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Visiting Positano - hotels & "atmosphere"

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Oct 2nd, 2012, 06:06 PM
  #1
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Visiting Positano - hotels & "atmosphere"

We’re thinking of spending a couple of nights in Positano next April, probably mid-April. We might spend a night in Naples on the way there, as we would likely be travelling from Florence.
What is Positano like at that time of year? Is it early in the season, and very quiet, or alive. We are not much into swimming, but do like to stroll around and visit the odd bar.

Also, recommendations for accommodation. We’d be hoping to find something for around 100 to 150 euro a night. We’d want to be in the historic part of Positano, and we are OK at climbing steps.

Recommendation for a hotel in Naples would be welcome too.
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 07:04 PM
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I stayed at the Albergo California, it was really nice and had amazing views. The staff is really nice, however they seem to always want you go on a boat to another island (at a price of course). I just politely declined and went about my day.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._Campania.html
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 07:30 PM
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We stayed at the Hotel Savoia and loved it. Our favorite hotel during our travels (also to Rome and Venice). Botiquish, great service and location, huge rooms.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 03:48 AM
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I was on the Amalfi coast one year during the second week of April. The weather was very spring-like, which included low mist that obscured the views and some passing showers. When the sun shone, it made walking the stairs hot. Things were just opening up for the beginning of the season, and it meant that some things were not ready in hotels, restaurants. It wasn't what I would call crowded except around the tourist nodes -- to docks to ferries, the souvenir shops (not all of which were open). I stayed in Ravello and Atrani, so I can't help you with a hotel in Positano. If you don't mind paying a steep price, the bar at Le Sireneuse has tremendous service and delicious cocktails, and a quite nice view.

For just one night in Napoli, you should pick a hotel that really pleases you near a restaurant where you know you will want to eat dinner. The train station area is the dreariest part of Naples, so I suggest you avoid that. Do you have any plans to see anything in Naples? What is your tolerance for faded glory? I love this hotel, Art Resort Galleria Umberto, but it is not for everybody:

http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/art-...6a7c9bc;dcid=1

If you think it might be for you, then reserve to eat at Hostaria Toledo nearby, take advantage of your proximity to both the Teatro San Carlo for a quick guided tour (30 minutes) and the Caffe Garibaldi.

If you plan to see the Archeological Museum while you are in Naples, then it would make sense to book near there. You can find lots of well-reviewed b&bs on Tripadvisor that are very convenient to the museum.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:30 AM
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We stayed at the Hotel Villa Rosa a year or so before the euro went into effect, and in addition to being beautifully situated on the hillside with breathtaking views of sea and mountains, it was very reasonably priced. I looked at rates after the euro, and the price increased considerably so it might be a bit above your budget but you can take a look and see what you think.

www.villarosapositano.it
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:35 AM
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We've stayed at the Savoia too. It's well located near the start of the steps down to the beach and there's a parking area just opposite. Good little hotel and should be open by April as Easter falls at the end of March next year.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Sorry, missed the rest of your question; Positano will be quietish, kids aren't on holiday from school except round the Easter period but everywhere should be open.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 09:44 AM
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Swimming won't be an issue - you are at least a month early for swimming weather. This is spring and you may get warm and sunny of still somewhat chilly and rainy.

Check to see what the ferry schedules are for our dates since that's the best way to see the coast.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Thanks all for your replies, and there's some food for thought there. And thanks for the suggestion to check the ferry timetables.

Cheers
Peter
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Oct 4th, 2012, 01:07 AM
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Are you sure you want to stay in Positano, Peter? I've only been in June (3x for a week) but to me it was totally geared towards (mainly rich American) tourists - more or less the only shops are fancy boutiques and I don't care for it much. It can't be denied it's the most spectacular to look at of the Amalfi Coast towns but there is nothing to 'do' in a sightseeing sense, unless you are just using it as a base to see the rest of the Amalfi Coast & Ravello, in which case it's not the most convenient base. We much prefer Amalfi which is more of a 'real' town, while also pretty. Both places are of course very small, though, being constrained by their geography. We also very much like staying in Naples itself, where we've so far spent a week and then a separate long weekend just to see Pompeii & Herculaneum, and would go back - can't remember if you've stayed there before?

(You may wonder why we went 3x if we didn't like it much! The first time we stayed *in* Positano itself at the Hotel Poseidon, which was very nice and had fantastic seafood dinners - so after the first day or two we more or less just stayed in the hotel (and we never normally eat in our hotels). The 2nd & 3rd times we stayed in rooms above a beach bar, Le Sirene at Spiaggia Laurito (www.lesirenepositano.it, only open in summer) a couple of small bays along (the hotel shuttle was a boat from the Positano dock!) for a week of complete relaxation, just swimming, reading, looking at the view, eating & drinking. Each of these weeks was part of a 3-4 week trip, so the Positano week was just for relaxing.)

How long now until you arrive here? Remind me of where you are staying this time?
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Oct 4th, 2012, 01:21 AM
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P.S. Re accommo in Naples.
The first time we stayed at the Hotel Executive & the 2nd time at the hotel Neapolis.

Hotel Executive: I did a lot of research the first time, including getting a detailed street atlas, to choose the best area for us. We wanted to be in the centro storico but not close to Piazza Garibaldi & the railway station, which is the dodgiest area. The Executive is just on the SW edge of the CS, between it & the opera house (which was useful as we were going to a performance). It was also extremely good for transport connections - the express bus from the airport stops 5 mins walk away (its 2nd & final stop after the station), it's a couple of minutes' walk from a street where all the buses stop for the more outlying sights like the Catacombs of S. Gennaro (our favourite thing) & Capodimonte, and only a 5-10 minute walk to the dock for boats to Capri, Ischia etc. It's a modest hotel -3* I think - but was fine for our needs & the staff were very pleasant. I reviewed it on TA October 2006.

The Neapolis was fine too but not quite so convenient for transport connections, being right in the middle of the centro storico. Reviewed on TA May 2010.
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Oct 4th, 2012, 06:17 AM
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April can be the greatest period for having holidays, but it depends (as always) on what you are looking for. If this is swimming so definitely no, I wouldn't say april is the best month for your visit.
But if you want to avoid tourists armies and you take care not to reserve Easter Week go on for it and have a great time.
In my opinion you have to search your accomodation in the city, since it is very pleasant to stroll in the little streets of Positano.
Palazzo Murat http://www.palazzomurat.it/ is right in the center but inside a huge garden, so you don't hear any noise and it is very peaceful inside. April (not Easter as I said) is still low season so you can stay in superior accommodations for cost-effective rates.
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Oct 4th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Hi Caroline,
We arrive in Venice on Monday 25th March, just in time for the Easter festivities, and we’re staying until 25th May. We’ve booked a place via VRBO near San Giacomo, in Calle del Oche, over the pizza place of the same name. It will be great exploring a different neighbourhood, discovering new places to eat, drink and shop, and seeing Spring rather than the depths of Winter.

And having a spritz with Phil and your goodself.

It sounds as though the Calle Lunga San B place was less than totally delightful.

We’re planning some side trips. Verona for a couple of nights, ditto Florence. We visited Florence several years ago, but were both unwell at the time, so could not really do Florence justice. Lou is keen to see the Amalfi coast, so we’d go there after Florence. I don’t know much about that part of the world.

I’m enjoying reading Phil’s blog – “Art or shed” was great fun. I don’t think that too many Venetian blokes have the luxury of a shed.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 11:18 AM
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Hi Peter. Jolly good - you should be here for the Settimana della Cultura, then, when the state museums are free & there are lots of free guided tours of all sorts of places. Being near San Giacomo will be nice. We are looking forward to meeting you & Lou!

I love the Amalfi coast and have been lots of times (although it has to be said, mainly just for relaxing & swimming), but I really would urge you to look at Amalfi rather than Positano. As well as being a bit more of a 'real' place than Positano, it's much the best of the towns for transport conections to the others. The buses stop right in the town whereas from Positano you have to climb up to the road which bypasses it, and Amalfi has more boat connections. When we stayed there we had more money than now & stayed at the Santa Caterina, but everyone (including an ex-colleague who spent his honeymoon there) seems to rave about the Residenza del Duca.

Btw I don't agree boat is the best way to see the coast, although it can be pleasanter than the bus. The boats travel some way away from the coast so all you can see for most of the way is a middle-distance view of fairly barren hillside. Whereas of course on a bus you're right in the middle of it. As long as you're not freaked out by a road barely wide enough for 1 bus never mind oncoming traffic, hairpin bends & a sheer drop at one side!) Since you'd be getting the train from Florence anyway, IMO the most painless way is train right past the whole Sorrentine peninsula & Amalfi coast to Salerno, then bus back up the coast from Salerno. Train to Naples, Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento then the bus from there is not much fun.
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