I first stayed at Hotel Palumbo 2 years ago and then again this summer. Everyone I knew who had been to the Amalfi Coast area had said their one regret was just doing a day trip to Ravello and not staying for a few days, so I was determined not to have this regret. I was also determined to stay in a beautiful setting and really be able to enjoy the physical beauty and views of this village in the hills. The first trip (summer 2009), I was originally booked into a very over-priced hotel nearby and then luckily read online that there was a lot of construction going on in the area below and that the view was blocked and terrible from this other hotel (which this hotel did not mention at all). The view was very important to me, but I also wanted to be in a lovely hotel, as this was to be a big dream vacation for my husband and myself - our first extended 17 day trip without our 4 kids. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to switch my booking to the Hotel Palumbo on the advice of friends and things I had read online - first of all, the view was not blocked at all by the huge crane and construction - the view was breathtaking and gorgeous AND the hotel was absolutely stunning. Not only is it a very historic setting with the piano that Wagner composed on in the lobby (which my husband was thrilled to get to play), but the decor is gorgeous! From the common spaces to the unbelievably gorgeous rooms - it is breathtaking! The rooms were well sized and have lovely balconies and bathrooms - rich and beautiful fabrics, comfortable beds, and lovely furniture and decor - and all of the rooms had better views than the 2 more expensive hotels nearby (we went and checked after we got there to make sure we had made the right decision!). And, the staff were amazing and attentive and friendly. it was such a pleasure to stop by the desk for information or just to chat. There was no snobby attitude - just excellent service with a smile and the staff always went above and beyond to help us with directions, arrange tickets for the Ravello festival, etc. They were truly fabulous! Breakfast was wonderful and served in an idyllic setting overlooking the sea. My husband and I toured around the other hotels and were SO GLAD that we stayed at Hotel Palumbo! There are times when you hear that this place or that place is "THE" place to stay, and it is true - we stayed at IL San Pietro while in Positano, and it certainly lived up to its reputation, but I cannot say that about some of the other hotels that are lauded in Ravello. The truth is that the Hotel Palumbo physically has a better view - the new Ravello Festival indoor theater does not block the view and Hotel Palumbo is exquisite, but not snobby or rude. The Staff, the setting, everything is just perfect! I returned this year again, but with my husband's sister. It was her first trip to Italy and despite staying in Positano, Amalfi and Capri, our stay at the Hotel Palumbo was by far her favorite and mine. Ravello is so gorgeous and such a beautiful, charming, small town, you want to have a beautiful setting to stay in and the Hotel Palumbo is that hidden gem - it is fabulous! I cannot imagine staying anywhere else in Ravello. Also, it is important to note that since much of the town does not have car access, you should really be careful about where you stay and if you will be able to access it well with luggage, etc. This was another plus for the Hotel Palumbo - it is in an area where a car can still get close enough to bring your bags the 20 feet to the entrance. It is also literally a 2 minute walk to the main piazza, so the setting it perfect to easily access the main area and the Ravello Festival at Villa Rufalo, if you choose to go to a concert there (which I recommend doing!), and yet it is on a quiet pedestrian street so you won't encounter noise at night. It was a perfect setting and I cannot recommend it more highly. Oh, and by the way, I don't work for another hotel - this is an honest write up from a well-traveled middle aged american.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel still preserves reminiscences of the medieval structure of the original Palazzo Confalone built in the 12th Century. Other architectural and decorative elements were added in the 17th Century. The architecture of the building is in itself a mosaic of time. Consisting of five different levels, which have nothing in common with modern-concept storeys, the building has an irregular vertical structure - very similar to the original one - with added wings, a tower-like extra storey, and a maze of unpredictable openings, corners and corridors. A small flag-like sign hangs discreetly above the main door of Palazzo Confalone. Built in the 12th Century, in a suggestive spot of one of Ravello's little alleyways, the building protrudes on the street with a tower-like structure forming an arch, dotted with tiny loop-holes which were used as lookouts and defence posts in bygone - not very safe - days. A mixture of Moresque arches and ogives from the East. Precious, ancient Greek and Roman marble columns from Paestum and the Amalfi Coast. The Vuilleumiers' refined taste is particularly evident in the interiors of bedrooms and communal living rooms: each individual piece of furniture and decoration accessory belongs to the family home and all rooms and communal areas have multicolour ceramic floorings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. If glasses could speak, they would tell you about those timeless moments when one feels like sitting at the bar to look for lightness and extemporary peace. This ritual has also accompanied the stays of the many celebrities who sojourned at Hotel Palumbo. In 125 years, the "Don Pasquale" bar has "sipped" stories from the movies world, confessions from stars in the show-business, as well as melancholies of love, dreams of freedom, ideas for tales, and inscrutable silences. The architecture and colour scheme of the bar offer an original mix of the many atmospheres of Ravello. The hotel is named after Pasquale Palumbo, who, together with his Bern-born wife, opened the first Hotel Palumbo in Ravello in the middle of the 19th century. The building that housed the hotel was called Episcopio because it had been an Episcopal dwelling in the distant past. Since the early days, the hotel lodged illustrious guests from every corner of Europe. They were indeed attracted by the beauty of the surroundings but also by the fame Mrs. Palumbo, Elisabetta Von Wartburg, enjoyed in international circles of the time. Wagner himself came to Ravello because he had heard about this lady and left a signed thank you note for the hospitality received. Jessy Palumbo, daughter of Pasquale Palumbo and Elisabetta Von Wartburg, got married with Edwin Vuilleumier and the couple continued the family tradition by taking over the Hotel. Pasquale Vuilleumier was a man of Swiss origins but with the typical inflection of Neapolitan gentlemen. From his grandfather, on his mother's side, he had inherited the spirit of enterprise; from his father's side of the family he had absorbed a stern commitment to work. His clientele, won over by his congenial ways and unpretentious, elegant style, used to come back to Ravello to visit him as a friend, just like the illustrious guests of the early days had done with his predecessors. "This was his home. The hotel was his life: why not keep my father Pasqual's dream...My family's dream...My own dream alive? It was written that in the end my home and my hotel would become one and the same thing". Marco Vuilleumier ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palumbo Hotel Ravello