The coastal region of Liguria, in northwest Italy, is awash with stunning heritage properties and some of the grandest hotels in the country. Here are some of the best, bookable on Culture Trip.
Whether you’re looking for a culturally rich city break or a seaside retreat, the Italian region of Liguria has got it. The wide, sprawling coastal state stretches along the Ligurian Sea, from the western border with France through towns, villages and rivieras to Italy’s Tuscan flank on the east. Glorious Genoa is a culinary delight, with Baroque palaces and a fascinating maritime history, while Savona, La Spezia, the Cinque Terre and the many Riviera towns add up to make the perfect coastal getaway: quintessentially Italian, scenic and relaxed.
A Genoese palace dating back to 1545, Palazzo Grillo was lovingly restored in 2011. It’s now a boutique hotel with 25 rooms, decked out with sleek and mid-century interior decor. There are original features throughout the entrance hall, and communal spaces are a decadent and ornate journey into the city’s past. There’s an art gallery space and games room with billiards, plus a delicious breakfast is served on the rooftop terrace.
This ultra-modern branch of the luxurious NH Collection is perfectly located for promenade walks and cocktails at some of Genoa’s great waterfront bars, in the Renzo Piano-renovated marina. The 140 rooms and suites are spacious and stylish, full of contemporary tech, and many come with private terraces. There’s a state-of-the-art gym and fine dining at in-house restaurant Il Gozzo, which serves delectable seafood that’s caught daily.
Just west of Savona on the dreamy Italian Riviera, the Grand Hotel is a jewel of the region, with a history of hosting royals and celebrities that goes back to the 1870s. The beach-facing, Neoclassical property was restored to its vast former glory in 2010, and now has a huge medical spa that spreads over three floors and includes a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, herbal bath, indoor pool and chromotherapy rooms, all designed to assist guests on their path to wellness.
On Rapallo Bay, the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort and Spa is an original resort in the heart of the Ligurian Riviera. The elegant residence is surrounded by typical Mediterranean vegetation and has breathtaking views over Portofino and the Gulf of Tigullio. The wide array of rooms and suites offer a bright sunny palette of lemon hues, mirroring the Mediterranean sun, most with a French balcony looking out to sea. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, fitted with hydromassage and chromotherapy, on the terrace overlooking the sea – with sun loungers to complete the viewpoint.
Hotel Helvetia sits proudly on the coast in the small town of Sestri Levante, equidistant between Genoa and La Spezia. This is a classic Riviera hotel built for relaxation and rejuvenation. The calming sea views are only heightened by the blue waters of the outdoor swimming pools, where you can float your days away before snoozing on a sun lounger. The rooms and suites with sea or garden views are airy and tranquil, with high ceilings and pastel tones to soothe guests as the days float by.
This charming heritage property boasts a rich history. Restored by beloved architect Ettore Mocchetti, the individually designed suites are inspired by fin-de-siècle taste and adorned with watercolours, Victorian and Edwardian paintings, memorabilia and antiquities. The gardens are equally show-stopping, with over 400 species of plants carefully grown to retain the splendour of the villa’s heyday. They’re now considered a botanical marvel, overflowing with wisteria, strelitzia, cacti and lotuses.
This stunning grand hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure is panoramically placed between Rapallo and Portofino – an idyllic location with incredible views across the Gulf of Tigullio. The unmissable Art Nouveau building, surrounded by rows of lush local trees, was restored using original Ligurian decorative techniques handed down by local painters for generations. The interiors boast antique furniture and sumptuous contemporary art and design features, in rooms that are bright, spacious and heavenly places to spend your days.
This huge property in coastal Savona is full of funky fresh design, with rooms and suites laden with modern and quintessentially Italian features. Based right on the Savona waterfront, Mare Hotel has its own private sandy beach, with crystal clear water on one of the most beautiful Bandiera Blu d’Italia (Italian Blue Flag) shores in Liguria. If you’d rather take a dip in one of the infinity pools, you’ll find the decadent spaces full of sea water for the ultimate flotation experience – while delicious cocktails and oysters are served poolside in the evening.
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