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Reviewed September 12, 2016

If you are looking for a seaside vacation that is off the beaten track, authentically Italian, and untarnished by tourist hype, you might consider Torre Melissa. This small town, located in the Calabria region on the east coast of Italy just above the heel of the “boot,” is neither a tourist mecca nor a resort. It is simply a very small and friendly seaside town that serves as a vacation home for Italian families and turns out to be much more sophisticated than a first impression might suggest.

The same is true of the Hotel Melissa. The front faces a local rail track and the regional roadway that is town’s main thoroughfare – a pleasant prospect but nothing special. The “back yard,” however, is more impressive, because this hotel is adjacent to the beach and the Mediterranean Sea. We spent two delightful days stretched out on recliners in the shade of umbrellas, all provided by the hotel at no cost. During the afternoon a hotel employee stopped by to take carryout orders from a nearby gelateria.

Our hotel room was spacious but basic with a foam mattress, tile floors, a shower little wider than we are (not wide), and a small balcony with a clothesline for wet beach wear. Except for the pillows (which were hard) the room was comfortable enough.

The hotel restaurant serves lunch and dinner both in a dining room and on a large patio overlooking the beach. Both are inviting, although we much preferred the latter. Neither really hinted at the excellence of the cuisine, which was simple and absolutely delicious. Virtually every dish we tried was good. The pizzas were excellent as were the pasta with freshly caught seafood, the mushroom pasta, and the seafood salad. We tried several red and white wines from regional vineyards, all low in cost and high in quality.

Torre Melissa is named for the watch tower (torre) located on a hill above the town. First documented in 1598, it is a circular structure with an open roof, a small museum, and a beautiful view of the coast. Adjacent to the tower is il conte di Melissa (the count of Melissa), a restaurant where we attended a seven-course dinner event. It was truly memorable, and if our meal was indicative of the regular menu this restaurant is a must.

Torre Melissa has no airport. It is accessible via Ryanair to the town of Crotone with a 30 minute drive or via Alitalia to Lamezia Terme and a 2 hour drive. The former is quicker but the latter is generally regarded as more reliable. Rental cars are available at both airports. Rates at the Hotel Melissa are very reasonable, especially with advance bookings.

Room tip: The WiFi is painfully slow. Several Italian companies rent mobile hotspots at reasonable rates.
Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank ricks372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 8, 2016

Hotel Melissa is nice and a good value. Food and location are really great. Rooms are basic but ok. Bathrooms small. Very clean. Towels are rough and you need to bring your own towels for the beach. Hotel beach was great as was the restaurant. Loved the experience. Would return. Wifi spotty. Spend little time in the rooms--u are there for the food and beach.

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank kgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 13, 2013

I have been many times to Hotel Melissa.
It's a family run business sit right on the beach with large comfortable rooms and surely very very clean.
The customer service is excellent, the prices are very reasonable and competitive and you feel a warm welcoming atmosphere in there.
The stunning terrace overlooking the sea is the place where they serve lunches and dinners in summer. The food is excellent, not second to any other local restaurants or hotels!
Amazing prices if you think that room, breakfast, dinner, place on the beach is only 45 euros all included. The drink are separate, but still at a very reasonable price.
Hotel Melissa is an ideal place for spending a relaxing holiday, I strongly recommend this hotel to families with children, couples who are looking for a peaceful break or business and single people.
Nearby there are only local shops, nothing special. The communications are a bit poor as the nearest working airport is currently Lamezia Terme which is 130Km away. However, the hotel provides a taxi service which is great. I would not recommend trying the public transports (trains) because it's a rough journey with long waiting time between the trains.
I like to go back to Hotel Melissa every year, I love September for its mild temperature and enjoy my swimming and great food!
Hotel Melissa is great in other seasons too: I have been at Eater time, in Spring and Autumn and I always enjoyed my staying very much.

Room tip: The rooms with a view on the bay have the most beautiful balcony!
Date of stay: September 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank MyWay-Paolagi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 29, 2010

I stayed at the Melissa Hotel for a night during my trip through southern Italy, off-season. The welcome was friendly and the staff hospitable. I got a huge room with balcony and excellent sea view.

Breakfast was nice, they prepared everything for me totally fresh. Very good value for money. Even during peak season, the rates seem to be absolutely affordable.

Date of stay: April 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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3  Thank saksouki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 7, 2020
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Date of stay: September 2020
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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