It’s not everyday that my expectations are surpassed, so I thought I would take a few moments to thank the Hotel Europa in Levanto for hosting me and my family while we were on a blog tour in the beautiful city of Levanto with a review of this wonderful hotel, perfect for families, budget travelers, couples and all tourists alike !
When I was contacted by the new tourism website VisitLevanto.it to visit the Bay of Levanto in the Cinque Terre National Park I was offered a few nights stay in a two star hotel …..and I was worried! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and apartments in my life, but somehow a two star always worries me now that I travel with a three year old.
Once I stayed in a two star in Paris and we hardly had enough room to breathe, let alone be comfortable, so imagine my surprise when we arrived at the Hotel Europa in Levanto only to find a fairly large room with a double bed AND single bed with guard rail!
Not only was the room spacious with a full closet, night tables and desk there was also a BAR FRIDGE which is a HUGE DEAL for us because we travel with my son’s medication that must always be refrigerated. This was a big plus, and I can honestly say that this was one of the only two-star hotels I’ve ever stayed in with a bar fridge in Italy, not to mention the incredible view overlooking the mountainside that surrounds Levanto.
The Hotel Europa is on one the main streets in Levanto, the Via Dante Alighieri, and the position was perfect. The hotel is only a five minute walk to the beach where you can either rent lounge chairs and an umbrella or set up a blanket on the “spiaggia libera” the free beach!
Included in EVERY STAY is the free continental breakfast which was one of the best we’ve had in a long time and included fresh pastries, breads, cakes, fruits, cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, juice, espresso, cappuccino, tea and even a few gluten free options (which is always a nice thought!).
Although breakfast is included in your stay you may want to pop over to one of the area’s most popular cafe’s the Pasticceria Bianchi for a “brioche e cappuccino” or one of the local pastries! I strongly urge you to go early or in the late afternoon because there is usually a line out the door.
No matter which room you book, all guests are welcome to use the terrace on the top floor with a wonderful view of the sunset in the evening. We had a lovely time on the terrace every night before heading out for dinner.
In the evenings you have plenty of options for dinner including the famed Restaurant Osteria Tumelin where we had some of their fish specialties. After dinner I suggest either a stroll along the waterfront or along the main streets to the Piazza Staglieno where you’ll find a massive playground that is FILLED with kids until after midnight…..remember, Italian kids stay up late!
Some things to consider when staying in the Hotel Europa (as well as any other hotel in Levanto’s main city centre) is parking and driving! If you plan on arriving by car, let the reception know in advance and they will arrange for a parking pass for you. Not many of the historic hotels have parking on-site so you’ll need to drop your bags off at the hotel and then drive to the parking lot. If you are like me and dread driving in Italy, you can easily arrive at the hotel from the train station, which is less than a 15 minute walk away or 5 minute cab ride! Once you are settled into the hotel there is absolutely no need to take your car anywhere, the whole city can be explored by foot or bicycle, which I actually prefer!
The decor of the Hotel Levanto was very quaint and included many original antique pieces, including the light-fixtures which I loved! There IS an elevator (rare in old Italian buildings!) although it is small, so if you are visiting in a wheelchair or with a large stroller I would call and ask for the exact measurements, however, we had no problem getting our stroller/luggage into it!
Owners Pierluigi and his wife Natalia have been managing the hotel for the last 5 years and I was so impressed by their absolute desire to create a traditional and welcoming environment. They were so nice and helpful and you can tell they really wanted their guests to feel at home.
If you have the opportunity to dine with them in the evening I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! The dinner was CHEAP, DELICIOUS AND AUTHENTIC! They hire local chefs who present traditional dishes like the yummy “Gattafin”, a herb stuffed fried dough dumpling that was served as an appetizer before our main meal of local dishes including trofie with pesto and stuffed anchovies (SO GOOD!)
Levanto remains a luxury destination in Italy which is all the more reason I was shocked to find such a high quality, inexpensive hotel right in the centre of it all. Considering that each booking includes breakfast, their modest nightly rate (between 115 and 180 euro depending on the season and view/room amenities) is considerably less expensive than most of the accommodations in the area. I suggest booking directly from their website where they offer a discount and the lowest rates, or even calling the hotel directly. Plus with the money you save on a hotel stay you can splurge on dinner !
I was not asked to write this article in exchange for the stay in the hotel. The owners are members of the Occhio Blu Consortium, created by local business owners to support tourism in Levanto because they love the area and want to promote it. Pierluigi is one of those generous and open minded people that often said “If my neighbor is working then we are all working, it is important that we work together”, and I just love that mentality.
INFO & MAP
The Hotel Europa can be found at Via Dante Alighieri, 41, Levanto SP, Italia.
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