Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a stellar poster child for Mediterranean beauty, but within its dramatic 50km stretch lies a true gem. Tucked away on the southern side of this stunning coastline is Positano, a cliffside village that’s managed to retain the country’s old-world charm without compromising on the deluxe.
It is here where you’ll find a pastel-hued cascade of houses, chic boutiques and a smattering of bright beach umbrellas offering sun-kissed sunbathers a respite from the scorching Mediterranean sun. High craggy cliffs descend into the azure seas below, which is almost always dotted with fancy yachts and brimming with energy from dawn till dusk.
If you find yourself in the charming town, live like the (rich) locals do and score yourself one of these luxury hotels in Positano. The list here sees properties that are not only strategically perched on the cliffside — for the best views, of course — but also ones that have managed to incorporate that little bit of Italian magic into their designs and hospitality.
Le Sirenuse has earned its way up to the top as one of the Med’s greatest for obvious reasons. Firstly, the dreamy establishment’s cliffside location translates to phenomenal views of not only the beach, but also of village houses and the vibrantly-hued maiolica dome of Santa Maria Assunta.
The old villa manages to walk the fine line between being sophisticated and homely; it was after all, the private seaside residence of the aristocratic Sersale family. Now, its sun-drenched rooms harbour an eclectic mix of curios and art — both antique and contemporary — and handmade Vietri-tiled floors.
A stay there wouldn’t be complete without a meal at the La Sponda. The Michelin-started restaurant is famously known for being one of the most romantic on the island. Hop onto a ferry for a traipse around Capri or Sorrento after – the quayside’s just a stone’s throw away.
Save for a discreet sign by a tiny chapel just outside, San Pietro is hidden far from prying eyes, which explains its George Clooney- and Julia Roberts-type clientele.
Inside is a vastly different vibe altogether. Rooms ooze retro glamour with sprightly Med-approved colours, and terraces are bedecked with flowers for those who have the privilege of a suite. Hand-painted ceramic tiles are thrown in for good measure, but they’re also a hint at the lengths the family-owned business has gone to in ensuring their guests experience the most authentic side of Positano.
You won’t have to travel far for good food. At Zass, Michelin-starred chef Alois Vanlangenaeker offers an elevated menu of seafood dishes, each complemented by fresh produce from the hotel’s very own kitchen garden.
No trip to the idyllic Amalfi Coast would be complete without a stay at Hotel Villa Franca Positano. Perched high above the deep blue waters, the luxury boutique hotel offers a modern experience ranking above many “traditional” hotels in the area.
Being situated at the very top of Positano means guests can enjoy a quieter and more exclusive experience high above the rest of the holidaymakers. If you desire a trip into town, a complimentary shuttle service is on call should the thought of trekking up or down the rocks be too much of a hassle.
Inside, local artwork adorn the walls and really provides an immersive experience into the local culture. There’s also multiple bars and restaurants providing local fresh ingredients. Yet the hotel’s ace card is perhaps the rooftop swimming pool, which offers expansive 360-degree views of the some of the most breathtaking views in Italy.
Few things draw a privileged crowd like a private beach, and Le Agavi is one of the few spots in the distinguished region that offers just that. Located in the heart of the Amalfi Coast, the hotel is an enchanting escape away from the bustle of the mediterranean — and your neighbours. The rooms are built so that you’ll enjoy total privacy even on the balcony.
The interiors here are old-world style with a flair usually associated with the vibrant village. All boast high-rise views of the cascading buildings down the side of cliffs as well as the sea, so you’ll be hard-pressed to not spend your afternoons on the balcony’s sunbeds, soaking up the tranquility of your own space.
If being in the thick of all the energy is your thing, Palazzo Murat is situated in the heart of the town with boutiques, restaurants, galleries, and the beach within a short walking distance.
Once the home to the King of Naples, the hotel boasts wonderful 18th-century architecture, and a past that history buffs will love. Palazzo Murat is also a haven for foodies; The Al Palazzo restaurant is especially dreamy in the evening, with views that are as stunning as its dishes. Many of the fresh ingredients prepared at the hotel’s restaurant come straight from the hotel’s kitchen garden.
Getting swept away by the views is easy, but the property’s spa and Turkish bath makes it equally easy to lose track of time too. A private boat is always at hand to take guests on a romantic journey along the rugged coastline.