“An oasis in the old heart of Naples, with tall palms, exotic flowers, a small pool and elegant rooms”
Step inside, through the plushly-sofa'd reception where pleated Philippe Starck lampshades and curly chandeliers hang from high ceilings, and the bedrooms (some split-level suites) do not disappoint. Spread across the original residence and its knocked-through neighbour, they’re smart and comfy, with wide, firm beds, soothing palettes and bespoke art. A friendly, relaxing retreat from the chaotic charms of Naples.
- The central location - 2 paces from tree-filled Piazza Bellini, 2 blocks from the archaeological museum, and a 15-minute walk from the Palazzo Reale and the harbour
- One of the only central Naples hotels with a pool (albeit a small one), plus a large, sun-trap roof terrace with loungers, tables and chairs
- Valet parking for those who, like me, are mad enough to drive here
- The complimentary carafes of Nocino and Limoncello liqueurs in reception
- It's intimate and homely while retaining its century-old style
- The decor dated and would benefit from being refreshed; Double Room 305 only has an internal window
- Hard to find (the only sign is tiny) and the property gets occasional traffic and street noise (despite the best efforts of double glazing)
- Some of the neighbouring blocks are slightly decrepit, and scaffolding stretches across one of the facing buildings on Via Bellini
- Unfortunately, when we visited in 2016 the pool was dirty and uninviting
Best time to go
Our top tips
Bring ear plugs if you're a light sleeper, and don't carry anything of value around with you - Naples is notoriously ridden with pickpockets.”
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast (+ restaurants nearby)
- All ages welcome.
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
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.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Dvd player
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Safe box
- Satellite tv
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.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- You're well-placed for exploring the city centre: the cathedral, the archaeological museum, the churches of Santa Chiara, Gesu Nuovo and San Severo, and all the other centro storico sights are within walking distance
- The metro station on Piazza Dante (2 minutes away) takes you to the Chiaia district (cool boutiques and seafront restaurants), Piazza Garibaldi (the main train station) and, using funiculars, up to Vomero (for Castel Sant'Elmo and the Carthusian monastery of San Martino)
- Take a 15-minute walk down Via Toledo towards the harbour to see the sumptuous Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte, with its elaborate carvings, its own theatre, and one of Italy's richest art collections
- Visit the MADRE museum of contemporary art, and take in some of the city’s many exhibitions - the clued-up hotel staff can recommend the latest, and sometimes offer free tickets to guests. They also give out their own printed map of Naples - just ask
- Within half an hour by train or car are the remarkably-preserved remains of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the former vast and breathtaking, the latter smaller and less touristy. From either, you can drive to the base of Mt Vesuvius, whose ash-swirling, lunar-rocked summit is a steep 45-minute climb (weather permitting)
- You can also take boat trips from Naples to the isles of Ischia and Capri, improbably rugged rocks sprinkled with pretty pastel villages and celebs' summer villas. The water around them is wonderfully clear, and you can hire canoes and snorkels or visit a sea-cave
- Further afield is the Amalfi coast, Sorrento being the nearest, stateliest and most crowded of its many picturesque harbour towns
- After a hard day’s sightseeing, the hotel's roof terrace and garden are lovely spots to relax in with a book and a drink. Staff can also arrange massages
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
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)
Family friendly accommodation:
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
- Shops: 1 minute