The Amalfi Coast is a place that tends to be on everyone’s dream-vacation bucket list. From the stark blue waters of the Mediterranean to the unbelievably fresh seafood, this place will make you seriously question why anyone would live anywhere else. The problem with high-end destinations, though, is that they’re often accompanied by super-chic, luxury venues and hotels that, in their attempt to cater to what the typical tourist would want, usually end up losing a little bit of their local charm. That's why I’m so excited to share with you one of my favorite hidden gems on the Med: Il San Pietro Di Positano. This hotel is a quaint-yet-luxurious property on the Amalfi Coast that has all of its Italian charm perfectly intact.
From the moment you arrive at Il San Pietro, you truly feel like you’re in an Italian storybook. The hotel is built into one of those quintessential Amalfi Coast cliffsides, and the design makes use of beautiful natural landscapes throughout the property. It is clear, from the second you set foot in the lobby, that the architects took care to work with, rather than against, the natural landscape. Trees whose roots are planted outside have branches and trunks that make their way inside the hotel. They literally crawl along the lobby ceiling and even into individual rooms. This fairy-tale-like design makes it tough to tell where the landscape ends and Il San Pietro begins.
Hand-painted tiles, saturated colors and oh-so-plush textiles adorn every inch of the hotel’s interior. We visited in a group of five and had the pleasure of staying in three different hotel rooms. Each space was completely different from the next. No pattern was painted twice on the tile and no two rooms had the same layout (or even the same linens). Each space had its very own, carefully-thought-out aesthetic.
In fact, the only thing the rooms had in common were the views. Because the hotel is built into a cliffside, every room is sea-facing. This means you’re guaranteed an incredible view no matter what type of room you book. One of our favorite things to do each morning was order a cappuccino from room service and sit on our balcony (which happened to overlook both the Med and the hotel’s charming vegetable garden). It sounds so simple - and it’s something you’ve probably done at plenty of hotels - but that setting (and the coffee, I suppose) made this an incredible part of each day.
Once we could pull ourselves away from the hotel’s beautiful interior, we explored some of its outdoor areas. To get to sea level, you have your choice of either walking down what looks like about 1,000 stairs or taking a high-speed elevator that’s literally carved right into the cliff. Once there, you’ll stumble right upon their private pool and outdoor bar area. This is the only hotel in Positano that offers direct access to the sea. Lounge chairs are set up on a natural cove, and paddleboards and kayaks pepper the sand for guests to use, free of charge.
There was only one thing that we loved more than a relaxing pool day: a relaxing yacht day. We booked the hotel’s signature “Joey” yacht for a full day and explored the rest of the Amalfi Coast with Massimo, the boat’s captain. He was an expert in all things local and quickly became our favorite person ever. His knowledge of the coast and its history was impressive, but the ride managed to feel like a fun day out with an old Italian friend rather than a drab history lesson.
The day after we explored the coast (eating far too much seafood and drinking far too much vino), we decided we could go for a little activity. We reserved the hotel tennis courts in the morning and played right along the Med in a spot so breathtaking I can’t even describe it (check out the photo). Il San Pietro also offers daily yoga in a grassy area adjacent to the tennis courts (and I’ll forever be kicking myself for not taking them up on that offer).
Overall, Il San Pietro di Positano is such a beautiful anomaly: it’s a quaint space that offers the charm and aesthetic of a seaside B&B, but the service and amenities of a five-diamond luxury resort. To that, I say saluté.
Have you ever experienced a hotel like Il San Pietro Di Positano? Share your experiences in the comments section below.