. . . and Kings and Queens and politicians and other movie stars - in Sorrento's treasury of indulgence
From its clifftop eyrie its front views are million-dollar of the Bay of Naples stretching to the horizon, parts of spectacular Sorrento below and of the Neapolitan Riviera’s coastline sparkling away to right and left. By guest blogger David Ellis.
From around the back they’re out over its own 2ha (5 acres) of parklands, and from one side of archaeological ruins from 50BC or possibly earlier, and from the other a few remains of a one-time Roman bathing pool. Beneath it lay parts of a villa Emperor Augustus once called home, an ancient Roman spa, and a fascinating centuries-old crypt inquisitive visitors can still explore today.
|Seasonal outdoor dining venues like this offer a choice of|
regional Campania, Mediterranean and international cuisines
Is all this some grand museum, some coveted Italian government treasure house, a regal palace or priceless residence from Victorian times?
|Children's playground in a corner of the hotel’s 2ha-plus private|
park with 100 year old ornamental trees, citrus, olive, vegetable and flower gardens
Names like Otto von Bismarck, King Louis of Bavaria, England’s Prince of Wales in 1874 who would later return as King of his country, Catherine Grand Duchess of Russia, King Rama VII of Siam (now Thailand,) England’s Princess Margaret …
And Richard Strauss, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Lionel Ritchie, Barbara Streisand, Marilyn Monroe… and Enrico Caruso who in 1921 spent his last days here in Suite 448 that’s now named after him.
|The Blue Salon for taking gracious afternoon teas in an ambience of an era past.|
From the very beginning the Fiorentinos wanted their Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria to stand out from the rest for those undertaking the Grand Tour – not just for its clifftop location in the very heart of Sorrento, but for its décor, services and dining.
So rather than one over-powering monolithic structure they created three smaller interconnecting buildings… and as pioneering firsts back in 1834, installed unique private bathrooms in each of their 92 rooms and suites, new-fangled electric lighting, even a remarkable funicular railway inside a one-time Roman-era tunnel linking the hotel directly with Sorrento’s waterfront below.
Today, guests enjoy a choice of boutique venues and terraces rather than vast restaurants and bars, indoor and seasonal outdoor dining areas offering a choice of Michelin Star regional Campania, Mediterranean and international cuisines… and for those who must have their American-style buffet fix for breakfast, the Vittoria Breakfast Room has that together with a healthy organic corner and a pianist at play.
Other rooms include the Winter Garden with its overflowing flower baskets, the quiet Reading Room with photographs and newspaper cuttings chronicling those who have indulged here, the Music Room adorned with lush green plants and furnishings handcrafted by local artisans…
|Premium Deluxe guest room fit for a Who’s Who of royalty, business,|
the arts, music, literature and film… and a future Australian Prime Minister.
Guests can frolic in the large hydro-jet pool, be pampered in the only Spa on the Amalfi Coast to offer Australian-invented Intraceuticals Oxygen Facials (a hit with the likes of Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian and Justin Timberlake,) work out in the hi-tech Gym, walk or jog the 2ha-plus private park with its 100 year old ornamental trees, citrus, olive, vegetable and flower gardens, and children’s playground.
|Sorrento's Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria overlooks the town’s|
marina and captures million dollar views to left and right.
Prices start from Euro220 per room per night including buffet breakfast for two, complimentary Wi-Fi and taxes, and the hotel has its own carpark for self-drive holidaymakers. Book through your favourite travel agent.
(Images: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria)