Silvia Pisci
Belmond Hotel Splendido
Via Roma, 2, 16034 Portofino GE
26th September 2015

“I found my love in Portofino…”

The location of Belmond Hotel Splendido is, to put it simply, unbeatable. It overlooks Portofino harbour and enjoys wonderful views to the Ligurian sea, offering guests the privacy and silence which you can't get in the small and always buzzy town centre.
The hotel is surrounded by lush flowery gardens all the way down to Portofino - an enjoyable 10-minutes' walk downhill. A complimentary shuttle runs all day between the hotel and Portofino harbour.
Belmond Splendido Mare, the sister property, is instead located right on the town's square.
Who stays?
Whoever wants to experience Cinqueterre and "La Dolce Vita" at its best - whoever loves Italian classic elegance and style; couples on their honeymoon or anniversary; celebrities who dock their yachts in Portofino to enjoy the magic and privacy of the hotel (and of course its pool and restaurant!).
Style and Character
Belmond Hotel Splendido is one of those few historic hotels in Italy which charm has remained untouched throughout years, where you can still feel the joie de vivre of the "golden 60's" as soon as you get into the lobby (which walls are covered with original photos of the celebrities who walked in in the past - from Winston Churchill to Marlon Brando, Liza Minnelli, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, Ringo Starr and until, more recently, Madonna, Bono, Rod Stewart and many others...
Classic, refined style, a sense of history and tradition, with excellent service and a superb restaurant are the marks of a Belmond property in Italy, and Hotel Splendido is no exception.
Service at Belmond Hotel Splendido makes up a great part of the experience. The elegantly dressed staff (some of which are working there for over 30 years) is formidable at "breaking the ice" of formal gestures through discrete attention and warm smiles, and it doesn't take long before you know them personally... After some time you may find it perfectly normal that the same barman serving your aperitivo with his black tie will be taking you for a "tarantella" after dinner (always accompanied by the hotel's exellent pianist in his sparkling jackets...).
You feel well taken care of from the moment you enter the hotel till the moment you leave.
Rooms and Suites
The 67 rooms enjoy views towards either the gardens or Portofino harbour. The gardens are beautiful, but the rooms with seaview and balcony or terrace definitely worth the upgrade!
The style is classic and quite basic, though rooms are equipped with all needed mod-cons. Some modern touches (nothing in contrast with the original style though) are present in the junior suites and suites. The largest suite, named La Dolce Vita, is separated from the main building and enjoys great privacy, spectacular views and a vast private garden - it's ideal for honeymooners or a family with small kids.
Food and Drink
Restaurant La Terrazza is one of the most charming places in all of Portofino, especially in the evening when you can enjoy the lights of the harbour from above, sipping a glass of wine with the piano playing in the background... it's such a wonderful atmosphere that you will forget about the prices (well, maybe after another glass!). Food (local specialities, mostly fish) is superb and definitely worth a try, either at lunch or dinner. Same goes for the Chuflay, the restaurant at Belmond Splendido Mare, directly on Portofino's piazzetta (guests of the two hotels have complimentary access to both hotels' facilities and priority at the restaurants).
Cocktails are also very expensive and the list did not impress for its variety, I must say, but another experience I recommend is a stop at the cocktail bar of Hotel Splendido after dinner, where a lively and tasteful piano bar entertains guests until midnight and well into the wee hours....
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
The infinity pool is probably the first image everybody had in mind when thinking about Belmond Hotel Splendido, and they do so for a reason: the feeling of swimming in (heated) sea water, with the most stunning sea view opening in front of you, is just unparalleled.
The gym spa was closed due to a technical issue when I stayed at the hotel so I could not check it. The gazebo nestled in the hotel's flowery gardens looked like the most gorgeous place for a massage.
The gym is not very big but well equipped. Those who play tennis will enjoy the court, open througout the day - and of course, with beautiful views to the sea.
Perceived Value
Belmond Hotel Splendido is an expensive hotel, but rarely in Italy can you still enjoy La Dolce Vita as much as you do here - surrounded by the old beauty of Portofino and the scents of its surrounding nature, pampered by excellent service, and immersed in a timeless atmosphere.
Hotel Splendido is one of the flagship hotels not just of Belmond, but of Italy itself.