Friday, December 31, 2010

Sorrento, Italy - La Maison Minervetta

I'm not one for hyperbole, but Sorrento's La Maison Minervetta just topped my list of all time favorite boutique hotels. I stayed here a few weeks ago, during Sorrento's off-season, and truly felt as if I had rented a fully staffed private villa. My room, one of only 12 rooms total, had windows on 3 sides, giving me unfettered views of the entire bay, with Mt. Vesuvius in the distance, as well as the little working fishing port down below in Sorrento. I literally woke up each morning to the sound of lapping waves below. Here is a picture of my room, the spectacular view of Mt. Vesuvius and the fishing port we looked down on:

Morning breakfast was a true delight at La Minervetta. You walk into this amazingly decorated modern kitchen to find the kitchen table covered with treats from the local bakery, fresh ham, salami, italian cheeses and of course your usual breakfast suspects. Francesca, who ran the kitchen and greeted us with the most infectious smile and 'Buon Giorno' each morning was always on hand to make eggs, omelettes, pancakes and frothy cappuccino.

I even got to meet the owner and interior designer, Marco de Luca, while he was dressing the Maison for Christmas. He shared some design secrets (including the phone number of a local artist whom I commissioned a painting from while there) and gave us the wonderful history of his hotel (a villa that has been in the family for years, it used to be a famous restaurant run by his grandfather). He is also the designer behind the breathtaking hotel Capo La Gala.

One should note, however, that it is a good 12-15 minute walk into downtown Sorrento, so if you feel the need to be right in the heart of town, you may not like this location. I enjoyed it even more because it was away from the crowds, and to be honest, Sorrento itself is extremely touristy.

Please explore the hotel's website, their photos of the property are amazing. The interior design is all at once kitschy and inviting, and there must be over 200 fabulous coffee table books to peruse. The owner brings in all the colors and elements of the surrounding sea, the typical Sorrentine pottery and a Madonna here and there. You can discover something new each time you enter the lobby. Here are a few pics I took of the interior.

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  1. do you know anything about the large outdoor pottery with faces on them?

  2. The pottery is typical of southern Italy. You can find similar pieces at larger ceramic shops around Naples and the Amalfi Coast.