Palazzo Sasso, Ravello

Location: This 12th century villa is in the charming hilltop village of Ravello, a five minute walk to the main square and nearby cafes, boutiques and art galleries.

First impressions: After a long, perilous drive up the sheer-sided winding roads – negotiated with impressive ease by our driver - I breathe a sigh of relief as we arrive at the hotel and enter the gleaming white marble lobby.
Palazzo Sasso was once owned by the aristocratic Sasso family and still feels like the exquisite home of a wealthy collector, with carefully chosen antique furniture, a grand piano and the sort of pristine white furniture you wouldn’t want to drink red wine on.

The facts: The hotel, which was once part of the Hotel Palumbo next door, was reopened by the Avino family in 1997 after a 19 year closure.
Placido Domingo set the tone as the first guest, but now mere mortals can sip cocktails at the golf leaf bar, take a dip in the two rooftop plunge pools or work off their spaghetti con vongole at the outdoor gym.
Our mountain view room was very small at 17 square metres but immaculately furnished and with enough luxurious touches, such as Vietri tiled floods, a Jacuzzi bath, Frette linen and Bulgari toiletries, to compensate for its lack of space.
Staff are friendly, efficient and genuinely enjoy finding ways to make each guest’s stay perfect. Valentina at reception made our evening by moving our dinner reservation so that we could eat with views the annual firework display for the Ravello Festival.
The hotel is also home to Rossellinis, a two Michelin starred restaurant run by chef Pino Lavarro, who studied under Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saison near Oxford.

Wow: As with most hotels in this part of the world, the star attraction here is the view.  A series of shuttered windows in the lobby offer magical views over the tiny villages that line the verdant hillside.

A good base for: A stroll through the ancient streets of Ravello will take you to Villa Cimbrone gardens. With its long avenues of umbrella pines and rose gardens, it’s easy to see why Greta Garbo fell in love here.
Reachable by local bus or car are the port of Amalfi, the small but beautiful village of Minori and the beachside resort of Maiori. From Amalfi, you can take the ferry over to the isle of Capri for the day.

How much: 320 euros plus 10% tax for an internal room (high season)

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