In 1953, when John Steinbeck visited Le Sirenuse hotel in Positano, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, it was only about two years old. He wrote that “nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it.” Well, he clearly ignored his impulse, but nearly 65 years later it isn’t ruined, either. In fact, Positano is still perfect, and Le Sirenuse is now a luxury hotel and the ideal spot for honeymooners.
STAY: As far as the hotel goes, its charming rooms have a very Italian feel, with a combination of clean white walls and floors covered in brightly colored handmade tiles. Most of the rooms have sea views with private balconies, and a turn-down service (complete with Italian chocolate) is provided nightly. The pool sits on the side of a cliff, surrounded by lemon trees, and overlooks the water. There’s a full service spa on site as well as a gym (word to the wise: you won’t need the gym—you’re on a cliff, and that means stairs. Lots of stairs.)
VIDEO: How to Save Money on Your Honeymoon
SEE, PLAY, EAT: The village is built into coastal cliffs, with terracotta, coral and whitewashed houses stair-stepping down into sand. There are several beaches in Positano. Marina-Grande is usually the most crowded, but it’s also lined with shops and restaurants and is postcard-perfect. Fornillo is a bit quieter, and Arienzo faces southwest, so it gets sun longer than the rest of the beaches. It’s also known as ‘300 steps beach’ because of the massive climb to get back up the cliff after visiting. If you can be bothered to pull yourself off the beach or away from the pool, there are also guided tours to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius.
Within the hotel itself there are several options for dining. Each night the Michelin-starred terrace restaurant lights up with hundreds of candles, making it a prime romantic spot for dinner. There’s also a bar at the pool, and another champagne and oyster bar looking down over the sparkling blue sea. Outside of Le Sirenuse, Da Adolfo has a great reputation as a laid-back spot to have a long lunch. You’ll catch a boat to get there, then hire a beach chair after eating to lounge with a cocktail