Rooms with minibars and flat-screen TVs; most with stunning sea views
Bus stop is two-minute walk from hotel
Grounds include gardens and a lemon grove with lounge chairs
Free breakfast on sea-facing terrace
Seafood restaurant and 24-hour room service
Free on-site parking
Free newspapers in lobby
One pet allowed per room
No pool or private beach
Dated decor and exposed wires
No elevator and many stairs
Dial-up Internet in rooms is spotty
The Hotel Locanda Costa Diva is a three-pearl family-run bed-and-breakfast tucked into the cliffs overlooking the sea in Praiano, on the Amalfi Coast. Almost all of the 15 rooms have stunning sea views. But their general datedness -- harvest-gold bed spreads, exposed wires, and even dial-up Internet -- bring them down a notch. A free breakfast is offered on the terrace, and there are cobalt blue lounge chairs scattered throughout a lemon grove terraced into the hillside, but there's nowhere to swim. For a similar vintage hotel with a private beach, travelers could consider the Alfonso a Mare.
Family-owned bed-and-breakfast with sea views and lemon grove
The Hotel Locanda Costa Diva is housed in a white-washed masonry building with views of the Amalfi Coast from Positano to Capri to Amalfi. The grounds include a terraced lemon grove and Mediterranean plants plus multiple terraces and landings. The knotty-pine reception area has a front desk adorned with a big mural of cavorting dolphins, but the decor is a bit old-fashioned, down to the 1970s-style upholstered furniture. There are lots of stairs throughout the property, but fortunately porters are on staff to help guests with luggage. Most people who stay here are vacationing couples from other parts of Europe or overseas.
On a main thoroughfare in the village of Praiano, midway between Positano and Amalfi
The hotel is located in Praiano,
a small fishing village on the Amalfi Coast, making it a
natural favorite for guests who want to explore the area. It's midway between Amalfi and
Positano, each at opposite ends of the coast, and both are around a half-hour drive to reach, but can take much longer to reach during the busy summer season. It's a 20-minute walk to the center of Praiano, but the road is narrow
and busy. The luminous Cave of Smeraldo is an eight-minute drive away. Villa
Rufolo, a historic castle in hilltop Ravello where composer Richard Wagner spent a good amount of time, is a
36-minute drive. Naples International Airport is about 90 minutes by car.
Dated rooms with gorgeous views and Vietri ceramic bathrooms
Locanda Costa Diva's 15 rooms have dated decor, with harsh fluorescent lighting and exposed wiring. Decor clashes in many instance -- think harvest-gold drapes with bright aqua side tables and cayenne-red sofa beds, for example. Most rooms also feature a nautical themed mural. On the upside, many
rooms have expansive views of the Amalfi Coast, and most have tile terraces with wrought-iron chairs and tile-top tables or canvas
lounge chairs. Some of the more expensive rooms have whirlpool hot tubs overlooking the sea.
All units have air-conditioning, minibars, flat-screen TVs, and
safes. But the only way to connect to the Internet in the room is through a dial-up
modem; guests complain, unsurprisingly, that the service is unreliable. The bathrooms look old as well, with traditional porcelain fixtures, but they are tiled floor-to-ceiling in beautiful Vietri ceramics, each one in a different tile pattern. A few guests have complained of hard pillows, musty smells, and skimpy amounts of free toiletries.
Features at the Locanda include a small parking lot with free parking and tip-based porter service to help guests navigate the property's many stairs -- unfortunately, the service is not available 24 hours. The hotel has a restaurant on a
terrace under a pergola where meals are
served, and there's a free continental breakfast. Other features include a small bar, free newspapers, and free Wi-Fi in the lobby. Laundry and dry cleaning is also available, and the front desk can help with basic concierge services.
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