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All reviews rooftop pool shuttle service the main hotel our honeymoon shuttle bus li galli amalfi coast amazing views rooms are small deluxe room perched high breakfast room sea view walk up the hotel offers magical place overlooking positano
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Reviewed 30 December 2011

At the time of this writing the Hotel Villa Franca was ranked #21 of 39 hotels in Positano. Wow. If that really is the case, then the 20 hotels ranked better must be unearthly spectacular, because I don’t understand how a hotel in this area could get much better than the Villa Franca. Its commanding views of the entire cove, rooftop pool, décor, food, staff, amenities, and convenience make it the only hotel I would consider using on our next visit to the Amalfi Coast.

Locating the hotel is very easy, but if you have never visited before I have a couple of tips that may reduce some stress, especially if you have rented a car are coming from Napoli via Sorrento or Salerno, and most especially if you do not have a GPS system. Before you even leave home, visit Google Maps or any other mapping web site and familiarize yourself with the road system running through Positano – it really is quite simple once you understand there are only two roads. One is SS163, which is the main artery that runs east-west and connects the towns along the Amalfi Coast. The other is Viale Pasitea, which is a one-way street exiting SS163 on the west side of Positano, winds down and around into the town itself, and briefly turns into Via Cristoforo Colombo before re-connecting with SS163 on the east side of Positano. Once you make the turn on to Viale Pasitea from SS163, Hotel Villa Franca is only two switchback turns and a gentle right-hand bend down the road. You can’t miss it – a large glaring white structure with a large blue-tiled “Hotel Villa Franca” on the front.

Check-in was fast and easy, with a bellman available to take your luggage to your room in the main structure or the Annex, wherever you may have booked. A brief word about the two buildings: the main structure is where most of the rooms are located, and is where the lobby, restaurant, breakfast room, fitness centre, spa, and pool are located. The building is entered from street level and while some of the amenities are located on floors beneath street level, all the rooms and restaurants are located above street level. The pool is on the roof. The Annex is located about a hundred meters up the road from the main building. However, street level is the highest location in the building, and contains the two largest of the eight premium rooms in the Annex. These two rooms also feature large covered patios with views over the town. The two floors beneath street level each contain three premium rooms, all with small differences in finishing trim and room orientation but essentially identical; these levels may be reached by an elevator or narrow staircase. Every room in the Annex has a great view of the entire cove, and whether you are on a room at street level or two floors below makes little difference in the quality of the view. That being said, when we return we will be sure to pay the bit of extra money to book one of the two rooms at street level in the Annex just for the extra space and patio.

There is no parking at the hotel. Once you have removed everything you need from your vehicle it is taken to a separate secure storage location at a cost of, if I remember correctly, twenty Euros per day. It could have been more, but I can’t really recall. If you require your vehicle on a half-hour’s notice they will retrieve your vehicle and bring it to the front door of the hotel. This brings me to another good point about the hotel – you can drive up to the front of it and load or unload your luggage literally a foot from the front door. I couldn’t count the number of people I saw lugging laden suitcases up and down through the crowded, narrow cobblestone pathways to get to their supposedly better, more convenient hotel. There is even a cottage industry of porters that has sprang up that will meet your car at a location along Viale Pasitea and then hump it to where you’re staying…for a lucrative fee, of course.

Our room was the middle room on the middle level of the Annex, one level below street level. The room was really, really nice and the first thing my wife said is that the white walls and blue-and-yellow tile trim reminded her of Santorini in Greece. Lots of space for luggage, and the bed was quite comfortable. The view is, of course, spectacular. Washroom is large and bright with very nice fixtures, and great water pressure in the shower. We found the elevator to be just a little slow so we usually took the stairs.
The lobby bar is comfortable, the bartender very friendly and talkative, and a great selection of beverages are available. Breakfast featured a wide assortment of pastries and fruits, juices, water, coffee and tea, scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon. Quality of the food was perfectly adequate, and better than most “breakfast rooms” I’ve experienced. I can’t comment on the quality of food in the restaurant because we never ate there, but anecdotal information from other hotel guests convinced me it was very good, especially the fish.

The hotel shuttle, which is really just a 11-passenger van, runs down to the drugstore at the top of every hour during peak times of the day, and back up to the hotel on the half-hour. On the one occasion there were more people than the van could carry the driver was back to pick us up as quickly as he could, about a fifteen-minute wait. Walking down is not difficult, taking less than ten minutes depending on your age and level of fitness and yes, we did walk up to the hotel – twice. Not as difficult as you might think as long as you pace yourself and take a break when you get tired, although if you don’t know where you’re going on the stairs there is an opportunity to get lost on the way up. A swim after that hike up is a great idea.

The pool is not large, but large enough for a refreshing plunge while sitting on one of the loungers that surround the perimeter of the roof. Towel service is available, as is a bar providing light snacks and a full range of beverages. In fact, I think the pool bar uses the same food menu as the lobby bar. I’ll take this opportunity to mention that the view of the main beach and church of Santa Maria Assunta is better from this vantage point than it is from any balcony in the Annex, just because you’re closer to the ocean from that point.

I can’t think of much more to say. If you want to buy your own light snacks, drinks, and water you can find a small mom-and-pop store directly beside the Annex on the uphill side, but it’s only open until the late afternoon – at least, it was in early October. In summary the accommodations were spectacular, the staff friendly and always helpful. I just want to conclude by briefly addressing a so-called concern I read several reviews down the list…for what it’s worth the WiFi connection is good, and yes, you do have to obtain a (free) password from the front desk that gives you three cumulative hours of on-line time before you require a new password. This is a security feature that many, many hotels all over Europe use to protect their networks. If you’re really inconvenienced by something like this then I’m telling you – you’re in Positano for the wrong reason.

Room Tip: All eight rooms in the Annex are "premium" rooms with great views of the town, but the two on the top level (which is street level) are larger and have nice big covered patios.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Doug_Bowles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2011

We just left Villa Franca yesterday and although it was the off season and many things were toned down, like no shuttle to town and limited breakfast options, we still had a very enjoyable stay. The staff were attentive and friendly and the room was pretty with a great view. It's getting a little dated but has lots of atmosphere. I probably wouldn't pay Summer season rates but all in all it was a nice stay.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank TravellerfromOz08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2011

We loved it. Everyone was friendly and helpful, the room was clean, we had a fabulous view. The continental breakfast is satisfactory - you can order any additional elements you want (eggs etc). We were staying in the off-season, so suspect the restaurant menu was quite restricted. Eating out offered more variety, but it meant a steep walk down to dinner & a hearty walk back up!

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank KiwisinlovewItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Villa Franca for 3 nights in late September.We agree with all the other reviewers about the outstanding views from the pool and dinning room, the excellent breakfast, very friendly stall (we did not experience any staff who was not friendly and helpful), and the beauty of the hotel overall. For us the location was perfect because of the views, the closeness to the bus stops, the convenience to hiking trails, and the isolation from the congestion. We used the free bus shuttle several times which is a really nice ammenity. We thought the beds were very comfortable and not too hard. If we ever return to Positano, the Villa Franca will be the hotel of our choice. We have recommended this hotel to all our friends.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Asheville64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

My husband and I stayed at Villa Franca for 3 nights ..we had friends recommend the hotel. We found the location to be more to our liking ie not in the main crowds. Considering we were in Positano in middle sept it was still very busy so it was so nice to retreat to Villa Franca. It is high on the hill..very easy walk down to the shops and marina..about 15-20mins. Not so good walking back up..use the free shuttle service. Close to a laundry and hairdresser etc. We got a deal on a great room but still not that inexpensive. Wouldnt pay full rate as not worth it. Room clean and well equipped, Breakfast very nice and breakfast room has beautiful views. Nice library area with free internet. Great restaurant..we had a beautiful meal with excellent service and not expensive. Great small pool and wow what a view!! Staff very helpful and polite overall a good hotel.Try the little restaurants just past the hotel on walk down to shops..all very good.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank love2travel2525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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