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Henry James famously declared that there are no two words in the English language more beautiful than “summer afternoon.” Actually, there no sweeter words on a summer afternoon than “Amalfi coast.” This slice of Italian shoreline has become less of a destination than a mindset among travelers to the region. And there’s no town more iconic—or more Instagram-able—than Positano.
Think Jackie O in silk scarves yachting off the coast of Capri, fluorescent Aperol spritzes and enough striped beach umbrellas to inspire a lifetime of Gray Malin photography. Read on for the best hotels to book in Positano in order to make your holiday dreams a reality.
The Villa Franca is a boutique hotel property tucked into the Positano hillside offering stunning views of the seaside village and Mediterranean below. Il Galli, the onsite restaurant, capitalizes on this with floor-to-ceiling windows that are perfect for watching the sun set into the sea. An afternoon of sunning and swimming by the cliffside pool is a must, as is examining the local artwork that decorates the hotel’s reception area. Though Villa Franca offers privacy and seclusion, the piazzas and beaches of Positano are within walking distance.
Hotel Conca d’Oro
The sunset matches the decor at the Hotel Conca d’Or, a property that was an ancient villa before it opened as a hotel in 1949. The family-owned lodging underwent a massive renovation in February 2018 that preserved its Baroque-style architecture. Each room comes with Vietri tiles and ocean views, while the poolside terrace offers a perfect respite.
Villa Gabrisi is another ancient villa. Its da Gabrisa restaurant offers vegetarian and vegan dishes, while the wine store serves local wines and cheese. Scooter rentals are available during the wintertime. Limousine service is available year-round. The hotel will also arrange a private charter to sail along the coast.
This Positano paradise stands out from the crowd for one-of-a-kind experiences that can’t be replicated. Case in point: the opportunity to drive the hotel’s 1970s convertible Beetle up and down the windy Amalfi roads free of charge. Or the chance to explore real limoncello factories and take a cooking class in an Italian home. Additionally, the onsite L’Onda Beauty Center offers couples and singles treatments and is available to non-hotel guests as well.
This family-owned hotel is notable for offering a more intimate feel, ambiance fostered by the warmth of its owners, the Cinque family. While it’s a bit tucked away from the beaches and downtown, excursions are planned by land or sea. But part of this hotel’s charm is spending time within its walls, including learning Neapolitan cuisine at the Casa Albertina restaurant.
The Positano Art Hotel Pasitea is the best place to stay for the artistically inclined traveler. Exploring the extensive gallery within the hotel is a treat. Afterward, enjoy an aperitivo in the Bruschetta Cafe’s ornate bar. The hotel was named after Pasithea, a goddess associated with meditation and relaxation, and it’s not difficult to unwind in this idyllic overlook.