The guests can use the sports facilities of the more luxurious sister property
Rooms are bright
On-site restaurant serves local cuisine
It can get noisy
There's limited parking
The location can be pretty boring in the evenings (a pro for some)
Expensive extras add up
Hotel La Biodola is the mid-range option next to the more luxurious (and more expensive) Hotel Hermitage. The two hotels share the same Biodola bay and the same owners, and therefore guests at La Biodola can use the sports facilities (including 9 tennis courts and a golf course) at the Hermitage. The La Biodola property has its own private beach, however, with direct access to the sea, a scenic pool above the beach, and two restaurants. However, rooms are basic (but bright) and there's no fitness center or spa directly on-site.
A small parking area (some guests report that it’s too small) leads to the entrance and the front desk. The building has a U-shaped residence-style back facade that almost all the rooms face: the majority have at least a partial sea view. On the ground floor, the bar and its outdoor terrace feature views of the gulf as well. Many guests enjoy watching the sunset here with cocktails in the evenings. A few steps descend to the breakfast outdoor gazebo and to the pool and whirlpool, which are surrounded by a green lawn; they also have ocean views. Just behind the pool area, there's direct access to the sandy private beach, with elegant white beach umbrellas. It gets just slightly more packed than the one at Hotel Hermitage nearby.
It takes 10 minutes to reach the Biodola bay by car from Portoferraio port. This is one of the most famous beaches in Elba island, particularly loved for its golden sand and clean sea. During the summer, it can get very crowded -- but the hotel’s private area is generally respected. Evenings are quiet: there’s no village center nearby, so for shopping and nightlife, it’s a 30-minute drive to Porto Azzurro or Capoliveri.
Rooms are not too big or luxurious, but they're simple and bright with white walls, blue ceramic flooring, and white furniture. Each includes an outdoor terrace with (in most cases) a sea view, and a bamboo table and chairs. Rooms are reportedly noisy, especially during the hotel’s evening entertainment activities which include music or shows on the bar’s terrace. Bathrooms are new, with decorated ceramics or travertino; they’re not big, but they do have tubs. Bathing products are by Acqua dell’Elba, a local luxury brand.
The hotel has two restaurants, and half-board rates are available. The main restaurant has big windows overlooking the pool but no outdoor spaces. Guests generally appreciate the quality and variety of the food, but complain about the lack of outdoor dining. The second one, Maitù Restaurant, is by the beach and it's open to guests and non-guests alike; there are no reserved areas for the hotel’s guests at the bar. At lunch it serves snacks, while it organizes a Tuscan evening once a week for half-board, with typical regional dishes. Some extras -- such as omelets at breakfast -- can be expensive.