This 19th-century villa grafted onto the remains of a 16th-century monastery has been a hotel since 1901, and since the early 1950s, one of those fabled retreats of the international rich and famous, of rock stars and Oscar winners. It's perched in a panoramic position atop the headland just before the last curve of the road into town (yes, it's a good 10-min. walk to Portofino harbor -- and an uphill haul back -- but there's a regular shuttle). Headshots of all the A-list stars from Hollywood's golden age who escaped here line the lounge off of which a terrace opens for drinks or dinner with a sea view. Many guests have been returning for 20 years or more, and stay for 6 weeks at a time. The spacious junior suites come with parquet floors, king-size beds, and antique-styled furnishings that hide the high-tech entertainment centers (TVs with DVD players that rise automatically). Some come with a small terrace, and a few are set into the very private next-door building fronted by a grape arbor. A series of olive-lined, rosemary-scented paths wrap around the panoramic pool terrace and stretch along the hillside to various little lookouts. Though the Splendido closes down in winter, its sister Splendido Mare (eight doubles and eight suites on Portofino's harborfront piazzetta) stays open year-round.
Facilities: 2 restaurants (regional cuisine in an indoor/outdoor terrace dining room; poolside lunch buffet); bar (piano bar in the evening); outdoor heated seawater pool; nearby golf course; outdoor tennis courts; small exercise room; spa; sauna; watersports equipment/rentals; bike rental; video arcade; concierge; tour desk; car-rental desk; courtesy car (down to Splendido Mare at the port); small business center; salon; 24-hr. room service; massage (in room or at spa); babysitting; laundry service; dry cleaning (same day).
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Highly Recommended 2010