Carlo Magno Hotel
What We Love
- Wonderful views and gorgeous gardens on scenic Ischia, with breakfast and optional dinner The amazing views of the bay and sea from the cascading hillside terraces
- Soothing your body and soul in the hotel's indoor and outdoor mineral pools
- Choosing between half and full board, so you can tailor your stay to suit you
The impossibly picturesque volcanic isle of Ischia, just across the bay from Naples and Mount Vesuvius, is the stuff of legends, with people flocking here for its natural thermal springs, curative Fango mud (approved by the Ministry of Health) and magical hot sand beaches. Perched high up on a cliff near the pretty port of Forio, the brand new Hotel Carlo Magno adds yet another string to the island’s decidedly beautiful bow.
Pastel-coloured terracotta-tiled cottages cascade down the hillside, with a front row seat to the splendid sea view spread out below. Wander past greenery and bougainvillea to the panoramic mineral thermal pool, complete with mini waterfall and counter-current swimming. Pass lazy days on the sun terrace reclining on a super comfy lounger, with plenty of parasols for shading you from the intense midday sun.
In inclement weather, retreat to the indoor thermal pool with Jacuzzi; keep fitness levels up in the Technogym; steam away your cares in the Turkish bath or indulge in a spa treatment. At the end of each dreamy day, enjoy a sundowner with awe-inspiring sunset to match on the terrace, before sampling tasty Neapolitan delights in the charming hotel restaurant.
How to Get There
The hotel is in an area that was damaged by an earthquake a few years ago and the surrounding area is still largely unrepaired. Although the hotel showed no signs of damage it is tired and desperately in need of updating. We recently stayed in a 3* hostel on a visit to Spain and I have to say that the room and the amenities were better there than at Carlos Magna.
The tv was an old analogue portable, so how we were meant to watch the digital channels they claim to provide I am not sure. The bathroom was neglected and although not dirty it was certainly not sparkling. The chrome ring around the shower control came off while we were there and although we reported it no attempt was made to fix it. When I complained about a lack of hot water I was told to leave the water running - and sure enough after 5 minutes it was warm enough to shower (but not hot). That is unacceptable and a waste of water and energy.
The hotel is not on the main bus routes and therefore provided a shuttle bus service to Lacco Ameno, but nothing to Forio which is a larger town with more going on and closer. Walking was difficult due to the unrepaired pavements following the earthquake and the pavement disappeared at some points which was dangerous for walking at night.
As for the food - as a vegetarian the main course offer alternated between omelette or breaded mozzarella (with no sauce). I ended up asking to have the pasta/risotto course twice as at least that was reasonably tasty. I have never struggled with food in Italy before, so this was a big disappointment.
Breakfast was very limited choice and the bread was often stale and dry. The toaster seemed to dry it even more without browning it!! Don't ask me how it managed that.
Getting pool towels on our arrival was a fiasco, I had to make 5 trips to reception as there were non available.
I do not normally complain or write bad reviews, but having arrived late on the Sunday evening I was on the phone on Monday morning to complain to Fleetway travel who we had booked with. I also contacted the local company who were organising the holiday, and argued this was not the 4* hotel we were promised and the location made it difficult to get out and eat elsewhere.
The hotel is built on the hill side so there are a lot of steps to get from the rooms to the dining rooms, the pool and pool bar, it is certainly not suitable for elderly people, and although the shuttle bus made a run from reception to the restaurant that restricted the time you could go for dinner.
Some of the staff were were almost rude in the curt way that they dealt with customers, but having said that I would like to mention Antonio and Vittorio (pool bar) who were helpful and attentive, and our chambermaid who did the best she could.
Ischia was lovely, but my advice would be to ensure your hotel is at least on one of the major bus routes, as the buses run regularly, or close enough to walk to a town, and definitely not to stay here unless you like the feel of being in a holiday camp.
Not sure where to start ... dropped off mid afternoon to a tatty driveway & unappealing hotel sign.. arrived in reception... no one there.. A lady eventually turned up to book us in but had to finish her cigarette located in a plant pot outside before she could show us to our room... Room was a major disappointment with broken lampshades, an old analogue tv (didn’t work) a shower head that was disgusting.. room generally dark & dinghy & the view... apparently I’d been upgraded.. yes we had a sea view.. but also one of a tatty car park & rusty & broken car porch. The swimming pool ... we never used the one near the bar ... dirty & broken vents & water that had a green tinge ! ..the food was awful ..breakfast...stale bread ... not much better toasted .. cheese or ham ... tinned fruit , yoghurt & hard boiled eggs ... awful fruit juice ... never replenished... & even worse .. not covered so flies could share breakfast with you .. to make things worse ... you had to choose your evening meal at breakfast...& if you were a vegetarian then voting with your feet was a better plan.. how on earth this hotel could claim 4 stars is beyond anyone’s imagination... obviously complained but no interest from management or fleetway tours.. we booked through fleetway in the uk ... not helpful & wouldn’t help us only if we paid to move to another hotel, would never use the company again . All I can say is check any hotel you are offered by fleetway before you book and certainly this one at all costs
The rooms are not as shown on website and are dirty and shabby. We booked a classic room as shown on the website only to be given a small dingy & dirty standard room that had water stains down the walls. On saying this was not as I had booked was told the room on the website is their beautiful room and not available for me. Manager was very rude and asked me what I expected to get if I booked last minute. I had booked a month previously. Was eventually moved after looking at 3 other rooms 2 of which was in the same condition. Didn't get the room as booked but at teast this had been cleaned. The whole of the holtel was grubby and very shabby. Don't think they knew how to clean windows. The pool area is very tired and the jets for the Spa pool broken.
Food in the restaurant very mediocre. Breakfast was ok but very plain and the same every day. Coffee machines kept breaking down.
The beds and pillows were very hard so never got a good nights sleep.
This hotel needs a good overhaul to bring it up to standard. It has ideas of grandure that do not match reality.