THIS FAMILY-RUN HOTEL ON ITALY’S FABLED AMALFI COAST IS AS MEMORABLE FOR ITS WARM SERVICE AS FOR ITS BEAUTY.
Le Sirenuse, nestled into a rocky hillside in Positano, is quite possibly the finest hotel in all of Italy. It’s a bold claim but you don’t need to just take our word for it – the hotel is a consistent award winner, and not just in Italian and European categories. The esteemed Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report has crowned it one of the top 20 international hotels.
It’s definitely not the grandest hotel in Italy, or even on the Amalfi coast. It has just 59 guest rooms that are all individually decorated, which lends the hotel a genuinely residential character. While the exterior is a striking dark red with minty green and white highlights, the inside is decorated with cool whitewashed walls that look like they were painted yesterday. Most of the hotel’s rooms have a private terrace or balcony with views over the bay of Positano.
The hotel was founded in 1951 after four siblings – Aldo, Paolo, Franco and Anna Sersale – made the decision to convert their family’s Positano home into a hotel. Today the hotel is run by Franco’s son Antonio and his wife Carla. Across the street are Carla’s two boutiques, Emporio Sirenuse, which sell a chic mix of fashion, homewares and the hotel’s signature fragrances.
Author John Steinbeck was an early guest at the hotel and published a piece on Positano in Harper’s Bazaar in 1953 which set the small fishing village on a course to becoming a summer playground for well-heeled American tourists (it still is). A bound copy of Steinbeck’s essay is given to guests at check-in – it’s one of the small, thoughtful gestures that make a stay here so special. What really sets Le Sirenuse apart, however, is the service. Many of the staff have been with the hotel for decades and whether you’re a new guest or a regular you’ll be treated like an old friend here. At night the hotel’s bars come alive with guests and its Michelin-starred La Sponda restaurant is lit with hundreds of candles. It’s a hotel that is hard to leave. Le Sirenuse is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. To book: lhw.com