Two kilometres outside Positano (and so having the best views of it), Il San Pietro looks as though it was hewn from the rocks (some areas reveal bare rock-face to prove it). There is a 24-hour minibus service that will take you into Positano whenever you wish or it's a half-hour walk along the winding Amalfi Coast road.
Every room is different but they all have a view and feature hand-painted furniture, marble bathrooms, Jacuzzi baths, the fluffiest of towels, robes, slippers, a basket of toiletries and every luxury you can think of. Of the 62 rooms, you might want to stay in the '8 1/2' - so-called after Marcello Mastroianni stayed here one summer when starring in Federico Fellini's film of the same name.
The panoramic terraces are legendary: tiled seats are reminiscent of those at Santa Chiara in Naples (with tiles from Vietri), bougainvillea trails down to the sea and the views of Positano and beyond are really spectacular, especially from the pool. The interior is just as stunning: an army of staff keep every window and surface gleaming; elegant lounges boast fine furnishings beneath vaulted ceilings; and there are flowers everywhere.
Eating and drinking
Buffet breakfast includes breads, croissants, preserves, fruit, juices and coffee. If you want a cooked breakfast there is an additional charge (a ham omelette is 12 euros, for instance). The restaurant is Michelin-starred and has won rave reviews from Michael Winner. Guests can dine on the terrace, weather permitting.
The best of the facilities is surely the private beach (open May to October, accessible by lift). As well as sunloungers and a beach café/bar, there is a tennis court too. The freshwater pool is on one of the higher terraces, with the benefit of those fabulous views.
There is a spa and fitness centre, complete with Turkish bath and the hotel has recently started running cookery lessons (the restaurant is Michelin-starred) – 280 euros for a two-day course with three hours of cooking each day. Guests can also enjoy a free excursion on the SP's own boat for a couple of hours.
As you'd expect at a 5* L establishment, the service here is impeccable – and you can be in the lift, whizz down 88 metres, and be on the private beach within ten minutes of arriving. The hotel is now run by Virginia Cinque and her two sons with as much care and attention as uncle Carlo lavished upon it over the years. A team of staff can help with everything you might need, from daily newspapers, to booking excursions and restaurant recommendations.
Who stays there
Since it was converted back in the 1970s from a villa into a hotel by Carlo Cinque, Il San Pietro has seen many rich and famous guests: Polanski, Nureyev, Fellini and, more recently, Tina Turner and Julia Roberts, but the hotel also sees lot of return guests who can't get enough of the luxurious feel that the place exudes. Children under 10 are not permitted.
Extras can mount up. The internet is charged by the half-hour, lunch will be around 30 euros, a drink around 10 euros.
- Fitness Centre
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Celebrity spotting
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Fabulous views
- One of the most luxurious hotels you're ever likely to stay in
- A walk/shuttle ride from Positano's nightlife
- The extras can mount up