Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy

Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy

Clinging to the cliffside about a hundred steps from Positano’s heaving seafront, legendary Le Sirenuse offers a beguiling escape from the holidaymaker humdrum that is the Amalfi Coast during summer months.

not sure this one needs an introduction, but humour us
anyway. One of the most esteemed hotels in the Mediterranean, if
not the world, ruby-red Le Sirenuse seduces guests with a
flirtatious combination of swoon-worthy views and dolce-vita drama
served up by smart staff in an unrivalled location.

It’s a hotel where you just know that countless people have
fallen in love – and surely had their hearts broken too, when the
clock hits 11am on check-out day or perhaps when they receive their
bill (€20 birra, we’re looking at you).

The drive here is adrenaline-fuelled, but the course of true
love never did run smooth. Those who prevail over hairpin bends and
fend off madcap drivers to pull up at Le Sirenuse’s blushing
exterior will know it was well worth the clammy hands and
somersaulting stomach.

Once you’ve thrown open the doors of your balcony to see the
glittering Mediterranean before you; smelled the citrus trees on
the balmy air as you lounge by the pool; heard the tinkle of ice as
a perfectly mixed negroni wings its way in your direction; and felt
cool marble underfoot after a day in the hot sun, all is instantly
forgotten as you succumb to Sirenuse’s charm.


Miraculously, nearly all of the 58 rooms here have sea views –
and we’re talking serious sea views. These are the kind where you
accidentally while away hours on your balcony and forget to get out
and “experience the destination”. But Le Sirenuse is a destination
in itself, so you’ll let it slide.

Individually decorated rooms are all white walls, high ceilings,
traditional hand-painted tiles in blue and yellow juxtaposed with
dark-wood antiques and ornate gilt mirrors. Beds are big enough for
three and have the comfort level that you only find in the hotel
greats, while bathrooms are marble temples (complete with a jacuzzi
bathtub, if you’re lucky).

What’s for breakfast?

Whatever you like. Our only guidance would be to order it to
your room and eat it at a leisurely pace on the aforementioned
balcony, feeling shamelessly smug as you watch the day-trippers
arrive in droves on the shore below. Dressing gown attire
mandatory, along with breakfast burrata.

How about lunch and dinner?

La Sponda restaurant attracts the movers and shakers of the

Amalfi Coast
. For lunch, you’ll order a club sandwich that is
as extortionately priced as it is generously sized and worth every
cent. “A club sandwich? But this is Italy!” we hear you wail. Yes,
but does anything shout “holiday” louder than a poolside sarnie
with a side of almost too-salty chips washed down with something
cold and alcoholic? We think not.

Evening is the time for an Italian stravaganza. Hair brushed and
skin moisturised, make your first port of call Aldo’s cocktail bar
for a glass of sparkling (we’re going prosecco over champagne in
this part of the world) and oysters.

Then take a seat at Michelin-starred La Sponda where produce
plucked from the sea and surrounding hinterland has been crafted
into exquisite plates by chefs who’ve gathered from some of the top
kitchens around the world (cough, Osteria Francescana, cough).
Dinner is illuminated by the flames of hundreds of flickering
candles and serenaded by a trio of sexagenarians – any future
iterations of romance will pale in comparison.

Is there a bar?

Various, depending on the time of day. Aldo’s and Franco’s Bar
are perfect vine-strung patios for early evening cocktails and
rooftop views, while the poolside bar will keep you lubricated
during the day. A well-stocked minibar (which is anything but mini)
in your room is completed by luxuriously heavy glassware.


The contemporary spa features a sauna, steam bath and ice room,
and is supplied by Aveda products, while the gym has everything you
need for a holiday workout – though walking Positano’s inclines
will be exercise enough for most.

Things I should know…

If you don’t want this to remain a special-occasion hotel, you’d
better start moonlighting in a job that pays the big bucks

What about their green creds?

They’re working on them. Hm.

Within a short walk, I can find…

It’s about 100 steps down to the lively promenade, lined with
packed bars and restaurants that spill out onto the street. From
here, you can get a boat to Capri for
the day. If it’s not already on your itinerary, we highly recommend
a trip to nearby Ravello
for lunch and a walk around the pretty village – it’s much quieter
than the holiday hotspots and has more of a local feel.

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