After reading all the negative reviews we were a bit scared to make a reservation. However, we had stayed at Ischia before and we knew that Delfini is at the best location of the island so we decided to take a risk and book six nights for two of us and our 2-year old. We stayed from April 30 until May 05 2017.
At the check-in the reception staff was very friendly. They speak english only a bit, but they did smile and were very helpful as far as they could. It was a long way to carry all our luggage down from the road where we parked our car as the hotel is some 20 meters down from the road. The staff did not offer to help me, but I was not expecting it as there was only two persons at the reception and this was not a five star hotel.
We got room 306 which is in the end of the hall on 3rd floor and most likely a bit larger than other rooms. Entering the room we were pleasantly surprised. The room was very nicely decorated and the bed was very large and comfortable, which is rare in Italy as the beds are usually hard as stone. The best part was the magnificent view from our large balcony, especially the scenery of Aragonese castle, Procida, Vesuvius, Sorrento peninsula and Capri island on top of the faraglioni rocks just in front of the hotel.
The room has central air conditioner nicely hidden inside a decoration on the ceiling. It must have been centrally switched off as nothing happened when I tried to switch it on. We were a bit afraid if there is warm enough during the night as the A/C seemed to be the only heater, but it was very nice even without it. Naturally cooling was not needed this time of year.
It is true that most of the plastic covers of light switches and electric sockets are missing and the metal body is visible. The wires are behind the metal and there are no finger sized holes so this is not really dangerous, only ugly. I kept wondering what was the story behind this. They obviously had tried to fix it, on some switches the plastic covers were attached with screws and on some there was a lot of glue (which had not worked). Unfortunately it might be impossible to fix this properly without the exactly right plastic covers which they most likely don't have for some reason.
The bathroom was very large and there was a big separate dark-blue tiled shower cabinet separated with glass door. It was just a normal shower, in some other rooms I understand there is a therapeutic massage shower. Bit strangely the shower cabinet did not have light so all the light came through the glass door. As the tiles were dark blue it was a bit dark shower.
Most importantly, there was plenty of hot water which did not seem to run out, except on one morning. On that morning the water was totally cold. The hotel was pretty full so perhaps they did run out of hot water as the hot water was back in the afternoon.
There was also a small annoying problem in the bathroom. The towel rack was loose and therefore there was not a place to hang your towel. If I had had a small screwdriver with me it would have been easy to fix. There were also some other small issues which would have been easy to fix around the hotel.
The cleaning lady was very nice and she did a great job although we managed to mess the room quite thoroughly every day. She was around every day from Thursday to Wednesday, including Sunday. We wondered when does she have her day off.
There was a large fridge in the room, a bit old, but worked well. It was a bit noisy, but that was not a problem for us.
The only bigger problem to consider is the fact, that each room (on the 3rd floor at least) has a connecting door to the neighbouring room. This door is very thin and you can easily hear the discussion from the other room. Italians speak loudly and if they watch TV they keep the volume up. So take earplugs with you if you are sensitive to noise and want to go to sleep early.
Another problem to consider is the fact that there is no cell phone cover in this hotel, at least not in the rooms. It is not the fault of the hotel, but if you need to work during your vacation this might be a big problem. The hotel wifi was decent for email and such low bandwidth activities, but there were blackouts and the situation can get worse during the summer time when the hotel is full.
The breakfast was alright considering this is Italy. There was a selection of sweet croissants, some cakes, fruit, cereal, yoghurt and even a small plate of cheese and ham and some bread. On first mornings there was also boiled eggs, but then they were replaced to small hot dogs. Most of the clients are italian who naturally only eat sweet croissants and fruit for breakfast, but there were also some German guests. Cheese and ham did not last for long if they were eating before us. There was no refill if they run out.
The coffee machine was Nescafe Alegria which makes ok espresso (it is freshly grind from beans), but not so good cappuccino (it is made out of pre-grind coffee). Tip: First take a cappuccino and then espresso and you get quite good cappuccino.
Our 2-year old son did love the plum cakes they had, but on the 4th morning there was none left. His cry made sure everyone noticed it, also the very nice breakfast waiter. He tried to find a replacement, but there was none left. However, next morning when this incident was about to happen again he had one extra hidden for our son. That was a very nice gesture.
The outside pool looked very nice, but this time of year the water was still cold. Some hotels in the area have thermal water pools, but this is not a thermal one. Inside the hotel there is a small thermal water pool, which was nice and very hot. However, it is very small, only about 2x4 meters.
The sea water was too cold to swim, but it is a rocky bottom and gets deep quite soon. During summer time there is a platform used for sunbathing, but they had not yet set it up. The sea is very nice, the water is clear and it is very good for swimming according to our earlier experiences. It is also just some 20-30 meters to swim to the sandy Cartaromana beach, but you need to be able to swim because you need to get around the big rock. So don't plan to do this if traveling with small children who are not prepared to swim long distances.
As a hotel guest we were allowed to use the pools at their other hotel Park Hotel Terme some 3 kilometers away. There was an outdoor thermal pool as well as two connected pools inside. The outdoor pool was very nice for our son, the inside pool is a bit dark. We did visit only once as there was not a good place to change clothes and the hotel is not very clean.
Please note that in Italy you use a swimming cap when swimming in a pool, don't ask why. We did not use and the staff did not ask us, but the italian guests sitting by the pool clearly took notice on this.
Overall Delfini is perhaps not quite a 4 star hotel. But it is on seafront and the sea view from every room is something quite extraordinary. If this is something you value you should not miss this hotel.
We have stayed in Aragona Palace Hotel which is one of the top rated hotels in Ischia according to Tripadvisor. The biggest difference compared to Delfini is the fact that in Aragona they have fluent english speaking personnel in the reception while in Delfini they have only italian speaking. The style and decor of the rooms is at about the same level, also the cleanliness. There are small things broken in Delfini, while all the small details are carefully taken care if in Aragona. And the breakfast is much better in Aragona.
But if you value closeness to sea, magnificent sea view from the room and easy access to swim at one of the best spots in Ischia you might want to choose Delfini. Be prepared, that all the electric switches are without a cover. Be prepared that the screen in the elevator is slightly out of position. Be prepared that there is most likely something broken in your room. And most importantly, be prepared that english is not spoken or spoken just a bit and you need to use Google Translate (if wifi works).
Other than that, just enjoy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the most exclusive spots on the whole island of Ischia awaits you for a holiday amid the wonders of the nature surrounding us, without having to do without the comforts of a more central area.The Hotel Delfini is like a jewel set between greenery and sea, overlooking the Cartaromana bay with its famous natural thermal pools, Sant’Anna rocks, the fifteenth century Guevara Tower and the Aragonese Castle’s ancient manor house. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Strand Hotel Ischia