If magnificent views, divine food, superb hospitality, and breathtaking landscapes float your boat, consider Southern Italy your ideal destination. With everything from rustic b&bs set deep in the Puglia countryside to chic Sicilian boutique hotels to consider, there's an accommodation option to suit every taste and budget. If you're looking for the very finest accommodation the region has to offer, check out our pick of the 20 best hotels in Southern Italy.
20. Palazzo Gattini, Matera
If you favor elegant refinement over glitz and glamour, Palazzo Gattini is likely to tick your boxes and then some. This historic palazzo turned five-star hotel combines serious amenities (including a rooftop bar with spectacular panoramas and a subterranean spa with a steam room, a zero-gravity ‘floating pool’, and a heated pool with jet massages and a waterfall) with first-rate service (whether you want to order extra ice for your drink or book a ziplining exertion over the Lucanian Dolomites, your wish is the staff's command), showstopping food, and the kind of luxurious, exquisitely comfortable rooms you'll never want to leave. There's even a dog welcome kit and dog sitting service in case you decide to bring your pooch along.
19. J.K. Place Capri, Capri
Set just steps away from the water in one of Capri's quietest and most tranquil spots, the J.K. Place Capri promises the ultimate in rest and relaxation. Despite its serene surroundings, it's just a short walk away from the port of Marina Grande and Capri's largest beach, putting you within easy reach of the island's swankiest boutiques, restaurants, and nightclubs. Its sophisticated array of amenities includes a wellness spa with a sauna, steam bath, well-equipped gym, and extensive treatment menu; a lovely swimming pool terrace lined with chaise loungers and Estro lanterns; and, in JKitchen, one of Capri's most acclaimed restaurants. The 22 uniquely styled rooms are equally impressive, with 100 percent Egyptian cotton terry towels and robes, polished marble bathrooms, handmade mattress toppers, and upscale facilities.
18. Hotel Marincanto, Positano
Hotel Marincanto began life as a B&B operated by a former mayor of Positano, Giuseppe Vespoli, but now operates as an elegant mid-range hotel run by his grandchildren. It boasts 32 rooms in total, many of which offer balconies and sea views and two of which come with private terraces. For an extra special stay, it's worth upgrading to the Li Galli or the Honeymoon Suite, both of which offer the same luxurious refinement and upscale facilities of a luxury resort. Onsite amenities include an infinity pool and gym, a wellness center, a sophisticated restaurant and bar, and a private beach.
17. Santavenere, Maratea
Occupying a wonderfully secluded spot on the blissfully uncrowded Basilicata coast, the Santavenere combines rustic charm with refined elegance. Set in a restored chateau-style Italian house, it's a treasure trove of period furniture, splendid oil paintings, and aristocratic details. Amenities are plentiful, with a private beach, a fitness center, a newsworthy spa, and a saltwater pool. The exceptionally attentive staff are on hand to arrange any cultural or adventure experience you have in mind, while the delights of the quaint Maratea harbor are just a few minutes' walk away. For food, the hotel offers a choice of three dining options and three bars.
16. La Foresteria Planeta Estate, Menfi
Located on the western corner of Sicily, the La Foresteria Planeta Estate is a charmingly rustic country house hotel that combines the natural beauty of its surrounding olive groves and vineyards with an abundance of upscale amenities. Staff are friendly, attentive, and, thanks to the fact that most are local, incredibly useful for learning more about the area's top attractions. Among the extensive amenities and services on offer are an infinity pool, a private beach, a gorgeous wine tasting room, regular wine tastings, and cookery courses. All 14 rooms are exquisite, with terracotta tiled floors, traditional Sicilian iron beds with hand-stitched Indian eiderdowns, fluffy gowns, spacious bathrooms, and tea-making facilities that include a lovely selection of locally made herbal teas in cute Kilner jars.
15. La Dimora di Catullo, Palazzolo Acreide
The La Dimora di Catullo offers guests the chance to either rent its three rooms on an individual, b&b basis, or rent the entire house. Whichever one you choose, you can expect to enjoy sumptuous accommodation with Illy coffee machines and Frette robes (if you can, plump for Clodia, which comes with silk linens, a claw and ball bath that once belonged to the Prince of Modica, a cavernous walk-in shower, direct access to a private internal courtyard, and an open bath area), activities like bespoke cooking classes and cheese and wine tastings, delicious food (the four-course breakfast is the stuff of legend), plentiful amenities (including a small but perfectly formed swimming pool, a barbeque, and a private walled garden) and impeccable hospitality.
14. Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea, Taormina
Set in a former Cornish engineer’s Sicilian seaside villa below the hill-town resort of Taormina, the Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea promises superb hospitality in an unbeatable location. Guests are free to make use of a heated outdoor swimming pool with bar service, a luxurious spa complete with a sauna, Turkish bath and treatment rooms, and excellent dining options. For variety, there's also the opportunity to enjoy the facilities at the villa's sister hotel, the Timeo.
13. Seven Rooms Villadorata, Noto
Set inside Palazzo Nicolaci in the heart of Noto, Seven Rooms Villadorata offers exceptional accommodation within easy reach of some of Sicili's top attractions. Each of its thoughtfully designed rooms and suites includes everything you'll need for a deeply indulgent stay, including a Nespresso machine, tea-making facilities, and a well-stocked bar. The bathrooms are exquisite, with deep soak tubs, huge walk-in showers, and a tremendous selection of the hotel's range of body products made from natural Sicilian ingredients. The buffet breakfast would be enough to justify the room rate alone, offering an incredible spread of artisan bread, organic yogurt, fresh and dried fruits, cannoli, cookies, almond brittle, homemade frittata, eggs cooked to order, cheeses, cold cuts, and more besides.
12. Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina
Built into the cliffs in medieval Taormina, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo offers guests the opportunity to combine the rugged beauty of the Sicilian coastline with the shopping and dining opportunities of this hilltop resort town. Its 71 suites and guest rooms are the height of sophistication, offering splendid views over the terracotta rooftops of the town to the Ionian Sea in the distance. For a true treat, upgrade to the Presidential Suite to enjoy its huge private terrace, two-person jacuzzi, and breathtaking panoramas of Mount Etna. Amenities include a luxurious spa, fitness facilities, and several exquisite dining options.
11. Monastero Santa Rosa, Conca dei Marini
Perched on a cliff overlooking the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, the Monastero Santa Rosa has been beautifully transformed from a 17th-century monastery into a luxurious 20 room boutique hotel. Guests can expect to enjoy four stunning levels of gardens, an incredibly sumptuous spa with a sauna, steam room, experience shower, hydro pool, tepidarium, and full range of treatments, an infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, a Michelin star restaurant, and some of the finest hospitality in Italy.
10. Masseria Montenapoleone, Pezze di Greco
A wonderfully rustic farmhouse set deep in the Puglia countryside, the Masseria Montenapoleone is the ideal destination for guests looking to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy some blissful time in nature. Each of its 22 rooms is charmingly decorated, with historic detail like arched, wood-beamed ceilings, stone floors, and ancient fireplaces contrasting with 21st-century conveniences like flat-screen TVs, rainfall showers, and free wifi. As an additional benefit, each comes with its own private entrance. A fabulous buffet breakfast teaming with local delicacies is included in the room rate, with most of the products made on-site at the hotel's sustainable organic farmhouse.
9. Hotel Cala Di Volpe, Sardinia
Named one of the best hotels in Italy by theluxurytravelexpert.com, the Hotel Cala Di Volpe in Sardinia has been fashioned by architect Jacques Couelle to resemble a fishing village, with tumbling terraces, quaint towers, and charming porticoes beautifully set against a backdrop of rockroses and aromatic rosemary bushes. Each of its 100 sea-view rooms and 21 luxurious suites delivers a stunning combination of minimal chic and traditional Sardinian artistry. Onsite amenities include exceptional fitness and spa facilities, a stunning private beach, and a gorgeous salt-water pool lined with shaded huts and sun loungers. For food, the hotel offers several award-winning restaurants that promise the best Mediterranean cuisine and wines around.
8. Hotel Villa Cimbrone, Ravello
Ravello's Hotel Villa Cimbrone can trace its origins back to the 11th century. Now owned by the Vuilleumier family, it's been faithfully and beautifully restored to its former glory. The gardens are one of its most remarkable highlights - redesigned in the early 20th-century by renowned English gardener Vita Sackville-Wes, they're considered one of the best examples of English landscaping designs in the South of Europe. Inside, you'll find sumptuously decorated rooms with charming frescoes and vaulted ceilings, a spa and fitness center, and a Michelin-starred restaurant serving up tempting spins on local favorites. A solarium, swimming pool, and private boat and helicopter services complete the package.
7. Il San Pietro di Positano, Positano
As The Telegraph notes, guests want for nothing at the Il San Pietro di Positano, a favorite with stars like George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Carved into the rockface overlooking the ocean, its setting is nothing short of spectacular. Its gleaming interiors are equally breathtaking, while the amenities, which include both a gourmet restaurant and informal beachside restaurant, a spa, gym, private beach, tennis course, and terraced gardens, leave nothing to be desired. Despite the five-star setting, the service, which is led by Swiss-trained owner-GM Vito Cinque, is wonderfully warm, with no stuffiness or snootiness to worry about.
6. Hotel Gutkowski, Ortigia
Set in a blissful location in Ortigia, the Hotel Gutkowski is a gorgeously romantic hotel that's been styled in a delightful combination of retro chic and urban minimalism. The rooms are individually decorated and charming, with terracotta tiles, exposed sandstone walls, and a calming decor of soft greys and slate blues. If you can, request one with a sea view, most of which come with private balconies. Guests are welcome to make use of the lovely roof terrace, the wonderfully intimate bar, and the exceptional restaurant, which, under the care of Sicilian chef Santo Lo Castro, boasts some of the finest Sicilian comfort food for miles around. The hotel also provides bikes for guests looking to explore the surrounding area.
5. Santa Caterina, Amalfi
If you want to experience the finest Italian hospitality, take the advice of cntraveler.com and consider a stay at the Santa Caterina. Surrounded by rock terraces, fragrant gardens, and citrus groves, it's a gorgeous looking property, with interiors that boast sumptuous white linens, soaring vaulted ceilings, colorful tiled floors, lavish bathrooms with Bvlgari toiletries, and historic family heirlooms Amenities are bountiful, with a heated seawater pool, two restaurants (both of which offer panoramic views over the ocean), sun-kissed terraces, and a fitness area.
4. Capri Palace, Anacapri
If you've ever dreamed of staying at a palace, a few nights at Capri Palace should suit you perfectly. Promising a delightful combination of good food, outstanding design, and natural beauty, the hotel combines the breathtaking opulence of its interior with a luxurious range of amenities that include a spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a beach club. The rooms are Lavish with a capital L, with some even boasting private terraced gardens and private plunge pools. It's expensive, but oh so worth it.
3. Masseria Moroseta, Ostuni
The Masseria Moroseta has been named one of the best hotels in Italy by jetsetter.com, and for very good reason. Set in 12 acres of olive groves in an idyllic location near the hilltop city of Ostuni, the property marries elegant interiors and unbeatable amenities with the rustic simplicity of a traditional Pugliese farmhouse. With an organic garden, beautiful views over orchids filled with fragrant orange trees, and a pervading air of tranquility, it's utterly blissful. There are six rooms to choose from, all of which combine historic details with modern comforts. Facilities include a communal courtyard and a gorgeous infinity pool. Included in the room rate is a hearty breakfast of fig topped pancakes, cheeses, cured meats, fruits juices, and espresso.
2. La Minerva, Capri Town
Named one of the best hotels in Southern Italy by Lonely Planet, La Minerva combines an unbeatable location in the center of Capri Town with 19 gorgeously decorated rooms (expect silk drapes, 100% linen sheets, beautiful blue and white ceramic tiles, and supremely luxurious bathrooms), ravishing views, a deeply relaxing pool, a sophisticated lobby bar, and the kind of attentive, friendly service you won't forget in a hurry.
1. Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello
Set in an 11th-century medieval palace overlooking the Amalfi Coast and the Mediterranean Sea, the Belmond Hotel Caruso's location is the stuff of dreams. The accommodation doesn't exactly leave a lot to be desired either, with each of the 50 individually styled rooms offering up a treasure trove of historic details and 21st-century comforts. Amenities are plentiful, with an infinity pool, a spa, and a restaurant with a wonderful outdoor terrace to enjoy. A favorite with celebrities, presidents, and writers, it's one of the Amalfi Coast's most dazzling jewels.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn