A starry stay in Positano

·2-min read
Photo credit: Capodilupo
Photo credit: Capodilupo

There’s a reason stars like George Clooney and Julia Roberts flock here: the legendary Il San Pietro di Positano, a Relais & Chateaux property, really does live up to its reputation as one of the world’s best. At its heart, the hotel like many others on the coast, is a family-run operation packaged up with a genuine dose of warmth: the atmosphere is welcoming and far from snooty. Adored for decades by starlets the world over, San Pietro began life as the home of Carlo Cinque, who over the years, expanded the hotspot into the iconic Italian grand dame it is today.

Its location is pretty hard to beat. Suites and rooms are carved into the rock face away from the prying eyes of tourists. People come here not just for the exclusive privacy, but also to retreat from the hustle and bustle of Positano, the kaleidoscopic glitterati pitstop the hotel looks out to over on the east.

The hotel has so much to offer that you barely need leave: private boat tours for a zipline down the shore; a spectacular tennis court, chic beachside sunbed spots, an iconic sea-facing swimming pool, a spa and gym, as well as flourishing gardens.

Photo credit: Stefano Scatà
Photo credit: Stefano Scatà

The bedrooms and suites roll down the cliff-side in a series of plant-flecked terraces. All come with extraordinary sea views, which are visible from the comfort of your own bath and shower. Style-wise, Fausta Gaetini is behind the interiors’ crisp retro look, adorning surfaces with jazzy hand-painted ceramic tiles, loud Mediterranean colours, fabrics in sunny Amalfi layers and grand chandeliers that glow on dazzling white walls.

The culinary scene at San Pietro is ridiculously romantic. Zass, from the Michelin-starred chef Alois Vanlangenaeker, serves up seasonal gourmet fare on a golden sun-lit terrace eyeing the dramatic southern coast. On our visit we dined on a delicious table of pasta coated with lemon lobster and pistachios, sea bass with fennel and citrus mayonnaise and a very tender veal sirloin with potato purée, truffle and beetroot salad. Aperitivo hour is also a major feast for the senses. Grab a spot on the majolica-tiled benches high above the breaking waves just before dusk hits. Gin cocktails, plus a glass of champagne, makes for the perfect pre-dinner sundowner.

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

More casual fare is served beachside at Carlino’s. Expect local dishes such as mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves, spaghetti with courgettes or clams. The giant breakfast spread offers bowls of fresh fruit, mountains of pastries, freshly squeezed juices, local cheeses, smoked salmon and roast beef, creamy locally made yogurt and homemade breads and jam.

Though there is plenty to keep you occupied at the hotel, if you do want to stray away, the legendary restaurant Da Adolfo is minutes away by boat (book well in advance) and should you want to explore the shops and restaurants of Positano, a complimentary shuttle service will whisk you into town on your command.

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy
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