Villa Scarpariello

Marmorata di Ravello, Naples & Amalfi, Italy Book from Book from £108 per night

Simple B&B rooms and apartments, with tiered gardens around a Norman watchtower, and a pool overhanging the rocky coast
Sail the Amalfi coast and you might spot a string of medieval watchtowers along the rocky shore, and wonder who is lucky enough to own one. The answer, in this case, is Prince Luigi d'Angerio di Sant'Agata; but a huge tax bill means we are the lucky ones. A series of outhouses, built to accommodate his friends in the 1950s, have now been converted into a variety of rooms and apartments, sleeping 2-6 people, some with simple kitchens. There's also a restaurant for guests, with spectacular views out to sea. Now in the hands of the Prince’s grandchildren, the hotel is very much as he originally intended.

From the Amalfi-Minori road, steps and paths bordered with marble busts lead down through cliff-hung terraces and verdant gardens, which burst with lemons, geraniums and palms. At the bottom is a vine-shaded breakfast terrace with majestic sea views, and a crenellated swimming pool which literally overhangs the water. The same goes for the double rooms: waves fizz below your balcony, while the sound of gurgling water lulls you to sleep.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • One of the finest settings on the coast, with sweeping views of the sea and the jagged mountains behind Minori
  • A spectacularly sited swimming pool, and easy access into the sea (or into hired boats) from a private little quay
  • We loved sitting in the well-groomed gardens among imperial statues and ancient stonework
  • Delightful staff - and family-friendly too
  • Good value in an expensive area

Lows

  • Interiors, while spacious and functional, are dated (though gradually being updated and the overall look has a retro charm)
  • Don't expect to stay in the watchtower - it's reserved for the owner
  • Breakfast is basic and costs extra; although the location is superb the restaurant lacks atmosphere. All meals to be booked and paid for at check-in
  • Steep and often uneven steps run between terraces and down to rooms and there is small additional charge for help with luggage
  • WiFi available in common areas only

Best time to go

Summer is extremely busy – in mid August you can barely find beach space to lay your towel. Come in spring (April-early June) or autumn (Sept-Oct) if you possibly can. The weather then is perfect for gentle exploration, and swimming is quite feasible until early November (though in April it's chilly). A word of warning: the heating is only the wall-mounted, air-blown type, so bring warm clothes if coming at the edge of the season.

Our top tips

This is a great area for sea-foodies. Local specialities include superb spaghetti alle vongole (clams), herb-encrusted hake, paccheri pasta in a seafood sauce, grilled lobster, or pezzogna (the local word for sea bream) baked in salt. Sweet cakey desserts normally come with a chilled shot of limoncello on the house.

Great for...

Beach
Family
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 5 rooms, 1 family room, 5 apartments for
  • Restaurant + self-catering
  • All ages welcome.
  • Closed: 29 Sep 2020 - 30 Apr 2021...
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

There are 5 double rooms (3 with balcony, 2 without - but enjoying a panoramic sea view nonetheless), a family room with balcony, and 5 apartments with balcony for 2-6 people, spread across two newish seafront buildings and a small house near the top. All are done out in simple Italian rustic style, with cream or pastel walls, wrought iron beds, bronze faux-chandeliers and a scattering of wooden furniture (some of it antique, some of it modern). Brightly patterned fabrics and vivid Amalfi tiles add colour, if not always in the subtlest of combinations, with naïve artwork on the walls adding an occasionally erotic note. But if it's not quite the contemporary chic you might hope for (and, in truth, few hotels on the Amalfi coast are), rest assured that it is comfortable and spacious – and the views of sea, mountain and garden are to die for.

Bathrooms, likewise, are functional, with a couple of avocado- or peach-coloured bathroom suites surviving from the 1950s furbishment. The rest are being gradually done up with neutral cream tiling and corner shower cabinets.

Of the apartments, the 3 in the lower Amalfi-side building (Luigi, Elena and Emanuele) are the largest, with a long sea-facing balcony and sitting-dining room, 2 rear-facing bedrooms (note that in Elena/Emanuele, a chunk is taken out of the sitting room to make way for a 3rd bedroom), and one bathroom apiece. Up above the prince's quarters is Ficus, the family room, with 2 double bedrooms and a bathroom in between (no kitchen).

The rooms are all double-bedded and situated in the Minori-side buildings. There are 2 secluded ones up by reception, and 3 in a lower building, with balconies and plunging views over the sea. Note that WiFi is only available in the common areas of the villa, and not in the rooms.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Phone
  • Satellite TV

Eating

All meals including breakfast are an additional cost and are booked and paid for at check-in. A simple continental breakfast (rolls, croissants, mini-jams, carton-juice, hot drink), is served outside on the dining terrace.

The apartments have rather dated kitchens with gas rings, a large fridge, Ikea-style cabinets with basic cutlery and crockery but no traditional oven. Family room Ficus has a fridge but no other kitchen facilities.

The hotel’s restaurant serves lunch, with a limited choice of salads (melon and ham, green salad, or Caponata di Amalfi – salad made with bread and tomatoes). They also offer dinner, with a more comprehensive menu of Italian pasta, meat and fish dishes. The food is underwhelming, but it’s a great place for a cold beer – and the service is charming.

Alternatively, you can either prepare something simple in your apartment, or drive to Amalfi, Atrani or Minori, all within 5km.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • In house cook
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hire a private boat to collect you from the villa and take you to nearby coves (the deep inlet of Furore is spectacular), to sea caves, or to rocky islets such as Li Galli (where Nureyev had a villa). Canoes and pedalos can also be delivered to your 'front door' from Atrani
  • Take a public ferry from Amalfi or Minori along the coast to Positano or the isle of Capri for some glitzy shopping and dining, plus colourful cliffside villages
  • Drive or walk up to gorgeous Ravello, a handsome village set high on a spur, with plunging views over the coast (best appreciated from the stunning gardens of the Villa Cimbrone)
  • The town of Amalfi has an impressive duomo (in whose crypt lie the remains of St Andrew), a small museum in the town hall (where you can see the first ever maritime law, the 16th-century Tabula Amalfitana), not to mention excellent pastry shops (try the creamy sfogliatelle of Andrea Pansa)
  • Keen walkers should not miss the lovely Valle delle Ferriere, a 5-hour hike heading deep inland from Minuta or Campidoglio, to re-emerge at Pogerola above Amalfi

      Activities on site or nearby include:

      • Hiking
      • Kayaking
      • Shopping / markets
      • Snorkelling
      • Swimming

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and this one of the few places on the Amalfi coast which genuinely suit families, although it's probably better for 6+ year olds, due to all those steep stairs. Staff can arrange English-speaking babysitters. Minori and Maiori have long, safe strands; other villages have smaller and steeper beaches

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots are available on request, but must be booked in advance by email and are subject to availability.

Babysitting:

The team can arrange English-speaking babysitters (subject to availability and to be booked in advance by email).

Kid Friendly:

Location

Villa Scarpariello is just outside Amalfi in Marmorata di Ravello, 70km from Naples. The property itself is divided into different levels from the main road to the ocean, connected by steps (as is common for the Amalfi Coast). Porterage services are available at an additional cost. There's a SITA bus stop a few metres' walk from the entrance of the villa. Taxi and boat transfer are also available, contact the villa ahead of your stay if you want to book these services.

From the Airport
Fly to Naples Capodichino (70km), then take a taxi via Salerno or via Bomerano to Marmorata di Ravello (both routes are about 1.5 hours, the last part tortuous).

By Car
This is one part of the Amalfi coast where it makes sense to hire a car. The villa has its own parking (at extra cost) in front of its entrance, and you'll need to drive to Maiori/Minori/Amalfi/Ravello for meals (all 5-10 km). For day trips, the boat service along the coast is pretty efficient; roads can get clogged in summer. See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you once your booking is confirmed.

Read our guide to Getting to Italy and Getting around

Airports:

  • Naples - Capodichino 70.0 km NAP

Other:

  • Beach 3.0 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.5 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Like having your own castle in paradise. Really (not if you hate stairs and vertical drops within the location). Really nice, professional, helpful, local stuff.

10/10,

Stunning location, beautiful rooms, lovely food, great place.

10/10,

One of the most magical places I have ever stayed. Luigi and his outstanding team ensured that we spent a week of pure joy. Nothing was too much trouble to arrange both within and outside the hotel. The views from the terraces and from our own lovely room, with the shifting light and the mesmerising sound of the sea beneath us never failed to absorb and to delight. We cannot wait to return.

10/10,

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Rates for Villa Scarpariello

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