My husband and I booked into Hotel Bernard for 2 nights en route to a villa holiday in the mountains. We wanted the full-on experience of staying in an Italian family holiday hotel in San Benedetto Del Tronto and we were not disappointed. Life at the hotel revolves around food and wine, sunbathing and swimming at the hotel's nearby private beach (there is a nice pool but everyone seems to use the beach), cycling excursions around town on the hotel's complimentary (and lockable) bicycles and promenading along the palm-fringed seafront.
We were the only non-Italians staying at the hotel and everyone made us very welcome. All guests are allocated a table in the dining-room and a sun umbrella and sunbed and lounger on the beach for their whole stay when they arrive so you get to know the families around you as you see them every day.
I would describe the food in the hotel as good Italian home-cooking. You choose your pasta and main course from a menu in advance and help yourself from generous salad and dessert buffets. The service was excellent. Each night we were also charmingly presented with extra dishes as gifts by the hotel's proprietor: seafood antipasti, deep-fried fresh squid in a twist of brown paper, fresh figs served on a fig leaf....... Bottled water is free, wine is very reasonable..... I can recommend the Rosso Piceno.
Our room was a pretty standard but very clean and comfortable 3-star with balcony and good reliable hot showers.
For me what makes this hotel stand out is: the excellent value for its package: location, meals, bicycles, beach sunbeds etc; the warmth, generosity and cheerful efficiency of its owners and staff; the friendliness of the other guests and the delightful experience of just being totally cosseted. If you wanted to you could take some good books and just lazily roll between bed, restaurant and beach for the perfect rest.
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