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Le Sirenuse, Positano. Is it worth the hype?

Le Sirenuse, Positano. Is it worth the hype?

Old Dec 15th, 2006, 04:35 AM
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Le Sirenuse, Positano. Is it worth the hype?

Sorry, I know this question has been done to death on this board but I was wondering if anyone could shed yet more light on the subject. My husband and I are travelling to the Amalfi coast in July 2007. We like small, charming hotels, with happy staff. We cannot stand resorts. To give you an example, I made the mistake of booking us into the Blue Palace on Crete once and we really didn't enjoy the experience at all: IMHO too big, too impersonal, a monstrosity that should never have been built.

Le Sirenuse appeals, for obvious reasons - it does look absolutely stunning, the spa, the pool, everything. However, the prices do make me gulp. In some cases, they want the same or more as the Four Seasons or Mandarin in London!!

I am looking at the Poseidon where I can get a 'mini suite'. Also not cheap but cheaper than Le Sirenuse. If I can be persuaded, I might just book L.S. and duck my husband's swings at check-out!

We want a pool, a terrace for sipping wine and for the hotel to be reasonably quiet...

Looking forward to any extra advice!!

Thank you in advance..
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 04:52 AM
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It's not what I'd call small & charming, it's very grand & formal.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 05:42 AM
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We honeymooned there, and went back for several years. My parents had been going for more than a decade at that point, so we were very well treated. It's elegant but I would not say formal. Yes, there were some stiff necked Germans around, but mostly it's a shrine to the sybaritic, and you lounge by the small pool and have your first drink at ten in the morning. Maybe you wander down to the beach or take a cruise on the boat. You're staying with your friend the Marquis and life is good.

The restaurant used to be the best in the area, although one recent report panned it.

Not everyone loves it. One couple we met while there much preferred the glitzier San Pietro. I think that describes the difference though; glitz vs old money.

However, these days you need a great deal of new money to stay there. We used stay demi-pension in a deluxe room for considerably less than they now charge for a standard room with breakfast only. We may go back some day, but presently we sputter in indignation at the thought.

Also, this was a while back. Now they accept tour groups and business meetings, and have a line of merchandise. Manager Luigi retired, and bon vivant Aldo is gone and his boat takes guests on schedule, not as a treat. So it may all be different now. If you go on the boat look for the brass bell by the companionway. My mother gave it to Aldo on one of her visits, many years ago.
 
Old Dec 15th, 2006, 05:44 AM
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Hi E,

>We like small, charming hotels, with happy staff.<

Scratch Le Sireneuse.

Take a look at www.lesirene.com in Praiano.

See my trip report for details:http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34451044

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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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The Sirenuse may charge more than the Four Seasons and Mandarin because it is worth more than those large, chain hotels. I've stayed in Four Seasons' all over the world and none compare to the Sirenuse. Over the past 25 years, I've stayed there several times, once changing to the San Pietro which was a huge mistake. The staff has always been friendly and helpful to me. A terrace with an ice bucket and prosecco at the Sirenuse is where I picture myself when I get too stressed and need a vacation, if only imaginary. It is the type of hotel where I walk through the front doors, let out a contented sigh and feel at home. The Sirenuse isn't small but neither is it huge and impersonal. So is it worth the hype? To me, of course.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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There is really only one way to answer a question like this IMO and that is go and find out for yourself even though I agree the question has been done to death.

Different places appeal to different people and usually an establishment gets only one chance to make a great impression.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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Endless summer:
Sirenuse, as Ira so succinctly puts it ain't small and charming. We prefer the boutiquey, smaller establishments at half or less of the tariff (in my late 70's, I'm still a depression-era kid). Altho in Positano we once selected the Bucca di Bacco and were very happy with it (smack on the beach, a bit noisy, but also quite elegant)(around $200). We would return there.
Stu T.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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Now wait a minute -- it may not be small, but it's plenty charming. It's also -- or at least it was -- friendly and unpretentious.

The only problem is the cost. You won't object to the atmosphere!
 
Old Dec 15th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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I'm a bit amazed you're able to find a room there. I looked in May at the possibility of going in September, and not only were they completely booked at that time, they were also booked up a year ahead!

BC
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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With all due respect to Ira, you cannot compare Le Sirenuse to Le Sirene.

Based on Pausanias posts and having visited and dined at Le Sirenuse, I would chose it. Especially if you are used to the Four Seasons, etc.

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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Thanks everyone. Their booking system gives me all the room categories! I haven't had a problem with availability for any of the hotels so far but i'm booking quite far in advance because I want to nail this!

Pausanias/Grinisa, thank you for sharing your experiences. I guess what I meant about comparing it to the 4 Seasons is that being such a huge operation, their overheads must be significant compared to Le Sirenuse. Can you believe that I am renting 'Only You' so I can check it out? I know the movie is quite old but I want a *feel* for the place.

One more question: is there a huge difference between sea view and partial sea view? I don't mind not having a sea view in exchange for a town view..


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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Thanks SeaUrchin - to be honest, I'm not really a 4 Seasons person myself, I was just using that whole group as a reference point for LS's room rates. I personally would always choose something more individual. LS looks so damn beautiful - much more so than all the others I have looked at. It has a spa that I may or may not use and I guess jacuzzi's that are a great novelty for the first night but after that I don't bother with. I read somewhere that they serve buffalo mozzarella at breakfast - is that just them or do all the hotels serve that? If it's a case of all the little things making the difference, then I might just splurge...
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Yes, it can be worth the hype. I prefer, however, Hotel Le Agave and its private beach. Check it out.
 
Old Dec 15th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Oh, heck, if I could afford it I'd be booking Le Sereneuse in a New York minute. We 'accidently' wandered up some back steps from the beach on our way up the hill to Villa Rosa and wound up wandering through Le Sereneuse. Wow. That's how the other half lives!
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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endlessummer --

We've always stayed in the sea view rooms so I can't comment on the partial or no view rooms. I suspect those are the rooms under the pool level.

The views from the Sirenuse are spectacular. We used to have breakfast on our terrace so we could enjoy them. It can be hypnotic -- sometimes a haze forms over the sea and you lose the horizon. Then Li Galli, the small islands offshore, seem to float like clouds.

Hmmm . . . thinking I may have to go back sooner than planned. Oh well.

My two cents -- if you're going to splurge, splurge. I don't think you will regret the extra expense very long, but a disappointing room or view might spoil your memories.

 
Old Dec 15th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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endlesssumm (I wish it were true, an endless summer...but I digress), look at my photos I took from the terrace at Le Sirenuse. On this page it is the "Duomo" picture and the "hotel view".
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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hmm, the link might help!

http://www.pbase.com/seaurchin/posit..._2004&page=all
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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My husband and I stayed at Le Sirenuse in 2002 for four nights and we loved every minute! I would definitely return. We had a deluxe double room with a sea view, and it was pricey but worth every penny. The views over the cathedral of Positano are spectacular,and the breakfast terrace overlooking the ocean was a beautiful way to start the morning. The breakfasts were included in the room rate and were bountiful - usual breakfast foods plus fresh mozzerella, marinated tomatoes, local salames, crusty breads. Our room was quite large and the bathroom as well. The staff was very friendly and the public rooms very charming. It was quiet as well. the pier for getting the boats to Capri, Sorrento, etc were just a few hundred feet away. Well-located in terms of proximity to the beach and great restauranrs, not to mention shopping.

I'd give my eyeteeth to be sitting on the Sireneuse terrace right now watching the sun set....
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 01:38 PM
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I'd give my eyeteeth to be sitting on the Sireneuse terrace right now watching the sun set

Amen, sista!
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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wow, they will wonder about all of these toothless women sitting on their terrace, lol.
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