When we traveled to the Amalfi coast for our honeymoon back in 2011, we made a promise right there and then that we would return for our 10th wedding anniversary. Well, 10 years went by in the blink of an eye! After visiting Spain, we decided to make good on that promise and enjoy six nights on the Amalfi Coast.
Our first stop was Positano, which is where we stayed during our honeymoon. While its charm and beauty were still evident, it felt much more commercialized and busier with American tourists than it did during our first trip. During the day, the quaint, hilly walking paths in town were bustling with people! We didn’t let this stop us from exploring, but if we decide to go back again, we’d probably stay outside of the main area.
We stayed at the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni. I had bookmarked this hotel years ago because of its prime location right above the beach. During our honeymoon, we stayed up in the hills, which offered outstanding views but a longer, more challenging walk to and from town anytime we wanted to shop or dine. Covo dei Saraceni’s location is ideal for beach lovers and those who want to be closer to the action. To be totally honest, I felt the service as well as the overall upkeep of the hotel and rooms were a bit lacking for a 5 star property. Again, you can’t beat the location and if you’re traveling during peak season, this hotel provides a convenient and affordable luxury option.
My favorite meal of the trip was at the Relais & Châteaux 1 Michelin-star restaurant, Zass, in the Hotel Il San Pietro. This property is located outside of the main town area of Positano, so you can choose to take a taxi or water taxi to get there. We chose the latter and I would highly recommend it. The views of Positano by water are gorgeous! In less than 20 minutes, you’ll arrive to the private beach of the hotel and take an elevator up to the main building.
We wanted to grab sunset drinks on the terrace before dinner and it was the most picturesque way to begin the evening! The terrace offers breathtaking views of the ocean and you can even see the beach and town of Positano off in the distance. With a live guitarist serenading us, we watched a gorgeous sunset over the Tyrrhenian Sea!
The setting that Zass offers is equally as beautiful. After drinks, we moved over to the restaurant and were seated on their outdoor terrace which is built into the cliffs. The service and food at Zass were excellent and I would highly recommend it for a special occasion.
I also enjoyed the food and ambiance at Ristorante Max, the pizza and beachside scene at Chez Black (Tip: Ask your waiter to make your pizza into a heart for an Instagrammable meal…I didn’t realize I had to request it!), pre-dinner drinks at the inner outdoor courtyard of Palazzo Murat, and the gelato at Buca Di Buca’s gelateria. Book your dinner reservations in advance if you are traveling during the high season; things get reserved quickly! I really want to check out Franco’s Bar at Le Sirenuse for sunset drinks but the line was way too long – if that’s on your list, go very, very early to try and get a seat before sunset.
One of our favorite daytime activities while in Positano was renting a private boat to take us to Capri. After careful research, we chose to do a full day excursion with Bluestar Positano. We met the captain right on the beach in front of our hotel and then spent the day on the water taking in the sun and views. You can build your own itinerary for the ride and we wanted to maximize our time on the boat vs. on the isle of Capri. We visited Capri during our honeymoon, so this time around, we were more inclined to swim and relax than get off the boat and explore on foot.
I had my heart set on stopping at the famous beach club La Fontelina for lunch. Our captain called ahead and secured us a perfect spot overlooking their rocky beach and signature blue and white umbrellas. I’d recommend this spot for lunch if you’re in the mood for fresh seafood and pasta paired with great people watching (It’s a celeb favorite!).
After lunch, we decided to check out the Blue Grotto. When we came on our honeymoon, the seas were too rocky for us to go inside (it has to be ideal waters because of how you enter the grotto through a narrow hole in the cave), so when we learned it was open, we knew we had to cross it off our bucket list. If you do a private boat tour, the operators of the Blue Grotto have a relationship with the attraction and you can cut the long line of other boats waiting to go in! We waited for 15 minutes and were then escorted into one of the tiny boats that takes you inside the Grotto. The whole experience is touristy, but the blue light you see inside the cave is very unique and I think it’s worth experiencing at least once.
When shopping in Positano, my suggestion is to do your research and scout all of the boutiques before making any purchases. I saw similar merchandise at many of the stores, all at varying price points. If you only want to invest in one key item, it should definitely be scoring handmade leather sandals! I’d suggest Safari or Nana as the best spots. You choose the sandal design you prefer and then the shoemaker will measure your foot and create custom shoes for you within an hour. I also loved the dresses at Idillio and colorful beach attire at Antica Sartoria. You’ll find plenty of linen dresses and separates in Positano boutiques, which are perfect for the warm summer weather! Finally, I was enamored with the gorgeous pottery shops throughout the town and bought a small serving bowl to take home.
After several nights in Positano, we continued up the coast to Ravello. We had visited Ravello during our honeymoon and fell in love with its quaintness! While it was still touristy, it much less busy than Positano and felt a bit more “undiscovered”.
The Hotel Caruso, a Belmond hotel, has been on my hotel wish list for many years and it did not disappoint. From the exceptional service, jaw-dropping views, and unreal infinity pool, this property is incredibly special. We didn’t want to leave!
We ventured into town one of the nights we were there, but were so happy with the hotel that we opted to stay put and relax for the majority of our time in Ravello. Our days were spent lounging by the pool, eating lunches at the hotel’s poolside restaurant, which offers the most delicious coal-fired Neapolitan pizza, and reading lots of books. Our nights began with an apertivo at sunset with the soundtrack of a live pianist, followed by dinner. A stay at the Hotel Caruso was the perfect way to end our European trip and I cannot wait to go back!
The A-Lyst is a Boston-based lifestyle blog curating the very best of style, beauty, food, and travel.