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Hotel Esperia Palace 3.5

Ugento, Province of Lecce, Puglia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located in beach resort town, Lido Marini, in unspoiled Salento region
  • All-inclusive plan includes all meals, plus soft drinks and wine
  • Family-friendly environment, with playground, kids' activities, and kids' menus
  • Private beach on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Huge lagoon-style swimming pool with waterfall and adjacent sun terrace
  • Two bars including one swim-up pool bar
  • Buffet restaurant with Italian and Salentine regional dishes, plus baby's corner
  • Various fitness/activity options and spa
  • Live music, dancing, and evening entertainment
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas

Cons

  • Fee for use of beach, pool, sports facilities, and nightly entertainment from early June to early September
  • No flat-screen TVs in rooms
  • No Wi-Fi in rooms

Bottom Line

The Hotel Esperia Palace is situated in Lido Marini, a small town in Italy's relatively unspoiled and quiet Salento region -- a place where English is rarely spoken, and where crowds are mainly Italians on holiday. The hotel has an all-inclusive plan covering meals and most alcoholic beverages, and guest rooms -- while basic -- are clean and have balconies. The impressive array of amenities caters to families seeking an activity-filled getaway: private beach, massive lagoon-style pool, tennis/soccer court, evening entertainment and special activities for children, and buffet restaurant with kids' menu. While not upscale, the hotel offers families a fun-filled, affordable beach getaway on a clean, clear stretch of Mediterranean water, with much smaller crowds than more populated regions of Italy.

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Scene

Beach resort hotel with family-friendly feel, big pool, and entertainment

The Hotel Esperia Palace has a busy, family-oriented feel, with kids' activities and dining options. Guests congregate around the huge, lagoon-style outdoor pool with swim-up bar and waterfall, bordered by a lushly landscaped, expansive sun terrace. Despite its bustling atmosphere, the hotel is not overcrowded -- there are always enough lounge chairs and parasols on the deck. A convivial feel extends to the colorful buffet restaurant with pool views, and the evening entertainment -- complete with piano bar, open-air theater, and dancing. The private Mediterranean beach is a short stroll from the hotel, and has white sand and clear, calm waters for swimming.

Location

Located a short stroll from the beach and Lido Marini town

Hotel Esperia Palace is set on the Ionian coast in the Salento region of Italy's heel, which encompasses the university city of Lecce and several coastal towns. The hotel itself is on a flat stretch of land near a coastal preserve, surrounded by clear, turquoise Mediterranean waters. The town of Lido Marini is a short stroll west, and offers restaurants, bars, and clubs on the beach, while the hotel's private beach is about a ten-minute walk south. Ugento, a harbor town with an historic fresco and lighthouse, is seven-and-a-half miles north, while the baroque churches of Lecce are 45 miles north. Salento Airport in Brindisi is about a 90-minute drive north.

Rooms

Simple rooms with balconies, TVs, and mini-fridges

The Hotel Esperia Palace is an all-inclusive resort, so it places an emphasis on dining and recreational facilities. Therefore its 144 rooms are simply decorated with browns and golds, generic furniture, bare walls, and outdated TVs -- not LCD flat-screen. However, rooms are fairly spacious and all have balconies, some with pool views. Bathrooms are basic but modern with showers, and rooms have mini-fridges and safes. Wi-Fi is not available in the rooms, but can be accessed in public spaces for free. The suite has a four-poster bed, living room, and jetted tub in the bathroom.

Features

Huge pool and private beach, evening fun, kids' activities

The hotel's focal point is its immense, lagoon-style outdoor swimming pool with swim-up bar and waterfall. A private beach, set on a calm stretch of the Mediterranean, is a ten-minute walk away. The hotel's all-inclusive plan covers meals (Italian and regional cuisine) and most drinks in the buffet restaurant, which has a kid's menu. Elsewhere children are well cared for, with planned activities such as ecological lessons, puppet theater, and dances for different age groups. Adults can keep active with the tennis/soccer court, boat and bicycle rentals (fee), and various fitness classes -- the on-site gym is modern but lacks natural light. The hotel has a lively, party atmosphere at night, with a piano bar and dancing, and there's an open-air theater with occasional performances. Parking is free for one car per room, but be aware of June-September fees for use of the beach, pool, sports facilities, and nightly entertainment.

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Address

Via delle Rose - Loc. Lido Marini, Ugento 73059, Italy

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