Staying in Sorrento: Relais Regina Giovanna

This summer our family spent four days in Campania, Italy, visiting Mount Vesuvius & Pompeii, the island of Capri, as well as the beautiful Amalfi Coast. We didn't want to stay in Naples, so we chose Sorrento for our base of operations. 

Across the bay from Naples, Sorrento was still centrally located for our purposes: easy public transport to/from Naples, close to Pompeii, and Amalfi. Just as importantly Sorrento is a small town with great atmosphere. The hotels, though, made you pay dearly for that atmosphere!

We settled on a different hotel, the Relais Regina Giovanna. Focused on the burgeoning agritourism movement, the Regina is a large renovated farm house located on a few acres of olive and citrus groves outside of Sorrento. It's a very relaxing setting. You can enjoy the terrace with its view of the bay, the gardens, and even a little private (pebble) beach for some swimming and sunning.

The rooms were well appointed and very spacious, with high ceilings. We took two rooms and still ended up paying less than one room would have cost us in a nice Sorrento hotel. Thankfully all rooms had air conditioning  and the cool terra cotta tiles were a nice bonus.

Would we stay there again? Definitely!

Travel tips:
  • One downside of the Relais: no internet in the rooms. There is a laptop you can share with guests. We just plugged in the ethernet jack into our own laptop when we needed net access
  • Second downside: lots of TV channels... but in Italian only. That said, you didn't come to Italy to watch TV, did you?
  • Don't bother eating at the Regina's restaurant: it's expensive and we found the food disappointing
  • If you walk up the road, you'll find a cheaper options including a little deli with decent but simple panini (sandwiches) and good family-owned restaurant (Ristoria Kalimera). Moreover, if you ask nicely, they'll give you the key to their wifi so bring your laptop and check email while you wait for your food to arrive
  • Getting to the Regina is a bit of a pain if you don't have a car (the hotel has a large parking lot BTW). A taxi from the train station costs over 20 euros, which can get expensive very quickly
  • Our solution: take advantage of one of the downtown tour buses that bring you to sample Limoncello (the local liqueur) and see Capri. They depart every hour, costing 7 euros for adults with children riding free. The bus passes right by the Regina. The first time we took the tour and ask the driver to drop us off at our hotel on the way home. After that we just tipped him a couple euros and he'd drop us off on the way out of Sorrento. And we'd get to hear him enthusiastically sing opera every trip! :-)