• Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Il San Pietro

Where to Stay in Italy: Il San Pietro
December 20, 2018

Tastemaker: Matthew Lux

Would you recommend this hotel?


How many stars 1-2 would you rate this hotel overall?


What are three words you would use to describe the hotel?

        Transcendent, relaxing, delicious.

What was your favorite part of the hotel?

        It's a toss-up between the private beach and the restaurant on the terrace.

Ratings: 1-5 (with 1 being lowest):

Rooms:  4.5
Service: 5
Hotel amenities: 4.5
Restaurant: 5
Location: 5
Cleanliness: 5

We found ISP to be a near-perfect blend of beauty, comfort, and warmth.  Much like the fantastic estate your ancestors should have left you, it feels like home immediately (if home had an elevator drilled through a cliff that took you straight to your private beach). 

There are newer hotels, but few do it better.

Food:  Of the two restaurants, the terrace restaurant, Zass, offers stellar food to match the postcard-perfect views, and it’s an ideal place to enjoy a Negroni at sunset.  Carlino, the more casual restaurant, is situated on the private beach, and is only open to hotel guests, and only for lunch.  The food at both restaurants is unbelievably fresh—we ate almost every meal in the hotel.

Rooms and grounds:  The hotel’s cliff-top location means you’re almost always right over the sea. The rooms are spacious, especially by European standards. We stayed in three, and each of them offered a fantastic balcony and coastal view.  The aroma of flowers and the sea is everywhere—every vantage point seems to offer some stunning combination of sights and smells.  The hotel’s shuttle makes it easy to get to and from Positano in only a few minutes.

The private beach at the base of the cliffs is a place par excellence to relax and to gaze across the water at the Faraglioni in the distance. It’s accessible by elevator, or for the brave or reckless at heart, by a winding set of stairs cut into the cliff (long enough to make you very glad you didn’t bring your trainer).

Other wistful thoughts: Beyond the stunning scenery and pitch-perfect amenities, the place just feels right somehow—the service is warm but not overbearing, and any request we had was met immediately and graciously.  The hotel is decades old, but is well-maintained in all aspects, and shines in a very comfortable way.  The owners are always there, and their attention to detail shows.

It’s the kind of atmosphere that pulls you into a warm, soft embrace, and makes leaving a true test of will (although the prospect of your looming credit card bill helps). We only managed to leave by making ourselves a few simple promises:  return to the ISP soon, and in the meantime, do a little shopping. Specifically for some Campania wine, and maybe a private beach, and a drill big enough to make our own elevator shaft.