Destinations

Hotel Santa Caterina

Amalfi, Campania, Italy

A mix of familial warmth, glamour and professionalism makes Hotel Santa Caterina stand out from the competition. Now run by the fourth generation of the family that opened it as a hotel in 1904, it’s the sort of homely yet sophisticated place that you long to return to (repeat bookings amount to nearly 40 per cent).

Location

9 / 10

Just outside Amalfi, the hotel is usefully placed for visits to Ravello (30 minutes by bus), Positano and Capri (both 40 minutes by ferry). Though the front of the elegant, 19th-century mansion is roadside, all is calm inside and the hotel’s citrus groves, pergola walks, terraces and gardens tumble to the sea behind.

Style & character

10 / 10

It's been in the same family since 1904. Family antiques pepper the cool, white interiors, which are splashed with Mediterranean colour on patterned tiles and fabrics. The airy dining room has a stunning blue Brazilian-marble floor and a lovely terrace overlooking gardens and sea. The big surprise is the glass lift that whooshes down the cliff where the delightful pool, bar, beach-shack restaurant (dancing to live music on Tuesdays), sea and boats await.

Service & facilities

10 / 10

As in so many family-run Italian hotels, the service is special, delivered by devoted long-standing local staff. A kiss on the hand from the doorman; a spot-on joke from the head waiter; names remembered by all: warmth and professionalism combined. As well as the Beach Club, there is a small but hard-working spa and a boutique.

  • Bar
  • Beach
  • Fitness centre
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Steam room/hammam

Rooms

9 / 10

There are romantic standalone folly-suites embedded in the gardens, plus 55 rooms in the house. They are white and airy, and many are sea-facing with gorgeous terraces. All have lovely tiled bathrooms.

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Food & drink

8 / 10

The classic Italian menu hits the spot and perfectly complements the setting, and the humour of the waiters, many of whom have worked there for years, make both dinner and breakfast on the terrace overlooking the ocean a memorable joy.

Value for money

8 / 10

Double rooms from £320, including breakfast. Free Wi-Fi. Prices are on a par with other top Amalfi hotels, but this address stands out. Open April to November.

Access for guests with disabilities?

It's possible but difficult; there is a lift to rooms but steps to the sea.

Family-friendly?

Yes. Young children should be accompanied at the Beach Club.

S.S. Amalfitana, 9, Amalfi, 84011, Italy.
0039 089 871012