Villa Maria Hotel Ravello
Just like a lot of Ravello’s lodging, Villa Maria is a fair walk from the main square along twisting and occasionally steep alleyways. Cars can be parked at sister resort Giordano and bag brought into the resort by a porter. After at Villa Maria, a former private home, the glorious vista of mountains sweeping down into some glittering sea below Ravello is all yours.
Style & personality
The hotel was first opened in 1934 from the grandparents of present owner Vincenzo Palumbo. Before he became a hotelier, Signor Palumbo taught French at a regional high school, but his true vocation was to conduct Villa Maria, also Hotel Giordano which he purchased in 1974, (and neighboring Villa Eva for weddings and private parties), together with Italian charm and old fashioned dignity. His sons, the fourth generation, have now joined him in the company.
As a result of the ongoing family engagement, Villa Maria feels as though it has changed little since it first opened, a magical medley of hands, busts, piano, wrought iron silver and furniture organized on wooden shelves which brings the older villa a clearly Edwardian feel. It is a gentle, magical place where time stands still.
Signor Palumbo is pleased with his famous guests through the years, and is pleased to show you his picture album, such as images of routine (“oh, quite hard”) Gore Vidal in addition to Matt Dillon, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant among others.
Service & amenities
Signor Palumbo masterminds popular cookery classes from the organic garden, and walking excursions. The swimming pool and car park in sister Resort Giordano are accessible to guests, in addition to the yard at Villa Eva (helpful for kids) when not being used. Beauty remedies in-house or at a nearby salon are also offered. There’s a luggage service in the town square into the resort.
Up the marble stairs and through large wooden doors, the bedrooms hit the exact same note as the reception places, with vaulted ceilings, solid furniture and fairly ceramic tiled flooring. No. 3 is a cut above the rest, using its enormous terrace, five collections of French windows and fine secretaire. At a modern annexe there are six rooms with picture windows however small personality. All rooms have a sea view, or even a partial ocean view. Baths are white, enlivened by ceramic tiles also nicely appointed.
Food & beverage
Sit in the sunshine at one of those tables at the Villa Maria’s beautiful garden restaurant, Orsola’s, sip chilled white wine, eat absolutely cooked pasta and revel in the magnificent view. When it’s chilly out, no thing, for the tasteful apricot and white-painted dining area produces a calm choice as well as the meals, orchestrated by restaurant director Angelo Cirello, is yummy.
Try out the neighborhood black piglet, slow cooked with herbs and shallots, or broiled sea bream using chicory and lemon sauce, then possibly with a side order of sautéd escarole with capers, olives, pine nuts and lemons. And do not miss the lemon shock. A lot of the organic produce comes in the terraced gardens around the resort.
Breakfast appears more like tea with a massive number of cakes and pastries, in addition to more ordinary offerings such as cheeses, cold meats and cooked dishes. Especially excellent coffee!
Value for cash
Doubles from $131 (#110) in low season, and out of $238 (#200) in high season. Breakfast included; complimentary Wi-Fi.
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