Villa Rosmarino

Camogli, Liguria, Italy Book from

Reviewed by Negar Esfandiary
Super-stylised Ligurian palazzo with pool set above the achingly beautiful fishing village of Camogli
Camogli is a relatively hidden gem of the Italian Riviera, a breathtaking cliffside of yellow and ochre trompe-l'oeil houses and clear blue waters around the peninsula from legendary Portofino, where the Armani and Versace villas sit.

Up above, Villa Rosmarino, built in 1907, is an authentic Genoese palazzo with original mosaic flooring. The pool is set in a lovely garden of magnolia, lemon, tangerine and grapefruit trees, with restful scents of lavender and rosemary. It's been given a thoroughly modern makeover by owner Mario, an ex-advertising exec who gave up Milan for this tranquil hideaway; in its stark simplicity, the main decoration is the collection of contemporary art that came with Mario, including a spectacular cache of Italian vases. A wonderfully stylish base from which to explore the coast - beautiful walks, romantic boat rides, sunset aperitivi - and the absorbing city of Genoa, with its labyrinth of streets and moody bars. The area's cuisine is the icing on the cake.


  • Location - the only hotel of its kind in this enchanting fishing village, a (steepish) 10-15 minute walk downhill
  • Private collection of paintings, photographs, interesting furniture, art and design books
  • Exceptional service: Mario and his team are wonderfully knowledgeable about the area and will work hard to ensure your stay is memorable
  • Some rather special restaurants a short drive away and the hotel breakfast is very good (table service and beautifully presented)
  • No need for a car - the coastal trains are brilliant


  • No in-house dining - just breakfast and, during high season, poolside light lunches
  • No air-con and a lack of in-room TV and telephone (a bonus for some)
  • It's subjective, but some may find the interiors slightly clinical or the artwork somewhat risqué
  • The nearest beach (a 10-minute walk downhill) is pebbly - but sunloungers are available
  • No twin beds

Best time to go

Spring and autumn are particularly glorious times, for the rich colours in nature and the overall light. July and August are busy with Italian holidaymakers and summer jazz, but the position of the villa and its restful atmosphere mean you can escape to the poolside, emerging for the nice evening vibe of dinner in the small towns. Winters are spectacular for absolute quiet.

Our top tips

Don't miss Santa Margherita (10 mins by train or car), with its exclusive shops and the stunning gardens of the Villa Durazzo.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 6
  • Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
  • Ages 8+ are accepted
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Palma


There are 6 very individual rooms - Angolo, Giardino, Grande, Piscina, Palma, and Terrazzo - named according to their position and aspect within the 3 floors of the villa. They're characterised by bold artistic works and furniture, including a marvellous neo-medieval bronze and wood bed in Angolo. All rooms have queen- or kingsize beds with beautiful white linen. Floors are a lovely tan resin, luxurious to walk on, continuing through to ensuite bathrooms tiled in Saint-Hubert natural stone and featuring vast basins carved from Carrara marble, ample shelving and heated towel rails. For extra special showers, book Terrazzo (spectacular view!) or Angolo (well-designed space and large showerhead).

We stayed in Terrazzo, the only room with a terrace, and loved it's glorious views. Giardino is a suite-like room with 1900s French daybed and original Genoese mosaic flooring. Grande is the largest, as you'd expect, with double-aspect views; Angolo ("corner") has a lovely bed and shower.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Breakfast is a sophisticated affair, taken at individual tables in the garden and beautifully presented. Mario is passionate about food and serves what he likes himself (which guarantees quality). We particularly enjoyed the homemade muesli, fresh fruit, Italian brioche and warm pastries, as well as the locally made organic jams, freshly squeezed orange juice and aromatic coffees. Lunch is also available on request during summer.

Other than that, and perhaps an evening aperitivo, no meals are served at the villa - despite its rather beautiful, state-of-the-art kitchen. However, this is more than compensated by the fantastic choice of excellent local (and untouristy) restaurants. Mario’s restaurant recommendations are excellent. We tried Ristorante CUCU, where the catch of the day was fresh off the boat in Camogli itself.

Pesto and focaccia both come from this part of Italy, so you it’s worth indulging while you’re here.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Explore the charming village of Camogli, with its fishing harbour, ice cream parlours and the beautifully decorated basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, largest of the town's 5 churches
  • Swim in the clear blue waters, snorkelling to discover plentiful flora and fauna around the rocks; the village has a nice swathe of pebble beach
  • Walk to the magnificent 13th-century abbey of San Fruttuoso (2-3 hours), through forest and panoramic sea views, lunching on the beach there - and, if you're clever, returning by boat
  • Visit the famous "jewel" of Liguria - Portofino - by boat or car, climbing to the very splendid Hotel Splendido for aperitivi and people-watching on the terrace
  • Jump on a train to explore the great city of Genoa and the spectacular architecture of Via Garibaldi
  • Laze by the villa pool and take siestas under the magnolia tree, or retreat to the sanctuary of your room

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing


Children over 8 are welcome, but with the tranquil atmosphere and lack of immediate activities, perhaps best to leave them behind for this holiday.

Family friendly accommodation:

Giardino can hold an extra bed - specify requirement when booking.

Kid Friendly:

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