Let’s start with the drawback: it takes a heck of a lot of finding. La Ciliegina, charming little hotel smack bang in the middle of Naples, is cunningly concealed in the upper floors of an obscure building accessed through a secret courtyard off the far end of Piazza Municipio. But that’s all solved by taking a taxi: they know. Once you’re in, though, it’s hard to believe you’re within spitting distance of chaotic Via Toledo and many other must-dos. You can’t switch off the noise in Naples, ever, but in relative terms it’s an oasis of peace and quiet.
Recently made over by a team of local architects, the 14 roomy rooms are bright and neatly dressed in fresh Mediterranean colours. They have sumptuous marble bathrooms. Beds and mattresses are by Hästens (good enough for Swedish royalty), and the contemporary furniture is handmade by local craftsmen. The rooftop terrace is a boon, particularly in summer: it has stunning views over the city with Vesuvius in the background. When you’ve marvelled enough, you can settle down on loungers with bar service and chill out in the jacuzzi. They serve breakfast up here, weather permitting, which is just as well as the winter quarters are a little cramped. WiFi, a welcome drink and daily newspapers are a given at boutique La Ciliegina, which just adds to already good value for your money. They’ll provide loads of other exclusive services (food and wine, a personal assistant, car and driver etc.) on request.