Recently one of our Personal Travel Specialists visited the picturesque Amalfi Coast with a member of our marketing team. Travelling by hire-car, ferry and private transfer, they visited numerous hotels featured in our Italian programme. Here are their thoughts on the serene Amalfi Coast, its environs and hotels. After landing in Naples in hazy, warm sun, we drove up winding roads, passing breath-taking views of lush green valleys and cloud capped peaks...RavelloA lesser known pearl of the Amalfi Coast, Ravello leaves a lasting impression of its streets where glimpses of slate grey cliffs and blue seas can be seen between the buildings. We first visited the Belmond Caruso with its breath-taking views and luxurious interiors, before heading next door to the Palazzo Avino where beautiful views and a palatial mix of contemporary and traditional interiors combine.AmalfiAmalfi is found on the coast at the mouth of a deep ravine. The centre of town seems alive with alfresco diners whilst dramatic cliffs form the perfect backdrop to most views. We stayed at Hotel Santa Caterina, one of our recommended hotels and enjoyed beautiful views of the sea. We also visited a new addition to our programme, Monastero Santa Rosa which is located on a cliff above the Amalfi, offering a spa, gardens and stunning, panoramic views of the sea.PositanoA very picturesque village, with houses built almost on top of each other, lining the steep hillside. The road is one way through the town with a loop going around over the top. There is an array of boutique clothes shops and small, intimate restaurants and cafes all set against the looming cliffs and vast sea views. The Poseidon has an ideal location, central to the village, whilst the prestigious Hotel Le Sirenuse’s sumptuous interiors and terrace bars combine sea views with five star luxury.CapriExcept the buses and taxis, the most congestion caused on Capri is by its visitors walking about its cobbled streets. We visited the five star Hotel Quisisana which is ideally located on the corner of a square with an appearance of timeless elegance, whilst Casa Morgano charmed with its friendly staff and crisp blue and white interiors. At Anacapri, we also visited the large Capri Palace full of art and the homely comforts of the Caesar Augustus. Hotel Luna gave us the most beautiful views of the Capri’s protected Faraglioni rocks which rise from the sea.SorrentoSorrento has a bustling atmosphere of locals and tourists wandering about the streets, enjoying cafes which spill out onto the pathways and candlelit restaurants with a laid back charm. We stayed in the Grand Hotel Cocumella with its traditional interior and beautiful gardens, visiting the beautiful Bellevue Syrene with its blending of traditional with contemporary furnishings. The Excelsior Vittoria’s large grounds and central location make it an ideal hotel to enjoy Sorrento, whilst the central location and value of Antiche Mura makes it a hidden gem.Favourite hotels of the Amalfi CoastThe Amalfi Coast has an irresistible charm, from views of the vast sea to the towering grey cliffs around. Universally popular as an ideal holiday destination, it is vital to book early. Here are some suggestions for a 2016 retreat.Belmond Hotel CarusoLocated in picturesque Ravello, Belmond Caruso is a five star hotel with, terraced gardens, stunning views and a beautiful infinity pool which appears to disappear into the sea. Containing original frescoes and marble, the hotel interior is classically elegant. The staff are wonderfully friendly and inviting whilst rooms are comfortably furnished. From the chandeliered lounge with grand piano to the vaulted ceiling to the terrace, the hotel is exquisitely decorated to high, luxurious standards.Stay 5 nights from £1490 per person based on two people sharing a Double Room with Village View, including scheduled flights with British Airways London to Naples, hire car and bed and breakfast.Hotel Santa CaterinaPoised on the cliffs above Amalfi, the five star Santa Caterina is a light, attractive hotel. A mixture of vaulted ceilings, beautiful tiled floors and Art Nouveau furniture, the hotel’s plants and flowers give it calming ambiences. Rooms are furnished to a high standard, a highlight being the individually tiled bathrooms, and there is a spa, fitness area and outdoor beach club with swimming pool. The restaurant terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy local cuisine and marvel at views of the sea and Amalfi.Stay 7 nights from £1460 per person based on two people sharing a Double Room with partial sea view, including scheduled flights with British Airways London to Naples, hire car and bed and breakfast.Hotel LunaSituated a short walk from the very centre of Capri, Hotel Luna is an oasis of calm, set in beautiful gardens. The four star hotel’s interior is traditional and simple, allowing stunning views of the sea and gardens to take centre stage. There is an outdoor swimming pool, wellness room with massages and treatments and large restaurant. At night the terrace allows you to relax under the star and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the hotel.Stay 7 nights from £1290 per person based on two people sharing a Standard Double Room, including scheduled flights with British Airways London to Naples, hire car and bed and breakfast.Hotel PoseidonOverlooking Positano, Hotel Posiedon is a four star hotel with traditional charm and is ideal for those wishing to explore the Amalfi Coast. There is an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant with terrace and comfortable lounge with a bar. Rooms are comfortably furnished and mostly have a balcony or terrace. A small wellness centre, with a gym, Turkish bath and Solarium is ideal for relaxation after exploring Positano’s boutiques and cafes.Stay 7 nights from £1235 per person based on two people sharing a Double Room with garden or village view, including scheduled flights with British Airways London to Naples, hire car and bed and breakfast.
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