Carved into the sheer rock face like something out of a James Bond movie and hidden from prying eyes (the only outward sign of the hotel is a tiny chapel on road level), the San Pietro lies a few bends in the road east of Positano.
People come here for peace and quiet, but if you are feeling sociable, Positano’s bars and restaurants are within a short hop in the free shuttle bus or (much more glamorous) in the hotel’s boat. The San Pietro oozes discreet retro glamour throughout its gleaming hallways, fabulous terraces, and magnificent guest rooms. Though ultra-luxurious and frequented by film stars and royalty, this is essentially a family-run affair and it shows: the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and far from snooty.
added and he opened the house to guests. His descendants still manage the hotel today. Guests want for nothing here.
for zipping up the coast, one of the hotel’s private boats will pick you up from the jetty. There is a bar with a spectacular terrace overlooking the sparkling lights of Positano across the water, a gourmet restaurant, fabulous terraced gardens, a spa and gym and, on sea level, a private ‘beach’, a tennis court and a casual-chic beachside restaurant. The faultless service, led by Swiss-trained owner-GM Vito Cinque, is old-school and as charming as it is professional. The bedrooms and suites tumble down the cliff-side in a series of
All have extraordinary sea vistas (the most coveted with views onto Positano), some even from the bath. All the rooms have been re-vamped by interior designer Fausta Gaetani in recent years and they have a chic, crisp, fresh feel with jazzy handpainted ceramic tiles, fabrics in sunny, Mediterranean colors, antiques and stylish design details offset by dazzling white paintwork.
They come with pampering extras such as cashmere throws in the wardrobes and the immaculate bathrooms are everything you would expect at this level. The hotel has a 350 square-meter, state-of-the-art kitchen for Michelin-starred chef Alois Vanlangenaeker and his 35-strong team.
A gourmet restaurant Zass, he whips up dishes such as codfish gnocchi with octopus and truffle, John Dory with lemon and buffalo yogurt and warm rabbit salad with saffron vinaigrette; much of the fresh produce comes from the hotel’s 10,000 square-meter kitchen garden.
Meals are served on a ridiculously romantic sea-facing terrace or, for a taste of the action, at the chef’s table in the kitchen. For something more informal, head down to waterside Carlino’s for tasty, local dishes such as mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves and spaghetti with courgettes or clams.
Just in time for the 2019 season, a food truck in the form of an Ape van was helicoptered onto the main terrace; it offers a globe-trotting evening menu of snacks such as amberjack ceviche, tuna tataki, sushi, and lobster rolls.
The sumptuous breakfast buffet – bowls of fresh, seasonal fruit, freshly squeezed juices, local mozzarella, smoked salmon and rare roast beef, creamy locally made yogurt, homemade breads and jams – will set you up for the day and the bar terrace, with its famous majolica-tiled benches, is a peerless spot for a sundowner.
Double rooms from €407 (£362) in low season; and from €1,035 (£920) in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
There is a minimum stay of three days between mid-May and the end of September. It is pricey, of course, but this is, after all, one of the most luxurious and glamorous hotels in the world. What would you expect?