Sometimes, if you’re travelling, you just have to do it onine, and you have to go with your gut instinct. Sometimes you get it spot on – just as we did in Matera and Rimini. But sometimes it doesn’t quite work out, and all we can do is share our experience so that you can hopefully enjoy the successes, and avoid the pitfalls. This was one recent pitfall, in Favignana, Sicily, as I’ve just posted on Trip Advisor…
Hotel Aegusa, Via Garibaldi, 11, 91023 Favignana Trapani (3* – apparently)
We booked Aegusa Hotel for 6 nights based on the website and reviews. It was not inexpensive – at over £100 per night I did expect quite a lot more than we got. The entrance to the hotel is promising – it does have a “boutique” feel about it and the receptionist was very helpful at check-in. However, we were not staying in the main hotel – we were staying tn the annexe. We had known about the annexe as it is clearly referenced on the website. However, the gallery images (I now realise, I think, why they are very small & you can’t enlarge them!) are misleading to say the least.
The annexe is close to the main hotel and the communal areas are pleasant – although we never saw anyone use them. We had a ground floor “triple room” with a table & parasol outside, so first impressions were good. However, once we actually got inside and started to unpack, we realised that the the room, although large, was absolutely not worth the price we were paying via booking.com.
The furniture had definitely seen better days – everything just seemed a little bit grubby and tired. The bathroom, whilst large, was basic at best. At worst, it was actually quite neglected – the fittings & fixtures were again a bit grubby and for the price being charged, just not really good enough. (A small point, but if you have mobility issues, or children, you need the strength of Samson to flush the toilet – and that is not an exaggeration).
I asked within 30 mins of arriving if we could be moved to another room. The receptionist did not seem in the slightest surprised that we found the facilities to be not very nice, given the price. No rooms were available but Aegusa has a sister hotel, Insula, and we were offered an exchange there – we had arrived on Saturday, but the room in the other hotel was not available until Tuesday so we did have 3 days to fully experience the room in the annexe.
Good points – efficient air-con, good wi-fi, close to bars/restaurants (although Favignana is so small, every hotel would have this as a good point), friendly & helpful staff and adequate breakfasts.
Poor points – we can’t comment on facilities in the main hotel, but the annexe really needs to be upgraded, IF prices stay as they are. To pay in excess of £100 per night, I absolutely expect cleanliness, a little bit of luxury and to leave feeling that my money has been well spent. As it is, the room was more like a budget hostel room and the price should reflect that. To call it a “triple room” (with a sofa bed & two singles pushed together), is just not good enough. There are also no windows in the particular room we stayed in, so unless you have the door open onto the internal courtyard, you have absolutely no view whatsoever & this means that ventilation is not good.
We did view the room in Hotel Insula – it was better, so we did move. However, despite the best efforts of the staff to make things right, this isn’t a hotel I’d be returning to quickly. It does not have the feel of a hotel which at its heart, is ensuring that guests have the best experience possible. It is simply somewhere to get a night’s sleep. And should price accordingly.
So, the tricky thing about booking online is it’s a risk – especially if you’re doing it as you’re travelling and entirely dependent on wi-fi access etc. I guess as I said earlier, all we can do is share our experiences…