Vietri sul Mare, famous for its ceramics, is the easternmost town on the Amalfi coast. It’s a couple of miles from Salerno – an industrial port that is being re-packaged as a resort (the waterfront area is being redesigned by famous architect Zaha Hadid) – and so easily accessible by rail: 50km from Naples. By road it’s 21km from Amalfi, 25km from Ravello, 25km from Pompeii, 40km from Positano and 54km from Sorrento.
The hotel has a shuttle bus service, otherwise it's a pleasant (if longish) walk down a set of steps to the beach. It should take around twenty minutes but since you pass by a couple of little churches you might find that a wedding or christening ceremony slows slow you down a bit.
There are 77 rooms housed in a new wing as well as the refurbished original hotel, and every room spacious with views. The superior rooms are the ones to book as they have tremendous views over the Gulf of Salerno (standards look to the rear of the hotel). Junior suites have their own terrace with tables and chairs, as well as huge bathrooms, but if you're really pushing the boat out then you'll probably want to book either the Seiren suite, which has a crescent-shaped bathroom, canopy bed, Jacuzzi and lounge (as well as terrace with a view), or the Seiren Golden suite (accessible by panoramic lift) with a four-poster bed, Jacuzzi and a private terrace.
The rather formal Il Golfo restaurant is excellent but for more casual dining I can certainly recommend lunch on the terrace where you can enjoy the view. There are also a couple of bars, including pool-side, where you can have a relaxing drink.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast is a marvellous affair with tables bowing under the weight of the spread: fresh breads, cheeses, cured meats, fruits and yoghurts, as well as hot food: eggs, bacon, mushrooms and so forth. Il Golfo is a first-class restaurant and there is also the ExLounge bar and grill (pool-side), the Vietri bar (also pool-side) and the I Faraglioni piano bar.
The spa is impressive and includes a heated indoor swimming pool, turkish bath, Jacuzzi, sauna, massage rooms and open-air solarium that overlooks the Bay of Salerno. The outdoor pool is gorgeous too (see my picture), though as the solitary swimmer in the pool, lazily doing the back stroke, I was a little phased to see that some of the wedding guests (a couple of terraces up) were leaning over the balcony enjoying the views too.
There are plenty of staff around for helping with everything from bags to preparing a mint tea or directing you around the hotel which, owing to its size, can be confusing. There’s a free shuttle bus (June to September only) that will take you down to a private beach or to Vietri.
Who stays there
Thanks to its size and position, the Raito is a popular place for weddings and events, as well as conferences, so you’ll find a mix of business folk, romantic couples and those looking for an out-of-way hotel that is also close enough to other villages along the Amalfi coast.
Look out for special deals, such as the 'Stay More', which gives you your fourth night for free if you book for three nights.
- Mature travellers
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Secluded position with fabulous views
- The walk up is a steep one
- The shuttle service only runs from June to September