Le Sirenuse, Positano

Location: This 18th century palazzo is located halfway up an almost vertical cliffside, giving it magnificent sweeping views of the village and out to the ocean. The hotel’s central location makes it walking distance to all the village’s best shops and restaurants.

First impressions: One of the most iconic hotels in the Amalfi Coast, Le Sirenuse has a classical elegance few hotels can match.
The hotel is packed with antiques and artwork collected by the Sersales, so much so that guests can do a self-guided tour of its many treasures.
Enter the lobby and you’ll find vintage maps of Naples and Rome, a ‘palanquin’ – a sedan chair once used to transport noblewomen, and a model of sailing ship dating back to the 17th century.
Surrounded by lemon trees and bougainvillea, the terrace is an idyllic spot for sunbathing and swimming. Its only down-side is that sun loungers are tightly packed, but the mesmerizing view of Positano’s higgledy-piggledy homes and bobbing yachts will help you block out your neighbours’ conversation.
Staff are distinguished, softly-spoken and give the impression that they have been in this beautiful spot as long as the lemon trees.

The facts: The red building with green shutters was originally home of the Marcheso Sersale family and was opened as a hotel in 1951. The Sersales, Antonio and Frano, still run the hotel today with help from their son and two daughters.
Despite its rich history, the hotel is not stuck in the past. The oyster and champagne bar draws a stylish young crowd and sing-alongs can last into the early hours.
Our deluxe ocean-view room had high tech Bose speakers, a Jacuzzi bath and flat screen TV, as well as a Vietri tiled floor, antique chest and grand four poster bed.

Wow: A recent addition to the hotel is the strikingly-modern Aveda Concept Spa. Designed by Italian architect Gae Aulent, the spa’s blend of glass, teak floors, white marble and steel make it a devine retreat from the baking sunshine.

A good base for: Afternoons are well spent strolling through the winding streets of Positano exploring its art galleries and boutiques. Positano’s central position makes it a perfect base for exploring the Amalfi Coast, whether it’s a ferry to Capri or a day trip to Pompeii.

How much: 500 euros plus tax (high season) for an inner courtyard room.

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