What I remember best and liked most at the lovingly maintained bayside hotel in Lacco Ameno, the smallest municipality on the island, was the splendid sea view from our fifth story room. From our balcony we could see the hotel deck, pool and salt water swimming area below us, Lacco Ameno and a little of Casamicciola Terme, the neighboring town; and in the background the Amalfi coast and the jewel like Tyrrhenian Sea. Although the chilly sea breeze reminded us it was spring the view was alluring, drawing us down to the pool area for lunch.
In addition to the view, the 130-room family friend resort stood out for its seaside location, sunlit common areas, and 3,500 square meter health spa. Established in 1956 and renovated recently it was named for Regina Isabella (Italian for Queen Isabella), the former queen of Naples who, decades before the hotel was built, was told by her doctors a treatment in the Ischia thermal waters would be beneficial if she wanted to become pregnant. After enjoying treatments with the thermal waters she went on to have 11 children. Her success made the island popular for its mud and spa treatments and it remains so to this day.
Our brief stay at L’Albergo della Regina Isabella provided a wonderful introduction to Ischia. We enjoyed several health oriented treatments at the hotel spa, including one with the famed mud which was prepared for guest treatments for one year on the property. We also dined at the hotel, sampled a couple of Ischia wines and enjoyed delightful gourmet fare prepared by Pasquale Palamaro, an up and coming young chef. We look forward to revisiting Ischia and another stay at the family run hotel.
Class Of Accommodation Luxury hotel and spa in the five-start luxe category
Concierge Franco Galano
Connectivity There was an ADSL connection in our room and WiFi access in the main building (12 euros per 24 hour period). There were also two Apple computers for guest use in the Game Room (near the Regina Isabella Restaurant). Charges were as follows: one week € 50, one day € 12, one hour € 5, and 30 minutes € 3.
General Manager Pierangelo Tondina
Handicapped Access The property was able to welcome guests with wheelchairs
Length Of Stay Three nights
Location In the town of Lacco Ameno on the island of Ischia in the Tyrrhenian Sea of Italy, an hour hydrofoil boat ride away from Naples.
Owned And Managed Partenhotels owned by the Carriero family
Pets Allowed Some small pets were welcome on request.
Size There were 130 rooms and 200 employees in several connected multi-story buildings in a 1.6 acre property.
Year Opened-Renovated The hotel was established in 1956 by Angelo Rizzoli, a publisher and film director. In 2006, eighty percent of the property was renovated.
The room was furnished with two comfortable single beds, with wood headrests a pillow each and luxurious linen sheets, joined together to make a king bed. Night tables made of the same type of wood as the headrest framed the bed. Each one had a lamp and a telephone. At the foot of the bed there was a gray cloth sofa with flower patterned cushions and in front of it there was a rectangular coffee table. Two matching blonde wood and white leather armchairs were arranged near the coffee table. Against one side there was a long rectangular desk facing the wall. On it there were city and hotel booklets, a handheld Siemens phone and an ADSL cable we connected to our computer.
There was an antique style mirror hanging on the wall; on the other wall there was a large black and white framed photograph above the desk. A large dresser with three drawers sat below the black and white photo. To the right of the dresser there was a Bang and Olufsen flat screen television. All furniture in the room was glass covered. At the back of the room, there was a walk-in closet with a full length mirror on the inside door, hanging space, drawers and shelves as well as an electronic safe.
Double wood and glass doors led to a small balcony with tile floors and railing furnished with an outdoor table and two matching armchairs. In addition to the lovely view I described earlier from the balcony we could see the dock as well as the hotel grounds and neighboring balconies. Even though it was too chilly to linger long it was my favorite part of the room.
We had an opportunity to sample the dinner cuisine from the main restaurant and the gourmet restaurant. At the Regina Isabella Restaurant we had Short pasta with smoked mozzarella and Risotto with seafood for appetizers; Fresh local fish cooked in salt (excellent) and Fried seafood with potato chips for mains; and Chocolate cake (a favorite) and Strawberries and ice cream for dessert. Petit fours and hot beverages followed.
Facilities In addition to a 3,500 square meter spa, there were three pools (one indoor), access partially enclosed salt water bathing area, a fitness center, and three restaurants (two were open while we were there; the third one was being relocated).
Fitness Center And Spa The fitness center and spa were under renovation. The parts of the spa that were open were modern looking, spacious and brightly lit. The fitness center had Technogym equipment. The 2008 Condé Nast Traveller listed Le Terme della Regina Isabella as the fourth Best Spa in the world.
Pool And Beach The hotel had private docking facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and two small beaches, one to either side of the property. Perhaps because the ambient and water temperatures were still cool when we were there we saw no one at either beach (there were no beach chairs or umbrellas).
We saw two heated swimming pools with seawater in the hotel, an indoor pool within the spa area and an outer bay facing pool adjacent to the bar. Both had lounge chairs and the outer pool also had umbrellas to provide shade from the sun. On the west side of the hotel there was an open deck will lots of lounge chairs. A small beach on one side and a step ladder on the other allowed guests to enter a partially enclosed salt water swimming area. On the other side of the hotel, there was a second beach area which could be seen from the main restaurant dining room.
The second indoor pool, filled with thermal-water and known as the Risveglio dei Sensi pool (sensory awakening pool) was 15 square meters and used for music-therapy, chrome-therapy and aromatherapy. The main pool was 143 square meters large, the secondary pool was 110 square meters, the indoor and thermal pool was 40 square meters.
Other Richard Burton, Liz Taylor, Maria Callas, William Holden, Sheryl Crowe, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Andrea Bocelli are among the many celebrities that have stayed at the hotel. There were two small beaches on the property, one next to the open deck and a second one on the opposite side of the building facing the small marina. The marina was picturesque and provided a lovely background for the hotel. On Saturday the traffic of boats visiting and anchored in the bay area made a lot of noise. The number of families increased on the weekend. The sounds of children playing below carried to our fifth story balcony and inside the room.
The mini bar had six glasses of cut crystal in three different sizes, as well as two champagne flutes and two fine glasses. There were full size bottles of whiskey, vodka, wine, gin, grappa, port and cognac as well as chilled beverages in a mini refrigerator.
The television was connected to the bathroom so that when we turned on the television the sound was heard in the bathroom. Although we could control the volume (with a dial button marked “music”), we were unable to turn off the sound in the bathroom.
Date Of Review April 2010
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photographs by Gary Cox
Service Our room was serviced twice a day. The staff we encountered were efficient, especially Raffaello at the concierge desk who was friendly and helpful and spoke some English. Although he was nearly always busy he had a ready smile when we approached him.
Would You Stay There Again? Yes