Let’s get the good news out of the way first.
The views from the room and terrace of Vesuvius & the bay of Naples were fantastic and the staff were very obliging and helpful. The hotel however, reminded me of a 1960’s council tenement block in a run down part of Manchester and urgently needed about 10,000,000 Euros spending on it. In fact the passengers on the minibus with us said it looked like a prison and did we really want to get off the bus? For the most part of the week the hotel was deserted with about 3 couples occupying a hotel of 94 rooms. We booked half board but only ate in the restaurant twice as on the second night we were the only occupants in a large dining room and ate in stony silence without even some background music for company. Never mind, I thought, we will get a bottle of wine from the bar and go up to the terrace that looked so lovely in the photos. First problem, the ‘bar’ was about 6 feet long and didn’t sell wine, only beer it seemed. (My wife doesn’t drink beer I explained) Second problem, the lovely terrace furniture didn’t exist except for a couple of plastic chairs with no table and in the pitch dark as all the lights were broken. The problem then was, what do you do after your evening meal ? (which was served from 7:30 - 8:00 pm only.) I envisaged if not sitting on the terrace, then we would stroll down the charming streets of Castellammare. I have to say, the walk from the hotel to the town was a complete shock to us both as it took you through some of the filthiest, scruffiest and smelliest streets I have ever seen, full of dog and cat waste & rubbish. This is nothing to do with the hotel obviously, but it reflects very badly on Sunmaster holidays who have quite clearly never ever been to this location otherwise there is no way they would recommend it as a holiday destination. When I contacted the company complaining and supplied some photos for them to look at, they simply passed these on to the hotel as if it was nothing to do with them. What’s the point of showing the hotel what their own place looks like ? I’m pretty sure they know that already. My main complaint with the hotel is the totally misleading photos showing terrace chairs and tables that didn’t exist with drinks on them which can’t possibly have been purchased at the ‘bar’ Also,to eat in a deserted dining room is not an experience I want to repeat. Sunmaster holidays would do well to visit a place once before putting their name to it as the end result of this is I will never book anything with Sunmaster holidays again or ever stay at the Vesuvian inn.
- View (this is absolutely spectacular and there are ample gardens and terraces to make the most of it).
- The staff. The staff were superb, they bent over backwards to provide us and our Nonna (who needs assistance to walk) with every help available. They spoke excellent english and the hotel provides a free shuttle service to the local town or train station within certain times. I can't praise the staff enough. When we first arrived, dishevelled and drenched in sweat they provided us with a free cold beer and water!
- Decent price. Considering the location (Castellammare di Stabia is a nice little town without the grime of naples or the tourists of Sorrento or Amalfi).
- The rooms. The rooms were not perfect as they were generally basic and we did have an issue with the lock in ours but, really, I think if you're going away to sit in a hotel all the time you should probably just stay at home anyway. As such, the rooms were clean, they were well conditioned temperature wise with individual units, the beds were ok and they had a desk and plenty of space. Room maids came every day. The only thing i'd say is maybe a TV in the rooms wouldn't go a miss?
- Location. Not the most accessible but as already mentioned, the hotel will provide a free taxi.
- General appearance. The hotel does look a bit like some sort of soviet era complex used by a school or university but truly, don't let this put you off.
- Food/Breakfast. The food and breakfast in the restaurant are ok at best. They're ample and for 15 euro you do get a 3 course meal. We didn't particularly think ours was worth 15euro because we could go down the hill and get 3 pizzas for the same price whereas here we got half a melon, a small bowl of pasta and a little bit of meat & potato - definitely not worth the 15euro.
Additional services. There is a bar/tuck shop which was nice, especially as we had some younger members to our party who liked a beer or some sweets.
I would recommend staying here as a guest. To the hotel themselves, i'd suggest you cut 5 euro off the meal price (or offer more food) and keep the shuttle running until 10pm. Also - swimming pool or hot tub.
At arrival we thought to be wrong; a desolate looking building, more appropriate to host refugees. But at entrance an reception with a chewing welcome from someone in the office behind the desk. Felt like we were the only guests. Our question wether this was really a hotel was answered positively. Room appeared not to be clean. Changing to another room; same thing. Room without any luxury. A hospital room has more atmosphere.
We booked this room as part of a trip with Travelbird. So far no really complaints with them as travel agent but this is below every expectation.
If you are looking for five star luxury, this is not it. If you are looking for a cheap place to sleep at night and don't intend on spending much time in your room bar sleeping, its great.
If you can, ask for a room facing the bay,The lack of air conditioning wasn't a big deal as the windows open wide and the breeze comes in from the bay so its quite pleasant, others in our group who had a courtyard facing room weren't as lucky and had to rent a portable air conditioner for 10 euro per night.
The rooms have single twin beds, a tiny shower and no tv or air con, but the bar downstairs sells 2 euro peroni's, so, still a win.
Make sure to bring some bottled water as the water from the taps isn't drinkable and the vending machine empties fast.
My wife and I stayed here for 5 nights 6-10 May with a small group tour (10 travellers). The accommodation is basically student accommodation with twins beds in small rooms with a very very small shower. We were all lucky to be allocated rooms on the 3rd floor with views over the Bay of Naples and Mt Vesuvius. The area of Castellammare di Stabia is not the safest part of of Italy and a walk from the hotel to the town centre at night is certainly not to be undertaken. The establishment has two large road access gates which are locked at night. The hotel is essentially part of a university and is frequented by university students engaged in archaelogical digs etc. Their presence was not a problem.
The breakfast was typical continental fair though the coffee was undrinkable, so we opted for tea and/or a coffee from the pay machine outside the breakfast room. The evening meals were variable, but certainly not fine Italian fair. The staff were friendly and obliging, with the kitchen staff being a family group.
Internet access was available. but only worked for a short time on our last evening, which I was told was fairly typical of the hotel.
The hotel is a good base from which to explore parts of Southern Italy including Pompeii, Cuma, Herculaneum and Capri and the Amalfi Coast etc.