If you’re longing for a salty sea breeze to whip through your hair, for a morning cappuccino at an authentic Italian café or an uninterrupted, calm and very, very blue view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, then there’s nowhere like the Amalfi Coast in summer.
However, seeking out the best spots in peak season can prove a thankless task — especially if you’re looking for your own private slice of paradise or beach to make good use of your new swim shorts. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up the best boutique hotels this sumptuous stretch of Italian coastline has to offer. Now that’s what we call ‘La Dolce Vita’.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet: Monastero Santa Rosa
This 17th Century monastery sits dramatically on the edge of a sheer cliff above the blue Bay of Salerno. Near the fishing village of Conca dei Marini, you should expect the spectacular from its Michelin-starred restaurant — you won’t be disappointed.
Of course, after overindulging you can revive yourself in the hotel’s rejuvenating spa — built from the original, ancient walls. And, as you later drink in a panoramic view of the Amalfi Coast from the infinity pool, why not sip on something chilled from the cocktail menu? If that’s not enough to put next week’s business meeting out of your mind, we don’t know what is…
If you’re looking for exclusivity: Casa Angelina
Drawn-out days and easy, lingering evenings are the order of the day at this boutique 39-room hotel on the cliffs outside Positano. The design throughout has been created with an focus on timeless elegance, and makes your stay as easy and relaxing as possible.
In fact, even the most stressful part of a beachside holiday — scrambling around and scrumming for ownership of a sun lounger — has been solved for you. The hotel owns a secluded section of the beautiful La Gavitella Beach. Bliss.
If you’re looking for a range of activities: Grand Hotel Cocumella
Who doesn’t want to take a long, lazy summer lunch under the orange trees? Or stroll through manicured magnolia gardens? How about chartering the hotel yacht for a spur of the moment trip to Capri?
Whatever floats your hotel-provided boat, Cocumella is the place for the easily-distracted. With a game of tennis and a drink by the pool on the agenda, the only thing left to do is refuel. The options span from Mediterranean haute-cuisine to Japanese-Mediterranean fusion, so you’ll be cursed with choice. We know — it’s a tough life.
If you’re looking for traditional Italy: Villa Franca
Once a private home created to celebrate its sublime setting, Villa Franca offers guests the chance to feel like they own their own portion of the coast.
With an enviable spot amid Positano’s old streets and only moments from the shore, Villa Franca is a peaceful haven in the heart of the Amalfi Coast.
If you’re looking to travel back in time: Le Sirenuse
John Steinbeck, who stayed at Le Sirenuse in 1953, described Positano as “a dream place” — and we at Gentleman’s Journal aren’t about to argue with a Nobel Prize winner.
An oasis of silence with a breathtaking view 70 metres above the sea, Le Sirenuse is a time warp. Step inside and allow yourself to be transported to Steinbeck’s elegant Amalfi of the 1950s. With cigars, fine dining and unstoppable weather, this is the definition of class.
Now you’ve sorted your accommodation, here’s what you should be packing in your beach bag this summer…