Stylish Sorrento retreatIconic Italian boutique hotel with stunning views
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Destination: Sorrento, Italy
Vacation: Stunning coastal hangout
Seeking: Iconic Italian design and postcard-worthy views
Highlight: All rooms have uninterrupted sea views
Maison La Minervetta clings to the cliffs of the beautiful town of Sorrento in Southern Italy in the region of Campania and will take your breath away. If it’s not the amazing views of the Bay of Naples, it will be the bold and nautical rooms bursting with colour and museum-worthy pieces.
All the rooms in the hotel are sea-facing with huge floor-to-ceiling windows inviting you to sit a while, just to take in the ocean panorama. We arrived to the friendliest welcome and a glass of chilled Prosecco – that I sipped happily, letting the bubbles go to my head as we were shown around the incredible sweeping terrace (where breakfast is served) and the pool area.
The lobby is like something straight out of Architectural Digest, doubling as a decadent sitting room and library, lined with Assouline travel and vintage photography books, and thoughtfully arranged sofas.
The hotel has been featured in ELLE Decor and Conde Nast Traveller and it’s easy to see why. The aesthetic is seaside chic, served with plenty of humour – think Danish curves, old nautical models and vintage ceramics. The property was built in the 1950s by a Danish and Italian couple (hence the great style) and their grandson, architect-owner Marco de Luca now runs the spot.
But there’s also plenty of Italian charm and the lure of Sorrento’s pretty Marina Grande and winding lemon-scented streets below. It’s a 15-minute walk to the historic centre and the hotel has its own private staircase for you to access the fishing village below, making it easy to park up with a few Aperol Spritzes as the sun goes down.
Beyond the hotel’s terrace, there’s also an incredibly chic plunge pool (which doubles as a giant hydro massage tub) and plenty of places to relax on their signature red and white-striped loungers.
And while there’s no restaurant, the hotel hosts an amazing aperitivo around 5pm every evening, with complimentary light bites and wine. It’s also a lovely excuse to mingle with the hotel’s other residents and play a game or two before heading out for dinner.
Scroll down to find out more about our stay at Maison La Minervetta. You might also like to read our guide to the most romantic things to do in Tuscany and our 7 day Puglia itinerary, including the most beautiful beaches and cities.
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Best food & drink
1. Breakfast at Maison La Minvervetta
What the hotel lacks in a restaurant, it makes up for in breakfast. I always worry that a buffet might be disappointing, but not this one – there were piles of sticky pastries, bowls overflowing with fruit, cheeses beautifully folded and coffees made to order, flying out of the kitchen.
You can also order hot fluffy pancakes, ciabatta and omelettes, so there’s no danger of going hungry. The terrace is the perfect place to wake up properly – and take endless photos of the dazzling tabletop design, with everything perfectly mismatched.
2. Taverna Azzura
This is the best place to eat in Marina Grande and is just steps from the hotel’s private staircase down the cliffside. The food at Taverna Azzura is unpretentious and delicious, and you just need to book ahead a little to reserve a table right by the water’s edge.
Chef Luciano’s specialities include seafood risotto with an abundance of mussels, prawns and octopus, and simple spaghetti with clams – silky soft and fresh. We also tried the Fritto Misto, with every type of seafood you can think of, delicately fried and paired perfectly with their light House White and a chilled glass of homemade Limoncello.
3. Il Buco
If you’d prefer a little fine dining, Il Buco has one Michelin-star and is set in the cellars of an old monastery in the centre of Sorrento. It’s one of the town’s leading restaurants and, like Minervetta, is full of colour and charm.
Owner-chef Peppe Aversa serves up simple and unfussy dishes that are amazingly curated. We opted for the tasting menu and were taken on the best sea-themed journey, with steamed ginger lobster, a mouthwatering redfish linguine popping with lemon and tomato and a delicate mussel risotto with traditional bread – or ‘agerolese tarallo’ – to mop up the remnants.
The sommelier was also excellent; choosing us incredible local southern Italian wines, including an unforgettable ice-cold Vin Santo dessert wine from Tuscany.
The hotel has 12 unique rooms across two floors and each one offers that iconic view. We stayed in one of the corner rooms, which has wraparound picture windows. There were two strategically placed armchairs in our window nook, and waking up to sit here each day was so special.
The design from the communal areas continues through to the rooms with primary colours and bold stripes; each with their own collection of books and traditional ceramic vases and artefacts. Every room also comes with its own Bang & Olufsen sound system – perfect for blaring out Dolce Vita-inspired tunes as you’re getting dressed for dinner. And the bathrooms are gorgeous too, decked out with Ortygia Sicilia soaps and scents, with your own robes and slippers.
Sorrento’s Old Town is just a short drive or a 15-minute walk away. You’ll find Maison La Minervetta’s shop on the way, selling everything you’d possibly need to re-create that breakfast tabletop of dreams at home, plus plenty of iconic coffee table books and vintage Sorrentine prints.
We got lost in the town that’s all winding roads, Limoncello and ceramic shops and plenty of other decadent hotels. The pastel-coloured buildings and stunning squares make this place a little sun-soaked paradise, and Piazza Tasso is the ultimate spot for a bracing double espresso with the locals.
For somewhere that potentially rivals Maison La Minervetta’s amazing style, try driving up to Bellevue Syrene. This is one of Sorrento’s most exclusive hotels, but it happily welcomes non-residents to its shaded terrace so you can soak it all in.
Sorrento is also a great base for exploring further afield. You can choose from the glamour of Capri – just a 15-minute ferry ride away. Or, go on a classic coastal drive like we did to see the Amalfi Coast. Positano is just half an hour away with its incredible cliffside vistas and crystal blue waters. Book lunch at Il Tridente (of Hotel Poseidon) and take in the views from their magical garden terrace. Venture a little further to Ravello and you can hike to see the historic Villa Rufolo. Take your pick.
The hotel has so many beautiful corners on its outdoor terrace, which seemingly tumbles down the cliffside. You could spend a perfect afternoon here, reclining stylishly next to the plunge pool and listening to the waves below.
However, the marina also has plenty of little beach clubs if you want to take a dip in the sea. The bay is calm and wraps around the coast, with designated swimming spots. Marameo Beach is one of the oldest beach clubs in Sorrento and has recently been renovated. You’ll still find the classic blue and white umbrellas, but the loungers are sumptuous and the cocktail list is seriously impressive. Pair your delicious seafood lunch on the water with a post-meal lounge and you’ve got the perfect Sorrentine summer’s day.
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