About the Residence Alberghiero Eolie
The Residence Alberghiero Eolie is a hotel-cum-residence in the centre of Lipari, the largest town in the Aeolian Islands. It offers rooms of hotel standard which are equipped with little kitchen corners for a self-sufficient stay. I first stayed at the Residence for two nights in June 2009, booking online the day before my arrival. I booked a classic double room (single use). Since then I’ve returned several times, in a number of different rooms including two of the most expensive suites with their own terraces (I was travelling with my parents and it was well worth the extra cost).
The Residence Alberghiero Eolie is located in Lipari’s attractive main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele. This is an ideal location about ten minutes’ walk from the port and just yards from restaurants, bars and shops. If you are arriving on foot from the port, you may have problems working out the street numbering – the hotel only has a discreet plaque to announce its presence, but it can be identified by the flags on the building (see my photo below). The entrance is through a pretty little courtyard dotted with tables and chairs. As this is technically a ‘residence’ rather than a hotel, the reception office isn’t open 24 hours a day. When I arrived in the afternoon I couldn’t find anyone, but dialling the phone number displayed on the door roused a receptionist who welcomed me cordially and carried my suitcase to my room.
I had previously stayed in a serviceable and traditional three-star hotel nearby. Entering my huge bedroom at the Residence Alberghiero Eolie made a striking contrast. It was the amount of space which made an immediate impression – beyond the large bed was a very generous amount of living space complete with a dining table and kitchen-in-a-cupboard. Both the bedroom and the bathroom – with a shower – were equipped with good modern furnishings. As well as the dining table there was also a desk, and a sofa for relaxing. The wardrobe was large with a generous number of clothes hangers, and there was a suitcase stand and a fridge/mini-bar with plenty of space for my food purchases.
My bedroom was at the rear of the building, with views over the town’s green archaeological park. From the corridor outside was a door opening onto a small balcony for guests’ use – the only potential drawback of my room was that this balcony was directly outside one of my three (three!) windows. I suspect that this would be unlikely to see much use, however, since the hotel had the bonus of a much larger sun terrace on the roof, with plastic sun loungers and views of Lipari’s castle and rooftops. Returning to my bedroom windows, I thought it was an example of the hotel’s attention to detail that I had the options of adjustable slatted shutters, thin curtains and thick floor-length curtains.
The kitchen corner included basic equipment, but no useful extras like salt, oil or washing-up liquid. It was explained to me that the cleaning and washing-up of the kitchen facilities wasn’t included in the daily housekeeping service. For my two-night stay it didn’t seem worth stocking-up and cooking, but for a longer stay this would have been a very useful feature of the room, with ample living space to cook, eat, watch the flat-screen television and relax after a hard day’s holidaymaking.
I met two different receptionists and both were extremely friendly multi-tasking hosts, serving hot drinks for breakfast and helping me with travel arrangements and timetables. There was an internet point in the reception area, and a good free guidebook to the Aeolian Islands available in various languages.
Breakfast was laid out in a small, smartly-presented ground-floor room. There wasn’t a vast selection of foods, but the staff offered to provide any additional types of breakfast I desired. I was actually very happy with what was on offer: cereals, fruit, bread and a choice of fresh, rich croissants, all excellent quality. I still remember the delicious pistachio croissants with nostalgia.
I really enjoyed staying at the Residence Alberghiero Eolie. The location couldn’t have been better and I loved wandering out of the gateway and joining Lipari’s evening passeggiata, before sitting outside the welcoming Bar Eden just a few doors away and watching the world go by. My room was as big as a small flat and I appreciated returning to a quiet homelike retreat that also offered all the comforts of a modern hotel. I’d definitely return for another stay (looking forward to the pistachio croissants), and would recommend the Residence to anyone visiting the islands. It would be a calm and private base for a honeymoon, and a practical option for families or travellers keen to combine self-catering with a bit of pampering.
The hotel’s entrance is locked at night (guests have a key) and the reception is not officially open all day, so it’d be a good idea to let the hotel know your arrival time in advance, or to give them a call if you’re arriving late. There is a communal roof terrace – in the past when I’ve visited, it hasn’t really been in use and I’ve had the panoramic spot to myself.
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