Welcome to Il San Pietro, an exclusive hideaway clinging to the cliffs of Positano, Italy. Regularly named one of the best hotels in the world, Il San Pietro is where heads of state, Saudi royals, and Hollywood legends have come to find peace and privacy since 1970.
It’s time you added yourself to the roster of distinguished guests and put Il San Pietro on your must-visit hotels list.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to run a country or industry to fit in at Il San Pietro. Family owned and operated since its opening, Il San Pietro is inviting and refreshingly down to earth. There is one thing, however, that will make you fit in at Il San Pietro — a significant other. This place is seriously romantic, so save a stay here for someone special.
Each of Il San Pietro’s 58 rooms are unique, finished with hand painted details and furnished with lamps, statues, dressers, and tables from antique and second hand shops. Outside, each room has a private balcony which practically hangs off the cliff and provides sweeping views of the sea and coastline.
TMT Insider Info:
- Generally speaking since every room is unique, rooms on the left side of the hotel have a view of the sea and Praiano, a small town on the cliffs. Rooms on the right side of the hotel have a view of the sea, and best of all, the colorful village of Positano which lights up beautifully at night. I had an incredible room with a killer view of Positano – click here to see a video.
- Since you’ll be visiting Il San Pietro for a romantic getaway, and since you’ll already be splurging, splurge a little more and reserve one of the 27 rooms with a sea view bathroom. Trust me.
Almost all of the food served at Il San Pietro is grown on the premises or sourced from the local area and sea. The hotel’s terraced property is filled with vegetable and fruit gardens where gardeners and the occasional celebrity pick fresh ingredients for that day’s meals. This deep appreciation for what’s natural, in season, and local can be tasted in every bite at Il San Pietro.
For a formal dinner, visit Zass, the hotel’s Michelin starred flagship restaurant lead by Chef Alois Vanlangenaeker. Waiters in white tuxedo jackets will serve you a multi-course meal either inside in the main dinning room or on the veranda where the lights of bobbing boats and nearby hillside villages will be your entertainment.
To keep things casual, descend the cliffs to Carlino, the hotel’s restaurant located alongside their private beach. Dine on fresh local seafood and handmade pasta while marveling at the turquoise sea in front of you and the towering cliffs behind you.
TMT Insider Info:
- There is a simple dress code at Zass: no pool or beach clothes during the day and put on a nice pair of pants for dinner. Check out my Il San Pietro style guide here.
- I’ve never had cheese as good as the cheese I ate at Carlino. Make sure to try the burrata – it’s worth its weight in gold.
- Enjoy your complimentary continental breakfast on the Zass veranda or have it delivered to your room and served on your balcony. I never wanted to leave my balcony, so I preferred eating breakfast there.
One of the most amazing things about Il San Pietro is how it effortlessly blends into its environment. The structure, which took six years to handcraft with almost no straight lines or edges, seems to have grown organically from the cliffs. Tucked within this setting are pathways, terraces, flower gardens, and lemon trees (Positano is famous for its lemons) for guests to enjoy.
To break up your day between lounging on your balcony, eating delicious food, and wandering around the gardens, go for a swim in the pool high above the sea, play tennis by the beach, or work out on a secluded platform tucked under a lemon tree and overlooking the Bay of Positano. To get out on the water, the hotel has a fleet of boats and offers private charters as well as complimentary coastline cruises between June and September.
TMT Insider Info:
- Perhaps the most unique feature of the hotel is the tiny elevator which was drilled 88 meters though the solid rock cliff to carry guests between the hotel’s lobby level and private beach (also home to Carlino, the tennis court, and the sun deck). The elevator door was once made of glass so guests could see the rock surrounding them as they rode. One too many cases of claustrophobia resulted in a non-see-through door replacing the glass door a few years ago.
WHEN TO GO
Il San Pietro is open from the beginning of April through the end of October, and closes during the winter when weather is less hospitable. To make the most of your time in Positano during the incredible spring and summer months, and to get a taste for the local culture, consider planning your trip around one of the following events:
April and October – During the hotel’s low season, cooking classes are offered with Chef Alois Vanlangenaeker in Carlino’s incredible kitchen which is built into the rocks at sea level.
June 15 – Festival of San Vito – A festival honoring the patron saint of Positano featuring a statue-carrying procession, a brass band playing in the streets, and fireworks.
June 29 - Festival of San Pietro – A festival honoring Saint Peter put on by Il San Pietro featuring fireworks for guests and locals to enjoy.
August 14-15 – Festa dell`Assunta (Festival of Our Lady of the Assumption) – A festival honoring the town’s protector, the Virgin Mary. Boats come from all over and fill the Bay of Positano to take part in the festivities which culminate in a fireworks display on the second night.
Last Saturday of September – Festa del Pesce – (Fish Festival) – Fishing boats transport tourists and locals to Positano’s Fornillo Beach where festival goers enjoy live music and dine on fresh fish and other homemade dishes.
Rooms range from 450 to 1,100 Euros per night during low season (April 12 – May 9 / October 14-26) and 620 to 1,600 Euros per night during high season (May 10 – October 13). From mid-May to September a minimum stay of 3 nights is required. Translate to your currency here.
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Photo Credit: Photos provided by Il San Pietro. TMT Insider Info photos: Trevor Morrow on Instagram
I was a guest of Il San Pietro. All opinions are my own (Il San Pietro is one of the best hotels in the world, so it’s hard not to love it).