We disembarked after a week at sea on a luxury Mediterranean cruise; I sighed, thinking that the level of luxury I had just experienced was over. As we approached the luggage area, I saw a driver standing, holding a sign with my name on it. Behind the driver was our car, with the backdoor open just enough for me to see a bottle of champagne being chilled. I smiled, knowing more luxury was to come as I continued on to the Amalfi Coast!
On the drive to Positano, we took in the sights and HAD to stop to sample pizza in Naples – losing count of how much pizza we actually ate. We continued the drive, first dropping off friends at their hotel in Sorrento.
The landscape between Sorrento and Positano is somewhat terrifying yet equally stunning. The streets are incredibly narrow with many switchbacks. Storefronts, without curbs or sidewalks, line the streets with patrons walking mere inches to the car. It was amazing to watch those who are accustomed to driving the streets maneuver around each other in such a calm manner. I was holding my breath the whole way.
As soon as we pulled up to our hotel, Le Sirenuse (located in the center of Positano), I knew for certain that the term “luxury” would be used again and again during the stay.
Les Sirenuse is one of Italy’s most luxurious seaside properties. The history of the hotel in a nutshell: “Four brothers turn their summer home which overlooked the Positano Bay into a hotel.” In 1951, the 58-room resort opened, and since, has been considered one of Italy’s leading luxury hotels. The ambience remains intimate with a cultured feel of a private home. One of the brothers, an art connoisseur who had impeccable taste, defines much of the style found at Le Sirenuse.
After a gratius welcome at the front desk by a very handsome Italian host, we were escorted to our room. When the door to my room opened, my jaw dropped. This view! This iconic view that is always featured in photographs. Rows of colorful homes are built into the cliffs, appearing to almost float high above the sea. It was EXACTLY as I imagined.
My accomodations were perfect. Simple elegance: white-washed walls, vaulted ceiling, handmade floor tiles, and a balcony with a view that captures one’s heart. I had waited for this moment and here I was. What followed next: champagne on the balcony and photos. This view would never get old. Ever.
After a glass of champagne on your balcony, I suggest you venture down to Aldo’s Champagne bar. Some moments shouldn’t end…this was one of those moments. Dining on caviar, oysters, champagne in hand, a priceless backdrop, listening to seducing music; I closed my eyes and took it all in, acknowledging to myself how fortunate I was to be in this very moment. Le Sirenuse had quite a magical effect on me. All of my senses seemed heightened by the sights, sounds, smells and tastes. This is what life is all about!
On the way back to my room, I walked around the property to the different seating areas, each decorated with very beautiful antiques. I wanted to know the story behind each piece; luckily, you can ask the hotel hosts and they take the time to delve into the history of the hotel and stories about the brothers who created the magic.
I was a schoolgirl, giddy and waiting with anticipation for our dinner reservation to arrive. As we entered La Sponda, the Michelin-starred restaurant on property, the illuminated glow from the four hundred-lit candles created the most unforgettable atmosphere. The waitstaff service was impeccable and matched its incredible reputation. All the dishes are made up of fresh ingredients inspired by the culinary traditions of the Amalfi Coast. These dishes are brought to life by Chef Gennaro Russo. The talents of Chef Russo continue the style and approach he learned from Chef Temperini, who Chef Russo acknowledges as his “number one teacher”. Gennaro’s golden rule is “respect for the territory, for local traditions, and local ingredients”.
After an unforgettably wonderful dinner, we continued the evening with an after-dinner drink at Franco’s Bar, a new addition to the hotel. It is a small al fresco terrace that offers incredible panoramic vistas. The décor is striking with contemporary artwork and commissioned pieces from local and international talent. The perfect spot to close out a perfect evening.
I started my morning waking up to sunshine, blue skies, and awe-inspiring views. My balcony was the perfect setting to capture my thoughts on paper. After a few written pages, we made our way down to indulge in Le Sirenuse’s breakfast. Another grand culinary experience…another WOW! As we sat on the pool terrace, amongst the lemon trees and flowers, I kept thinking of how amazing it would be to live and work here. How special it is. Fresh food. Clean air. Passionate and lively people. I could sense that sadness was starting to creep in. I didn’t want the stay to end. We topped off the wonderful breakfast with more champagne (why not?) and continued on our journey.
Before leaving the hotel, I read something on the Le Sirenuse website: In 1953, John Steinbeck visited and wrote, “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” I was surely bitten and would savor this type of bite anytime.
Hospitality by Le Sirenuse