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 famed fashion designer Vivienne Westwood decorated the 11,000-square-foot, $25,000-per-night...
Photo by Didi Lotze
The intimate accommodations tempt guests with ocean views and private plunge pools…
An urban oasis opens on Spain’s most idyllic fantasy island…
The new helicopter tour takes place aboard an Hermès-outfitted Eurocopter…
California’s Cal-a-Vie spa and the French winery Château Margaux make the perfect pairing…
Photo by Tim McKenn
The 26-day journey will include stops in French Polynesia, Mongolia, and Greenland…
The new all-suite hotel offers guests the chance to exercise their bodies and their minds…
The weekend experience at the famed Wisconsin golf retreat offers rare Balvenie whiskies and Gurkha...
The Hawaiian resort has also introduced a new program that offers perks to guests staying in suites…
Photo by Jamie McGregor Smith
The iconic London hotel pops the cork on its new Champagne Room…