13 February 2014

Step Ashore! Find Secret Italian Hideaways While Cruising the Mediterranean

One of the great pleasures of yachting is that it gives you the freedom to dictate luxury on your own terms. While cruising the Mediterranean’s gentle waves is undoubtedly the prime objective, every now and then you find a secret hideaway on land; in the shape of a hotel that allows you to moor your yacht right next door.
Italy offers some of Europe’s loveliest seaside resorts, and many of these have hotels of outstanding quality, extremely experienced in catering for the requirements of yachtsmen and women. Whether sailing into Venice, the queen of ports, to spend a few days sightseeing and shopping, or stopping off to meet up with friends in Sicily or Portofino, yacht owners will want to ensure that when they step ashore they and their guests enjoy the same seven-star standards they experience on board. A break at the right hotel, however, can provide activities and services even the best-equipped yacht will sometimes struggle to meet – an indulgent treatment at a top spa, a visit to a world-renowned restaurant, or just an energetic game of tennis. Fraser Yachts has selected some of Italy’s finest yachtowner-friendly hotels, each as renowned for their service and facilities as their location and views. In some instances, too, the hotels we’ve selected will also provide the finest view of all – a picture postcard perspective of your yacht. One work of art setting off another to perfection.

The Cipriani, Venice

Cipriani HotelCipriani HotelCipriani Hotel
Venice’s legendary Cipriani is the epitomy of cossetted luxury. Located on the tip of the island of Guidecca, one of the world’s great hotels offers a sweeping panorama of the Venice lagoon and a front-row seat of the Doge’s Palace. Venetians, of course, understand life on water better than anyone, so it’s hardly surprising the Cipriani caters so well for owners – with a private jetty for those arriving by launch or tender. Just minutes away from the floating city’s high-summer bustle, the hotel’s secluded three-acre gardens provide an oasis of calm, graced by an Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts and a children’s club. The Cipriani is better equipped than virtually anywhere to throw the party of a lifetime, with restaurants and banqueting rooms in truly opulent Venetian style. X factor: The Palladio suite, with its own private mooring and floor-to-ceiling windows framing the Lagoon. www.hotelcipriani.com

Il Splendido, Portofino

Once a small Italian fishing village, Portofino, on the Ligurian Riviera, is now, a magnet for the world’s wealthiest and, Il Splendido, a peaches-and-cream villa suspended on a hillside above the sea, is one of Italy’s most glamorous hotels. The hotel is graced with 34 suites, nearly all of which have balconies overlooking the picturesque harbour and, other undoubted assets, include, a flower filled terrace, a salt-water infinity pool, a spa and wellness centre and an all-weather tennis court. X factor: An outdoor table at La Terrazza, with views over the bay – the ideal place to enjoy superb regional Italian cooking. www.hotelsplendido.com

Villa Sant’Andrea, Taoromina

Villa Sant’AndreaVilla Sant’AndreaVilla Sant’Andrea
Throughout its history, Sicily, the Mediterranean’s largest island, has been viewed as a covetable prize by ambitious adventurers and expansionist princes, but it’s only relatively recently that it’s also begun to enjoy hotels to match the needs of its more pleasure-seeking visitors. The Villa Sant’Andrea, Taormina, is undoubtedly a star of the new offering. Set on its own exclusive beach, beside one of the most beautiful coastlines in all Italy, it was built in the 1830s among lush, subtropical gardens. Today, the hotel retains all the charm of a private residence – a private residence, however, with every modern luxury, from a beach bar and kids club to a gym, wellness centre and newly installed swimming pool. Its 60 rooms, too, have been extensively refurbished. And, for those wanting to take advantage of Taormina’s many cultural delights and excellent shopping, a cable car is at the ready to whisk visitors down to the town centre in a matter of minutes. X factor: A 360-degree panorama of the aquamarine bay. www.hotelvillasantandrea.com

Hotel Caruso Belvedere, Ravello

Hotel CarusoHotel CarusoHotel Caruso
Ravello, perched 350 metres above the sea on the Amalfi Coast, was described by French writer Andre Gide as, ‘nearer to the sky than the sea’, and the Hotel Caruso is an equally celestial creation. Built in the 11th century as a mediaeval palace, it sits high on the cliffs with commanding views over the Bay of Salerno. A few steps up from the town’s main piazza, the hotels 50 luxurious rooms and suites, many with private gardens, are ornamented with carefully restored frescoes and antique furniture. Outside is as remarkable as in, with exquisite, terraced gardens sheltered by vine-covered walkways and scented with white roses, jasmine and orange blossom. On the very edge, at the highest point in Ravello, is one of the world’s most beautiful infinity pools, a staggering meeting point of sky, sea and mountain. For those who’d prefer a different aerial perspective, a bespoke helicopter tour of the coast can also be arranged. Night or day, the Belvedere Restaurant offers the finest local dishes and wonderful terrace views of the surrounding landscape. X factor: One of the most beautiful infinity pools – anywhere. www.hotelcaruso.com

This article featured in Fraser Yachting Magazine