It’s been a very long time since I’ve visited this world renowned coastline. As a ripe 15-year-old, I apparently gathered that this place exuded some romance, so I told myself the next time I visited, I wanted to come back with a significant other. And that’s exactly what happened 20 years later.
When I say this hotel single-handedly made our honeymoon, this hotel single-handedly made our honeymoon. Saving the best for first, we began our post-nuptial vacation right here where a beautiful historic residence meets the Mediterranean Sea. Talk about a place that hits all five senses. Surrounded by lemon groves, you can almost smell the property before you spot it. Tucked away in a quiet corner of Amalfi, the position of Santa Caterina is a 10 minute walk from the town center, a coveted location indeed.
We booked United Polaris seats from Newark to Naples and landed at 7am to a beautiful sunrise. Polaris is United’s Premium cabin, offering elevated comfort and services like custom Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and amenity kit inclusions like Sunday Riley skincare (and a really cute mini suitcase from Away Travel). We flew with United to our wedding in Maui and our honeymoon in Italy and throughout all 10 flights, not one was delayed and we never lost a bag. Our good luck didn’t end there. Hotel Santa Caterina arranges the one hour and 20 minute complimentary transport for all guests from Naples International Airport or train station to the hotel – a HUGE plus since you don’t want to be the one behind the wheel on those windy roads. Note to future millionaire self: You can also boat in, and while I don’t know the specifics, it’s certainly the definition of ‘making an entrance.’
Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast?
Where to even start? I suppose at the very beginning when our transport came to a complete stop at Hotel Santa Caterina, startling my jet lag self awake, dazed and confused. I stumbled to the front desk to check-in and was immediately greeted by a kinda staff member who promptly showed us to the breakfast buffet, apparently noticing we were fresh off a transatlantic flight. I wonder whatever gave that away? IYKYK 🙂
After inhaling a few of our first Italian pastries and espressos, we walked up a flight of red carpeted stairs to our room. Immediately, I was taken. With the hand-painted ceramic floors, the marble bathroom and the double door leading our private patio. And the view. THE VIEW! LOOK!
Each room, suite and villa has its own charm and uniqueness, as unique as each guest that stays here…including many celebrities on holiday or filming the next blockbuster hit (looking at you, Denzel Washington!). After soaking in the tub, I did what any seasonal traveler does after a long international travel day. I took a nap. For probably the first time in a LONG time or day I say ever. Travel 101 tells you: never lay down after getting to your hotel on Day 1. In order to turn your body clock around, you must get out, get some sunshine, and stay awake until the local bedtime. Well, this was our honeymoon and the room was too splendid NOT to take in, so there you have it. I broke all of my rules…but sometimes they’re meant to be broken.
The grounds are immaculate with so many nooks to explore. One of my favorite areas is the garden terrace below the restaurant full of lemon groves, flowers and jaw-dropping beauty. I dream of going back here with a good book and a crisp Costa d’Amalfi Bianco. Another favorite hangout here was the panoramic Bar la Terrazza. You could find us here around 4pm every afternoon either with an espresso or crisp white in hand. Hotel Santa Caterina also boasts a wellness center and fitness center overlooking the sea.
Suspended high above the sea, one wouldn’t dream of the hotel as having immediate access to a pool or beach…until you look down that is. Exclusively for hotel guests, the Beach Club is nestled in the cliffside and surrounded by the natural environment of the Amalfi Coast. To gain access, guests take the exposed elevator down to the very bottom level, gazing through the glass at the sheer beauty before them. While its pace is slow and steady, it truly does feel like quite the joy ride 🙂 From poolside cocktails to lunch at Restaurant al Mare, the options are LimitLes. It was at this Beach Club where I discovered I actually loved my most despised food on the planet: olives. I’ve loathed them for 35 years except for Italian olives, it seems. I don’t know what it is, but they just taste, well, really good in Italy. As does everything else.
With a luxury, pristine property such as this, it comes as no surprise that a Michelin Star restaurant is attached to its name. The gastronomic offerings at Glicine, sharing the gorgeous breakfast space, reflect the seasonal and Mediterranean flavors of the region while demonstrating the experience, quality and uniqueness that you’d expect from such an establishment. My new-aged, robust palate came just in time as the first course on our tasting menu was accompanied by none other than black olives.
Staying at a beautiful hotel always poses a problem. Should I stay or should I go? To bask in the property’s greatness is mandatory, but what about the rest? There’s a big wide region out there to discover, and the question is always how to balance the time? I have just the answer. A boat day can be arranged by the hotel for anyone wishing to visit the Amalfi Coast from the sea. Positano, Capri, and Ischia await!