Hotel Floridiana Amalfi

Dec 6th, 2010, 08:55 PM
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Hotel Floridiana Amalfi

Thanks to ekscrunchy's advice, I have researched this hotel for an upcoming October 2011 trip to the Amalfi coast, (it looks beautiful and has No. 1 spot on TA) and would like to ask the following of Fodor's fans (you too ekscrunchy) :

1) has anyone stayed recently that can give me input
2) is this a "better" option for spending 5-6 days than, for instance, staying in a small B&B that I found outside of Sorrento
3) how difficult is it to maneveur in and out of the town by car (would it be better to use public transport and if so, how easy/available is it during this time of year which I believe it just a bit past high tourist season)

Many thanks in advance!!
Flame123 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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I know Ekscrunchy will shoot me, but since you did ask I feel compelled to give you my opinion. First, I did not stay there, but based on EKS's input I was looking a a good 3 star solution in Amalfi. So, I stopped by last May, met the lovely owner, and saw a room. It seems like a nice B&B type place but has 3 flaws to my thinking:
1. It is in heart of the shopping area of town with tons of tourists all around.
2. It has steep steps to get to the front door.
3. I would never stay on the AC without a view of the sea.

Just my opinion---since you did ask. Also, are you sure you want a car on that coast? I would think twice.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 7th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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Response to Bob (you do not have to duck the bullets!)

1. I would not expect gobs of tourists to be clogging the town of Amalfi in late October and even so--the hotel is set back in a private courtyard. The entire area is popular with tourists--you cannot escape them, but again, my feeling was that Amalfi is far less deluged by this than one might think.

2. There are about 5 steps to get to the front door! Perhaps they are steep, I did not notice. That might affect someone who is severely mobility impaired.

However, even with those few steps, there is far less steep walking in Amalfi, where the body of the town is flat, than in Positano, which is built on a hillside that rises sharply from the sea. So anyone concerned about steps will do well to give Positano a wide berth, andn probably would not do well on the Amalfi Coast, unless he or she stuck to the level of the main road..

I did not have a car when I stayed there so cannot comment on the maneuvering in and out, but I cannot imagine it would be too difficult, as I did move in and out of town by hired car and it seemed straightforward. I would ask the owner where they actually keep the cars; it is possible that they park them away from the hotel and have to bring them to you when you want them.

We plan to have a car when in the area next year around the same time...
ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 7th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Flame, I would recommend splitting your time between Sorrento and another location (e.g., Amalfi). We were very happy that we did this - though it is certainly *no problem* to stay in Sorrento and travel daily to other places along the peninsula. (To give you an idea of timeframe, the SITA bus takes about 1hr 15min to get from Sorrento to Amalfi with stops in between.)

To me, splitting your time gives you the best of both worlds:
- Sorrento: Easy access to sights along the Bay of Naples, such as Pompeii, and Naples itself. The Circumvesuviana train is very straightforward, and you probably wouldn't want to drive into Naples! ...Is the Sorrento b&b in proximity to the town's train station?
- Amalfi: A chance to hang out in the more relaxed environs on the Amalfi Coast side of the peninsula.

I would agree with *both* bobthenavigator and ekscrunchy about Amalfi:

1. In early May, there were plenty of people around but it wasn't overwhelming. I imagine it would be about the same in October...

2. The shoulder of the road into town was parked up with cars about a quarter mile away, but traffic itself was probably a bit better than in Positano. Entrance to the town is a little complicated, with the road going through a short tunnel and then circling around the waterfront area (which doubles as public paid parking and the bus depot) before going through an archway (I think?) and into the main square in front of the Duomo. I have to add we neither drove nor took a hired car in Amalfi proper, but did walk the roadway from our hotel into town.

3. In Amalfi proper, the streets are narrow and the pedestrians plentiful. However, IMO none of it is overwhelming. And of course I would take ek's word that navigation is straightforward for that particular hotel.

4. A view of the sea is certainly nice to have! If you won't have one in Sorrento, try to get one in Amalfi (or vice versa - the view of Vesuvius from Sorrento was beautiful).

* * *
We had 5 nights in the area: 2 in Amalfi and 3 in Sorrento. For me personally, this did not feel like too much moving around...
ggreen is offline  
Dec 7th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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bob, eks and ggreen - wonderful advice and suggestions from all of you, many many thanks. I am really thinking that it might be the best idea indeed to split my week into two separate areas on the coast.

I am supposed to have a nice view from the B&B in Sorrento. It is not in the town proper but up out of town and I do not know whether it is close to any train station. But the owner of the B&B, as written by all the reviewers on TA, makes trips with his own car back and forth into the town to take his guests whenever they want. Which is VERY nice and quite convenient, I have not really decided yet whether I will want to travel by car or public transport. But this option is nice to have!!
Flame123 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2010, 03:06 AM
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And remember, it's all good--I never remember reading a report here in which the poster was disappointed by the area..

I hope to go in the fall and also will be splitting my time in the region between at least two locations...(maybe 3 if we include Capri!)
ekscrunchy is online now  
Dec 8th, 2010, 03:53 AM
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Up to a point, eks.

I would have been severely disappointed if the first time I'd been to Campania, I'd booked to stay in Sorrento and then seen the Amalfi Coast. IMO, compared to any of the Amalfi Coast towns, Sorrento is a bit of a dump - nothing actually wrong with it as an average fairly modern Italian town, but it's nowhere near as picturesque as Amalfi and is very spread out. Even staying *in* the town could involve a 30 minute walk to the centre; and since it's on a cliff, you can't actually see the sea from most places in town, just from the grand hotels along the cliff edge. It's also very popular with Brits on cheap package tours so is more downmarket than anywhere else in the area - a bit like an Italian Blackpool if that means anything to you.

Amalfi is *much* nicer and like eks I prefer it to Positano which is spectacular but is just a tourist resort.

Is there a reason you are thinking to have a car ? Public transport is much easier and Amalfi has good connections to the other towns on the coast plus Ravello. If the reason is to visit places like Pompeii, and you might want to visit Capri, I'd say go for 2 centres - but make it Amalfi & Naples. Naples itself is fascinating (on our first stay there we found so much to see we spent a week without leaving the city at all) plus it has good transport connections.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 8th, 2010, 06:06 AM
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We stayed in (and loved) the Floridiana. It does indeed face a very quiet courtyard. Here's a report with more details:

Also agree with considering more time in Naples. We spent a mere 3 days there - not NEARLY enough.
bardo1 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 10:31 PM
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I have reserved 4 nights in the B&B just outside Sorrento, and 4 nights at Hotel Floridiana in Amalfi.

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. Will report back after October 2011.
Flame123 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2011, 09:35 PM
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It seems now that the Hotel Floridiana has 37 steps to get to the hotel itself. One of us in our party probably will not be very pleased with this.

Anyone know of a place with less steps to climb and a good hotel in the town center?

Flame123 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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We stayed in the Hotel Floridiana in June,2010 and loved, loved, loved the place. The hotel was lovely and the staff was so gracious. You will never regret this choice. Have a great trip
Margolargo8 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2011, 02:31 AM
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Flame: Where are you getting the information that the Hotel Floridiana has 37 steps to reach the entrance?

There are a couple of steps to reach the covered lane off the main square which passes the front of the hotel. And as I recall, there is a small group of perhaps 8-10 steps to reach the actual entrance door of the hotel. I doubt if this would be an issue for anyone but those who are truly mobility impaired.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jan 17th, 2011, 04:39 AM
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Thanks Margolargo8 for the great review.
eks - I am getting this info directly from the hotel, where I wrote and asked them about the steps. Can they be wrong? Or can they not have understood my question? Because they were very good with English so I doubt that. I "like" your assessment of the amount of steps better. But I am kinda worried..........
Flame123 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 12:22 PM
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Hi we stayed at Floridiana in October 2010. We really liked it partly because it is so well maintained and fitted out with everything you would expect to find in an hotel of much higher grade [mini bars, tea and coffee making, fresh fluffy white towels every day etc] but also because it is right slap bang in the centre of things. The whole of Amalfi is at your feet with no worry about lengthy walks or taxis etc.

We drove a hired care into Amalfi and found navigating the town bit absolutely fine, if you have a quick look before you go on google earth you readily pick out the lie of the land and exactly where you have to turn before you get there. All that and finding the garage was 101% straightforward but we did find driving along the coastline as a whole somewhat nerve racking in an unfamilar car and what is, for us Brits, the 'wrong' side of the road. However the hotel is steps away from the bus stop and so once there we hopped on buses to Ravello etc to avoid any hassle at all.

In terms of steps it does have a few, some long shallow ones from the main street to the courtyard and then some steeper ones up to the front gate and front door. Inside the hotel itself there is a lift so getting to and fro from breakfast etc is no problem. My teenage son had broken his leg just before we went and was in non weight bearing plaster cast and managed it all on one leg and crutches several times a day without any problems at all but someone who is perhaps v. frail or v. breathless might find it a little challenging albeit this is offset by the central nature of the place. These steps are all you have to navigate to get to a very large selection of restaurants cafes bars etc as the main street it opens onto, the main piazza and the promenade which flow from it have no steps or steep slopes at all.

Although we had pondered re the view issue before we went, in the end we did not miss the views at all as the place has so much character and one could so easily hop out on a whim for an ice cream on the piazza in front of the cathedral [2 mins maximum] or a sea front cafe [3 mins maximum] and drink in both views and people watching to your heart's content.

For us [and we are fussy !] this was a really perfect holiday hotel; very good value for money, completely spotless, comfortable, welcoming, full of character and well located in a town that, whilst full of tourists, has not lost its charm.
loncall is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 02:35 AM
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loncall - thank you SOOO much for your wonderful review/report of Hotel Floridiana. I have made our reservations there for 4 nights (October 2011) so I am very encouraged by what you wrote. How was the weather (since we are traveling at the same time this year as you did last year) and was it terribly overrun with other tourists or less since it seems to be on the bridge between high and low tourist season?

Thanks again !!!
Flame123 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2011, 01:01 AM
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Hi Flame, We were there for three nights in the second half of October and the weather was perfect. We may have been lucky but we enjoyed clear blue skies, calm seas and temperatures in the low 70s F during the day. Great for sightseeing and having lunch in the sun. On one of the days we ate lunch at one of the places directly on the sea front [lido azurro]and it felt like midsummer with the sun on the water and the boats bobbing around in the harbour next to us. The town was busy with tourists but not crowded. For example, we had no trouble walking into restaurants and getting a table without booking in the evenings, getting seats on buses etc. There was a pleasant bustle around the cafes in the piazza rather than a scrum. I do hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
loncall is offline  

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