We had an interesting four night stay at this hotel. It is a nice place with lovely gardens and patio areas. The room was comfortable and clean. On arrival the main reception staff were very friendly and interested in us and where we came from - it didn't appear that they had had many brits staying there.
However, having been persuaded by the staff to sample the hotel restaurant we were then left disappointed and things changed. It was a four course meal for 24 euros which sounds good value. However the portions were tiny and frankly the food was not good. The main course was a cold what appeared to be undercooked sausage with cold potatoes. We did complain and to be fair the hotel did not charge us for the food. However it took them two days to confront us about our bad dining experience and during this time the relationship seemed to turn somewhat frosty which made us feel a little uncomfortable.
There is no real bar area and you have to go up to a hatch to a somewhat surly looking girl who speaks no english to get a drink.
After our dining experience we opted to eat and drink in the town (see my further comments about restaurants).
Vulcano is an interesting place to visit and I would recommend this hotel for its location and cleanliness but don't eat there! Breakfast was also disappointing with just a limited cold buffet. Italians seemed to be offered hot food but this did not happen to us until our last day!
"Excellent base for exploring the Aeolian Islands"
Guidebooks often describe Vulcano as smelly, which just goes to show that their authors have not ventured further than the fanghi (mud baths) near the port. This apartment complex, which is located on the shores of Vulcanello, is well away from any sulphurous fumes. Our apartment had an upstairs bedroom, with a double bed and a single bed, and a little balcony. There were three further single beds downstairs. Linen and towels were provided and were changed once during our week-long stay. You might want to bring your own beach towels (although you can hire ones for use at the pool). There was a small kitchen (hob only, no oven or microwave, but two full-size fridge-freezers). It was equipped with all the necessary pots, pans, plates, glasses and cutlery. The Italians do not seem to "do" kettles, so bring your own travel one if you are likely to want tea or coffee in your room. Lastly there was a terrace, with garden furniture and a drying rack for wet clothes. There is a small bar near the pool but no restaurant. The hotel has a link with a restaurant in the town, which we took advantage of on our first night. The shuttle service to and from the town is excellent. Don't be afraid to ring ahead and tell them your ETA so that they can pick you up. There is at least one member of staff who speaks really good English and you can save yourself a taxi fare.
Hotel Garden must be one of the friendliest and most comfortable hotel around the area. At 4**** rating and such a cheap price, it 's fantastic!
Just briefly, i'll outline some pros and a couple cons about our stay.
- Friendly Staff
- Spacious Rooms
- Large Beds
- Wonderful balcony
- Bathroom with large shower, toilet, sink, bidet and all the shower amenities you need
- Great Price
- Free transport to and from the port
- Short walk from town centre and Mud baths
- Limited Internet Access (Can only access free wifi in certain parts of the hotel)
- Could be hard to find first time round
- Only 2 of the staff speak good english
- Room doors do tend to slam so not so good if you get woken up easily by sound.
Word of warning for people travelling here. If you are walking to the hotel by yourselves, do try to arrive early in the day before the sun goes down as it may be hard to find on your first day. It is much better to contact the hotel and ask for a free service to pick you up at the port and bring you to the hotel. Especially if it is raining since there are no drainage systems in the whole of Vulcano and so the roads gets flooded very quickly (We found that there's a back entrance to the hotel in which the roads are less flooded if you do find yourselves outdoors when it suddenly rains)
Overall, this was a very pleasant stay. Would definitely want to go back to Garden Hotel if I ever decide to visit Vulcano again. Highly Recommended!
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