Italy's Belmond Hotel Splendido

  • WT Travels
  • europe europe
  • April 2020

One of the world’s most glamorous hotels, this Portofino classic has a humble history. During the 16th century, until it was ransacked by pirates and abandoned, a Benedictine monastery perched high on the cliffs above the bay of Portofino.

Secluded, exclusive, and postcard perfect, the Hotel Splendido opened as a hotel in 1901 and ever since remains a coveted bucket list reservation.

The turquoise waters of the Ligurian sea dotted with private yachts, the Castello Brown protruding from the craggy hillside across the bay, and the enveloping, lush Mediterranean turf produce cinematic panoramic views. Up close, perhaps sitting in the hotel’s famed La Terrazza restaurant sipping a fresh peach bellini at sunset, the visuals become paparazziesque—but without the flash. At one table John Legend and Chrissy Teigen may be seated with their adorable pasta slurping bambinos, or tucked in the corner Kylie Jenner might be celebrating her birthday with the Kardashian entourage. Ramble down the narrow path leading to the hotel’s outdoor spa and bump into George Clooney—every bit as badass, perfectly sexy, and well-mannered as reported.

More than any other hotel on the Italian Riviera, the Belmond Hotel Splendido embodies the enchanting seduction of Italian luxury, charm, and la dolce vita.

Perfect 1950s Chic

The hotel remains perfectly 1950s chic without feeling dated or contrived. Pristinely manicured indoors and out, the hotel is replete with Murano glass chandeliers, and gleaming parquet floors. The hotel’s 1950s color palette includes shades of coral, misty blue, colonial yellow, black and white geometrics—clean and bright and vibrant and fun. Rooted in timeless mid century comfort and leisure style, the hotel’s appeal is its ability to achieve a nearly perfect synergy at the intersection of lost in time and splendid modernity.

Surrounded by verdant landscaping and a second to none view of the uber chic Portofino quayside, the cliffside saltwater infinity pool beckons. Enveloped in beautiful scenery and surrounded by beautiful people, it may be difficult to convince oneself to trek down the steep footpath to explore the bustling fishing village below—but do! The hotel also boast a tennis court with an unparalleled view-so enchanting is the setting, it may be difficult to keep track of the score.

Summer Evenings

Every summer evening, white gloved waiters pour champagne from a bucket sitting on the baby grand piano.  The intimate setting, the sweeping calm effect and charm of the hotel’s interiors encourage reflection. Sit back, relax and enjoy the same timeless elegance experienced by Winston Churchill and Grace Kelly. This is a place to be present.

A modern day fairytale setting draped in wisteria, flooded with charm, and enchantingly seductive, the Belmond Hotel Splendido conjures a once upon a time nostalgia that transports the senses to a beautiful, happy place where everything in the world is just right.

Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.

Anna Akhmatova