We don’t generally go on all inclusive holidays (or package holidays full stop), as we’re big fans of eating out at different restaurants and having no set times in our day, but when we spotted the Conca Azzurra hotel on the Thomas Cook website it seemed ideal for our needs for this year.
We were holidaying late, wanted a mix of city break and relaxing and the reviews were really good.
First impressions of the hotel were great; after a very long and rainy drive from the airport, we finally arrived gone 11pm to a lovely meal of cold meats, cheese, bread, rice and pasta, and the all important wine! We’d booked a junior suite with seaview (not because we’re that kind of people, just because it was the last room available!) and it really had the wow factor; huge in size, large bathroom with two sinks, jacuzzi bath and separate shower cubicle; huge comfy sofa, soft lighting and lots of storage space, with a large balcony and sliding patio doors.
Thanks god for that suite. Because for the first two days we spent a lot of time in it. It rained from arrival and for the next 24 hours. Not “oh it’s only light rain, let’s chance it”. Thunder, lightening, wind, inches of rain. This isn’t as bad as it sounds; we pulled the big sofa in front of the balcony doors and looked out to sea.
And we drank wine. Lots of wine. It was impossible to order a glass – they just gave you the bottle – so with nothing better to do we whiled away the day reading, relaxing, napping (a 2 hour booze snooze counts as a nap, right?) and having a little tipple.
It was actually pretty nice. We’ve had a hectic few weeks so being able to just chill out was lovely.
The following day started dry but very windy. The hotel is at the bottom of a cliff, it’s impossible to reach it without taking a minibus from the top to the bottom around hairpin bends and hair-raising slopes
But the isolation and views are fantastic when you’re at the bottom. The sea was bashing at the cliff face and it was far from warm. We had a wander round the grounds and down to the sea.
And then it started raining again. So we did more of the first day; relaxing, sleeping. And wine.
Post storm we saw this amazing sunset. The island you can see on the horizon is Ischia.
On day three the sun came out. Hurrah! We finally got to take advantage of the fabulous sun terrace which had two hot tubs, sun loungers and comfortable outdoor sofas, all looking right out to sea.
Naturally I had to indulge in some more wine (celebration!)
And a cocktail!
The hotel itself is small, with only around 35 rooms. It had a nice outdoor terrace which we were able to make use of both daytime and evening for eating and drinking.
We booked the hotel knowing that it was fairly isolated, and that it wasn’t possible to just pop out for a walk or into Sorrento. You had to get the minibus to the top of the cliff before you could get anywhere, and it’s not an area for walking. To get to Sorrento you needed to book the free shuttle bus there and back (or book an expensive taxi), so obviously there were timetables to be mindful of. But if you’ve done your research before you book then you know this. It really annoys me when people complain about something that’s made clear in advance.
The food was slightly underwhelming at first – from the reviews we’d expected gourmet meals but the reality was more rustic Italian food. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty and well cooked and plentiful, with loads of choice at each meal. But this wasn’t the foodie holiday I had
hoped feared expected. I didn’t go mental and stuff my face til I felt sick, and I didn’t break the scales when I got home! (this is both good and bad in my book).
But check out these views!
Would I stay there again? No, because there’s loads more of the world to see and I’ve done that part of Italy now. That’s no reflection on the hotel. I just don’t understand people who go back to the same place year in year out. It smacks of lack of imagination.