Belmond Hotel Splendido

Price : € 450aprox per night

Portofino, Liguria, Italy

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Portofino is a theatrically pretty fishing village on the Ligurian Riviera, where traditional wooden boats and venerable churches sit beside mighty superyachts and shiny outposts of Pucci and Gucci. Lording over this tripperish scene is the indisputably splendid Belmond Hotel Splendido, set high on a hillside, with a glorious wisteria-cloaked façade, terraced gardens with infinity pool, and an abiding sense that this really is one of the great hotels of Italy. Rex Harrison started it all when he bought a villa nearby in the 1950s, and although this former Benedictine monastery is now filled with photographs of its many glamorous guests, there’s little stuffiness. Life here is all about a lazy lunch on the panoramic terrace, with its lemon trees and views over Portofino Bay, as genial, long-serving staff in café-crème jackets deliver dreamy dishes such as ravioli with walnut sauce and baked sea bream. The 67 charming rooms and suites are spread over five floors. Most have a balcony and sea view – perfect for throwing open the shutters on a sunny morning and feeling in love with life.