Portofino, from the Latin, Portus Delphini, meaning the port of dolphins, is a charming fishing port with houses in the typical colors of the Ligurian coast. Like a theatre décor, it is nestled in the hollow of a narrow bay, bordered by pine trees. As an Italian jet set destination, the lovely little fishermen’s houses stand side by side with sumptuous villas, one of which belongs to the notorious former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Discovered by the English in the second half of the 19th century, this quiet little port began to attract Hollywood stars and the crowned heads of Europe.
As soon as summer arrives, the main piazza with its numerous cafes and restaurants starts to liven up. In the tiny, straight streets, a throwback to the Roman era, tourists invade the luxury boutiques and art galleries. In this jewel of the Italian Riviera, cars are forbidden, and visitors climb up to the fortress and the San Giorgio church on foot to admire the magnificent panorama. And for the more courageous, the climb continues to San Fruttuoso on the other side of the peninsula, and the abbey which owes its name to a 3rd century saint. From there, the view of the bay is unforgettable and compared, by French writer Guy de Maupassant, to a crescent of the moon. Spared from the real estate building boom that struck the Italian Riviera, the peninsula today is a protected regional park, and one can thank the gods for having preserved this little corner of paradise!
The Hotel Splendido, on a hill of pine, olive and palm trees, truly deserves its name. This long abandoned former monastery was restored in the 19th century by Baron Baratta, who turned it into his summer home. At that time, Portofino was just a charming little fishing village. In 1901, Ruggero Valentini, the pioneer of Portofino tourism, transformed this sumptuous villa into a palace hotel which continues to receive members of the international jet set and the crowned heads of Europe. Past visitors include, among others, the Duke of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.
This magnificent villa, which has become a glamorous Mediterranean rendezvous point, was renovated, and a part of it rebuilt so that each window opens onto the sea, and in order to have sunshine in the room throughout the entire day. The interiors have lost none of their past charm. With stucco arches and black and white marble floors, the lobby reminds one of a patrician villa. The reception rooms are decorated with antique mirrors, gilded consoles and Persian carpets.
In the rooms, the light colored wooden parquet floors, the carpets, the precious fabrics and the white patina furniture create a very special atmosphere; an invitation to relaxation. Some rooms have hand painted frescoes by local artists reflecting the spectacular environment of Portofino, including the gardens where lavender and wild flowers grow freely under the olive trees, the swimming pool perched on the heights, and La Terrazza on the roof of the hotel with the most beautiful view of Portofino Bay. Guests can enjoy one of Antonio Beccali’s cocktails before trying the cuisine with the accent on fresh fish and pasta, in the purest Ligurian tradition.
In 1952, the Duke of Windsor, with his wife, Wallis Simpson at his side, signed the golden guest book of Portofino’s Hotel Splendido.
Four stars / Member Orient-Express group / Former monastery / Aristocratic / Discreet luxury / Elegant / Hollywood type retreat / Portofino / Three restaurants & three bars / Spa / Fitness center / Outdoor pool / Yoga & Pilates classes / Boutique / Kids club / Excursions
Open all year
29 rooms and 35 suites
Double occupancy from 580 euros
Genova-Christopho Colombo Airport (GOA) - Genoa
Salita Baratta, 16
Approximately 2 hours
No time difference
Continental climate inland with high temperatures, although fairly low in winter
Mediterranean climate on the coasts
National ID card or valid passport
No visa required
No vaccinations required
The euro (EUR)
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Book by phone
+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).