OLD MEETS NEW AT GRAND HOTEL CONVENTO DI AMALFI
The second leg of our Amalfi Coast stop was the actual town of Amalfi involving a stay at The NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi. The hotel is owned by a Spanish group and is quite the monument on the coast of Amalfi. For many centuries this beautiful place made up of flights of steep steps, a stunning cave and the reason I booked it, the cloister and not forgetting the lemon gardens, has drawn visitors from all around the world to revel in its evoking inspiration.
A Capuccino Monk History
The foundation of the property is said to date back to 1212 and was habituated by the order of Cappuccin monks who set up church in the Cappuccini cave, which is still in the hotel. During 1813-1836, the hotel was turned into an Inn or Locanda after being assigned to the Archbishop of Amalfi and by 18661, it became the Nautical institute!
A big restoration project took place in 1899 with reconstruction of the dilapidating aisle. This work was undertaken spanning many years by the Cappuccini Friars who first set this up as their place of worship. Since 2011, Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi, is a charter member of Historic Hotels Worldwide.
Hotel Entrance & Communal Spaces
Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi is accessed via a small entrance on the ground floor as the hotel stands on a bend in the road, with temporary parking opposite – just enough time to unload and be met by the hotel staff. Hardly surprising as it’s located on the edge of a coastal road. The lift transports you up seven floors into the main part of the hotel, where you can easily access the reception area, the beautiful church and the cloister.
There is also Monks Walk (which now forms part of the beautiful terrace area with intertwining fuchsia pink flowers. This walkway leads onto the beautiful gardens, a poolside alfresco dining area and the stunning infinity pool.
The whole property drops vertically and there are tasteful reminders of the structural monastery origins. Neutral whites and woods are used to in a contemporary but stylish fashion in the communal areas.
Apart from the infinity pool on the terrace, there’s a wellness area with a spa, a gym, a reading room and cascading gardens providing those picture perfect views.
There is also a Valet parking service, just in case you’ve hired a car for your coastal trip and the hotel provides a free shuttle service into the town of Amalfi, however I’d recommend the short walk. The hotel staff can guide you through their grounds and it really is only 15-20 minutes.
Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi consists of 53 rooms, from standard, to family sized, to junior suites to the Eremite Suite (a private location at the top of some steep steps boasting panoramic views with a hot tub) with amazing views of the coast. Rooms can be small as they are housed after all in a converted monastery and used to be the monk’s cells.
Abodes are located along, long monasteric corridors with vaulted ceilings and have black and white hung images of the property. The interiors are of a cool, neutral, contemporary style with lots of white creating a calming environment against the coastal location.
Our Junior Suite, on the fourth floor comprised a large hallway with terracotta flooring, which led onto a bright white contemporary styled bedroom area.
Just off the hallway stone steps led up into a dressing area on the left and an exposed shower to the right with a beautiful vanity area ahead.
The room comprised all the usual amenities with beautiful touches of fizz and sweet treats left for us to devour.
All along one side of the wall were unobstructed views of the town of Amalfi and the ocean. It was truly magical.
Just one point to note though the shower is visible from the bedroom area and therefore this is a room that you want to share with possibly a partner rather than a friend, if you know what I mean!
Wining & Dining
If it’s a drink your after then I’d thoroughly recommend the Dei Capuccini bar, which has an enviable location right on the terrace facing the sea, perfect suntrap amidst the beautiful blooms and trellises.
Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi has two fine restaurants. One of which is non-Italian (Japanese) and quite rarity for the Amalfi Coast. The dinner – only Kyushi restaurant (open April-October!) The Japanese trained chef Julian Marmol from Madrid specialises in fusion Japanese dishes using Neapolitan ingredients such as nigari of Salmon with local Amalfi lemons and Gyozo with Neapolitan sauce. There is also an à la carte menu and two tasting menus to choose from.
There is also an open air more casual restaurant to dine in, La Locanda, which features al fresco dining with a bar and relaxed cushioned seating areas.
Myself and Dr C had dinner booked at the hotel’s restaurant, Dei Capuccini, which serves authentic Italian fare, on the terrace outside. The menu is most definitely Mediterranean, with Chef Natale Giunta using local ingredients with classic cooking styles.
With the twinkling lights of Amalfi behind us we feasted on an amuse bouche deep fried pizza, a starter of aubergine pie filled with buffalo mozzarella in a cherry tomato sauce with fresh basil from the hotel’s garden and chocolate crumb.
The mains for me was beautifully cooked cod served with classic and deconstructed caponata and Dr C had slow cooked pork cheek cooked with wild mushrooms and black truffle.
Breakfast is also served at Dei Capuccini and is said to be one of the most varied on the coast. There was a huge selection of cold and warm buffet with items cooked to order. I’m sure you’ll agree there is no better breakfast location in Amalfi to see the sea glisten with the sun’s rays, whilst enjoying your morning coffee.
The Coastal Town on Amalfi
As I eluded to earlier, the coastal town of Amalfi is simply minutes away and I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re staying here.
Walking along the small quaint local-residence lined alleyways is just an adventure in itself. Visit the local shops selling an array of lemons, stop by at a local café and sample some pizza or Limoncello, walk up to the steps of Amalfi cathedral from Piazza del Duomo.
We walked to the beach and along the pier to get a view of this perfect coastal location.
After all this beautiful coastline is named after this town. Amalfi is simply a stunner and for this level of beauty it does attract the crowds.
The ferries start pulling in the crowds around mid-morning, so I’d recommend going earlier in the morning or late afternoon/early evening. You can always spend the rest of the time relaxing in the beautiful tranquil gardens, infinity pool or terrace at Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi.
Sheer Unadulterated Perfection For…
Honeymoons (oh yes!), romantic getaways, anniversaries, special occasions, child friendly (there are a few family rooms), business (more social business I’d say!!)
Have you been to Amalfi? Tell me what you thought and whether The Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi is a place you would consider for a stay.
Disclosure: We received a complimentary upgrade to the Junior Suite in exchange for this review. All opinions, views and photography are my own and therefore remain a copyright of be-lavie.
Read all about my first stop on the Amalfi Coast at The Bemond Hotel Caruso in Ravello.
NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi
Via Annunziatella, 46
Tel. +39 089 873 6711
Reservations can be made directly through NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi’s website