One of the best benefits of the Starwood SPG program is using points to redeem for hotels that you’d rarely ever stay in due to the cost or type. The Excelsior Naples was one such hotel – it is a historic hotel located at the end of the Partenope with views of the Castel du Novo, Naples Bay, Mount Vesuvius, Capri and Sorrento. As I was initially staying at the contemporary, movie themed boutique hotel, Partenope Renais, I thought to save money, I would redeem 10,000 points to try the Luxury Collection property (a good deal!).
At one end of the pedestrian only road along the waterfront via Partenope and across from Castel Novo with amazing views from the rooms. From the airport it is a fixed (flat) rate of €23 to the hotel. There are a myriad of restaurants along the waterfront and a supermarket a short walk away (about 5 minutes/two blocks).
Arrival – Check-In
Prior to arrival, I wandered in off the street to query the concierge about the ferry and shipping clothes to another city (I needed to lighten my suitcase before flying low cost airline). Each time I arrived, I was not greeted nor was the door opened for me as no one was manning the front of the hotel (weird, this is a luxury collection right?).
On check-in day, I arrived in three stages – twice with luggage from the other hotel at the end of the road (about 10 minute walk) and then later in the day at regular check in time. In the morning, I did a pre-check in with my passport scanned and my signing a signature pad. I was told that “You are on an award stay so unfortunately breakfast isn’t included”, I said “yes, I am aware”. She then mentioned she wasn’t sure she could upgrade me, I said “no worries”. It was weird the way she said it though (I’ve read reviews on the SPG site about treatment of award stays and was surprised that I felt as if I didn’t belong here). She tagged my bags for storage and I would obtain my key later.
Later in the day, there was a new person at the front desk and she gave me my key and Wi-Fi password information but no mention of my gold benefits or status. Again, no warm and fuzzy treatment. I started to think it’s just the Italian (or Napoli) way at the Excelsior Naples?
My Excelsior Naples Room Surprise
Room 412 was right next to the elevator. I hate rooms next to the elevator as they are generally busy and loud. I was too gross from the bike ride to complain, I just wanted to jump into the shower so I put my keycard in and opened the door to a surprise!
The first thing I noticed was that this was not a standard room by any measure and definitely not the twin bed room I reserved – it appeared to be a suite. The second thing, I happily noticed is that the room was very cold (I was hot). The third thing I noticed was the heavy feel to this much patterned green Italian decorated room which somehow felt like circa turn of the century?
On the right, I had a massive bathroom, on the left my bags were delivered and there was a closet and minibar. The walls were fabric which I find very luxurious despite the pattern or color. I had a locked adjoining door. In front of me was the main room with a desk and hardwood floors. To the left a living room of plush (albeit a bit stained) furniture with a huge dust ball on the floor and to the right my massive king sized bed.
The Excelsior Naples Bathroom
Having spent so many days in Spain and Italy in hotels without wash cloths and tissues, I noticed both as I entered the massive bathroom. With a dual sink and long counter, you are then drawn to the Jacuzzi bathtub/shower combo with odd seat. Two plush robes as well as slippers (I love slippers) were in plastic in the corner. I immediately ripped one set open and jumped in the shower.
The rain shower felt nice and the water pressure was good. Note that the tub is high so getting out you need to be careful. Happily cleaned, I put on the robe and slippers and pretended to be the wealthy person who normally stays in suites. The toiletries were local to Naples and quite fragrant but did not include conditioner.
I had my “do not disturb” on the door so when I left for dinner, there was a note that they couldn’t do turn down and if I wanted it to call housekeeping. I mentioned it to the front desk as I left and it was done when I got back. The heavy curtains were closed, the metal window shutters down, the lights on low, a mat at the bed with my slippers and two bottles of water (still and sparkling) sat on the table. That dust ball? Still there. The towels replaced and the bathroom serviced (I didn’t expect that).
Breakfast Not Included
The rooftop is the location of breakfast. I chose to sit outside as did everyone else as the views were stunning. Since I was paying ala carte and tired of the buffet options, I opted for pancakes and juice. Unfortunately, my idea of pancakes and theirs differed as I received four silver dollar pancakes for my €10! I was still hungry but not going to pay for the buffet. The computer overcharged for the pancakes and I had to get the menu to prove it. The manager made the adjustment. I strolled around taking photos before leaving.
Shipping My Clothes from Naples to Milan
I needed to take some weight out of my luggage and decided to ship some clothes ahead to the Westin Milan where I was going soon. The concierge thinking my request a bit odd did give me a shopping bag instead of a box I requested. He said they use “Mailboxes Etc.” to ship FedEx (it was not shipped FedEx but by TNT). I did a quick quote on the fedex.com site to get an idea of costs (highest was €40) and said to “ship it ground and cheaply”.
When I had the bag ready in the morning, the checkout person seemed more interested in checking me out than dealing with my shipment. She called internally for a price which they then add a cut for the hotel – it came to €30. Could I have gone to the local post office? It wasn’t open when I tried on the weekend to get a quote.
The Odd Things
No bellman to help me with my bags when I arrived twice at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. No front door guy and yet there was a Maserati in the driveway so someone had to fetch that right? The feeling that every request or interaction was somehow a bother which frankly I would never expect at any hotel, let alone a Luxury Collection hotel. The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant that does lunch or dinner? That was really odd when I asked – I could room service or go elsewhere (the concierge provided a few options). The bellman surprisingly was there at check out to carry my bag down the steps to the street and unlike other bellman in my travels waited for a tip (the others just dropped my bag and left not expecting anything).
Overall – The Excelsior Naples Hotel
I loved the suite surprise with the amazing views, the fluffy robes and slippers. In the morning, I raised the shutters to watch the waterfront come alive with boats in the water to fish, people jogging and workers getting ready for the day ahead. It was fabulous way to experience the city from above. The staff was off putting in general which seems to be a common theme in the reviews I’ve read. So if you have points to stay go for it because the room was pretty nice and location spectacular with the views just don’t bother the staff.