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The following list of places to stay includes hotels (alberghi or pensione), bed & breakfasts, and a few agriturismo location--working farms or vineyards that provide comfortable rooms in a rural setting.
For booking purposes, I recommend contacting the hotels directly either by phone or e-mail. If you're calling, you'll often be asked to send a fax confirming the details of your trip (arrival and departure dates) and the type of accommodation you're requesting. The hotel will then respond with a fax confirming your reservation and the room rate. It's always a good idea to have copies of these "receipts" with you when arriving to check-into your room, especially if you've been promised a room with a view or a balcony, etc., or a particularly good rate. The same applies when arrangements have been made by e-mail. Print out copies of your confirmation and bring them with you.
Those who prefer using an online booking service might try www.venere.com, which books hotels, B & Bs, and apartments throughout Liguria, though not generally for small locations in the small towns. For agriturismo bookings, in English generally referred to as "farm stays," try www.agriturismo.it, which is available in English. This is particularly useful if you're looking for a place to stay in the hinterland where big hotels are largely unheard of.
Be advised that many hotels charge by the person, not by the room. The listings below are all based on a double room with two people. Children under age five are not generally counted, but there may be an additional fee if you're requesting a crib or child's cot. Finally, there is a difference in rate depending on whether you're booking standard board, which usually includes breakfast and is sometimes called the "bed and breakfast" rate, or half-board or full-board, which includes most or all of your meals. There are so many wonderful places to eat on the Riviera, it would be a shame to squander precious euros on half- or full-board. Take the standard room rate and enjoy your typical Italian breakfast--espresso, juice, fococcia, bread, or rolls, slices of ham, cheese, yogurt, and muesli.
Hotels vary their room rates by the season, and the most expensive season is the summer months of June, July, August, and September. Rates are also generally higher at Christmas and Easter. The range of prices given in these listings (which are, of course, subject to change) reflect the differences in low and high season rates.
Via Milano, 14, 17021 Alassio
[telephone] 0182.640.277, fax 0182.640.125, firstname.lastname@example.org,
AE, MC, V, DC
This modern hotel in an excellent, central location has a private beach and spacious rooms, several with airy balconies. For the most magnificent view, request one of the corner rooms on the tower side. The terrace is a fine spot for lounging, and three hotel restaurants serve typical Ligurian cuisine with an emphasis on seafood.
Diana Grand Hotel
Via Garibaldi, 110, 17021 Alassio
[telephone] 0182.642.701, fax 0182.640.304, email@example.com,
57 rooms, 4 suites
AE, MC, V, DC
A high-rise luxury hotel on the eastern side of the town, the Diana Grand has spacious, tastefully decorated rooms and a private beach with full club amenities. A heated indoor pool opens onto a private garden and solarium where guests can relax in the Jacuzzi after spa treatments.
Hotel Beau Rivage
Via Roma, 82, 17021 Alassio
[telephone] 0182.640.585, fax 0182.640.585, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Closed October 9--December 25
Housed in a late 19th-century building on the seafront, this elegant little family-run hotel is a little out of the way on the far western side of town. Rooms are on the plain side, but the small dining room (which boasts an excellent wine list and typical Ligurian cuisine) has a lovely frescoed ceiling.
Via Dante, 35, 17021 Alassio
[telephone] 0182.661.11, fax 0182.661.1601, email@example.com,
Make Alassio your home base on the Riviera and book an apartment in this converted 19th-century villa in the heart of the village. Rates are based on a Saturday-Saturday stay and include room amenities (including cooking facilities and a refrigerator), Internet access, cleaning, and your favorite newspaper and hot croissants delivered fresh each morning.
Via Gramsci, 57, 17021 Alassio
[telephone] 0182.642.747, fax 0182.642.438, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Closed October-December 18
This small hotel near the Piazza San Francesco on the eastern side of town is in a prime location for the beach and excursions to the shops of the budello. Recently redecorated rooms are spacious and there's a cozy sitting area adjacent the dining room where guests can relax.
Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 15, 17031 Albenga
[telephone] 0182.518.17, fax 0182.545.212, email@example.com
Closed December 8-25
Located on Albenga's waterfront, the Sole Mare is a bit of a distance from the Centro Storico but well situated to enjoy the beach. Plain but nicely proportioned rooms, many with sea views.
Viale Martiri della Liberta, 8, 17031 Albenga
An ideal location near the Piazza del Popolo and the Centro Storico makes up for the lack of charisma in this one-star hotel. There's a bar and restaurant but opt instead for meals in the old town.
Hotel Ca di Berta
Localita Ca di Berta, 5, I-17031 Salea
[telephone] 0182.559.930, fax 0182.559.888, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Surrounded by palms and olive trees on the plateau less than 10 km/six miles outside Albenga, the Hotel Ca di Berta boasts lovely, park-like grounds and large but reasonably priced suites. The stone-rimmed swimming pool is an oasis of calm and a great place for an evening cocktail. This is in a prime location for excursions to the inland areas of the Albenga plain.
Viale Faraggiana, 6, 17012 Albissola Marina
[telephone] 019.485.253, fax 019.485.255, email@example.com,
A comfortable hotel with a pool and private beach, the Hotel Garden has a permanent contemporary art collection displayed in its modern interior. Rooms are a little bland, but are soundproofed and air-conditioned and offer balconies with sea views and bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs.
Strada San Pietro, 1, 18035 Apricale
[telephone] 0184.208.186, fax 0184.208.247,
At the bottom of the village overlooking the valley, La Favorita earns its title with tidy, comfortable rooms, ceiling frescoes and a large terrace where inland-inflected Ligurian cuisine is served with a panoramic view.
Locanda dei Carugi
Via Roma 12/14, 18030 Apricale
[telephone] 0184.209.010, fax 0184.209.942, firstname.lastname@example.org,
A 15th-century stone building in the heart of medieval Apricale is a romantic setting for this small, rustic getaway hotel. Antique furnishings lend charm to the rooms and interiors: The Attico di Lucrezia is particularly lovely and spacious with wood-beamed ceilings and large windows that invite the alpine breeze.
Via XXV Aprile, 37, 17028 Bergeggi
[telephone] 019.859.750, fax 019.859.750, email@example.com
closed January and February
Chef/owner Claudio Pasquarelli presides over this elegant hotel high upon a cliff overlooking the wild Bergeggi coastline. The restaurant has earned a Michelin star, and equal attention has been paid to the comforts provided to guests. Twenty deluxe rooms and six suites open onto a terrace equipped with pool and solarium. Far below, the hotel has a private beach.
Via Romana, 70, 18012 Bordighera
[telephone] 0184.261.313, fax 0184.261.942, firstname.lastname@example.org,
The reputation of the Villa Elisa was established in the early 20th century when British tourists discovered the hotel's serene atmosphere. Today it's in an ideal location in the old town, surrounded by a Mediterranean garden of flowers, oranges, lemons, and olives. Rooms are classically elegant.
Grand Hotel del Mare
Via Portico della Punta, 34, 18012 Bordighera
[telephone] 0184.262.201, fax 0184.262.394, email@example.com
Closed October 11-December 22
This modern hotel complex occupies a picturesque curve of coastline and has a small private beach for guests not satisfied with the saltwater pool surrounded by sloping gardens. Complete spa facilities and a refined restaurant complete the package. Rooms are smartly furnished, many with stunning views.
Lungomare Argentina, 16/18, 18012 Bordighera
[telephone] 0184.261.405, fax 0184.260.421, firstname.lastname@example.org,
A location on the palm-lined promenade is one of the highlights of this turn-of-the-century hotel. The fifth-floor spa is another, with massage, sauna, Turkish bath, hydromassage, and a pool filled with warm, purified seawater under a glass roof. Rooms are tastefully decorated.
Via Pelloux 42/b, 18012 Bordighera
[telephone] 0184.261.311, fax 0184.261.312, www.hotelaurora.net,
An alternative to waterfront lodgings, the Aurora--built in the 1920s--is a short distance from the old town and boasts a rooftop terrace/solarium and an interior adorned by ceiling frescoes. Located in the villa …