This quarter’s fashion feature, set on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, brings back memories of a blissful anniversary my husband and I spent there in the early ’90s. Thinking a reprise was long overdue, I called up a friend of mine who happens to be an expert in luxury travel. What’s the latest, greatest place to stay along the Blue Highway, I asked.
That spot, she said, would be the Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa. Located high on a cliff overlooking the azure Tyrrhenian Sea, the castle-like structure began its life as a convent in the 17th century. Fast forward to 2000, when a vacationing American woman, boating with friends in the Gulf of Salerno, looked up and fell instantly in love with the noble, abandoned building.
Bianca Sharma spent the next 11 years making it perfect. She hired a team of local architects and experts to guide her as she attended to all the details a historically important boutique hotel would require.
When the hotel opened in May 2012, it was breathtaking. Today, four levels of subtropical gardens cascade down the cliff, culminating in an infinity pool that appears to merge with the sea. At the highest level, a dining terrace offers a panoramic view that extends from Amalfi to Positano.
The hotel’s 20 guest rooms have all the amenities you’d expect of a 5-star property. Italian antiques, handpicked by the owner, blend with stylish contemporary pieces. The spa sounds, well, divine. Treatment areas are built around the old monastic spaces, with a nod to ancient Rome. There’s a vaulted tepidarium with heated mosaic-covered loungers. Not to mention the private spa suite with its own garden terrace. The nuns never had it so good!
For more information and to book, visit monasterosantarosa.com.