More about Grand Hotel Parco Del Sole
Parco del Sole Hotel is great
I enjoyed my stay at this hotel very much. My room was clean and quite elegant and I found the staff to be very helpful and friendly. As with any good hotel or restaurant the waiters appeared to be very polite and distant at first but once you got to know them they were kind and quite funny. I found the food to be excellent with a broad choice. All in all I had a very good holiday. Sure, the roads were a nightmare but you can hardly blame the traffic on the hotel. The hotel was quite a long way from the road up a long driveway and I wasn't disturbed by the traffic at all. I think it lived up to it's 4-star status.
won't go back
had 1 week at parco del sole last year, it was very dissapointing, it was to far from sorrento had to get there by risking your life due to the heavy traffic. The hotel was noisey so we complained, so we were moved to another room, the room was in a cellar the view was a brick wall. my sons room was wet, the water was running down the walls. The food was unedible. we complained to airtours when we came back, we were told we where just after compensation. So we won't be going back to this hotel and i won't ever use airtours again
A nice hotel but be prepared for some walking
My wife and I went to Sorrento in October 2002 and stayed at the Hotel Aminta. We enjoyed the town but as the Aminta was a bus ride or steep walk away, we opted for a hotel in a different location for this trip.
The Hotel Parco del Sole is located on the main road throughout the area, the Corso Italia and it can therefore be quite noisy at busy traffic times. We were lucky as we had a room facing the pool and did not have a direct view of the road, however, we were just fortunate as it can be seen that some rooms are very close to the road indeed.
The road is only a single carriageway but it does get very busy, particularly with cars, buses and mopeds (who pip their horns a lot). Lorries are seen but they are thinner on the ground. The walk to Sorrento takes 15 to 20 minutes and the fumes can get rather annoying. We preferred to leave the hotel, turn right (away from Sorrento and towards St Agnello), then take the next left and follow the road all the way down to the sea front. From here, a left turn took you all the way to Sorrento but on a much quieter and more pleasant walk.
We took the half board food option and we enjoyed all our meals. The menu changed every day, generally offering 5 starters and 5 main courses, followed by a variety of cakes, fruit, tiramisu etc. The food was served by waiters although there was a buffet on one evening. We avoided the gala night after our previous experience at the Aminta and we were pleased we did, as everyone eats at the same time, some people received cold food. We opted for a pizza in Sorrento instead. The buffet breakfasts were very good, offering cereals, fruit, pastries, juices, coffee & tea, various breads, cheeses and ham etc.
The wine list was very good and you could have any drink from the bar brought to you at your table. All drinks were charged to your room and we settled up just before leaving.
The hotel was generally quiet during our stay but there were various overnight parties who appeared, usually German or American. In fairness to the hotel, this never affected the service that we received, either at the bar or in the dining room.
The location of the hotel will not suit everyone but would be fine for those who enjoy walking. Older guests or those with wheelchairs may prefer a location nearer Sorrento itself. The hotel did run a free bus service to Sorrento but the times were not always convenient. We took one taxi from Sorrento as it was raining and it cost 11 Euros, not cheap but worth it in that weather.
The swimming pool was very cold and did not appear to be heated. It may only be used more in the height of Summer.
The rooms were very comfortable, carpeted with good wardrobes and a free safe. The bathrooms were very well kitted out and very smart indeed. The towels were changed daily and all areas kept very clean. All rooms were air conditioned/ heated as required. You do get some noise from adjacent rooms but this is normal in most hotels.
All guests received a free bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, a simple but nice touch.
We have stayed at a few hotels in various countries and the Parco del Sole is certainly quite high on our list, although those who do not enjoy walking would be advised to stay in Sorrento. As we enjoy a walk, the trek up to Meta and then back to Sorrento on the coast paths/ roads was very enjoyable.
The walk to St Agnello railway station only takes 5 minutes and you can soon be in Naples or Pompeii for around £3. We took a jet foil from Sorrento to Naples, only £5 each way and there in half the time.
The Hotel Parco del Sole is recommended to all who enjoy a walk!
We had a lovely stay!
Firstly, I'd like to thank those who gave bad reviews of this hotel for worrying me sick for the six weeks between booking our holiday and actually arriving at the hotel. This hotel is fine.
Although the hotel is set back off the busy main road into Sorrento (Corsa Italia), we experienced no traffic noise at all. From other reviewers warnings I had expected the road to be at least a dual carriageway but it is simply a busy single road. The walk into Sorrento is easily done along this road in 20 mins (even with a push chair) with pavement the whole way - it's only necessary to cross the road once as the pavement runs out on one side. Use the marked zebra crossings and make it clear that you want to cross - the traffic won't stop for you, you'll have to make the first move! If you really are worried, use the compliamentary bus which runs from the hotel about half a dozen times a day - starting at 9.05 and 10.05 with a break for siesta (2-4pm) and then again after dinner. Though by the time you've got yourself to and from the carpark in Sorrento where the bus stops, you may as well have walked the whole route.
All hotels in the area seem to be set alongside main thoroughfares so wherever you book you'll have the same risk of noise from the road. We found Parco del Sole had a good balance of proximity to Sorrento town centre but also had a bit more grounds, if you intend to spend a lot of time around the pool, etc. We also found that it was often the last pick up and first drop off for bus excursions, which was good.
We went at the beginning of October when it was apparently unusually hot for that time of year. The pool WAS quite cool but most hotels don't have outside heated pools and it was okay for a quick dip to cool off. There is a small kiddies pool and a separate jacuzzi (also unheated). There are plenty of sunbeds though no parasols. Each sunbed has a built in adjustable shade and pool towels are provided. Don't know if it was the time of year but everyone we met had been badly bitten around the ankles - don't forget your repellent and bite cream. Even though it was October and the sun was quite low, we found that it disappeared behind the mountain around which Sorrento is built quite early (about 4.30pm) and the nearer you are to Sorrento town centre, the earlier that would be. We got the impression that some hotels in the centre were permenantly in the shade.
But if you're after a sun tan then Sorrento isn't really the place to go as it is better used as a base to visit all the amazing sites nearby. There is a small beach in Sant Agnello with a great cafe/bar above it (La Terrazo) offering great views over the whole bay.
The food at Parco del Sole also seems to have been an issue with some reviewers. Having previously been half board with Thomson holidays, the menu compares quite favourably. If you eat in the same restaurant night after night for a week or two of course the menu will get a bit boring, though we didn't experience too much repetition. We attempted to eat in Sorrento in the evening and found that the food could be quite hit and miss there too. In fact the only people who we found complaining about the food were happier eating in an english style pub for the duration of their stay - which isn't really entering in to the whole Italian experience.
We found the staff to be very pleasant, although this probably was due to the fact that we had our 8 month old daughter with us and the Italians love to spoil babies.
The room was very spacious, even though we had an extra cot in there. Cleaning was done and towels replaced daily. Though the floors (the rooms are carpeted) could have been doing with a bit more attention. There is a safe in the room but no minibar/fridge. You get a bottle of sparking wine on arrival but the glasses and ice bucket are removed the following day so drink up!
Wine in the bar/restaurant is very reasonable, starting at 11euros for a full bottle. Half bottles also available though the same wine can be bought locally for 5euros. The (very large) main bar next to the restaurent gets very smokey so we found that the small terrace between the reception and pool area was best for a few quiet drinks.
This was our first visit to the area so we weren't too adventurous with the public transport, especially with a baby to consider. However, I believe that local transport is very good. The organised trips are good, though expensive and while the guides are very interesting and often witty we felt that they tried to pack too much into one day. Beware that where lunch isn't included in the price, it is usual for the guide to take you to a remote (though often nice) restaurant where you will be expected to eat a set menu and be charged bout 10euros, ok but we would have liked to have chosen our own lunch location and not have been rushed in and out like school children. The guides were also blissfully unaware of any facilities for babies. We did wonder how much of a "backhander" the guides received for providing the gullible punters.
Finally, Sorrento itself is fairly easy to get around. Though the roads are narrow they aren't very steep and there are some steps we always found alternative routes which made it easy for pushchair access.
We had a great time and this holiday has given us a taste for Italy. We will return to Sorrento though possibly to one of the hotels that overlook the bay.
Better than the reviews
I was also worried about the reviews but found I only agreed that the pool is too deep. I found the waiters to be formal in their hierarchy but also friendly and very helpful to the guests. I enjoyed my stay there and would go back.
I was a little bit worried about choosing this hotel having read the mixed reviews below but I have to say I really enjoyed my stay in this hotel.
Bad points first, not many or major: No coffee/tea making facilities in the room although we did get a free bottle of champagne on arrival. Tea and coffee at breakfast not very good either. It's about a mile and a half walk to Sorrento centre and the pavements/traffic are a bit hazardous although a courtesy bus does run. Some of the staff give the appearance of being a bit stern but with a bit of effort they are good fun!
Good points. Rooms and the hotel in general is very clean and quite posh in appearance. Pool is big and plenty of sunbeds available although in October the pool is in shade by 4pm. Meals are varied and excellent (waiter service the whole time). Being set off the main road a 100yds means there's no traffic noise either (which Sorrento has a LOT off!). Holiday makers are generally of the older generation which means very few children staying in the hotel - good or bad I leave for you to decide.
On the whole if you don't mind the walk to the town centre this is a great hotel to book into.
We were also worried
After reading some of the reviews we considered cancelling. I'm very glad we didnt as we had a lovely introduction to Italy at this hotel, however I do consider the 4* rating as being rather generous. In comparison to other resorts and hotels, I would say it was 3*ish.
The staff were rather glum but very hard working and I think they just forgot to smile. This did not detract from the good service or high standard of food which was not too repetative. The Gala night was a treat and the staff enjoyed it as much as the guests.
The walk into town was only marred by the fumes from the heavy traffic but there were alternative means, but beware, the taxi's from town are very expensive for the relevant short journey (ok if your sharing the cost ).
I can only endorse all that was said from 'We had a Lovely Stay' and if they managed all that with a baby then no-one else should have any problems.
The local transport is fine but if you want to travel by bus to Possitano (not to be missed) and Amalfi then make sure you get a seat (go to the bus station) as to stand for over an hour is horrendous.
The local ferry to Capri is also a highlight and much cheaper than the tours. Take the train to Pompei for about 4euro return, it drops you right at the enterance to the ruins.
For all those planning a holiday at this hotel, I say it's what you make it and faults can be found anywhere if you look hard enough. ENJOY!!!
enjoyed it a lot
This hotel is really comfy with stunning views. The food is really nice and there is a different menu every night. The staff are really friendly and always have a smile on their face. The waiters are also very freindly to little children.
The swimming pool is chilly but on a hot day it is always nice to have a little swim.
Before a meal you are always welcome to have a drink at the bar down stairs.
I strongly recommend this hotel to everyone!!!
Fabulous family friendly staff
I went with my husband and eleven month old son in September. The staff were excellent, particularly Gennaro in the restaurant. He would come over and speak to our son and sometimes take him away for a bit to let us eat. The quality of the food was excellent and there was a very good selection as well. We stayed on a half-board basis so it was for breakfast and dinner. You do have to go down at seven pm on the dot to make sure you don't have to queue - the meals are that good. The gala evening was magnificent - really entertaining. You can either get a bus into the town centre or it's a fifteen minute pleasant walk.
Really terrible is the best i can say. This is much more like a two star hotel. We stayed half board and the evening meals were so bad we went out to eat almost every night. The staff were rude and there were not enough of them. there were not enough sunbeds around the pool and people had to queue from 7am to get one. We paid extra for a superior room with a view and our view was looking straight at another of the hotel buildings and the room was far from superior. When we complained we were told too bad the hotel is full, no apology even . Also the location was quite a walk outside sorrento, too far to be enjoyable and the courtesy bus was always packed to overflowing. Nothing good to say except sorrento itself is beautiful and charming.