantage of the topography - it's kind of traditional in the best sense of the word and if you plan to spend much time in your room it may be worth paying the extra for a non-standard room. It's probably not ideal for young couples looking for lots of nightlife but then an escape from such resorts is one of the reasons for choosing the Amalfi coast! The location is indescribably beautiful & definitely deserves a visit.

Great stay, do not be put off by negative reviews!

by A TripAdvisor Member

We have just returned from a 7 night stay at the Excelsior. I have to admit I was quite aprehensive about booking this hotel because of the negative reviews I had read about it, however, I am a great believer in "you get back what you give out" and decided we would go for it. I am so glad we did "go for it". We were in one of the garden rooms which one of the reviewers says is 10 minutes away from the main hotel, in fact you leave your room, turn left walk up a very short path and you are at the breakfast room/terrace. I do not understand what they meant. Our room was a little musty smelling when we first went in, but we had two large opening louvred doors which we could open up onto the terrace and the fantastic views below. The views are really breathtaking from all areas of the hotel. Our bathroom was huge with a fabulous jacuzzi type shower, we had no bath which I for one did miss, but that is just a personal opinion.
On our first visit to the restaurant we were sat on a table inside which we resigned ourselves to be where we would sit for the remainder of our stay because of reading the reviews. However, the next night we were sitting on the terrace bar having a drink before dinner and were spotted by the wonderful Antonio (Head waiter) who said a table had become free on the balcony and did we want it, which of course we did, so do not be put off, things can change. We found all the staff to be extremely polite and helpful, the waiters and waitresses were all lovely and attentive and loved to have joke with you. We had no problems with any of the staff, be it reception, waiters, bar staff, porters or hotel bus drivers. We used the hotel bus all the time and found it reliable and punctual. Maybe it could be a bit more frequent but if it meant waiting down in Amalfi for an hour longer than if you got the Sita bus well that just meant an hour more soaking up the atmosphere in the square with a beer or a glass of wine. Heaven!
We were worried that the food was going to be awful because of the reviews. Breakfast for us was fine. There are bread rolls (they are not stale, just crusty!) cold meats, cheese, scrambled eggs (done to perfection for me) yoghurt, croissants, cereals, bread for toast, jams, cake(!) and as far as we could tell, if you wanted anything different you just asked and they would get if for you.
Dinner it would seem is typically Italian. They seem to put more into their starters than their main dishes. The starters are huge, especially the pasta dishes and the mains tend to be smaller, but we found once we had eaten the starter it didn't leave much room for a huge main course. The sweets were either cake (which was different every night, and I might add really nice) ice cream or fruit. If you asked for fruit you got a slice of melon a pear a peach, two sorts of plums and a bunch of grapes, all of which was fresh. An interesting comment on the food and why you really should not be swayed by anything until you try it for yourself was on one of the evenings I had a starter which was ravioli with goats cheese and spinach, it was (in my opinion) delicious. An American women who had complained from the moment she walked into the dining room sent it back saying it wasn't fit for consumption. It just goes to show that two people can have two totally different views on exactly the same thing. You have to just go and try for yourself.
We would certainly stay at the Excelsior again and if like us you feel put off by the negativity of some of the comments made about this hotel please don't be.

Do not stay here on any account V2

by A TripAdvisor Member


Stayed here for two days out of an expected 7 day stay, as this hotel is awful. We decided to cut our losses at a huge expense and run.
The staff especially the manager is unhelpful rude and obnoxious the rest of the staff walk round with miserable faces.
The food was rubbish. Stale bread and soggy cold scrambled eggs on the menu every day, served by a waiter who actually laughs and puts you down when you try and order what you want in Italian.
The air conditioning is an extra cost to the already over priced four-star price you have already paid.
The rooms have strip lighting in, the balconies don’t have any privacy and you can see every adjoining balcony on your floor and they can see you.
The pool area is small to say the least, with not enough room for everyone. You have to sit next to complete strangers in DECKCHAIRS!! As there are no sun loungers in the entire pool area. Other guests actually preferred to lye on concrete rather than sit in upright deckchairs.
Overall I have never had the misfortune to stay in worse accommodation than this. I wouldn’t mind if I had paid for a two star or three star hotel, as you can expect not to have the best accommodation in the world. This was an awful experience that I urge anybody who is even contemplating booking should look elsewhere, as this is nowhere near a four star hotel. The hotel looks like a youth hostel from the front and doesn’t get any better. THIS IS NOT FOUR STAR ACCOMODATION IT IS AN AWFULL HOTEL AND DON NOT STAY THERE.


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 Grand Excelsior

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Hotel Excelsior Amalfi
Excelsior Grand Amalfi
Hotel Excelsior Grand

Address: Via Papa Leone X, Locality Pogerola, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, 84011, Italy