Italy week at Destinations Perfected continues with the jaw-dropping Hotel Caesar Augustus located 1,000 feet above the sea in the town of Anacapri on the famous island of Capri. This Relais & Chateaux property absolutely defines the word 'luxury' and the staff are attentive, outgoing and friendly. Call ahead and inform the hotel of the time your ferry arrives and they will be waiting for you at the port in their yellow and green van. You and your luggage will be transported up the winding roads that seem to just hang off the edge of the cliff and finish in the azure sea below. As you can imagine, the views from this hotel are breathtakingly spectacular.
|A statue of Caesar on their expansive terrace overlooking the sea|
|View from some of the ocean facing guest rooms|
As soon as you check in, the hotel staff will immediately give you a tour of the entire property, making sure that you are acquainted with the restaurant, bar, breakfast room, pool area and spa, and then will accompany you to your room to make sure it is to your liking. I really appreciated this personal attention because it made me feel as if I was in someone's home and they were both showing me around and trying to make me feel as comfortable as possible.
|Our room key on a beautiful ceramic table on the balcony|
|The stunning infinity pool overlooking the island of Ischia|
While I spent most of my vacation lazing around the gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the sea, I did take the time to walk the five minutes into the small town of Anacapri. Here you can find the beautiful Capri Palace Hotel, which is also home to two of my favorites boutiques: Pop Gallery (which features the work of local artisans) and Mariorita. There is also a small Carthusia boutique which carries perfumes, home fragrances and soaps all made on the island of Capri. However, your trip to Anacapri would not be complete without visiting Antonio Viva for a pair of handmade sandals at L'Arte del Sandalo Caprese. You can choose from dozens of styles already finished, or come up with your own idea and he will make it for you on the spot.
|Antonio Viva in his small sandal outpost in Anacapri|
The Caesar Augustus has a beautiful and inviting lobby and living room to lounge in or read the paper, as well as a bar with a piano player that also claims to be the only bar in the world to have such a large outdoor terrace facing the gulf of Naples. I had both drinks and a light snack one afternoon on the terrace and it was truly memorable.
I was lucky enough to return from dinner one evening to witness a half an hour fireworks display from the terrace that was taking place in the port below (in honor of the Madonna or a patron saint, I can't remember which one).
I also had lunch one day at the hotel in their Lucullo Terrace restaurant, which is just next to the pool, and enjoyed a traditional caprese salad with amazingly fresh mozzarella di bufala from nearby Naples and the ripest, juiciest tomatoes of the season. I still can't decide which I enjoyed more: the meal or the astounding turquoise sea view from my lunch table.
I cannot recommend more highly the Hotel Caesar Augustus, its beautiful setting, its staff and how much I enjoyed my time spent there. Many people prefer to be at a hotel that is located right in the heart of Capri itself, and not in nearby Anacapri, but trust me, Capri gets crowded and claustrophobic quickly, and retreating to a peaceful former mansion to truly relax and escape the crowds is the only way to go.
|Convertible taxis are a fun (and expensive!) way to zip around the island|
|A pre-dinner cocktail is a must in the main Piazzetta in Capri|
|A fireworks show as seen from the terrace at the Hotel Caesar Augustus|