“An oasis in the old heart of Naples, with tall palms, exotic flowers, a small pool and elegant rooms”
The 19 rooms and suites are comfy, elegant and well soundproofed (though even the best double glazing can't completely block out a loudly-revved motorbike). They’re decorated in restful pastel colours (pale green, buttery yellow, peachy pink), with floor-length silk curtains, patterned floor tiles, interesting pieces of modern art, wide beds (many wrought-iron twins pushed together), soft cotton sheets and fluffy pillows. All are well equipped and come with roomy cupboards, individual air con and heating, phones, and desks concealing a minibar (complete with chilled glasses), a plasma-screen satellite TV and a DVD/CD player. The ensuite bathrooms have walls of cool Calabrian marble and bathtubs with overhead showers.
The rooms were designed by Cecotti Design, who did Florence's Gallery Art Hotel, and the result is very smart if a little impersonal. However, owner Clelia Santoro has taken care to add a few touches of her own, such as a snail-shaped fragment of column or a real cockle shell for the soap.
The 5 Junior Suites (3 with Jacuzzis and 2 with garden terraces) are split across 2 levels, with a sitting area with a pull-out sofabed downstairs, and slender slate steps up to a cosy beamed bedroom above. Such is the height of these rooms that they don't feel in the least claustrophobic, and some have four-poster beds. The green-themed Garden Suite (with a Jacuzzi and a terrace) is in a newer, lower wing alongside the garden and pool. It’s spacious, with a sofabed and kingsize bed in adjoining arched alcoves, if a little less classy.
Likewise, of the Double Rooms, those in the low garden wing (numbers 105-107) are comparatively plain, and room 305 only has an internal window. We'd recommend asking for one of the rooms in the main house, some of which have parquet floors and tall French windows onto the raised sun terrace.
There's an excellent breakfast buffet laid out in the interior dining room or, in summer, taken on a shady garden patio with pretty wrought-iron furniture. Highlights are fresh cornetti (croissants), scrambled eggs, bacon and baby sausages, 2 kinds of marmalade, a fleshy blood-orange juice, and a Zeppelin-shaped cheese floating among the cold cuts. Here, too, the class is apparent in the heavy silver water pots and the wide variety of teas.
The only other meals on offer at the hotel are light bites via the 24-hour room service menu, but you have a choice of several restaurants within a few minutes' walk. These include the popular but slightly over-rated Portalba 18 just around the corner, and the excellent Leon d'Oro on Piazza Dante. Both offer a choice of nearly 50 pizzas (Naples is, after all, the birthplace of pizza), plus pasta, seafood and contorni (veg).
If you want to splash out, Ristorante Radici on the Riviera di Chiaia comes highly recommended for its minimalist Indonesian teak interiors and stylish cucina neapolitana rivisitata (tel: 081 2481100; bookings essential). In the same neck of the woods is Le Stanza del Gusto (tel: 081 401578; bookings advisable). If you fancy a change from Italian food (though it doesn't come much better than in Naples), try Jap One for oriental cuisine. There are also some lovely, shady cafés on tranquil little Piazza Bellini just over the road; Intramoenia is where the local literati hang out and discuss philosophy.
Children of all ages are welcome, and the Junior Suites are perfect for a couple with 1 or 2 children, using the pull-out sofabeds for the kids downstairs.
Children (4-12 years)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking