HOTEL OLIMPICO, SALERNO, ITALY: A HOME AWAY FROM HOME.
We saw Hotel Olimpico near Salerno, Italy among various offers in the beginning of the year, while it was still winter. The hotel site is quite comprehensive <hotelolimpico.it>. We studied all the information, liked what we saw, and booked it. It is a nice quiet hotel ideally suited both for a longer family vacation, and for a night’s stay before going on to other places. There is a good choice of rooms, from large suites to standard single or double rooms. They are equipped with all modern conveniences, including free Wi-Fi and a room safe. A large garden with lots of exotic trees and flowers, as well as a pretty little lemon tree alley, and several fountains, provides enough space for after dinner walks. A sumptuous buffet breakfast is included into room rate. One can either have lunch at the hotel, in which case it’s a choice of pizza, sandwiches and desserts. Alternately, one can walk to a restaurant right across the road and have a smaller-sized steak, fish, or Pizza Napolitana, which is usually made without tomatoes. Pizza with salmon & caviar is certainly a novelty. Dinner at the hotel is served on the terrace. Meat and fish steaks are huge, you can order just one for two persons, and ask for an extra plate. Pizza comes in large size, so if you travel with children, do not order a whole dish for every child, but rather have them share it. There is a salad buffet which costs 7 euros. There are plenty of vegetables and fruits, as well as some hot little dishes. It was more than enough for a woman’s dinner. The bar is open all day. One can have a glass of wine at the bar; however, it is not allowed to carry your glass into the restaurant. At dinner, wine is served by full-size bottles only. If you are not both great wine drinkers, you can have a small beer or a glass of juice, or a small bottle of sparkling wine.
The swimming-pool is large, with the customary chaise-longues and umbrellas around it. The hotel also has a small private sand beach, which is a section of the long beach front somewhat separated from the main beach, with chaise-longues and umbrellas for the hotel customers. There is also a small ice-cream and soft drinks stand. The Tyrrhenian Sea is incredibly warm and calm. One can swim and then relax under an umbrella all day long. The view, with the endless sea and the surrounding mountains, is breathtaking. In the evenings, one can watch the fishermen cast their nets from little boats right near the shore, then drag the nets which actually contain some fish onto the sand!
A ceaseless trickle of Africans offering their wares may be a bit irritating, but most of them walk past this little oasis, unless someone calls them up to look at what they offer: beach dresses or shorts, swim-suits, toys, sun-glasses & hats.
The hotel has a free shuttle which circulates to and from Salerno all day. If you email the management a day before you arrive, they will meet you at the train station and take you straight to the hotel, it’s a fifteen-minute ride. If one wants to explore the surroundings, beginning with Salerno and on to the celebrated Amalfi coast, by train or by ferry, one should tell the reception, and they arrange a shuttle trip to and from the railway station. It is possible to arrange individual or group excursions, too. When it’s time to leave, one can use the same shuttle or order a taxi.
The hotel is very clean, the guests are cared for as if they are family. It’s a great vacation!