At a Glance
Originally built in the 17th century as a Dominican convent, Monastero Santa Rosa is a 20-room cliffside refuge that continues to be a bit of a secret long after its 2012 opening as the passion project of first-time hotelier Bianca Sharma. The nuns—and Sharma, an American who first saw the property, then derelict, during a boat ride—certainly had good luck in terms of location: the property rests on a hillside just above Amalfi town, with spectacular views of the coastline and the implausibly blue sea beyond. The infinity pool is carved into the rock and seems to melt into the distant ocean. Accommodations are simple yet refined, with antique accents and soothing tones. Nearly everything in the hotel was crafted by regional artisans, and each room is named after a local herb or flower. The atmosphere is peaceful, and the tiered gardens recall heavenly days at every turn.**The Standout:** Views for days
Don’t Miss: The vaulted underground spa with a hammam, massage pools and Santa Maria Novella products
- The cliffside setting, with views from every room
- The maze-like organic gardens filled with herbs and flowers that frame the infinity pool
- The romantic restaurants, including Michelinstarred Il Refettorio, under a charming pergola and terrace as well as the poolside café and a wine cellar
- Complimentary sessions on the brand-new yoga terrace
The vibe at the Monastero Santa Rosa is so overwhelmingly peaceful that upon entering it, you almost feel like you've traveled back to the 17th century, when this special property used to be a convent. The nuns certainly had good taste in terms of location: the property is perched on the hillside just above Amalfi town, and the panoramic views of the coastline below are breathtaking.
On a boat trip along Amalfi’s gorgeous coast, owner Bianca Sharma saw the abandoned monastery from the sea and had a vision to restore and create what is now Monastero Santa Rosa. Having recently undergone an 11-year restoration, the hotel has been returned to its former glory and is in pristine condition. In keeping with its origins, the hallways are sparsely decorated with historical elements and antiques; an old wooden confessional hints at the property's religious past, while original pews and architectural archways add an old-world but elegant feel.
Considering the expansiveness of the property, it's surprising that there are only 20 rooms and suites here. The perfectly manicured, tiered gardens offer privacy and a quiet moment at every turn. The large infinity pool is carved into the rock and seems to melt into the ocean in the distance.
The accommodations are simple yet luxurious; you'll find traditional wooden antiques along with bare walls and beige tones. Each room is named after a local herb or flower, as the nuns who resided in the convent were renowned for creating holistic remedies with supplies from their garden. Most bathrooms offer double vanities and both a shower and separate bathtub, and all have views of the coastline. Be aware that some of the vistas are more directly panoramic, while others look out over the neighboring village and farmland below (but both are equally beautiful). The fitness center is limited to only a few machines, set outdoor in the garden where there is also a new bocce court. The Monastero also has a beautiful spa (recently transformed from a wine cellar) complete with a hammam, steam room, sauna, nail salon, treatment rooms and massage pools.
One of the two on-property restaurants is set under a natural awning of lemon vines, perfect for lunch or an al fresco dinner. The other, a more fine-dining option, has seating inside a beautifully restored, cavernous brick archway or on a small intimate terrace overlooking the gardens and sea. Both are supremely romantic. Don't miss the fireplace table under the lemon grove, which, on cooler nights, must be the most romantic table in town.
The hotel is about a 10-minute drive up a windy road from Amalfi town, but the shuttle to and from town and the beach club make its location ideal; it is exclusive and remote, while still being close to the action. Among the many hotels and resorts scattered along the coast, Monastero holds its own with a prime location in the mountains, chic and simple guest rooms, intimate and impeccable service, but most of all, by paying homage to its fascinating historical past.
Who Should Stay
Couples, honeymooners and families with children 16 and up, as the hotel is very quiet and reserved. Because this property only has 20 rooms, it’s imperative to reserve far in advance.
— Monique Brendel Thofte
Written by Indagare