This cozy inn on the harbor in Manarola is a favorite with many travelers to the Cinque Terre, and it's easy to see why. Part of the premises, including the glass-enclosed seafood restaurant where you may be required to take half- or full board in the busy summer months, is right on the water (plainer rooms but great views), and many of the guest rooms in the tall house across the street (nicer furnishings) have sea views as well. Decor is a cut above that of most inns in the region, and the welcoming lobby doubles as a sitting room, with divans wrapping around a fireplace. Since one of the hotel's two buildings (the one above the restaurant) is right on the port, book ahead to be sure you get one of the rooms whose windows open onto fishing boats and the rocky shoals directly below and the Tyrrhenian Sea spread before you. Old prints, homey faded floor tiles, light pine-veneer furnishings, and a predominance of Santorini colors of white and pale blue lend the small but serviceable rooms a great amount of charm. Rooms in the other building (the next one up the hill, containing the hotel lobby) are done in more of a country style, with nicer nut-brown, heavy wooden furnishings, flower-edged wallpaper, and fancy scrolled headboards; even here about half the rooms get a sea view over, or around the side of, the pink stucco of the first building (better views as you go higher up, but there's no elevator). The aforementioned meals are excellent, a cut above most room-and-board fare. My only quibble with this otherwise pleasant hostelry is that the service can be somewhat scatterbrained and, occasionally, downright unfriendly.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010