Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino
Given the long list of celebrities to have sipped cocktails on its terraces and danced in its piano bar, it’s hard to imagine that the Splendido was once a monastery, albeit way back in the 16th century. Today and for some time it’s been the go-to hotel for the social elite when ashore from their yachts in magical Portofino. And with its wonderful bay views, grape-vined terraces and Belle Epoque interiors it’s easy to see why.
Moulded against the hillside with wonderful views of the bay of Portofino, this luxury hotel oozes old-world glamour and effortless sophistication. The vast majority of the 70 rooms and suites are sea-facing with pretty balconies, and are a mix of classic creams and golds, or a more contemporary look of fresh whites and colourful accents.
Leave time for a long lunch at sister hotel, Splendido Mare, right down on the harbour in the town’s piazzetta. Then dress up for dinner at Ristorante La Terrazza, one of the most spectacularly located restaurants in all of Italy, where regional specialities are cooked to perfection.
Relax around the heated saltwater pool (the only swimming pool in Portofino) or stroll down to the sea along shaded pathways through beautiful gardens of grape vines and olive trees. Hire the hotel’s private boat for a tour of the Cinque Terre, or head into the mountains to visit wine, olive oil and cheese producers. Or simply stay put and surrender to the spa.