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“Gaudy glamour a la Liberace served on a gilded plate”

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Grand Hotel La Sonrisa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 June 2015

What a beautifully strange place. The hotel drips in gaudy glamour with pink glass chandeliers and superfluously ornate mock Venetian furniture. Our room was decked in dusky pink wallpaper, with a lavish bed underneath a tacky bright pink Jesus on the cross. The swimming pool has dolphin statues smiling amid gushings of mini fountains. And there is a waterfall lashing down from a decorated corner. The reception area has a bright blue Venetian-style bar but primarily is decorated with old photographs of the owner posing with the likes of Sophia Loren and Maradona.

And these photographs perhaps reflect the nature of this place: Once, 20-odd years ago, this hotel was at the peak of luxury. Now, the décor seems dated and a little tired. Our bed was so old the mattress had sunk. The TV offered no English subtitles and the bathroom has no bath. The room furniture items are more like stage props than of any quality. It has a thin veneer of luxury but scratch the surface and it's clear the place needs an overhaul. Certainly not worth a five star rating.

Also, the cavernous place is more a wedding venue than a hotel. On one of the days we stayed there were no less than three weddings - two happening at the same time. We were sunbathing by the pool among wedding guests with photographers nearly walking over us with their cameras. The dining area also appeared to be a 'wedding room', with white everything and utterly devoid of atmosphere.

The location is great for Pompeii, but we spent an hour trying to get to Sorrento beach. It's not near any beaches itself.

On the plus side the staff are fantastic - in particular Antonio who gave us a complementary dessert on finding out we were on our honeymoon, and Daniel who had a smiling 'no problem' attitude to everything. Also after a time we got used to this overly ornate character of a hotel, it has a charm - just not a five-star one.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from any wedding activity, and preferably one with a bath.
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  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 June 2015

Our tour group nicknamed this "Disneyland". It is a gem in the middle of very ordinary homes and shops (However we were advised not to wander off the property at night). You gasp a little as you approach the well maintained and appointed grounds and hotel. When the "ah' wears off you notice the small shower, the lack of electrical outlets to power up the electronics or the needed CPAP machine for sleeping (take out the bed side lamps then only the garish blinding chandelier available for trips to the bathroom), the bathroom with another garish chandelier in the other end away from the sink so no light on the mirror for shaving or putting in contacts, no room to take out toiletries on or around the old fashioned sink, no safe in room and difficulty in asking for the passports from the front desk safe when the night staff have limited English. Delighted to have stayed here and fun to show the pictures but prefer to have at least minimal modern conveniences.

Room Tip: Main hotel may be better than our annex room however avoid the loft rooms with the sloping ceiling
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  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled with friends
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Thank WCCanuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2015

We went for a three night midweek break and enjoyed every minute. This was in large part thanks to the staff here, especially Danilo.

His advice took us to a couple of lovely spots and nothing was too much trouble.

You can see what the hotel is like and there is plenty written about the weddings. We had no issue with this and enjoyed a bit of life going on around us. So many happy people.

We arrived as a 3 having booked for 2 and needed a bigger room, no problem. All so relaxed and friendly you feel at home which is impressive given the amount of gold leaf and ornate decoration.

You can get a driver to drop you in and pick you up from Sorento or the nearby train stations or even further afield I guess. Only a few euros for this and worth it to avoid driving unless you have nerves of steel.

The room was clean with more marble and gold, brilliant. Everything as it should be with a nice view out across to Naples and Vesuvius from our room.

Breakfast was a continental buffet and you could get a hot plate cooked to order too. Everything you normally have from meats and cheese and bread through to yoghurt and fresh fruit. Cakes too.

They kindly knocked up a toasty when we arrived as were starving but too early for lunch. We then had lunch which was simple and delicious. Parma ham and melon, bresoala, rocket and parmesan for antipasti followed by spaghetti in fresh tomato sauce first course. Squid and potatoes was the winner for the second course.

Whenever we returned form evenings out we sat up playing cards and enjoying the atmosphere with a digestif or similar and there didn't appear to be a closing time for anything, always a couple of people to help you out.

Good value and an excellent base for visiting Pompeii, Vesuvius, Sorento and the Amalfi coast. Thoroughly recommended.

Room Tip: Just ask. If something is available I'm sure they will help.
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  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Gwyn J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2015

A beautiful hotel with beautiful grounds with well appointed rooms. The highlight of our 7 night stay was the staff, they were helpful, friendly, full of good advice and attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. Antonio was a star at breakfast and dinner and tried hard not to laugh at our Italian! Everyone, down to the chambermaid on our floor were wonderful.
The surrounding town was disappointing in a lack of facilities and a car is advisable to get around but otherwise the location is perfect for sight seeing.
It was the little things that made our stay very comfortable, lovely clean towels and linen everyday, even tucking the teddy in!

Room Tip: Mountain facing away from the weddings.
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  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled with family
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Thank KimScott_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2015

Over the top decor attracts large wedding parties that might exceed your noise tolerance level. The hotel with his owner Don Antonio is featured on Italian reality TV "Il boss delle ceremonie". Our rooms were large showing a little wear. The beds were good and breakfast buffet plentiful. The staff was friendly and helpful and due to our early morning departure we requested and received breakfasts to go. The surroundings are not particularly attractive but the hotel is a good enough base to explore the surrounding tourist attractions.

  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with friends
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Thank Walter N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2015

While on vacation, our family group of 12 of stayed for a night in three rooms.

We loved this hotel! The building and decor were fascinating. The grounds are amazing. The service was superb. Breakfast was delicious.

If I could change a single thing, I would make the location a bit more convenient to shopping and restaurants.

Overall, we'd love to stay here again!

  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled with family
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    • Rooms
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Thank Badrhino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2015

The hotel is truly beautiful. Very ornate and over the top. Photos throughout the hotel remind of the late 70's when this hotel was the place to be seen, when in Naples.The service was impeccable. From check-in, to breakfast and departure. Everyone was friendly and professional. The breakfast buffet was plentiful. We booked two rooms, one king size and one twin. Beds were comfortable and rooms were generous size, with lovely balcony. We spent two nights at La Sonrisa, and it was definitely a highlight of our Italy trip.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Tanja M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel La Sonrisa

Address: Via Stabia 500, 80057 Sant'Antonio Abate, Italy
Region: Italy > Campania > Province of Naples > Sant'Antonio Abate
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sant'Antonio Abate
Price Range: $108 - $194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Hotel La Sonrisa 5*
Number of rooms: 80
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel La Sonrisa Italy/Province Of Naples

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