The tranquil Italian beach hotels to stay in for a late, lazy dose of summer

Advice

The Italian boot is fringed with nearly 5,000 miles of coastline – from the sandy beaches of the Adriatic Sea to the sinuous gulfs and dizzying cliffs of the Tyrrhenian. Add to that more than 400 islands, and you have a beach lover’s paradise. This portfolio of hotels includes historic monasteries and Belle Époque villas, exotic masserie and cliff-top resorts with private beaches and thermal pools. On the mainland coasts or the Mediterranean islands, all are in spellbinding settings. From Sardinia to Sicily and Positano to Puglia, here are the best beach hotels in Italy.

Hotel Il Pellicano

Porto Ercole, Tuscany, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

This ‘60s icon cascades down a terraced hill to a secluded private cove on the Tuscan promontory of Monte Argentario – a pebble’s throw from the harbour town of Porte Ercole. It’s one of Italy’s most photogenic hotels, popular with photographers and film stars alike thanks to its dramatic setting and stylish décor by Marie Louise Sciò, creative director of Pellicano Hotels. Completing the picture are a Michelin-starred restaurant, saltwater pool, spa, tennis courts and a solarium that juts into the Tyrrhenian Sea.


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From


£
364

per night

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Hotel Santa Caterina

Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

One of the best beach hotels in Italy, Santa Caterina clings to the rockface in a vertiginous coastal setting just outside Amalfi – away from the crowds yet close to Ravello, Positano and ferries to Capri. Owned by the Gambardella family since 1904, the handsome Art Nouveau villa brags a Michelin-starred restaurant and romantic rooms graced with 19th-century antiques and locally hand-painted ceramic tiles. Luxuriant Mediterranean gardens and lemon groves spill down to the private beach club, with its water-side terraces, saltwater pool and seafood restaurant.


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From


£
511

per night

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Belmond Hotel Splendido

Portofino, Liguria, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Liguria’s most glamorous ‘grand dame’ occupies a rambling ex-monastery in the hills above the harbour-town of Portofino. Its luxuriant gardens, infinity pool and heady views across the Gulf of Tigullio make it one of the most romantic spots on the ‘coast of the rising sun’; small wonder Richard Burton popped the question to Liz Taylor here. You can walk or take the hotel’s shuttle down to the beach and port where public ferries and private boats ply the coast.


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From


£
2,064

per night

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J.K. Place Capri

Capri, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

This exquisite 22-room manor-house hotel marries Italian high design (think vintage yacht style) with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It seems to float like a boat on the water, with serene views over the Gulf of Naples. The colourful port of Marina Grande, with various public beaches, is five minutes’ walk away; Capri town just 10 minutes in the hotel shuttle. Highlights include the romantic, lantern-lit, ocean-edged swimming pool and the panoramic JKitchen Restaurant focusing on Neapolitan cuisine using seasonal organic produce.


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From


£
1,905

per night

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Le Sirenuse

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Le Sirenuse has lured enchanted visitors since the ‘50s, when John Steinbeck described it as ‘an old family house converted into a first class hotel, spotless and cool’. Its seductive cliffside setting on the edge of Positano commands far-reaching views over the village to the ocean; a five-minute walk takes you down to the Marina Grande port and beach. Furnished with fine antiques and contemporary art, and offering every amenity, the hotel still retains the atmosphere of an exquisite private home.


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From


£
496

per night

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Capo d’Orso

Palau, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Named after the giant bear-shaped rock that guards the Strait of Bonifacio on Sardinia’s legendary north coast, the Capo d’Orso lies between two pretty coves where one can bask by the water or trek across the headland. Run by the Delphina group, promotors of a green ethos on the Emerald Coast, this boutique hotel features bijou ‘cottages’ buried in juniper woods where lie shady nooks and crannies, a seawater pool and spa, romantic bars and restaurants that float dreamily above the water.


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Half board from


£
305

per room

Il San Pietro di Positano

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

10
Telegraph expert rating

The legendary San Pietro – haunt of film stars and royalty – clings to a rocky promontory in a jaw-dropping setting just outside Positano. Despite its celebrity status and litany of services, it remains a family affair – impeccably run by the Cinque family for over 50 years. The lush gardens and lemon groves, the fabulously romantic terrace bar and Michelin-starred restaurant Zass all offer mesmerizing Amalfi-coast views; down by the water there’s a pool, spa, tennis court, solarium and the al fresco beachside restaurant Carlino’s.


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From


£
618

per night

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Masseria San Domenico

Savelletri, Puglia, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

This exotic Puglian masseria – once a medieval watchtower guarding the sea – lies in a 100-hectare estate through which you can walk, cycle or take the shuttle to two private beaches. Alternatively, stay put and wallow in the vast palm-edged lagoon-pool in the gardens. With a minimum age of 14, this silent oasis near the beautiful San Domenico golf club will appeal to adults seeking an old-world atmosphere. Guests can also use the facilities of the nearby sister hotels: glamorous Borgo Egnazia and rustic Masseria Cimino.


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From


£
310

per night

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Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea

Taormina, Sicily, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

The Sant’Andrea oozes classic Sicilian charm: an aristocratic villa whose light and lofty rooms (most with sea views) are lined with marble floors and family heirlooms. Set on the sandy Bay of Mazzarò and immersed in exotic gardens, it’s just three minutes by cable-car or shuttle to the historic town Taormina, so guests can balance beach life and urban culture. Offering a complimentary boat tour, an infinity pool, al fresco spa, fine restaurants and fun activities for children, it’s suitable for all the family.


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From


£
379

per night

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Mezzatorre Hotel

Ischia, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

The Moorish-style Mezzatorre – former holiday home of film director Luchino Visconti – grew up round an ancient watchtower dominating a rocky bay on Ischia’s north-west coast. Girdled by pine forests like a story-book castle, it overlooks the glittering Gulf of Naples. Now under the wing of Pellicano Hotels, the exotic villa has been revamped in a breezy retro style. Sybarites can wallow in the thermal spa, the cliff-hanging salt-water swimming pool, or in Ischia’s legendary waters; the nearest beach is just over 10 minutes’ walk.


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From


£
289

per night

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