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Palazzo Avino

Ravello, Italy

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PROPERTY FEATURES

The Premises 

Known among locals as the ‘Pink Palace’, luxury hotel Palazzo Avino sits high on Ravello’s hillside, overlooking terraced gardens that climb from the sea. It’s a regal view – and the hotel is the jewel in the crown. Standing here since the 12th century, this former villa has Italianate grandeur by the wine-barrel load with vaulted ceilings, polished-walnut furnishings and decorative tiled floors. We especially like the vast art deco-style star that adorns the floor of one of the lounge areas – a tip of the hat to another golden age of glamour. This being Italy, it’s not enough to live well, however – you have to eat well, too. Thankfully, the hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant, Rossellini’s, which is easily one of the most romantic dinner spots in town.

Palazzo Avino

Via S. Giovanni del Toro, 28 Amalfi Coast Ravello, 84010Italy

SMITH EXTRA

Compliments of the House 

A bottle of Prosecco on arrival; stay three nights or more and you'll also get a €50 credit at the hotel spa

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Room rates usually include a buffet breakfast.

FACILITIES

Stepped gardens, several terraced areas (including one on the roof), free WiFi throughout and laundry service. In rooms: desk, flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar, air-conditioning, and free bottled water. Some rooms have terraces with sea views.

PACKING TIPS

A notepad, just in case Ravello’s views bring on a flash of inspiration as they did for Wagner. Incidentally, DH Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Salvador Dali and Tennessee Williams were also drawn to the town at one time or another. Perhaps there’s something in the water…

CHILDREN

Children of all ages welcome. Cots are free for under-twos. Extra beds are available on request (€120 a night in high season, €110 in low), and can be added to all rooms except Queen Rooms. Babysitting is available for €15 an hour.

SPA

Located next to the pool under a vaulted ceiling, the spa has a historic setting but all the bells and whistles of a newer facility, including an indoor hydro pool, hammam steam bath, sauna, massage and treatment cabins, and a covered outdoor gym. The products used here are made specially for the hotel, and contain extracts of the fertile region’s fruits: Sorrento lemon, Annurca apple and Vesuvio apricot.

POOL

The 20-metre heated pool is in the tiered gardens, so it gets an excellent view of the sea and coastal hills. It’s ringed by a lawn on which sunloungers and pool furniture are arranged, and it’s family-friendly too: it’s supervised by a lifeguard between 9am and 7pm.

ALSO

With the exception of the pool and spa areas, most of the hotel’s common areas – and one of the Deluxe suites – are wheelchair accessible..
Palazzo Avino is the only hotel in Ravello with a private beach club that has direct access to the water’s edge. All guests get access to Clubhouse by the Sea, which is just fifteen minutes from the hotel (they’ll whisk you there and back in a shuttle) and has beach platforms, a pool, changing rooms and a laid-back restaurant, the Clubhouse.

Rooms 

With the hotel facing such a dramatic stretch of coastline, our favourite was always going to be a room with a sea view. For something indulgent, try a Junior Suite, which has three sets of double doors that open onto a balcony overlooking the Med. A Queen Double with Partial Sea View is smaller, but still gives you a slice of that postcard-perfect scene.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

Michelin star-holding Rosellini's is helmed by chef Michele Deleo, whose creative cuisine is underpinned by an old-school Italian heart. The wine list is full of judiciously-picked vintages from some of Italy’s best regions – try one of the whites alongside the rigatoni pasta with a creamy seafood sauce, parsley and chili pepper. Terrazza Belvedere, a more casual option, is on a large terrace with a retractable roof; it's the place to go for lighter meals and pasta dishes.

Liquid Bliss 

With its walnut drinks cabinets and cream-and-gold furnishings, Caffé dell'Arte will have you feeling like a member of one of Ravello’s famiglias in no time. It’s the perfect place for a pre-dinner cocktail or a whisky – they have an impressive collection of single malts. The Lobster & Martini bar is outside at the foot of a stone staircase on Terrazza Belvedere, so it’s the definitive spot for a sundowner. At last light, try the locally-caught lobster with a glass of prosecco, or the dedicated
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Experience the Extraordinary 

Villa Rufolo has stood over the town since the 13th century, welcoming popes and kings in its time. The architecture is a mish-mash of Norman, Sicilian and Arabic styles, making this a monument to Amalfi’s cosmopolitan past. The gardens attract just as many visitors, who come to see the stepped levels of cyprus trees and the fragrant exotic greenery creeping down Moorish walls. For the foodies, there’s Mamma Agata’s cooking classes. Employed as a cook by a wealthy American in her youth, the eponymous ‘Mamma’ once cooked for guests like Fred Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy. Husband and colleague Gennaro is a qualified sommelier and cheese taster, so you’ll be learning from two epicureans with a lifelong passion for Italian food. Can’t get enough of the coastline? Ask the concierge for a map of the walking route from Ravello to the town of Atrani. If you do the route this way round you’ll be heading downhill, so the steps aren’t quite as tiring – the panoramic views make it worthwhile, we promise. There are buses back to Ravello too.

Transportation 

Palazzo Avino occupies a choice spot above Ravello’s hillside streets; most of the seaside town’s sights are just a short walk away.

Planes 

Naples is the closest international airport to the hotel, just over an hour’s drive away; there are frequent flights from other Italian airports and larger European destinations. Flights and transfers can be arranged with the Smith24 Team; call 24 hours a day.

Trains 

The closest station to Ravello is Vietri sul Mare, around 30 minutes from Ravello by taxi. It’s served by frequent trains from Naples Central Station, a journey that usually takes around 90 minutes and involves a change at Salerno. A high-speed service runs between Rome Termini and Salerno several times a day; the fastest of these takes around 90 minutes.

Automobiles 

Hiring a car makes a lot of sense – driving is the fastest way to get from Naples to Ravello and is a convenient way to get around the coast for day trips. Most of the major rental firms are available at Naples airport. The fastest route to Ravello takes around an hour, passing Pompeii on the way; the other option is the coastal drive, which has impressive views but takes longer. Things can also get a little hairy when there’s traffic.

Location

Via S. Giovanni del Toro, 28 Amalfi Coast Ravello, 84010Italy

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