Surrounded by rugged cliffs on the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is a perfect base for relaxing, exploring the Amalfi Coast or visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum. Here’s our pick of its best boutique hotels, offering everything from sea views to fine dining.
Sorrento is worth visiting for its location as well as its digestifs, including the popular Italian liqueur limoncello. Located on the south side of the Bay of Naples, Sorrento looks out over Mount Vesuvius to the north and Capri to the west. Naples and Pompei are also both within easy reach, making it an ideally-appointed base from which to explore this region of southern Italy. Read on for our choice of the best boutique hotels in Sorrento.
The Anna Belle Elegant AgriResort enjoys a tranquil setting on coastal hills, a couple of kilometres from Sorrento. Its main draw is a garden facing out to the Bay of Naples, where the chefs tend fruit and vegetables for the kitchen and use eggs from the resident hens. All rooms and suites have balconies looking out over this garden or the Bay. It’s about a 40-minute walk to Piazza Tasso, the old town’s central square, or you can use the courtesy car that’s available free of charge.
TheMaison il Conservatorio occupies a 500-year-old mansion in the centre of Sorrento, minutes on foot from the “Small” and “Large” harbours (remember that the Piccola is actually larger than the Grande) and the old town. The strikingly modern rooms are dominated by all the shades of blue and feature jazzy tiled floors, designer furniture and, in some cases, Juliet balconies overlooking the town. There’s a huge choice for breakfast, which is served in a colourful dining area with views of Mount Vesuvius and the sea.
Stay at the five-star Grand Hotel Ambasciatori, and you’ll have access to a private “beach” deck (a rarity in Sorrento), a wellness centre and historical Italianate gardens. The waterfront Ambassador Restaurant is noted for its seafood, grilled meats and pasta dishes, while poolside Dioniso Bar is open during the day for snacks and cocktails. Accommodations favour a classical style, featuring dark wood furniture and chandeliers hanging from high ceilings. It’s a 10-minute walk to Piazza Tasso and a 20-minute walk to the Grande and Piccola harbours.
Maison Tofani offers a romantic B&B package onboard its own private yacht, as well as accommodations in an 18th-century mansion in the town centre. There’s a stellar wine cellar off of the courtyard, where the focus is on fine Italian varieties, especially those from the Southern Apennines region; tastings and tours are available for guests. Breakfast is served in one of Sorrento’s most ornate dining rooms, under a painted ceiling reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel’s. There’s also a third-floor solarium with loungers and rooftop views.
Located a five-minute walk down the seafront from the Ambasciatori is the Grand Hotel Royal, another luxury offering from the local Manniello group. You’ll have lift access to the same private decked beach with Mount Vesuvius views, as well as to the fine dining restaurant La Terrasse Royal, where regional and international dishes are served on a clifftop terrace facing out to sea. For a pre-dinner cocktail or post-meal limoncello, head to the hushed, elegant Caprice Bar, where glass tables and wicker chairs are spread across a floor of hand-painted tiles.
Boutique Hotel Helios is a good option if you want to explore the surrounding area as well as Sorrento itself. Staff can arrange guided tours to key destinations along the Amalfi coast, as well as Capri, Ischia, Pompei and Vesuvius. Rooms feature bold Mediterranean colours and locally-made furniture, and some have balconies overlooking the Bay of Sorrento (the Superiors and the Deluxes); book a Premium to have your own terrace with a jacuzzi. All have access to a rooftop pool and solarium.
This turn-of-the-century property sits on a seaside cliff and is surrounded by 20,000 sqm (5 acres) of lush gardens, complete with citrus and olive groves. Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is home to two restaurants, one of which is Michelin-starred, and its in-house bar boasts glorious views over the Bay of Naples. The hotel’s 84 rooms are furnished with antiques and luxe fabrics, while the Boutique Spa La Serra has everything you need for the perfect pampering session.
Located in the heart of Sorrento, this five-star hotel has views of the sea and its own lemon grove. Rooms are spacious and furnished with a mix of antique furniture and the region’s famous Majolica-tiled floors. Admire the view of the San Paolo church and the sea from the rooftop pool. Choose from three on-site restaurants: Tiffany for à la carte dining, Bellavista for Mediterranean cuisine and O’ Parrucchiano for traditional Neapolitan dishes.
This hotel just begs to be Instagrammed. It was designed in the early 1960s by the famed architect Gio Ponti, who transformed an abandoned turn-of-the-century villa into a chic, modern hotel with a good dose of Sorrento style. The sleek building is all graphic blue and white, echoing the colours of the sea view. There is a private beach on the rocks beneath the hotel, a saltwater pool and 28,000 sqm (7 acres) of gardens filled with rare plants.
Bold colours and strong shapes are the aesthetic at this design hotel, built in the 1950s by a Danish-Italian couple. Today, the hotel is run by their grandchild, who has filled the house with books, pottery, furniture and art from travels around the world. It is located on the cliff above the Marina Grande, a 15-minute walk from Sorrento’s historic centre. Each of the 12 rooms has a sea view. Guests can also enjoy a plunge pool and a private staircase down to the beach. Breakfast and late afternoon aperitivos are served on an outdoor terrace daily.
Impeccable service, expansive views and complimentary prosecco every night are just a few of the details that make the Bellevue Syrene stand out. The luxurious cliffside hotel was constructed on the footprint of a Roman-era villa, thought to have been built by Emperor Augustus. All of the rooms are sea-facing, whilst the public spaces are characterised by cool white marble and tiles with touches of blue, turquoise, green and violet. Sunbathe by the pool or on the private pier over the sea. Alternatively, take a break from the summer heat with a few hours at the wellness centre.
Sleep in an opulent 15th-century palazzo that has been owned by the Savarese family for centuries. Inside, you’ll find rooms and suites furnished with personal antiques and artwork, overlooking the Piazza San Francesco gardens. Staff offer a personalised service and can help you charter boats and arrange visits to nearby towns. There are two dining options on site: the formal La Terrazza restaurant and the more relaxed Il Marzialino.