What could be more spectacular than luxurious accommodations, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea? Crowning the seaside fishing village of Vietri sul Mare on the southern end of the Sorrentine peninsula of the Amalfi Coast, Hotel Raito sits splendidly with its back to the mountains, and its face to the sunshine and the sea. Originally opened in 1958, it eventually was purchased by the Ragosta Group in 2005 and underwent a total renovation transforming an already beautiful hotel, into a wondrous resort and spa.
The soothing colors of our room’s interior reflected the sand and sea and golden light of Amalfi, which beckoned us at every turn. Our own private terrace afforded us a panoramic view of the sea and the ancient town of Vietri, dominated by its 17th century Church of St. Giovanni Battista, with its colorful Majolica covered dome. In such a sumptuous setting, it was not difficult to envision this coastal region as far back as the first century A.D. when Roman aristocracy built luxurious villas in the area. Today, guests can indulge themselves with spa and beauty treatments without leaving this hillside retreat. Leading down to the pools are terraced gardens, where the native coastal plants and olive trees have been preserved, while bougainvillea, geraniums, flowering shrubs paint the path in brilliant color.
The hotel’s restaurant, Il Golfo, looks out on the same magnificent views, to be enjoyed in the shimmering sunlight at breakfast, or in the fading light of day as one dines in the evening. Their young chef, Francesco Russo, is a marvel in the kitchen, exhibiting experience way beyond his years. Each course is unique and artfully presented, from the antipasto of shrimp carpaccio in a bath of tea and lemon peels, to the sweet finale – a warm chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling accompanied by a scoop of vanilla gelato, candied orange slice and pistachios – Francesco’s pairing of opposites (hot and cold, sweet and sour, smooth and crunchy).
The service during our stay was flawless. Even when we experienced an overcast day, we found sunshine within the Hotel Raito, in the warm and friendly smiles of each member of the hotel team who happily spoiled us throughout our holiday.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson
Via Nuova Raito, 9, Vietri Sul Mare ~ Campania, Italy
View from Hotel Raito ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson