relaxing in Liguria
07/10/2016 DerekJ52, Dublin, Ireland
We were a party of four but I had arranged the holiday so the onus was fairly and squarely on me to keep everyone happy on our first trip to Santa Margharita Ligure. We had a zombie type early mornin... more
We were a party of four but I had arranged the holiday so the onus was fairly and squarely on me to keep everyone happy on our first trip to Santa Margharita Ligure. We had a zombie type early morning flight but even though we arrived at the Regina Elena hotel much earlier than expected, we were met with a friendly welcome and given the keys to our rooms where we immediately decamped for a much needed siesta.
The hotel is quite old and has retained much of its charm despite obvious extensions and refurbishment, including the ubiquitous spa and conference centre which, thankfully, is mainly out of sight. The public rooms on the ground floor look like the Titanic's state rooms and are a very inviting spot to read or relax in. The rooms we had were quite spacious and the sea views were terrific especially in the evening light. The bathrooms were up to date and the shower was twice the size of the one we had at home.
We had the run of quite a large balcony but had to endure some loud traffic noise although this did ease up later in the day and to be fair we were on the first floor. A lot of traffic goes past the hotel in the morning and returns at rush hour as it were, but the nights are noise free.
The roof top pool area boasts great views but could do with some more shade as in parasols or awnings.
The rooms were kept clean at all times and the staff on our floor did a great job and even arranged our bits and pieces to maximise room space.
The staff in reception were personable and courteous, even smiling away when I practised my not so good Italian on them. They can recommend places to eat, sell you boat tickets and give you info on the best trails to explore. I can single out Francesca and Gian Paolo as being particularly helpful as all their colleagues were. I can't say the same for their colleague who looks after the beach sun loungers as he was a bit rude to my wife on our first trip to his fiefdom. Well, those people aren't usually employed for their front of house personalities.
We never tested the dining room as we preferred to sample the local eateries which were superb. It is essential to book in advance for the more popular restaurants and try out some of the quieter ones located in the old town itself but off the main promenade.
The buffet breakfast was fine and there is no limit on how many helpings of muesli or egg or yoghurt you want so go for it!
We usually use a hotel as a base to explore the surrounding area and sights and found that the Regina Elena scored very highly in this respect. You could walk from the hotel, partly through forest, to Portofino and further on along a parkland trail to San Fruttuosa a 12th century monastery. You can jump on a different boat there and sail on to Camogli which is a really charming old mediaeval town with a more picturesque harbour than any in the Cinque Terre in my view.
The railway station in Santa Margharita is about a 20 minute walk away from the hotel and can whisk you away northwards to Genoa and its old centro storico while southbound journeys take you through some very pleasant towns such as Rapolla and Monterossa down to the renowned Cinque Terre. Both trips only take about 30/40 minutes. The walk on the cliff trail high up between Varnazza and Monterossa is memorable and yes it can get crowded but this only underlines how popular it is.
A good base from which to explore the town and nearby villages or to go further by train or car to Genoa or La Spezia. A very comfortable hotel where the reception staff make you feel as if your party were the only guests in the building and leave you with a notion of coming back. less
pciana, Responsabile relazioni con la clientela at BEST WESTERN Hotel Regina Elena, responded to this review
We can’t thank you enough for such a great review on our hotel, dear DerekJ52!
Your feedback is ever so interesting and makes us really happy and proud, because with the detailed description of all the facilities and services you experienced during your stay, we understand that you were completely satisfied with them.
It’s lovely for us to know you had a relaxing time in our charming lounges on the ground floor, you enjoyed the stunning views from your rooms or the roof terrace and the wideness and cleanliness of your rooms with their bathrooms and showers.
We are particularly delighted to read that our reception staff managed to make you feel “unique”. What we love so much of our job is dedicating a special and personal attention to every single guest who is really unique to us and this is hopefully something you are going to remember with warmth.
Looking forward to welcoming you back at the Regina Elena, kind regards.