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The coastline that stretches between Sorrento and Ravello is one of the most breathtaking on the planet. The switchback road that hugs the cliffs and hillsides dotted with vineyards, citrus and olive groves, skirts deep jewel-colored bays and picturesque towns renowned as some of Italy’s, and Europe’s, most amazing vacation destinations. Many of the hotels and resorts along the way live up to their magnificent surroundings too – with these exceptional luxury hotels and resorts offering some of the very best.
Bellevue Syrene, Sorrento
Bellevue Syrene was built in 1750 as a Count’s summer retreat atop the foundations of a Roman villa. The luxury hotel that stands today opened nearly two centuries ago, set upon a bluff high over the Bay of Naples offering stunning panoramic views along with lavish amenities. The luxury property includes streamlined Art Deco touches and flamboyant interiors that make the most of the town’s dazzling array of colors in a marine-themed palette of emerald green, pastels and Adriatic blue. The lounges and salons are adorned with trompe l’oeil frescoes and avant-garde artworks, while bedrooms boast Italian elegance throughout. The main restaurant offers awe-inspiring bay vistas along with a delectable menu, and guests can also enjoy top-notch meals under the cliff-top wisteria pergola. Enjoy lounging in the sun on the private deck by the sea, massages at the spa with hammam and refreshing dips in the pool too.
Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa, Conca dei Marini
This renovated 17th-century monastery is luxurious and romantic, offering magnificent sea views, a lavish spa and gorgeous swimming pool, all set in aromatic tiered gardens. Perched dramatically at the edge of a sheer cliff above the cerulean Bay of Salerno and the fishing village of Conca dei Marini, all rooms and suites are remarkably spacious and offer ocean views. Enjoy breakfast delivered to your room every morning, and after spending the day exploring, relax in the heated infinity pool with its uninterrupted panorama from Ravello to Positano melting into the intense blue sky. Indulge in the wide range of treatments at the expansive spa, workout at the open-air fitness center in the garden and enjoy dining at the onsite restaurant which serves the tasty flavors of Campania using many ingredients from its own gardens.
Casa Angelina, Praiano
This boutique hotel opened in 2005, bringing cutting-edge design and modern-minimalism to the Amalfi Coast. The stunning all-white interiors, including bedrooms, are superbly kept, as fresh as the day they were finished, with the top suites truly exceptional with massive private terraces and spectacular views. The artwork, particularly the Cuban Murano glass sculptures, are perfect adornments. The hotel also stands in one of the best locations for views on the entire coast, while the two pools, one outdoor and the other a heated hydrotherapy pool invite you to relax. The stylish terrace is ideal for sipping cocktails – be sure to try the Limonce’ Mojito, a local take on the classic that incorporates white rum, mint and Limoncello. The restaurant on the top floor, Un Piano nel Cielo, or floor in the sky, offers more incredible views and outstanding territorial cuisine with a gourmet touch.
La Conca del Sogno, Nerano
The family-run La Conca del Sogno sits in its own hidden cove, a true treasure for those in the know. Primarily a restaurant serving the catch of the day and the local favorite – pasta with zucchini served with pitchers of white wine flavored with peaches, it also features simple, lovely bedrooms with private terraces and beautiful sea views. Keep an eye out for celebrities who often arrive for lunch and enjoy lying on the private beach.
Villa Treville, Positano
The owners of this small, but exceptional hotel, like to keep it “under” the radar. Located a five-minute boat ride from Positano, it has the feel of a luxurious home rather than a hotel. That’s because it was the home of opera and film director Franco Zeffirelli, until the steep stairways became too much for him to navigate. Exquisitely decorated and filled with beautiful things, including the director’s collection of 18th century Caltagirone pottery set into ceramic niches above the fireplace. Despite being ultra-luxe, Villa Tre Ville maintains the mood of a friendly family hotel, while the seafood is supplied fresh by the hotel’s own fisherman and vegetables come straight from the garden cultivated by Zeffirelli himself. The luxury suites are impeccable, though the highlight of the hotel is its location on an isolated outcrop. Even the highest of the villas sits several hundred feet below the coast road, with a lift installed to simplify passage. You’ll enjoy the backdrop of Positano off to one side – and the sea on all others, providing the ultimate in tranquil seclusion.
Le Sirenuse, Positano
The most beautiful of all Positano’s lovely hotels, this former summer home of the Neapolitan Sersale family was transformed into a hotel after World War II. As such, it has the feel of a living museum of decorative arts combined with the private home of the aristocratic family. It offers a central location within walking distance of multiple sights, while the all-white rooms include balconies that overlook the ocean along with flat-screen TVs and bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. The top-rated La Sponda Restaurant restaurant features a beautiful terrace, and you’ll also find a romantic cocktail bar and seafood grill onsite. Enjoy swimming in the pool with gorgeous views and getting pampered at the lavish spa. Free breakfast, boat trips and daily activities like yoga and cocktail-making classes are all offered too.
Casa Buonocore, Positano
Casa Buonocore is a charming, boutique guest house in the heart of Positano. This orange blossom scented 17th-century home nestled into the hillside among the town’s steep streets and alleyways, boasts generously-sized rooms that are more like suites than bedrooms, with attention to detail evident throughout. Cozy and comfortable, each lovely room features beautiful antiques, lace curtains and old tiles floor. One overlooks lemon and orange trees while another boasts an expansive terrace with mountain and sea views. Enjoy al fresco breakfast on the flower-decked terrace, and unwind there after a day on the beach, enjoying an after-dinner drink by candlelight.
Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi
A quintessential example of Italy’s best hotels, this late 19th-century liberty style villa is immersed in the spectacular scenery of the Amalfi Coast as an elegant seaside family-run residence surrounded by the endless blue expanse of the Mediterranean and the sky, lovingly cultivated fruit orchards and olive groves. The standalone folly-suites nestled among the gardens include hand-painted tile floors, family heirlooms, colorful draperies and balconies that jut over the water, while a glass lift brings guests down to the pool and beach club, renowned as the best seaside setup of any Amalfi Coast hotel. The open-air Ristorante Al Mare overlooks the pool, while the spa offers the chance to decompress and forget about your cares.
L'Albergo della Regina Isabella - Island of Ischia, Naples
Located directly on the seashore in the middle of a tranquil bay surrounded by rocky shores and lush Mediterranean vegetation, this 5-star luxury hotel was built on the site of ancient Greco-Roman ruins. It offers extraordinary service and elegance, with multiple pools, breathtaking sea views and a wellness spa. The original site included a thermal spa that was added to with a thermal pool, mud baths and rooms for a variety of treatments, including massage. Every room includes a balcony with sea or garden views, while décor is a blend of traditional and modern, with antique furnishings in some rooms. There are several bars and restaurants, including the Michelin starred Indaco with its jaw-dropping sea views. Guests can also enjoy nightly live music in the cocktail bar, soaking up the sunshine on the beach and access to a fitness center.
Grand Hotel La Pace, Sant'Agnello di Sorrento
This luxury hotel sits in an oasis of peace and tranquility, far from the bustle of town, and enjoys a magnificent view on the Gulf of Naples. It does everything in style, with staircases sweeping from the massive lobby to a restaurant with its polished floor and linen-draped tables. The best views in the house are from the rooftop pool, with Sorrento, the Lattrari Mountains and the Mediterranean all spread below. All rooms are richly furnished in classical style and come equipped with all modern comforts. There are multiple outstanding restaurants, including the large Windows restaurant with a local and international array of cuisine, and the Blue Sky poolside dining venue. Afterward, migrate to the cozy Bar Velvet Lounge, with its spot-lit watercolors and heavy drapes, for a cocktail or aperitif.
Villa La Tartana, Positano
An idyllic Mediterranean seaside residence, this charming B&B property is just steps away from Positano’s “Spiaggia Grande” beach as well as the town’s picturesque historic center. The romantic rooms include modern comforts, boast pristine white walls that create a gorgeous contrast with the intense aquamarines and blues of the floors tiled with the characteristic majolica of Vietri. Enjoy breakfast on your balcony while admiring the enchanting sea views or winding lanes of Positano. After a day exploring the many bays and inlets, relax in the reading room with a good book, or enjoy chatting with friends and other residents.
Villa Cimbrone, Ravello
There are few settings more romantic than Villa Cimbrone, a medieval palazzo with sumptuous suites, formal gardens laid out by English aristocratic Lord Grimthorpe in the late 19th-century, a panoramic pool and “the most beautiful panorama in the world.” Set within a 12th-century building, the villa is just as atmospheric with its abundance of period features like stone fireplaces, tiled floors and individually decorated bedrooms with grand fireplaces, antique furniture and frescoed vaults. It occupies one of the most magnificent positions on the entire coast, perched atop the lip of a sheer-sided spur, high above the sea. Though its grounds, with fragrant rose gardens, umbrella pines, wisteria-covered trellises and a pseudo-Roman temple, are open to the public during the day, after they’ve left, you’ll enjoy the place sublimely to yourself. Dine in the gourmet restaurant on a poolside veranda while watching a fiery sunset across the sky above Monte dell’Avvocata and the glistening coastline.
La Scalinatella, Capri
This intimate boutique hotel offers luxurious accommodations, set along Via Tragara, one of the most exclusive and peaceful stretches in Capri. Guests enjoy a romantic atmosphere, commanding views of the Mediterranean and Faraglioni, as well as being just steps away from the town square. Oversized guest rooms feature sea or garden views with large balconies and patios. Most include a separate living and sleeping area along with generously sized bathrooms. Bask in the Mediterranean sun by one of the swimming pools, and savor delicious island specialties at the poolside restaurant overlooking the sea and the Bay of Marina Piccola. Drinks are served at the bar, by the pool and on the panoramic terrace.
Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello
This 11th-century palace, situated 1,056 feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea on a limestone bluff, was a favorite among names like Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo and Jackie Kennedy. It offers unrivaled views from its hilltop location, and as you walk inside, the fresco walls and warm greeting will immediately impress. The “lobby,” is more of an art gallery, with old world paintings and Italian furnishings. Step out onto the balcony and your breath will surely be taken away by the endless glistening sea, lush mountainsides and picturesque towns dotted across the coastline. Enjoy taking a stroll through the olive greens and gardens, swimming in the infinity pool and sunbathing on the soft, green grass. The complimentary shuttle will bring you to a nearby town, or you can take the short walk to explore Ravello.
Mezzatorre Resort & Spa, Ischia
This luxurious getaway sits in splendid isolation on the extreme promontory of Punta Cornacchia on the island of Ischia. Far from the maddening crowds that swamp the island, this one-time fortress, now sophisticatedly renovated, overlooks the azure Bay of San Montano and offers just about everything guests needs to just enjoy staying put. The glamorous heated pool overlooks a picture-perfect cove, while the spa offers a full menu of treatments aimed to relax. The interior is all white-on-white, accented with ancestral portraits and antiques. The ancient, 16th-century Saracen tower at the heart of the hotel houses many guest rooms, while others are located in a series of buildings on the ground. The hotel has multiple restaurants, including La Torre Restaurant serving fresh seafood and La Baia Restaurant with its stunning Mezzatorre’s bay views. Mediterranean dishes prepared with the very best ingredients are offered.
San Montano Resort and Spa, Ischia
San Montano Resort and Spa is situated in a commanding position on top of a hill with dramatic panoramic views over Ischia, the sea and the islands beyond. It feels as if it’s hanging, suspended between the sea and the sky, with the magnificent views almost overwhelming Naples, volcano Vesuvius and the Sorrentine peninsula to the east, the emerald slopes of Mount Epomeo to the south, and to the west, gentle hills drop into deep blue waters under a fiery sunset. The five-star property also boasts swimming pools and an on-site wellness center with a variety of steam baths, pools and a natural sauna that’s been carved out of a cave, along with a range of treatments like mud baths and massage. Most rooms are equipped with a balcony or terrace, some offering sea views. Its restaurant serves a blend of Italian and Ischian delights, while guests can also enjoy access to the most beautiful beach on the island, San Montano Beach.