The infamous Almafi Coast during an Italian summer is surely something to experience. Upon landing in Naples Capodichino International Airport, Casa Angelina had arranged a driver and car to pick us up and make our way to the property. The 90-minute drive is as easy as can be (all the driver cars are Mercedes Benz) and the smooth highways until the scenic route begins are perfect for a bit of rest before arrival.
Recommended Duration: 3-5 days
Time to Visit: June-September
Booking: CASA ANGELINA, www.casangelina.com
Casa Angelina is located right in the heart of the picturesque steep-sided coastal area, in a tourist-free former fishing village called Praiano (between Positano and Amalfi) and is reached by a twisting private road. After all we had heard and read about the Almafi Coast, nothing can quite compare to seeing it first-hand. It is a cliff-hanging experience as you look out over the sparkling Gulf of Salerno, the exceptional views of the vast blue ocean spreads out before you like an azure blanket, interrupted only by the island bumps of Capri and Li Galli. A colourful pink-hued Positano sits comfortably on the left in between the green mountains and you can just about see the rocky toe of Italy stretching into the horizon. VIEW MAP.
STYLE & DESIGN
Upon arrival, the back drop of the check-in is a clear indication of how this hotel privileges design and blends it subtly with nature’s own display. Vast windows that allow the wonderful views of sea, mountains and sky to pour in are a common point throughout. These are arguably the finest views on the entire Amalfi coast.
The welcome drink was a delightful choice between freshly-made chilled almond milk or orange infused water, and after we were led on a simple tour of the property. It is clear that Casa Angelina’s euro-chic brilliant all-white features is its trademark appeal, contrasted only by the owner’s whimsical art collection. Creative and colourful Murano glass sculptures designed by Cuban artist Alfredo Sosabravo and oil paintings by Argentinian Patricia Valencia Carstens, add a quirkiness to the hotel and highlight the ground floor communal areas.
All in all, it is a dream setting - the clean, refreshing aesthetic and touches of refined Italian elegance, exudes a down-to-earth vision and a theme of vacation-tranquility. It is hard to imagine a more majestic location and understandable why nearly all your fellow guests are honeymooners and young couples in love.
There are 44 rooms and 4 floors which are open from May-September. Although this hotel is suggestive of an adult Amalfi hideaway, children over 12 are welcome.
The 9 categories of bedrooms and suites are uncompromisingly all white, with gleaming white walls, beds, fabrics, furniture and floor tiles. Infact the only chromes come from the television, a vase and the ice bucket that was cooling our bottle of champagne, alongside some fruit and an endearing welcome note. Outside the white curtains opens onto a large patio terrace with two sun beds and spellbinding views of wonderous blue waters.
This understated luxury style carries into the contemporary bathrooms where Jo Malone and L'Occitane products are meticulously displayed. The standard rooms are not particularly spacious but comfortable. The Junior Suite has to be the most reach-for-the-camera impressive, with a vast private terrace offering 180º views of Positano and Capri from the comfort of a unique Duravit Starck bath tub as well as an indoor sitting area.
If the all-white perfection isn’t your thing, or you appeal for extra privacy you might wish to check into one of the four rustic Eudesea suites which were former fisherman's cottages. These charming apartments are 200 steps down by the beach. They have been refurbished into stylish self-catering and incorporate raw exposed natural cliff rock which has been made into a feature of the interiors, appealing to any cave-dwelling instincts.
STAY : JUNIOR SUITE
Italian newspapers have been raving about the quality of the cuisine at Casa Angelina, and they are not wrong. The hotel is surrounded by terraces of lemon trees as well as their own vegetable and fruit garden ensuring the freshest of ingredients for some wonderful Mediterranean cuisine.
The hotel's exquisitely positioned top-floor restaurant and dining terrace is Un Piano nel Cielo (floor in the sky). It truly floats halfway between sea and sky. Breakfast here could be the most wonderful spread I have ever seen, and incredibly instagram worthy. A lavish buffet of locally sourced items - fresh fruits, daily pastries and cakes, fresh juices, orange and lemon marmalade, along with a separate menu to order your freshly prepared main course. Of course, the biggest highlight is sitting outdoors and views of the glittering sea and overarching sky.
For dinner, Chef Vincenzo Vanacore's is a cut above many of the more famous hotel restaurants along the coast. A modern take on traditional Napolitano cooking uses, wherever possible, produce grown in the hotel's own vegetable garden and seafood from local catches. As you'd expect, it's all presented with an eye for beauty; they also do a 5-course and a 7-course menu.
Light lunches at the pool-side bar are perfectly suited for the Italian heat. Delicious sandwiches and salads were light, fresh and satisfying.
There are a few more dining options if you take the 70 steps up to the village and eat in one of the local restaurants. Additionally you can pop over to the of the beloved local towns of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello that are easily reached by road or water taxi.
TIP: CASA ANGELINA HAS A FREE SHUTTLE TO AND FROM POSITANO.
TIP: Don’t miss the live jazz band on Thursday for an evening of soulful songs.
SERVICE AND FACILITIES
Casa Angelina is a lifestyle boutique hotel, the service is excellent but relaxed, very friendly and with great attention to detail.
There are two pools, one outdoor pool beneath some lemon trees and surrounded by white day beds which connect to a stylish terrace, the other - a heated hydrotherapy pool under a constellation of fibre optics on the ceiling. There is a small wellness centre and gym with incredible views from the treadmills and a sauna with separate showers. The spa offers beauty and massages treatments to be enjoyed in one of the all-white sea-view treatment rooms and uses aromatic Nectarone organic products from Morocco's Atlas Mountains. You can also request a private yoga class to practise sun salutations to the sky at your personal terrace.
Casa Angelina has direct access to La Gavitella Beach Club - one of the finest beaches on the Amalfi Coast. This private beach is beautiful walk across terraced gardens 200 steps down from the hotel and one of only a lucky few Amalfi Coast bathing spots to face west, meaning it enjoys sunlight until late in the evening. Upon arriving to the blanket of orange beach umbrellas, the music, lively atmosphere and array of people were indicative that this was the place to be. As hotel guests you have complimentary access to sun beds, umbrellas and Etro towels. There is a food and beverage menu to order from and during the sultry summer afternoons when it gets too warm, you can jump into the cooling blue Mediterranean waters.
The best way to explore this famed coastline is by boat to spot the peaks, crevices, hidden bays and beaches nestled into the cliffs. Casa Angelina’s own private boat is provided exclusively for the use of guests can be hired inclusive of a skipper for half-day or full-day tours. Inspired by the traditional Sorrentine gozzo fishing vessel, the Casa Angelina boat was constructed on traditionally mastered techniques by boatbuilding craftsman to ensure a calm ride even when seas are less than smooth.
The public lounge rooms include white big, comfortable sofas covered in beautiful Gervasoni cotton and huge picture windows framing the ocean, a bar and cigar bar, as well as a chic little 'business centre’.
Outside Casa Angelina waits the authentic Italian charm of Praiano. Take a leisurely stroll around this peaceful village to discover San Gennaro, a golden church glistening among the whitewashed houses, and more Italian-style atmosphere at a local juice bar to soak up the views.
TIP: Explore further winding roads to medieval Ravello
Casa Angelina is a rare find on the Amalfi coast; the all-white interiors are stunning, hospitality and attention to detail perhaps make it one of the most luxurious of all Almafi Coast hotels. It has an unbeatable private location which balances calm and relaxation in a very special part of the world that already leaves you breathless for its beauty. Great details, excellent cuisine and out of this world views are all set in an ambience where sophisticated design and comfort are the utmost priority.