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What’s it going to be, Amalfi? Praiano / Sorrento / ???

What’s it going to be, Amalfi? Praiano / Sorrento / ???

Mar 4th, 2007, 12:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 85
What’s it going to be, Amalfi? Praiano / Sorrento / ???

My wife and I have made our decision to begin our 25th Anniversary Italian Vacation somewhere south of Naples – along the Amalfi Coast. We will be flying into Rome on June 17th @ 9:00 am and are looking to take the train to Naples/Sorrento – depending on where we decide to stay for three nights. As we plan our itinerary while we are staying along the Amalfi Coast we think that it might include:

Time to shop / enjoy Naples and/or Sorrento and/or Positano
A visit to Pompeii
An excursion to Capri
A stopover at Anzio (where my grandfather was wounded in WWII – though I am not sure if there is much to see at Anzio)

We will probably have two large rolling suitcases, and one “carry on” rolling suitcase with us, so we are not too weighed down when we transfer from airport to train to bus or whatever… Due to limited budget (its an 18 day trip that also includes Tuscany, Provence and then our exit from Paris) we would like to keep the hotel rooms down to about 100 euros per night. We have traveled previously in Europe, and so smaller rooms do not bother us – our priorities include a clean room with a comfortable double bed, and a beautiful view if it can be had in our budget (is it possible to pull off a place with a terrace or balcony?). Breakfast would be nice – we are “coffee people” with a penchant for fresh baked goods.

Based on recommendations from all across the gamut (books and websites) we are currently looking at the following possibilities – in order of our current preference. We hope to hear from you kind folks as to the positives and negatives regarding our options.

Ira has provided a number of recommendations for Hotel Le Sirene www.lesirene.com in Praiano. In my travels I have enjoyed those places and activities that Ira has recommended in the past. Le Sirene sounds like a wonderful place that might meet our needs / wants. Concerns that we have about Hotel Le Sirene really focus on its location. We think it would be great as a restful place with a very nice view – but, how difficult / time consuming / expensive would it be to get there (we are not renting a car at this point), and travel to the itinerary sites that I listed above? I believe there is bus service that has a stop near the hotel so that we can visit the sites on our itinerary. Is there also a “water taxi” that might take us to other locations on the coast or Capri?

Another recommended site is Hotel Il Nido in Sorrento http://www.ilnido.it. Again it seems to be in our price range, and may have the type of accommodations that we are looking to enjoy during our stay along the coast. This location seems to be located in a position that would be easier for transfer to and from the train to Rome, and closer to those sites that we hope to visit.

One more seemed like a possibility it is also in Praiano – the Margherita Hotel http://www.hotelmargherita.info/. How does this hotel compare to Le Sirene? We of course would have the same questions regarding transportation.

Regarding our hotel choices, are there specific rooms that we might request for a view or balcony/terrace? Or is there an "upgrade" rate that we might consider if it is "worth it"?

Is there any other site / hotel that we are overlooking? Any recommendations for restaurants in the area that we might consider (depending on where we decide to stay of course.)
KenMi is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,016
Ken have you looked at the Trip Advisor reviews for the hotels you are considering?


Here is a recent thread that covers some of your questions, answered by a few posters who are very familiar with the A/C and Sorrento.


ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 207
If you decide to stay at Il Nido, request a room with a view and you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. The rooms on the bay side all have balconies with a small table and chairs to sip wine and enjoy the view. There are also clotheslines provided on the balconies in case you need to wash anything out. If you choose Il Nido, you won't go wrong. The location is great, the shuttle is convenient and reliable, the staff is helpful and friendly and the restaurant is delicious also. Have a good trip!
Scullysioux is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Thanks ekscrunchy!

Yes, I am familiar with Trip Advisor.

Each of the hotels I had mentioned has a listing with a few reviews.

Le Sirene is # 6 of 13 in Praiano - tops for its pricerange so to speak. Margherita is # 4 of 13 in Praiano - a little more expensive than Le Sirene which gets great reviews from Ira. And Il Nido is #4 of 106 in Sorrento - again, a little more expensive than Le Sirene.

After you mentioned Trip Advisor I went back to check scores and found Hotel Desiree which ranks #15 of 106 hotels in Sorrento. (Not sure of the exact cost, could not access reservation / price data from Trip Advisor website.)

I did check out that thread that you mentioned too. There was some helpful information - still wondering if anyone out there might have specifics for the hotels that I mentioned.

Thanks Again!
KenMi is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hotel Margherita is a bit of a walk up the hill from the main street and the view is of course from higher up than Le Sirene. There is a Bella Vista hotel that is nearer the area of Le Sirene and has a restuarant and mostly European clientel.

go to mappy.com and you can find different hotels on the map if you click the right buttons.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 03:27 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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I'm not sure that Praiano is as convenient as other AC options as far as day trips are concerned. I have heard lots of tales of overcrowded buses for one thing; from other towns you have the option of water transport..

I based in Sorrento when I was there but it was so long ago and we had a car...

ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Hi K,

For what you want to do in 3 days, I suggest Sorrento.

ira is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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Thanks again ekscrunchy - I have heard that it can get quite busy on the busses along the coast - which I think we can handle. We would like to do things without renting a car if possible. From what you were saying, it sounds like Praiano does not have water transport to other towns along the coast?

Ira - as always thanks for your thoughts - I know from past advice that it is important not to rush things, and bite off too much in your travels. My wife and I took some time to really talk things over tonight - we would like to get our reservations placed ASAP. The itinerary that included all of our possiblities has been reduced. We were able to focus and narrow things down for our time on the Amalfi Coast.

We believe that the two most important things at the start of this trip would be to take some time to relax and enjoy life in a smaller town setting (getting in some walking/hiking would be included in this relaxation) and to spend some time seeing the sights of Sorrento and/or Positano. We are going there to see the coast, and to enjoy la dolce vita. With that said, we plan to leave Pompeii and Capri for another trip - and Anzio looked way too far for a visit this time. So, actually we are thinking that it might be our best bet to see if we can spend our time in Praiano - and make side trips to Sorrento and/or Positano.

So, with our reduced itinerary, considering our suitcase and transportation situation, along with our priorities regarding rooms (clean/comfortable/view/terrace) and budget, would you say that we would enjoy Praiano, and if we can stay there, Hotel Le Sirene? Do you have any specific recommendations that we should follow if we decide to make our reservation at Hotel Le Sirene? (Person to contact, room request, meals, activities etc...)

Seaurchin - thank you for the information on Hotel Margherita and the Bella Vista - I had not yet considered the latter. They are on my "short list" should we not be able to get a room at Hotel Le Sirene.

KenMi is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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so it is still three nights on the AC? You will take the train down to Naples and then transfer to a small commuter train (Circumvesuviana) to Sorrento where you can stay at Desiree. I have stayed in that area, right nearby, and it has the best views of the area with Naples, MT. V and the bay right in front.

From Sorrento you can take buses down the coast for the days you are there and still save one day for a trip over to Capri or Pompeii.

Praiano is in the mid of the AC and is accessible from the bus at the Sorrento train station. You can bus to Amalfi, Positano, etc. from Praiano, which is a small town.

Le Sirene has wonderful views back to Positano and is great for the price. Ira is correct in always recommending it. Since Praiano is in the middle it may be harder to find a place on a bus but can be done, I have done it many times. I had lunch at Bella Vista and it was very nice too (for your price).

If you search here on Travel Talk you will find more than enough information on restaurants.

I like your idea of taking it easy on the coast which is the best way to go, that is the whole point!
SeaUrchin is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,326
Hi K,

>would you say that we would enjoy Praiano, and if we can stay there, Hotel Le Sirene? Do you have any specific recommendations that we should follow if we decide to make our reservation at Hotel Le Sirene? (Person to contact, room request, meals, activities etc...)<

From my trip report:

The Le Sirene is located just below the Pzza San Giovanni, in the heart of Praiano, at a bus stop. Six steps down from the main street, a ramp to the piazza, another ramp to Via San Nicola and a mere 43 steps down to the hotel.

It is a bit difficult carrying a large suitcase in the rain, but it was good exercise. As a matter of fact, I had no back pain for the whole week in Praiano.

The hotel is very pretty. Actually the website doesn’t do it justice. (http://www.lesirene.com/index_ing.htm)

We were warmly greeted by Giancarmine and his wife, Maria and taken to our room, no.12, which was large enough for a king-size bed, a table and two chairs plus the ensuite bath with tub. French doors led to our private patio which had two chaise lounges, a table and two chairs and directly faced the island group Le Sirene.

There is also a great view of Positano. On a clear day you can see Capri.

Below the patio is a small truck farm with olive and fruit trees......

We had arranged for a porter to help with our luggage. For 10E he carried our large suitcase and one carryon from the hotel to the road, where our driver was waiting. I paid him, and he walked back to the hotel in the rain. (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

I suggest that you call and speak to Maria. Her English is very good.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
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