Grand Hotel Arciduca (4 stars, rooms starting at 80€) is not GRAND as in “huge, imposing and impersonal”. It is indeed pretty big for the island of Lipari and the Aeolian Islands in general, having 40-something rooms. Still, don’t be fooled by the “Grand” in the name. The atmosphere is very intimate, and the fact that the Hotel is family run is very obvious: the owners are always around checking this and that, still very welcoming, polite and discrete.
I’ve stayed at the Arciduca off season, in late October. In fact these were the last days of the season, and I checked out the very same day the hotel closed for the winter.
I couldn’t have wished for more! And here is why.
If you’re also planning to visit the Aeolian Islands in low season – and you should! – there may be some days when the weather is bad and boats are not moving so you’re basically stuck on the island you’re on. In my experience, there were 2 nights when the heavy rain and chilly wind made me feel very uncomfortable about going out. But hey! No need to! Because I had a bar, a restaurant, a SPA and a comfy room with WIFI. Sooo… I was so happy to be at the Arciduca instead of, say, a B&B.
Speaking of the restaurant: it’s simple, staff is uber-friendly and professional, and veggies were among the best and freshest I had in my whole life. There may not be so many options for vegetarians like me (an issue I came across all the time during the whole trip) but those few ones are delicious!
Breakfast is heavenly: so much choice! So many sweets freshly baked at the hotel – even croissants! I heard they don’t have soy milk but I am sure if you ask for some they will provide it. They’re too friendly not to.
Grand Hotel Arciduca is not in the city center – at first I thought this was a bummer but I was wrong. First of all, the pedestrian area is just 2 minutes away from walking (the harbor of Marina Corta is like… 30 seconds away?). This means that everything is at a walking distance but you get the luxury of sleeping in a complete silence, which hadn’t happened to me since a long time and was very much appreciated.
Also, they have a private shuttle service so they can pick you up when you get off the boat and also take you back to the main harbor when you check out.
Things worth mentioning
Yes! Rooms are super clean. I know you were wondering. Staff cleans up twice a day, always keeping an eye on sustainability – let’s not forget we are on an island and water is precious as well as the fragile environment. Thumbs up!
Rooms come with no frills, a really comfy bed, a very rich courtesy set (toothbrush and toothpaste, razor, shaving foam, soaps of all kinds, bath salts etc), and a real smart tv! Another plus if you are into TV shows and internet (and maybe it’s also raining outside…).
Hey, before you complain that most Hotels on the Aeolian Islands have little windows – it’s anti-seismic and compulsory for security reasons. I know this is good to know!
The SPA is another jewel of the Hotel and let me recommend you the super duper great massages by Lucy. She’s a physiotherapist and she knows what she’s doing. My neck still says thanks.
Also, did I mention there is a Jacuzzi plunge pool on the rooftop? So even when the sun is shining… you can still stay in. Never leave. Oh no why did I leave?
(I will be back!)
Thank you Federalberghi Eolie for the great opportunity and for hosting me in this and other beautiful properties. My review, as usual, is honest and all opinions are my own.