Ten Top Summer Getaways: Il San Pietro di Positano

From the twisting road that follows the Amalfi Coast outside of Positano, Italy, you might not notice the entrance to Il San Pietro di Positano. The only indication that you have arrived at the resort is a stone chapel perched on a rocky bluff. Il San Pietro—which is accessed via an elevator that descends through the cliff—sits somewhat improbably below the 17th-century chapel, on a ledge 300 feet above the bay of Positano. 

Carlo Cinque, son of a local hotelier, purchased the land below the chapel (which is dedicated to Saint Peter, patron saint of fishermen) in 1962. He built a private villa, carved a garden plot from the cliff, and, over the next eight years, added 33 sea-facing guest rooms, a sunny lobby, and a huge terrace shaded with grape arbors and bougainvillea. When Cinque died in 1984, his relatives took over Il San Pietro, and they continue to operate the now-60-bedroom resort.

The elevator ride from the top of the property takes you to the lobby and the 4,500-square-foot terrace, which overlooks the bay, the Lattari Mountains, and the Faraglioni Rocks of Capri. All of the hotel’s rooms—no two of which are alike—offer similar views from private balconies. Il San Pietro’s beach also affords privacy, as it is accessible only via the hotel’s stairway or elevator.

At night, guests ascend back to the hotel to sip limoncello—Il San Pietro makes its own version of the liqueur from Amalfi Coast lemons—at chef Alois Vanlangenaeker’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Vanlangenaeker also utilizes local ingredients in his cuisine, which may include a Gragnano pasta prepared with Sorrento nuts, a piennolo tomatoes, mozzarella cheese from Campania, and lemons from the hotel’s gardens.

Il San Pietro di Positano, +39.089.87.54.55, www.ilsanpietro.it  

Rates: $640–$1,750

The mountainside property now has a multilevel spa and five new suites…
FREE PREVIEW: Aman Tokyo is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
Be among the rare few to visit a sumo stable, or experience Kabuki and dine with the performers…
Destinations include Napa, New York, Paris, London, and Milan…
The private charter company gives passengers an unbelievable deal on holiday travel...
From romantic suites to a new restaurant, the Caribbean resort
The Irish castle unveiled a complete remodel of all 28 guestrooms in the Queen Anne wing...
The updated Southern California resort features plush new décor and state-of-the-art amenities...
For nearly $100,000 per night, guests receive exclusive access to the hotel and its amenities...
From private beach excursions to walking tours, Palazzo Margherita offers ample summer activities...