Best Boutique Hotels in the Italian Riviera
Perfect seaside towns tucked into a dramatic coastline and sky-high vineyards furrowed into steep hillsides make the Italian Riviera like nowhere else in the world. These intimate, independently run hotels are almost as singular as their mesmerizingly lovely setting. Check out our picks for the best boutique hotels in the Italian Riviera.
Eight Hotel Portofino
Portofino, Liguria, Italy
This boutique hotel is housed in a lovely yellow building that makes an unassuming first impression, especially given what lies inside: a classy and intimate stunner of a boutique hotel. Rooms are spacious, especially by Italian standards, and have a classy, modern look created by hardwood floors and a sharp gray-and-beige color scheme. Flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and minibars are nice extras, and suites have enormous bathrooms and private terraces. There is no full-service restaurant, but there is a free shuttle service to the sister Eight hotel on the Bay of Paraggi, which has a popular bar and restaurant, and room service is available around the clock. The grounds feature a lovely garden where guests can lounge in hammocks and relax in the outdoor hot tub and the spa features a Turkish bath and sauna with lava rocks.
Grand Hotel Alassio Resort & SPA
Alassio, Liguria, Italy
This historic Beaux Arts hotel in the center of the Italian Riviera town of Alassio has a modern vibe and amazing sea views. The 61 rooms have classic, mid-19th century Italian elements blended with a modern, beachy minimalism; some rooms have large living areas and balconies or terraces with seating. The stylish, full-service Thalassio Spa offers body treatments plus an indoor saltwater pool, steam room, and sauna, and there are several on-site dining and drinking spots plus a free breakfast. The hotel has a private beach that's open to non-hotel guests for a steep fee, and it can be crowded. Wi-Fi and the kids' club are free, but on-site parking costs extra.
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
The 12 rooms at the upscale La Torretta hotel are beautiful with such elegant touches asfour-poster beds and tall floral headboards. With a free evening aperitif and a couple ofterraces to watch the sun set, it's a particularly good pick for a romantic stay. The bed and breakfast is located on the church square in Manarola, one of five fishing villages that make up Cinque Terre. The marina and train station are a short walk downhill, but there are several stairs to climb at the hotel, which may make it a challenge to navigate for some travelers.
Grand Hotel Portovenere
Porto Venere, Liguria, Italy
Housed in a former Franciscan convent just south of Cinque Terre National Park, the 54-room Grand Hotel Portovenere is a two-minute walk from the pedestrian heart of Portovenere. The bright rooms are done in classic-contemporary style, and many have harbor views or small terraces. The hotel's terrace restaurant and indoor bar faces the sea and offers all meals plus candlelit dinners. The hotel partners with Portovenere Wellness Center to grant guests gym access.
Sestri Levante, Liguria, Italy
The 21-room Hotel Helvetia is a boutique overlooking the beautiful Baia del Silenzio in a quintessential Italian Riviera village. Views and access to a private beach are highlights here, along with the on-site luxurious infinity pools, heated all year long. Restaurants, bars, and shops are within easy walking distance. Rooms are chic and minimal with hardwood floors, white linens, and modern bathrooms (some have balconies and more gorgeous sea views). There are great outdoor bars and lounge areas, but no meals other than breakfast are served.
Locanda Eco del Mare
Lerici, Liguria, Italy
Eco del Mare is an eco-chic and intimate boutique property on the Golfe dei Poeti. The hotel is owned by the wife of Zucchero, an Italian pop star, and she's decorated each of the six rooms and public spaces with an emphasis on natural elements and funky decor, though the rooms may be a bit too laid back for some tastes. The sandy cove beach is naturally defined by rocky cliffs without another building in sight. Pillows, lounge chairs, and umbrellas make the beach a comfortable spot to hang out, while kayaks are fun for exploring the coast. A continental breakfast is included with the price of the room and there's a semi-outdoor bar and Mediterranean restaurant built in a cave-like room. Anyone can buy a day pass to use the beach, so it can get crowded.
Bordighera, Liguria, Italy
Villa Elisa is a small three-pearl property with pretty rooms and suites inside a private 19th-century villa. The gardens, swimming pool, and public spaces are decorated in the Belle Epoque style, though some of the rooms have been decorated with more attention to detail than others and sea views are very distant. The neighborhood is mostly residential but still within easy walking distance to the beach and town center of Bordighera. Free breakfast is served buffet style and the swimming pool has a chic vibe with lemon trees and sun loungers. Mediterranean style food is served at L'Aranceto.
Hotel Villa Anita
Santa Margherita Ligure, Liguria, Italy
This 12-room boutique hotel run by a mother and son is more like a bed and breakfast, providing clean accommodations in a quiet area that’s a short walk to the center of Santa Margherita. The rooms are tiny, but many have been updated and come with small terraces. Amenities include an outdoor whirlpool, children’s play area, free bike rentals, and a restaurant that serves a large breakfast buffet and dinner. The owners and staff are helpful and friendly.
Alassio, Liguria, Italy
The 35-room Hotel Savoia is a modern boutique located directly on the beach in the historic section of Alassio. The location is a definite highlight, with gorgeous views of the coastline from the beach, serene rooftop solarium, and terrace dining. Rooms are chic and inviting, with flat-screen TVs and minibars, though some are more up-to-date than others -- the renovated rooms have lovely tufted headboards and modern bathrooms with intricate tile work. An elegant restaurant has vaulted brick ceilings and the daily breakfast buffet is ample, but there are fees for parking and beach facilities.
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
This quiet bed-and-breakfast in Vernazza books quickly during peak summer months thanks to its stunning views of the sea from its perch on the coast, its friendly owner, and its contemporary decor and amenities -- far more than other small hotels in Cinque Terre. The four white-washed rooms are airy and loaded with creature comforts like minibars, flat-screen TVs, and rainfall showerheads. But reaching rooms requires negotiating several steps, which could be a problem for anyone with mobility issues. Visitors looking for a slightly less expensive option can opt for Camere Elisabetta, a two-pearl hostel with views of town and the sea.
Ca du Ferra Farm & Relax
Bonassola, Liguria, Italy
The Ca du Ferra Farm & Relax is just two small rustic buildings converted into four guest rooms surrounded by pleasant and picturesque gardens. Its location is a five minutes' walk from the center and seafront of Bonassola village, and also provides easy access to Cinque Terre -- especially via the nearby train station. There's little to do on-site, though bicycle loan allows guest to explore the scenic surrounds and barbecues provide a lfresco dining opportunities. All in all, it's an inexpensive and relaxing place to stay in what is already a pretty sleepy stretch of Italian coast.