I was over the moon to hear one of my best friends had chosen Ravello as the destination for her wedding in early September. I had never been to the Amalfi Coast and it had been years since I visited Italy.
I flew into Naples airport and had a driver waiting for me inside the terminal. It is such a nice feeling after a long flight to be greeted by someone holding a placard with your name on it and who will take care of your luggage. I was escorted to a beautiful Mercedes Benz (thank you IC Bellagio- our Virtuoso onsite partner in Italy)
When I arrived in Ravello, I dropped my bags off at my accommodation- a wonderful bed and breakfast called Ravello Rooms which was ideally located right next to Villa Dante- where Megan & Stephen’s wedding reception was being held. It was very inexpensive and perfect as I was travelling by myself. I dumped my bags and headed into the main town of Ravello, it was only a ten minute walk.
I had planned to have lunch at Palazzo Avino (one of the 5 star, Virtuoso properties in Ravello). Before lunch I had a site inspection of the hotel. It was very beautiful, classic in style.
On my last day I had arranged to visit the infamous Belmond Hotel Caruso, another 5 star, Virtuoso property in Ravello. I toured the hotel and got to see many room types and suites. Xxxxx . We were then granted special access to enjoy their incredible infinity pool- this is one of the most photographed spots in Italy and the views did not disappoint! It was truly spectacular. I enjoyed a final lunch at the hotel’s upmarket poolside restaurant. Insider tip: do not miss out on the delicious salad buffet complete with the most amazing sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers and mozzarella you will ever try!
Next stop was a private transfer from Ravello to Sorrento. I had paid extra to have an hour stop in Positano-another wildy popular destination that was full of tourists. I stopped for a cocktail and enjoyed people watching.
I knew I was in for something special when my driver pulled into this luscious driveway. The welcome to the Grand Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento has to be one of the most hospitable that I have experienced to date. The property has so much history and truly is the “must-stay” destination in Sorrento. I enjoyed my first real Italian Bellini with Guido, the General Manager, and the server brought us over a complimentary plate of appetizers (which are served with every drink I am told).
Meanwhile my friend Steph was flying in from London to join me as we set off on a 4 day adventure. We got the last table at Terrazza Bosquet, the incredible restaurant at the Grand Excelsior, which had sweeping terrace views of the ocean and marina lit up at night. I was in culinary heaven this whole trip, the food was just do die for! As it was a reunion and we partied together through University, Steph and I headed to Fauno Notte, one of the only nightclub in Sorrento- it was hilarious!
After a great night’s sleep we had a huge breakfast at the hotel in their stunning dining room.
Once we checked out, the porter took our bags down the private elevators from the Grand Excelsior which takes you down to the marina. We then took the high speed hydro foil to Capri.
I was the lucky winner ofa 2 night stay with breakfast at Caesar Augustus which is one of the best hotels on the island in Capri, perched high on the clifftop, minutes from Anacapri. We were met from the boat by the porter and taken to our driver who was waiting to escort us to the hotel. I couldn’t not believe my luck when I checked in and the General Manager told us the hotel was sold out so unfortunately, he had to upgrade us to their Master Suite…wow!
The hotel has one of the most amazing infinity pools going.
Over the next couple of days I took the opportunity to visit some of our other Virtuoso hotel partners as there are a fantastic selection on the island of Capri.
Capri Palace- I loved this hotel! Very modern, trendy and artistic. Another Virtuoso property. Insider tip- make sure you head to their private shoe store where you can get custom made sandals with Swarovski crystals.
Unfortunately we got caught in a crazy storm- the island hadn’t seen rain for 5 months so it was long overdue however we got trapped whilst finishing lunch and ended up having to walk back to the hotel in calf deep water- but we couldn’t stop laughing as it made for a funny tale!
The next day we woke up to clear skies which was a huge relief as we had booked a private boat tour cruising around Capri.The day before we were supposed to have lunch at Il Riccio Ristorante, the world’s only Michelin star Beach Club which was owned by Capri Palace (they run you down to the water on their private shuttles) however the Sales Team kindly re-arranged this for us and also called our boat company and had the captain come and pick us up directly from the beach club after lunch. We felt like celebrities!
A private boat tour is a MUST when visiting Capri. We hired it for 4 hours which gave us plenty of time to circumnavigate the whole island, with plenty of time to stop and jump off into the water. No trip would be complete without a trip to the Blue Lagoon. The crystal clear, turquoise waters certainly lived up to the expectations. Though our knowledgeable captain also took us to some other treasures, which were equally as great as less crowded!
On our final full day, we finished our experience on Capri with lunch at J.K Place. This is a 5 star, boutique resort right down by Capri’s main harbor.
Lunch was divine. By this point I was really dreading the thought of coming home and back to reality. Italian has always been my favourite cuisine, and every single meal I experienced during my week in the Amalfi Coast was fantastic!
My last night was spent back inNaples. I stayed at the Palazzo Caracciolo: M Gallery by Sofitel As I didn’t have much time, I hired a private guide for a 3 hour private walking tour of Naples so I could at least see the highlights and get a better understanding of the history and culture from a local. I was generously hosted by IC Bellagio (our Virtuoso onsite based in Italy) and my guide was amazing. He surprised me by turning up in a car, as he had known I was in the industry and only had that one morning so he wanted to ensure I go a true feel for Naples so wanted to show me other areas, in additional to the historical center and I am so glad he did.