Italy's Amalfi Coast has a new luxury hotel, and that's not something that happens every day. In fact, it's been 15 years, by most local estimates, since the last opening in this fiercely protected and much-loved part of the world.
And surely it has been worth the wait.
The Borgo Santandrea is a stunning cliffside retreat, a five-star property perched high above the Tyrrhenian Sea between Amalfi and Positano. It is the work of the De Siano and Orlacchio families, hoteliers who have their roots on the nearby island of Ischia, but have made the move into Amalfi with this bold and beautiful property, which was built in the mid-20th century, and renovated over three years to its current glory, reopening in July.
That transformation was overseen by Italian architect Bonaventura Gambardella, who worked with interior designer Nikita Bettoni to produce a hotel where every one of the 29 rooms and 16 suites overlooks the sea and the fishing hamlet of Conca dei Marini through floor-to-ceiling windows. The building's mid-century features have been accentuated with classic Italian design touches, from handmade local tiles to the use of white Italian marble, and bespoke furniture from design houses such as Molteni and Tosconova, plus hand-blown Venetian glass lamps.
Outside there are garden terraces filled with olive, lemon and pomegranate trees, a panoramic pool area, and access to a private beach and jetty on the rocky Amalfi Coast.
And this being Italy there are, of course, places to eat: three restaurants and two bars on site, all overseen by Michelin-starred chef Crescenzo Scotti and featuring the use of fresh local ingredients prepared with passion and skill – classic Campanian fare with a twist. There's cool ambience in La Libreria, alfresco dining 90 metres above the sea at Alici, and relaxed seaside meals at the Beach Club.
Guests looking for an extra experience can take a boat from the private jetty to explore the Amalfi coastline, take cooking classes, visit local wineries, or even learn to make cocktails with local ingredients. Or, of course, just relax on a terrace and enjoy the views and the sunshine.
Rooms from $870 a night. See borgosantandrea.it