Capri Across the Strait


grand royal hotel in Sorrento

Capri lies to the West, Naples to the North, and the skyline's dominant feature, Mount Vesuvius, to the Northeast across the Bay of Naples from here in the Grand Hotel Royal in Sorrento. Set right cliffside above its own private beach (elevator closed until May) the hotel commands an unforgettable view day or night. Built about 100 years ago and annually updated it has a venerable feel of comfortable grandeur the marble tiled lobby is full of laquered dark wood furniture embellished with the region's famous inlay work.

The first room we were assigned on the second floor while designated wheelchair accessible and with grab bars in the bathroom had a doorway far too narrow for my narrow adult manual chair. To their credit the porter quickly arranged for an upgrade to the third floor. This room, with a few adjustments like removing the bathroom door, can be made to work but lacks either a rolling shower or usable bathtub. If this is the best available at Grand Hotel Royal I cannot recommend it based on accessbility to many with disabilities - especially if travelling alone. However, the level of customer service may make it right for the resilient and physically strong.

The owners of the Grand Royal and its siblings, the Maniello Hotels, we8re apparently told by Thompson travel agencyin the UK that they must adopt universal diesign or lose the steay stream of tourists booked through Thompson. To all appearances the owners have opted for obsolesence.

Today we are off to Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello by private tour. Note again, the agent tacked an extra ten Euro over the published price when they saw the wheelchair. Nowhere near as much as I would have tipped them on my own for an eight hour tour but certainly all they will likely receive after that slight of hand.

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