It’s easy to get to Isola d’Ischia, we flew direct from Venice and were met at Naples airport by a rep from Imperatore Travel who then transported us to the port. From there we boarded the hydrofoil that set sail and took just over 1 hour to reach Ischia Port. An Imperatore colleague met us there and guided us to the taxi meeting point. A driver in a small mini bus collected us and drove us straight to our first hotel Garden & Villas Resort Isola d’Ischia, a 4 star superior resort not far from Lacco Amena. Imperatore Travel is a reputable travel agent that can assist with all your needs whilst on the island, they can organise transfers, tours, hotels and even helicopter rides should you wish and from our experience seemed incredibly reliable.
Garden & Villas Resort is one of those very special places filled with complete uniqueness, character and a genuine warmth. Off the beaten track a short drive away from Lacco Amena on the island of Ischia, it offers a laid back style of hospitality full of charm that meets every expectation. The hotel prides itself on providing your second home whilst on the island – this we can wholeheartedly guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. Every aspect has been carefully considered, the grounds have been beautifully designed and maintained so that you lose yourself in this wonderful secret garden. The restaurant is spacious yet contemporary and has a fantastic team of passionate personalities running the ship that will make your dining experiences memorable as well as the delicious simplistic dishes!
We stayed in a spacious premium room with large ensuite bathroom that had a big corner bath and separate shower. We also had a good sized outside terrace where we could enjoy a soft drink (or two) from the complimentary mini bar. The room had everything we needed to make our stay comfortable, there was a safe, hair dryer, flat screen television and heaps of wardrobe space. Luckily our room was located near all the hotel’s facilities, I say this because the resort is quite big (bigger than expected) it’s also hilly so you could find yourself a short hike away from everything.
The mediterranean style cave-like bar with an informal outside terrace is perfect for an aperitif or after dinner drink whilst the reading room in the log cabin opposite is a complete escape from humanity.
The outside pool is tempting and the Wellness centre is modest yet effective. Complete with a small professional gym, various changing rooms, a unique rock wet room and indoor thermal pool, it’s ideal if you want some pampering during your stay. If you want to further indulge there are beauty therapists on site that offer massage therapy, facial and body beauty treatments at competitive prices.
Guests can stay at the resort on a bed and breakfast, half or full board basis and therefore we feel this caters for every budget. Our half board option was perfect allowing us to explore the island and visit different eateries for lunch. The breakfast was plentiful and gave us a fantastic choice of sweet and savoury Italian delights – delicious! The evening menus were simply mouthwatering and offered an element of surprise. They offered a touch of real Ischian cuisine, that typically started with a fantastic antipasti buffet, a first course of flavourful pasta dishes or soup, local meat and fish dishes for seconds and a choice of two fattening deserts to finish with!
In terms of getting out and about, we have to mention the natural thermal spa situated at San Montano beach just 5 minutes away from the hotel. This unique destination is called Negombo Giardini Termali (thermal gardens). You simply can’t afford not to go here, spend a full day relaxing and lose yourself in time in the beautiful surroundings and wonderful setting. Hunt down the amazing ‘hidden’ restaurant run by a quirky character called Jack and have a leisurely lunch here. The food is simply gorgeous as well as the intimate setting. Quirky items adorn the restaurant and everywhere you look will definitely keep you entertained.
As with many of the resorts on the island, Garden & Villas has a shuttle service that will take you to most destinations on the island if you so wish. There is a regular shuttle timetable that runs from the hotel to Lacco Amena but if you want to go further afield the hotel will do their best to accommodate. It’s clear that the local residents are proud of what the island has to offer and each village has something different to offer you. We were advised to check out San Angelo, a small yet beautiful fishing village in the south of the island. Find it nestled within Sa stunning setting that is well worth a visit. Be aware of having a drink in the seafront cafés, as we were stung $10 for two cokes!
If you’re looking for a beautiful getaway and a proper break away from the pressures of everyday life then Garden & Villas can provide total privacy and a natural place for guests to unwind. If you’re fortunate enough to meet Rita the hotel owner, she is such a genuinely lovely lady with big heart and her warmth is infectious, which you can feel when staying at this fantastic resort. This hotel has a 4 star superior rating but absolutely deserves a 5 star for hospitality and happy friendly service!
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