This place got a rave review from Gore Vidal, who once described the view from Villa Cimbrone as "the most beautiful sight that I have ever seen in the world… when the sky and the sea are so vividly blue that it is not possible to distinguish them from one another". But he wasn't kidding; the villa is set within six acres of grounds high on a hill in Ravello with views that sweep out over the sea. It really couldn't be more beautiful. The walk from the centre of Ravello is uphill but there is a little jeep service that can be booked for carrying cases and those with walking difficulties.
There are only 19 rooms and all are wonderfully elegant, featuring Vietri tiled floors, antiques and, in some cases, incredible frescoed ceilings. The most popular room, particularly for those holding their weddings here, is the Camellia suite: apart from its size (enormous, so plenty of room for all the comings and goings), it has its own terrace.
The gardens are obviously the greatest feature of the hotel and, once the visitors have left, they're the gardens of the guests. The rest of the property is an historical treasure trove: you'll find part of Lord Grimthorpe's library collection in the lounges, along with rich antiques and paintings and plenty of well polished furniture.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast is included in the room price and, especially when served on the terrace, is unbeatable. [node:171833] (Pan's Flute) is an excellent restaurant in its own right.
The pool is unheated so, while gorgeous, is only used on sunny days and by the hardier guests.
One of the best things about the hotel is the staff. Service is professional in a 'can't do enough to make your stay fabulous' way.
Who stays there
Honeymooners, wedding guests, couples, garden-lovers and helicopter-owners (there's a helipad too).
Not cheap, and if you're arranging a wedding here you may be frustrated by some of the restrictions imposed regarding who you can bring in to perform certain services.
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
- Design and architecture
- Nature / wildlife
Pros & Cons
- Great place for a celebration
- Spacious accommodation
- Exquisite surroundings
- It's a walk from the centre
- Possibly the bill