The following is a list of reviews of hotels, restaurants and other services during our travel to Monterosso al Mare, Italy in July 2012.
La Spiaggia Hotel, Via Lungomare, 98, 19016 Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
This hotel was pretty awesome. The furnishings were not quite as lush as many of the hotels we stayed in at the same price range, but the location is pretty perfect. It sits right on the beach in Monterosso al Mare. It is the "new" section of town, but the old town is just a 10 minute walk up the road and there is a LOT going on at this end. Sometimes that was good and sometimes that was bad (like if you are really tired). We had a second floor balcony room with a wonderful view, which we spent a lot of time on. No air conditioning, but if you leave the balcony doors open all day and night, you can get a great ocean breeze. There was also a fan provided. The bathroom was pretty small- not a shower you want to try and shave your legs in. The hotel's service was outstanding- the best customer service we saw in Italy! Both Ella and Andrea, the owner, were particularly helpful and accommodating. They would bend over backwards to make your stay perfect, recommend places to eat in and out of town, or whatever you could possibly need. My one and only complaint is that it can get quite noisy at night. There are people out late at the restaurants and bars just a story below and since we had the window open (we had to in that heat), we heard their drunken banter until at least 1 or 2 in the morning. It might be better if you are on the third or fourth story and would be much more quiet (but no view) if you had a room facing the back. Overall, I would highly recommend this hotel.
Ciak, Via Minzoni Don, 6, 19016 Monterosso al Mare, Italy
We stumbled upon this little restaurant when we were exploring old town Monterosso al Mare. I immediately recognized the name from reading previous reviews, so we thought we would give it a try. We were there for an early dinner and the service was excellent. We had two guys looking after us as we sat on the patio. I opted for a salad with fresh mozzarella, corn, lettuce, tomato, onion, and carrot. It was the freshest salad I have ever had, and it was delicious! My husband had the bruschetta Romana with anchovies. Both were excellent and the cold beer hit the spot on a hot day in July! When we were done, the waiter offered us complimentary shots of Lemoncino and shared the history of the restaurant with us- as well as gave us the honest low down on Italian tipping. I highly recommend this restaurant! $$
Gelateria Produzione Propria, Via Fegina, Monterosso al Mare, Italy
This gelateria is strategically placed right on the road across from La Spiaggia Hotel and at the entrance to the beach. Bad gelato- rather unsatisfying really and HORRIBLE service! The girl behind the counter could not have been more inconvenienced or rude. Plus unlike many other gelaterias, they do not give samples. This can be helpful when you don't speak Italian... DO not go here. It was very disappointing.
Stella Marina Bar, Via Fegina, Monterosso al Mare, Italy
This is just a simple beach bar and restaurant with light fare featuring cold sandwiches on ciabatta or warm paninis of all sorts. You can sit at the tables or you can order and take it to your beach chair. We split a mozzarella and tomato panini, and it was VERY good for a cheap meal. We also bought two giant Peroni beers and drank them on the beach. I think it was somewhere around €12 for the one sandwiches and two large beers. Very good for an easy cheap meal. $
Bar Gio, Via Fegina , 92. Monterosso al Mare 19016
We went here as an alternative to Bar Micky, which was closed. It was right outside our hotel and looked decent. We had to wait fo ra table, but not more than 10 minutes. We both ordered the Menu Turistico- 2 courses plus 1/4 bottle of the house wine. This was a small carafe that held about 2 glasses of wine each. My husband ordered the trofie pesto (a specialty in the area!), mixed fried seafood appetizer as well as the anchovie plate. I opted for the spaghetti alla bolgnese and a fresh salad. We had the white wine. It was all very good, and I would recommend it. The service was also very good. The seafood was fresh and spectacular. $$