Openings: Borgo Santandrea is Amalfi’s Newest Temple of Laid Back Luxe
Despite the sheen of movie star fabulousness, things actually move very slowly on Italy’s Amalfi Coast (sort of like the rest of the country…but even a little slower). And so the region’s last notable hotel opening was all the way back in 2005, when the Belmond Hotel Caruso initially bowed in Ravello. But sixteen years later, and flying in the face of this relentless pandemic, comes the debut of the exceedingly plush new Borgo Santandrea, which has just begun greeting guests from its cliffside perch in the charming little fishing village of Conca dei Marini. And it must be said, it’s a serious looker.
Its considerable stylistic virtue comes by way of an impressive cooperative effort between architect Bonaventura Gambardella, interior designer Nikita Bettoni, and kitchen designer Andrea Viacava, whose collective endeavor ultimately complemented the existing 1960s property’s mid-century features with a sense of contemporary Mediterranean cool. The end result still feels very classic Amalfi, yet also distinctly of-the-moment.
Firstly, there’s acres of sumptuous marble, sourced from Tuscany, Puglia and the Veneto, and elegant Venetian glass lamps dot the property. But most striking are the more than 30 types of hand-painted, blue and white geometric tiles, which dazzle the floors of the lobby, bedrooms and most vividly the poolside lounging area, so even sunning sessions are swathed in luxury and high style. Throughout, antique furnishings harmonize with gorgeous new handcrafted pieces by regional Amalfitano artisans.
Of the forty-five rooms, most coveted would be the Sea View Junior Suites, with wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows and bespoke furniture by designer Bettoni, and the Deluxe Suite w/ Private Pool, the latter feature suspended dramatically above the Tyrrhenian Sea. But even the smallest Superior Rooms are done up in full luxurious regalia.
And in the tradition of the great Amalfi luxury hotels, five epicurean venues assure that there’s little need to even leave the property during a stay, should one choose that as a strategy for relaxation. Indeed, Michelin-starred Executive Chef Crescenzo Scotti (formerly of Il Cappero at the Therasia Resort on the Sicilian island of Vulcano) oversees the refined dining at La Libereria, while Alici serves up more traditional but lighter Italian fare, from breakfast to dinner – and the Beach Club is just what it says it is, a place for sipping seaside cocktails, bathed in the sort of languid chic one comes to expect of the region. Aperitivi can be taken in the hotel’s wine cellar, and the Libereria Kitchen even offers cooking classes, for those seeking to bring a bit of Southern Italian dolce vita home with them.
Of course, the Amalfi Coast, in general, just oozes with laid back glamour, regularly drawing the likes of Beyonce, J-Lo, Emily Ratajkowski, Christy Turlington and Samuel L. Jackson. But after eighteen months of anxiety and worry, celeb-spotting isn’t exactly high on the priorities list right now. Rather, Borgo Santandrea, with its tranquil location and breezily lavish vibe, represents precisely the sort five-star serenity and pampering we would be inclined to seek out, as we ease ourselves back into European travel. You’ll find us by the pool.