For unadulterated luxury on the Amalfi Coast, it’s hard to beat Casa Angelina. It’s a world apart: superbly appointed, unbelievably immaculate, utterly contemporary. And the views are simply and literally breathtaking. With 39 rooms or suites it’s hardly a boutique hotel, but Casa Angelina is small and discreet enough to feel intimate. It wears all five stars with nonchalance, so that being there isn’t about being seen there: the concept is beachside and low-pressure. White prevails throughout and gives way only to natural hues and wooden flooring in the common areas and the splashes of colour of original artworks. So all windows become picture windows: white frames for endless blue sea, green vegetation and the rocky coastline stretching into a misty distance: beautifully contrived. Almost anything else would detract, so the design furnishing is minimalist.
Rooms in the main building, perched on the mountainside above Praiano, range from spacious signature suites on the uppermost floor, each with its own huge panoramic terrace and more hi-tech gadgets than you’ll be bothered to use, to classic doubles still with balconies and sea views. Down below and almost on the beach, accessed via the lift and a fair number of steps, are four more gorgeous rooms in what used to be fishermen’s cottages: just a touch of their rustic charm is retained in patches of exposed rock. (They’re named, by the way, after the Sirens and other females characters in Homer’s Odyssey – I can’t resist this – and staying there is the EAUDESEA Experience…!) They’re potentially independent of the rest, having their own little eatery and staff for breakfasts and other light meals cooked to order.
The hotel bar with its cliff-edge terrace is perfect for sundowners. And Casa Angelina has its own gourmet restaurant, Un Piano nel Cielo, where chef Vincenzo Vanacore sources the freshest produce – including lots of fish and seafood – locally. It’s on the top floor of the hotel and faces west, so whether you’re inside or out on the ample terrace, you dine watching the sun set over the Tyrrhenian Sea. They know their wines too. The outdoor pool has a sundeck flanked by yet another restaurant serving light meals and snacks, while the indoor pool is among the stylish spa-treatment and cutting-edge gym facilities. Even these have sea views! And yet there is more to the Amalfi Coast. And you have only to request concierge services and the hotel’s private boat to relish it all.