After reading many reviews, some good, some bad, we had no expectations when we checked into Hotel Palumbo. We were greeted warmly by Francesca at the front desk and every minute was magical from the moment on. We had booked a junior suite in the older part of the building with a sweet patio, and a private lounge area. The view down to the coast and out to the mountains was nothing short of spectacular. Our visit was timed perfectly with the full moon and when it climbed over the mountains to create a moonglade over the sea below, we were awestruck.
The rooms were small, but very comfortable. They were clean and the pillows and mattresses were great for weary travelers. The breakfasts were an excellent start to the day and the wait staff was extremely courteous.
I've read complaints about the fact that this property has no pool, but my response is, so what? I didn't travel 14 hours to spend my time in a pool. The gardens were lush and well maintained.
All this said, we were traveling with a friend whose room was extremely small. We referred to it as "the hobbit hole." But he was able to share plenty of time with us on our terrace and that made up for the inadequacy of his space. So, if you want a room with a view, book one of the suites. They cost more, but they are well worth it.
- 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