We quickly forgot about the faulty air conditioning problem. We loved the balcony. The views were outstanding from most of the restaurants and the bar, even the large graffiti which you could clearly see near the marina didn’t spoil the view. Just watch for the mosquitoes outside.
The Bristol food was a surprise- much better than I had ever expected. I’m picky and don’t eat a lot of meat either but the evening meals were fantastic and the service in the restaurant was also outstanding too every time we went in. This was some of the best hotel food we have ever experienced. We were very impressed and at once point I began to wonder if we had gone into the wrong restaurant by mistake, it was so good. We didn’t once even bother to try the a la carte restaurant opposite there was no need to. Before the trip, we had intended to switch to breakfast and lunch and eat out in the evening but changed our minds as the whole dining experience was obviously better than anything you would ever get in town and the views from the restaurant were amazing. I heard others make the same point.
On the whole, it was a good holiday. Pool was good and never too cold. You could get a sun bed just about any time of day on most days (this was early July). You could collect a towel each day by the pool. The restaurant even opened an hour early for guests on Friday when we were leaving with a very early pick up, which we had not expected or been told about, and we had already had breakfast in our room.
There were 2 more issues which I will unfortunately remember this holiday for. Be aware that not so long ago there was a big problem with people on motorbikes grabbing handbags from tourists (not the hotels fault obviously). These people used motorbikes to grab their pickings then make a quick getaway. I know for a fact that this was a big problem in Sorrento around 2003/4 as I used to be a travel agent and several clients told me about this. I actually thought that problem had been sorted now (also, no one warned us about this). Anyway, you guessed it some youths did come up behind us late at night as we were walking back to the hotel and they yelled something at us then sped off. My handbag was on a thick chain across my shoulder and at my right hand side, so they would have realised they could not really have grabbed it and made off. A man we spoke to saw the whole thing from the other side of the road and asked if we were alright. He said he had seen them come up very slowly behind us stalking us. He also said a similar thing happened to him. This was about 11pm near the Bristol so be aware you are vulnerable as this is a quiet area late at night and the way the paths are you will be on the side walking back to the hotel with your back to the road right next to you. A few nights later in the same area we thing we heard a commotion and someone yelling. I suspect this is possible a regular occurrence. The thing is that no one warned us and it’s not pleasant.
The other issue we had was we were not told we must to settle our bill the night before we checked out, and because we have never had a problem before, it never occurred to us to do that. We never imagined there would be a problem. My husband paid the bill by credit card and it was quite a bit higher than I expected. I had been keeping a running tally in my head so I had a rough idea of what to expect. Because we were quite early for our bus, I did look at our bill and immediately spotted at least 2 items we had not bought, and on different days too. One item was Magners and the other was a rose wine neither of these had been ordered by us or consumed at all on this holiday. They were there on the bill in addition to the things that we had ordered. We were surprised as having only been there a week we knew what we had been doing most days and what we had ordered (or not) and when. My husband went back to the receptionist and pointed the errors out very politely only to be told it the staff sometimes put red wine through as ‘rose’ if they are in a hurry. A lame excuse. I think if this is true it is pretty lazy of them and a bit silly â€“ after all, if people have not ordered items which are shown on their bill guests are obviously going to think they have been jipped even if they haven’t! It could have happened if one of the waiters had written down something completely different, possibly even with a different price. Anyway we were told us there was no time to go through the receipts we had signed for and we should have come down earlier. (Yes how stupid of me of course it was our fault as paying guests that they had messed up our bill). My husband who is very laid back and gentle natured did not make a scene at all. He just said ‘OK no problem’ and we sat down to wait for our bus. I felt it was really bad service as you don’t expect to be stung for things you haven’t bought and I certainly don’t expect to pay for the drinks of other holiday makers! We knew for a fact the Magners was not ours. You do not have the option of paying as you go at this hotel. You don’t always sign for drinks, sometimes the waiters just write down your room number so anyone could give another room number either accidently or on purpose or it could be written down wrongly. We were sitting discussing what could have gone wrong when the man at the reception came over looking a bit agitated. He said he had been whistling at us to attract our attention and hadn’t we heard him? We think this is possibly because we had started talking to some other people who were leaving, as to be honest; he could not be bothered to sort it out prior to that. Anyway, he gave my husband back 7 Euros he had paid for the Magners and our bus arrived just at that moment. My husband said this was fine and being a gentleman he went to shake this man’s hand but the receptionist refused. I think this is insulting to say the least. I felt we were treated like petty criminals but I am sorry this was their mistake, not ours and I am livid about the way my husband was treated. For all I know this was might not even have been an innocent mistake. I would like to point out that if I can afford the extortionate amount I paid for this hotel and the room upgrade, I can certainly afford a couple of drinks and would have no problem paying for them if these were our drinks - but we knew they were not things we had even ordered so it’s the principle. I was disgusted at the attitude of the person on reception on the morning when we left. It seems to me there are other systems the hotel could adopt, such as pay as you go or a payment swipe card which is individual to each customer. We have never ever encountered a problem like this before and we didn’t make a fuss or a scene, we just queried it politely as anyone with any sense would. I am pretty sure the hotel will come back with some clever answer to this but I feel they really should just admit their system is flawed and their customer service and do something about it!
I would not return to this hotel it was a disappointing experience for the reasons above. In my view, the Bristol despite the fantastic food was not great value and is overrated because when things go wrong the staff do not seem able to act quickly or professionally to rectify problems and give a good customer service. If I ever do return to Sorrento, I think I would try the Capadimonte which is closer again to town than the Bristol.
I would not recommend this hotel and I would urge people to be wary. I have read other reviews where people have also been ripped off at the end on their bill but the Holiday company promoting this hotel that owns the other review website and controls the contact (in my view) wants to keep it quiet. This is so they can charge people more. I would rather we had went to a more central hotel this one is quite a walk from town and not pleasant for the reasons I have explained.
Hotel tip: Don't go, its not clean, or that central. Rooms very basic. Entertainment very poor. Staff are very unprofessional. The reviews on one other review site owned by a tour operator are biased. Its not that great honestly.
Travel operator: Thomsons
Travel operator: Falcon
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