HOTEL VILLA FRANCA: A CLIFFTOP HIDEAWAY IN POSITANO
The third stop on my Amalfi Coast dream was Positano (well, you didn’t think I’d leave this little glistening colourful gem out did you?!) and a very special abode to call home, Hotel Villa Franca.
Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, this small but perfectly formed hotel set high up on the rocky out-crop at the top of the town of Positano. First impressions will blow you away, views, service, boutique meets style, meets art gallery. Yes you will think you’ve walked into a high end art establishment with nearly every hue of blue and crystal you can think of. If you’re ready for the remainder of the stay, lets get started…
A FAMILY HISTORY WITH A DREAMY LOCATION
Hotel Villa Franca can only be described as a luxurious hideaway villa-style retreat nestled high up on the Positano cliff-side with undeniably extraordinary views but also the peace and tranquillity from the crowds that flock to Positano daily.
Hotel Villa Franca was once a private residence, which has been artfully shaped and beautifully dressed to show off its light, airy, bright and luxurious capabilities alongside its impeccable setting, service and family run spirit. The property is split over two villas, one forms the main villa, where most of the facilities such as the bar, pool and restaurants are located and there is also a Villa annex a couple of steps away.
Rosa Taddeo, Director of Sales and Marketing runs the hotel currently as the third generation of this family run boutique hotel, with her husband Massimo. It is evident that this place has the family touch from the minute you walk in. It’s lovely to bump into Rosa’s mum as you take a seat in the lobby area and flick through the plethora of style-inspired books or even take advantage of those unique 360 degree sea views over Positano from this ideal location.
A WALK THROUGH THE LAID BACK LUXURY RETREAT
When it comes to stylish contemporary communal spaces, this abode is top dog! The palate is most definitely that of a classic Positano look comprising of cool white tiles and paint work, vaulted ceilings with wrought iron balconies and a smart contemporary twist.
After inheriting the family business Rosa, spent time updating Hotel Villa Franca with quirky local artwork and colourful ceramics, which add a welcoming ambience to the sitting area come bar. Its most definitely laid back luxury with generously large upholstered sofas and armchairs peppered with glossy table books.
ONE OF THE HIGHEST POOLS IN POSITANO
Be sure to take yourself up to the top level of Hotel Villa Franca to witness the astounding pool. If you suffer from Vertigo, I warn you this ones not for you but for the rest of us, this is the place to relax, wind down and basically take in the view that dreams are made of. Plenty of sunloungers to relax in this tranquil oasis in the cliffs of Positano.
There are 28 rooms in the main villa, all boasting terraces or balconies with uninterrupted sea views.
The décor in the bedrooms is sleek, with classic detailing, white tiled floors and decorative majolica tiles in the bed niches. The 14 suites in the nearby villa, where we stayed, have much larger rooms with views of Positano and the sea.
In our balcony suite, a cool bottle of Prosecco and a chocolate cake awaited us as we took a seat on teh balcony to take in the vistas of Positano.
Bathroom amenities are stocked well with a brand created in-house and all rooms come complete with ipads and flat screen televisions. Trust me, there will be no need to make use of the TV when you feast your eyes on the spectacular views.
WINING & DINING
LI GALLI RESTAURANT
Located just through a serene space over looking the crystal like glowing waters of the coast, where the sky meets the coastline, sits Hotel Villa Franca’s sublimely mouth watering restaurant Li Galli.
The kitchen is headed by the hotels executive chef, Vincenzo Esposito and his team. Vincenzo worked closely with Michelin starred chef, Gennaro Esposito to skilfully prepare a menu innovative yet in keeping with the area and its local ingredients. The result is just sensational. Dr C and I enjoyed an evening meal at Li Galli. The restaurant is quaint, small and incredibly stylish, with service that is so on point but the food; well that is just in a league of its own.
Enjoy the fine fare looking out over Fornillo beach and the Li Galli Islands.
For all wine connoisseurs there is a fantastic wine list to complement your food. The once water store in the basement has been made into a stunning wine cellar and for all things wine related, falls upon Sommelier Franco’s expert tutorage.
We picked wines upon Franco’s recommendation to accompany our food, a Rose for me and a red for Dr C.
We started our meal with the chef Vincenzo’s amuse bouche of the day, a deep fried Pizza with cheese and sardines.
When my starter arrived, my jaw dropped in amazement, it was a work of art quite literally. The detail, the colour the taste was just as fresh as can be. I picked a selection of lightly blanched vegetables surrounded by a solid gazpacho with almond cream.
Dr C chose the lacquered rabbit and eel with a kaki vanilla compote and mint. Apparently it was perfection!
Moving on to mains, it was the cannelloni with buffalo Genovese sauce, a burnt pepper cream and pepper foam for me and Dr C had the linguini with putanesca style yellow sauce and yellow tomatoes. Both dishes were just delicious and cooked beautifully.
After choosing dessert, we were presented with a very artful pre-dessert, which I can only describe as a coconut coated marshmallow.
Then came the main dessert event for me. The Giallo Limone. This is quite literally a sugar sphere with a lemon cream, on a lemon biscuit base and of course limoncello cream.
Dr C satisfied his love for cheesecakes with a very beautifully presented delight.
Just when we called it a night, out came some very pretty looking petits fours, which were just adorable.
The sweet toothed amongst us will love that at the end of the meal, a little sweet cart is wheeled up and you can pick a variety of treats to take back for later.
Sit amongst the cosy armchairs looking out onto the ocean, with telescope in front of you and relax, sip an expertly crafted cocktail or long drink in this epitome of sophistication know as Bar Galli. Grab a pew in the form of a bar stool, comfy armchair beside the grand piano and ask for your favourite tipple, Be that a mocktail, cocktail or more complicated concoction. The bar team will look after your every water hole need!
GOLD CHAMPAGNE BAR CLUB
After all you are on the coast and a treat in the form of champagne and oysters is obligatory! Take a seat and be seduced by the light music, the location and most of all the food. Nosh on a glass of the fine fizzy stuff with oysters, caviar, shellfish and tartar of fish. Sit back.
GALLIS SKY BAR
By far the best place to flock to at golden hour and grab a sundowner or simply take a refreshing swim followed by a cool beverage prepared by the bar staff at this spectacular location. As well as preparing the finest beverages, you can spend your day here swimming and soaking up the rays, accompanied by light afternoon eats including salads, grilled fish and pasta to name a few. Al fresco dining quite literally delivered at a great height!
The buffet is beautifully laid out in the morning and you’ll be hard pushed to resist partaking. There’s no shortage of fresh fruit, yoghurts, home-made bread, jams, fresh mozzarella, cakes and sweet treats, nuts cereals and a fresh juice shot of the day is bought to your table.
There are also a range of cooked options which are rustled up by the chef before you.
All you need to worry about is which table view you fancy having of the coast that morning!
For a pretty small boutique hotel, there are a number of other facilities on offer here. There’s a complimentary shuttle bus service, that takes you down to Piazza dei Mulini and up again. Otherwise Positano is a 15 minute walk down the winding and steep staircases! It’s a bit of a work out on the way up though!
Hotel Villa Franca also has a spa for relaxing treatments as well as a gym in case you feel the steep steps down to the coast are not energetic enough for you.
The hotel is also happy to help out with organising private boat trips to Capri and around the coast and transport to wherever you fancy venturing out for the day. Foodies can sign up for cooking lessons and cocktail-making classes with tours of local food and wine producers can be arranged upon request.
SHEER UNADULTERATED PERFECTION FOR
Couples, Honeymoons, anniversaries, special occasions, families and well any excuse to have 360 degree views.
Hotel Villa Franca has to be one of the most stylish hideaway retreat boutique hotels I’ve ever stayed in. A relaxing environment, impeccable service, excellent food and drink and a perfect location for a stay in Positano. A tranquil cliff-top haven with minimalistic luxe for a truly memorable stay.
I was gifted a bottle of the Hotel Villa Franca home fragrance so every time I spritz my interiors, I can feel like I’m back at this Positano Cliff-top hideaway….well at least if I close my eyes anyway! Just another reminder of the Smile at Life ethos at Hotel Villa Franca.
Have you visited Positano and which was your hotel pick for this beautiful town?
Hotel Villa Franca
Viale Pasitea, 318
Tel. +39 089 875655
Booking can be made directly via The Hotel Villa Franca website for best rates
Read all about my other stays on the Amalfi Coast below: