Relais Villa Scarpariello
Via Carusiello 32, Marmorata, Ravello, Italy, 84010
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, Singles, Design and architecture, Escaping the crowds, Great views / scenery, No fuss
Expert review of Relais Villa Scarpariello
One of the more unusual places that I stayed at recently was this incredible 'tower of Scarpariello' perched on the side of a cliff. The tower itself was built in 1533 as a defensive strategy against the regular Turkish invasions. Today its appeal would be for independent travellers who like doing their own thing, don't require too much attention and don't mind not being in the centre of town.
Although technically in part of Ravello, Scarpariello is a ten- or fifteen-minute taxi ride to central Ravello. Otherwise it's a walk along the Amalfi coast road (no pavements, so walk on the sea side of the road) to the corner (where its sister hotel, Villa Michele, is situated) and catch the bus up to Ravello (ten to fifteen minutes). The final alternative is to walk it, but you'll need stronger legs than mine: it's more than 1,000 steps. The remoteness could be part of its charm but it's a hassle if you want to go for a drink or meal locally – although the food at Villa Michele's restaurant is very good (you'll need to book).
The apartments are definitely not in the same league as the elegant exterior would promise, but they're clean and functional, and the views are priceless. My apartment had a little kitchen area with a fridge filled with wine, water and soft drinks and there's a table and chairs facing out over the sea. The bathroom was perfectly functional but I couldn't get the Jacuzzi to work. The shower was hand-held but had a good and powerful jet. Soap and sachet shampoo were provided (and there was also a hairdryer).
The villa is set out so that you might never bump into a fellow guest (I certainly didn't) and so it's a bit like wandering around your own private castle. Be warned, there are a lot of steps and, as Dominic pointed out, remember when you go tripping off down (to the pool for instance) that you'll have to come back up the same number of steps. Have a wander and you'll find plenty of little nooks to explore with places to sit and relax and enjoy the view.
Tricky one this… breakfast is provided but unless you're self-catering (as I was on my last visit) you'll need to go into Ravello, eat at Villa Michele (up the road) or get a takeaway (Dominic arranged this when, though I'd planned to eat out, the skies opened and put paid to any chance of my walking down to VM).
The lovely pool has wonderful views.
A bit hit and miss. When I arrived I wasn't sure that Piero was expecting me, but he told me that my room wasn't ready so I headed off into Ravello. When I got back (at around 3.30pm) there was no-one on reception and my bag was still there. That aside, Dominic was helpful with arranging taxis and takeout.
The independent traveller and this would be a great place for couples or group of friends who know how to make their own entertainment.
Offers are usually available in low season (after Easter and up until the beginning of May, end September to November). WiFi is included in the price though in the Giardino apartment the reception wasn't always great. A boon for drivers, parking is also including. If you're staying in an apartment, you can pay an extra charge to have breakfast and daily cleaning.
More information on Relais Villa Scarpariello:
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- Via Carusiello 32, Marmorata, Ravello, Italy, 84010