Charming and glamorous in equal parts, Hotel Santa Caterina offers guests a classic Italianate stay.
Flying into Naples, a 90-minute car journey will take you to one of Amalfi’s grandest dames, the Hotel Santa Caterina. The cliffside property, which shoulders Amalfi town – a quaint commune, with maritime ties – welcomes visitors new and returning to its elegant seaside surrounds, with the promise of a private beach and gourmet dining offering further sweetening on arrival.
The Packing Edit
Il dolce far niente, in the style of Slim Aarons.
Spacious, sun-drenched, and a little ostentatious, bedrooms take a leaf out of the Liberace design book – think XL whirlpool tubs dug into the floor, swathes of mandarin-hued fabric strewn over curtain poles, chinoiserie upholstered chairs, and marble bathrooms (stocked with Bulgari toiletries, naturally). Such lavishness is countered with artisanal hand-painted majolica floor tiles and comfortable sofas. Balconies offer sea views of Amalfi or garden views and no two rooms are alike; ‘unique’ feels a particularly fitting sum up.
For a secluded stay, the intimate Giulietta & Romeo Chalet is (more than) room enough for two and offers guests total privacy. A little ways from the main hotel, the suite is built on two levels, and boasts a terrace leading out on to a private garden with heated infinity pool on the floor below.
For larger groups, the new Villa Della Marchesa is worth considering. Recently renovated, this exclusive accommodation option is composed of multiple suites and rooms (sleeping between 10-14 people in total), a living area, as well as kitchen facilities, and is surrounded by verdant gardens and a private lap pool and solarium. In need of further convincing? It also comes with jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean and is immersed in Amalfi lemon groves.
The Little Extras
Take the Wes Anderson-esque lift down (or face 300+ steps) to the private Beach Club. Its retro glass front offers a peep at the sun deck and tempting cerulean waters ahead of your arrival. At base level, you’ll be met by a heated salt-water pool, fitness area, and sun deck. In between dips in the pool and sunbathing, head to the Il Grottino Bar, located next to the beach club, for some shade and a macchiato/Aperol spritz (as your mood dictates).
Hotel Santa Caterina’s Spa is small but offers a wide range of treatments. Stop by for a lemon-infused massage, ‘Amalfi Gold’, which uses essences of Mediterranean essential oils from flowers and plants of the Amalfi Coast during your session, making for quite the heady experience.
The Food + Drink
Breakfast at Restaurant Santa Caterina is a lavish affair. Met by a munificent buffet of hams and cheeses, fresh fruits and grilled vegetables, as well as hot breakfast items, and an array of sweet regional pastries – oh, and there’s an ice-cream bar too: choose from strawberry, lemon, chocolate, and coffee – there’s no want for choice. Still, if the buffet doesn’t offer choice enough, you can always defer to the a la carte menu, which offers the regular suspects of avo toast, eggs benedict, and co.
For lunch, opt for a casual bite at Al Mare, the hotel’s beach restaurant. Positioned on a perched terrace, overlooking the swimming pool and the sea, Al Mare’s all-wood structure is pure beach vibes. Plating up classic recipes of the Amalfi Coast, choose from a menu spanning fresh grilled fish with vegetables to moreish pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven, and risottos or pastas cooked al dente (as it should be). Round things off with a luxurious tiramisu or an iced lemon soufflé. Go on, you’re on your holidays.
Pre-dinner, enjoy an aperitif at the candlelit La Terrazza Bar. Post-tipple, it’s time for dinner at Michelin-starred Glicine. Chef Giuseppe Stanzione’s fine-dining concept is open every day for dinner only and takes diners on a compelling food journey which begins with copious amounts of bread and olive oil, closely followed by a quartet of amuse-bouche – the fried mozzarella ball with truffle was particularly good! Menus change daily, spanning vegetarian to more carnivorous dishes. For dessert, the playful ‘local sfusato lemon’ is a must-order. Accompanying your meal: robust candlelight, sea views, and the sound of tinkling ivories, which all in all makes for a wholly transportive setting.
The To-Do List
Head into Amalfi town centre and shop for crockery and limoncello, or, for oenophiles, pay a visit to local, family owned winery, Marisa Cuomo in Furore.
Herculaneum, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Naples are all an easy day trip by car.