The Il Nido (Italian for “The Nest”) is a pretty little family-run hotel about 5 kilometers outside Sorrento, Italy. It was established in 1964. The hotel is set terrace-style in the hillside, so all the rooms have a great view of the ocean and Mt. Vesuvius. However, they are well away from the beach.
If you’re planning to tour the southwestern parts of Italy (Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, etc.) I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. It’s very inexpensive, and the service is great.
Two brothers, Orlandino (Dino) and Giovanni (Gianni or Johnny), run the place, and their mother supervises all the cooking for the hotel’s small restaurant. And their mama’s cooking is absolutely wonderful. The first night, we came in late due to a train breakdown outside Naples. The kitchen had been closed for hours, but upon seeing our weary, hungry group, their mama went into the kitchen and fixed us all a light dinner of brushetta and ravioli. I haven’t had bruschetta that tasty anywhere since. Definitely try the flank steak with mushrooms or the four-cheese crepes. We had full dinners the five nights we were there — appetizers, drinks, main courses, dessert, the works — and at the end of it all, my restaurant tab only came to $42US.
You get a continental breakfast with the price of your room; while the Il Nido’s breakfast isn’t as varied as you’d find at places like Hotel Corot, it’s filling and tasty. You get strong coffee, tea, orange juice, and a variety of pastries like big, flaky, buttery croissants.
The hotel has two PCs in their lobby and offers Internet access for a very reasonable fee (6.000 lira per hour). The only slight problem is you have to contend with Italian keyboards.
You really can’t walk to Sorrento from the hotel, because the roads are narrow and steep and you’d get hit by a car trying the hike. But Gianni drives a courtesy van to drop you off and pick you up near the city’s center; pickups and drop-offs run every hour from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Other travelers have apparently made arrangements for Gianni to pick them up and drop them off at other locations as far away as Naples.
The rooms at the Il Nido are small, but immaculately clean and comfortable. Very tall/heavy people may have trouble with the beds, though. The rooms we all had came with two very small single beds, a wardrobe, small table, chairs, and a dresser. Each room has a very nice balcony, and a bathroom with a shower stall and a bidet-type pedestal tub that came in extremely handy for soaking sore, blistered feet after tromping around Pompeii all day.
In short, this is a great little hotel. Dino and Gianni are warm and friendly, and if they think you’re a good sort, they’ll go the extra mile to help you out and ensure that your stay in Sorrento is a pleasant one.
For detailed graphical directions on finding the hotel, visit their site at http://www.ilnido.com/.