When we were in Italy, last year, we had an awful experience with a hotel in the beautiful Calabrian town of Tropea. We’d booked into Hotel Valemare for four nights, but it was so terrible, we left the next morning, not knowing if we’d get a refund*. We’d heard of Hotel Rocca della Sena and reviews suggested it was amazing, but as were doing a lot of travelling we thought it might be a bit too much above budget. However, lady luck was on our side, and through Booking.com we secured a room, packed our bags, left Valemare and checked into Rocca della Sena. And what a difference…

We were offered coffee on the terrace, over looking the sea as we were checked in – and then told we’d been upgraded. And, this was a real upgrade, as there’s no way we would have booked the honeymoon suite! For three days and three nights we lived in the lap of luxury – and because we’d booked last minute, bagged ourselves the most amazing deal. And after nearly two weeks on the road, this unexpected treat was much appreciated! As well as an en-suite bathroom, we had the added bonus of a huge walk-in shower, with mood lighting. (Well, it was the honeymoon suite, after all!) Plus, a beautiful balcony, with a hammock, sun-loungers and a jacuzzi 😉 Fresh fruit was delivered each afternoon, but because the breakfasts were so generous, to be honest, this was an unnecessary luxury!

Hotel Rocca della Sena is located about 10 minutes from the centre of Tropea, which is a perfect stop-over point if you’re travelling onwards to Sicily as it’s only about 40 minutes away from the port of Reggio Calabria.The whole experience can  only be described as “understated elegance” – every need is clearly catered for in this hotel, but in a way that is effortlessly unobtrusive. This was a real experience and a stay that we’ll certainly remember for a long time to come.

Tropea itself is described as a jewel, and this description isn’t an exaggeration, especially as it hugs the south west of Italy and so also benefits from glorious sunsets. Perfect to watch from your jacuzzi on the balcony 😉

We stayed here in September 2013 and booked through booking.com, receiving a very unexpected upgrade upon arrival.

* We did get a refund, some weeks later, but only through sheer persistence – the refund came from Booking.com, rather than the hotel who steadfastly refused to acknowledge that their accommodation was NOT as described on their website.