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Hotel Highlights

  • Art nouveau 18th-century manor house
  • A kilometre out of Sorrento, and only 50 metres to the shore
  • Swimming pool set in peaceful flower-filled gardens

Overview

Once the home of nobility, Villa dei D’Armiento hotel near Sorrento has had its former glory restored with Murano glass chandeliers, rare earthenware jars and Vietri majolica tiling. Arty and antique-filled, this 18th-century residence is a stroll from the sea.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Villa dei D'Armiento with us:

A small bottle of limoncello in room, and a drink each on arrival; SilverSmith and GoldSmith members will also get prosecco or wine in their room

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

Seven, including three suites.

Check–out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $226.74 (€173), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.50 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast.

Also

The hotel is in an acre-big park, home to an outdoor art gallery and regular exhibitions.

At the hotel

Gardens, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, free bottled water. Tour guides, and bike, motorbike, boat and car hire can be organised by the hotel.

Our favourite rooms

All of the rooms have a fresh, bright green and white colour palette, but we especially love the Terrace Room at the top – it has a view of Vesuvius, courtesy of its eponymous, enormous rooftop, and can only be reached by a private lift.

Poolside

The pool is set in the gardens, surrounded by dark wooden sunloungers, palm-trees and decking.

Packing tips

Leave room in your case to take home some of the huge lemons in the garden – the Sorrento version happens to be grapefruit-size.

Also

No pets. In-room massages and other treatments can be arranged.

Children

Little ones are welcome. Extra beds (€50 a night) can be added to larger rooms, and cots are free. There's a children’s menu in the restaurant. Babysitting with a local nanny costs €20. There’s a lifeguard on duty between 9am and 6pm.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

There’s no formal dining room, but the staff will happily whip you up a sandwich or salad in the kitchen. This homely room overlooks the garden and is brightly coloured with majolica tiles and handmade local ceramics. In the park, there’s a traditional pizza oven and a barbecue ready to feed hungry guests.

Hotel Bar

There is no bar as such, but mix yourself a Campari and soda or open a beer or bottle of wine whenever you’d like, thanks to the honesty bar in the kitchen.

Last orders

Breakfast is from 8am until 10am; after that, there’s always someone on hand in or around the kitchen.

Room service

Light meals and snacks are available 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Riff on the decor with all-white and flashes of gem-coloured accessories.

Top table

Ask nicely and you’ll be able to eat lunch or dinner at a table set up in the garden.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Head into Sorrento to admire the shining examples of this region’s art and architecture: Roman ruins, the 15th-century Duomo and the 14th-century Church of St Francis. Between July and August, the Ravello Music Festival (www.ravellofestival.com) attracts musicians – be sure to catch a concert. Pompeii is half an hour away by train. Borrow a bike or a boat from the hotel; they can also hook you up with informative local guides.

Local restaurants

La Marinella on Lungo Mare Cavalieri di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme (+39 089 873 6508) is half a block from the hotel, right on the beach with a first-class view of the Bay of Naples. Enjoy traditional Italian pizza and pasta at Ristorante Il Capanno on Via Nuovo Rione Cappuccini (+39 081 878 2453‎); guests at the hotel get a 10 per cent discount. Trattoria da Emilia (+39 081 807 2720) at 62 via Marina Grande is a traditional, family-run trattoria with simple food, plenty of fish and local house wine served in carafes. The owners also run the tiny bar next door, which is usually thronged with locals. Il Bucco (+39 081 878 2354) at Il Rampa Marina Piccola has earned itself a Michelin star. There’s a romantic little cobbled spot just off the square – reserve one of the tables outside if it’s a warm summer evening. Vela Bianca (+39 081 878 1144; www.ristorantevelabianca.com) is right on the harbour down the same road – locals and tourists come here for the seafood. Settle in at Inn Buffalito, a mozzarella bar in Sorrento, and work your way through their selection (+39 081 365 6975;

www.innbuffalito.com

).

+ Enlarge
Sant'Agnello seaside

Villa dei D'Armiento

79 Corso Marion Crawford, Sant'Agnello di Sorrento, 80065

Tucked away in a tranquil garden of palm and citrus trees in Sant'Agnello, Villa dei D'Armiento is a five-minute drive to Sorrento and just 50m from the beach.

Planes

Naples airport is the closest to the hotel, 55km away. British Airways (www.ba.com) and Thomas Cook (www.flythomascook.com) fly from London Gatwick. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) connects Europe, with regular flights from the UK, Geneva, Milan, Madrid and Berlin. From here, take the Curreri bus towards Sorrento, getting off in Sant’Agnello’s main square, in front of the town hall.

Trains

Circumvesuviana services connect to Pompei, Ercolana and Naples from the station in Sant’Agnello (www.vesuviana.it). The ride from Naples should take an hour. It’s a 10-minute walk to the hotel.

Automobiles

Take the A3, which links Naples and Salerno, exiting at Castellammare di Stabia, and picking up the SS145. The villas has parking spaces (€12 a day).

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by David Pfister , International playboy

Mrs Smith’s mandate for our gastro getaway to Sorrento was stern and uncoded: ‘Nothing raw. Nothing street.’ I have a near-fatal attraction to exotic and authentic (read: uncooked and low-brow) foodstuffs, which had me out of action on recent visits to culinary centres Paris and Vienna. As expats based under the leaden cloud – and palate – of Holland, we are coveting …
Read more

Villa dei D'Armiento

Anonymous review by David Pfister, International playboy

Mrs Smith’s mandate for our gastro getaway to Sorrento was stern and uncoded: ‘Nothing raw. Nothing street.’ I have a near-fatal attraction to exotic and authentic (read: uncooked and low-brow) foodstuffs, which had me out of action on recent visits to culinary centres Paris and Vienna. As expats based under the leaden cloud – and palate – of Holland, we are coveting the Italian sky and table. I agree to contain my impulses as we follow the signs along the autostrade to Sorrento.

A smart Southern Italian compromise for a quick in and out, Sorrento straddles the inferno of Napoli, the lacquer of Capri and the rustic respite of the Amalfi. We hire a car: the base cost is competitive with airport transfers to and from the Capodichino airport, and managing those legendary Sorrentine cliffs in a little Fiat is as good for the soul as anything else the region has to offer, as long as you opt for enough insurance.

We wedge into the gate of three-story powder-white villa tucked into a mansion district in the northeast corner of Sorrento, quiet but for the buzz of cicadas and the occasional scooter. The private Savoy-era property was converted only recently to an ethereal seven-room lodge. Owner Pierluigi d’Armiento greets us at the door and grants us access to the home’s optimistic living room, dining room and open majolica-tiled kitchen. The  design is a mix of airy and verdant mod-Med pieces dabbed with a tweedy, bookish accent against a lofty, light interior.

Cheery green sofas, vintage leather-bound volumes, antique binoculars, a gilded baroque mirror and a table laden with snacks, fruit and lemon bonbons are delightful. Our room upstairs greets us with a similar levity, plus a piccolo bottle of limoncello and a tempting in-room spa-treatment list. While our superior could be deemed a tad tight, the flatscreen is neatly tucked away, the finish is polished, and the bathroom is inspiring with a huge sunflower-head shower, jade ceramic-tile work and two fluffy white robes. ‘Is this a skinny mirror?’ Mrs Smith queries. The wind is at our backs on this trip.

Hungry from the drive and eager to sample local eats, we toddle around the corner for an easy lunch at Il Capanno to sample light classics. Mrs Smith eyes me toeing the line. ‘Honey, prosciutto is cured, not raw,’ I preemptively parry. Large local families, a reliable sign of quality and authenticity, linger in the post-lunch hours as a TV in the background alternates with news of the apocalypse and a dubbed German soap. The pizza is OK, but the salty prosciutto with sweet and crunchy melon is due a revisit.

We spy the lively beach club from the cliff occupied by the Marinella Bellevue, said to be adored by her royal hotness Sophia Loren, but rather than descend the mediaeval, labyrinthine stars to the vestigial port, we continue to our boutique bolt hole for a languid lounge by the pool. Under an olive tree surrounded by succulents we sit among a few youngish international couples. Sun, plunge, sun, shade, is how time is spent before we head inside for a twilight shower for two.

Villa dei D’Armiento’s sweet and petite Maria recommends a trip to Marameo, a beach club that offers free taxi service from and to the villa. At €20–25 a trip to the centre, it’s a nice touch, and we take her up on the idea. The underlit cliffside backdrop is spectacular, but the food and service less so, so we cut dinner short and detour into town to catch Friday night at Fifties-modern Il Fauno on Piazza Tasso, the main square. I feel pretty swank with a dazzling red Americano (Campari, vermouth, soda, rocks, lemon) and Mrs Smith rolls with prosecco and sfogliatelle, the little shell-shaped lemon-ricotta filled pastries. That’s my girl.

It’s prime for outdoor people-watching and scooter-dodging and we marvel at the go-for-it spirit barely hidden beneath a gold-sequin minidress. Taking in more street action, we stroll with the crowd down Corsa Italia until gawking at the absolutely manic Primavera Gelateria, which seems to combine the best parts of an ice-cream shop, a sailor’s bar and karaoke: funny thing is, it works.

The following morning, over yogurt, fresh fruit, more cured meats and pastries at one of the marble-topped cast-iron tables in the leafy garden, we debate the merits of doing nothing and a quick trip into Capri. Niente is powerfully tempting, but as neither of us has ever seen the famed island, we spend a day traveling up, down and around the island by flip-flop, funicular, water taxi, public bus and topless cab.

We return spent but determined to make up for last night’s dinner. Fortuitously we run into Kiara in the kitchen who enthuses over an easy-to-miss local joint. With a convincing double-hand gesture and emphatic roll of the eyes she divines: ‘Inn Bufalito. You have to go there. This is our food. It’s not for the tourists. But don’t eat the pizza. Nobody eats the pizza.’

Stuffed in an alley between Via Fuoro and Via San Nicola we find an easy-to-miss glowing red joint with a twenty- to forty-something clientele and hip, young staff. We do our best to run up a tab with a mini-mozzarella Capri salad, cured hams and salamis, fresh oversized rigatoni doused in braised buffalo ragu, and eggplant parmigiana with molten buffalo mozzarella, washed down with a litre-carafe of crisp house white. Instead of the usual local limoncello we try a refreshing Sicilian pacito dessert wine, but even so the bill remains well priced.

We talk, we eat, we drink, we laugh, we recall how much we miss the sun and water, and how these primary forces fuse the two of us. It then quietly occurs to me, and I dare not say it aloud, I seem to have escaped the purgatory of foreign WCs. Welling with gratitude, I earnestly consider offering the waiter our apartment back in Amsterdam.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Villa dei D'Armiento's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This would be a great villa to take over for a party. The staff was lovely.

Don’t expect

It felt a bit like a bed and breakfast to me.

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The ladies on the reception are so helpful, and the buffet breakfast is lovely. The interior of the villa is stunning and the gardens are impeccably maintained. A lovely place to chill for a few days.

Don’t expect

The walk into Sorrento is about 25 minutes. It's a nice stroll but wear comfy shoes.

Rating: 10/10 stars

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The villa and staff were amazing from the moment we arrived until departure. Maria and Tina suggested local restaurants and arranged private guided tours of the area; all were amazing. Breakfast served daily was fresh with eggs to order. I loved it all.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

After seeing a lot of Mr & Mrs Smith hotels, this is the best one we've had so far. Every little detail is perfect. In a sometimes (beautifully) hectic Sorrento, the villa lies in a wonderfully quiet part but still next to the beach. The garden is amazing and the swimming pool in it is perfect for winding down after a hot day. Rooms are beautiful and the shower is to die for. The extremely friendly girls at the reception go the extra mile and make you feel right at home. The breakfast is served from the open family kitchen, which truly feels like coming home every day.

Don’t expect

It's a 20-25-minute walk to the centre of Sorrento, which isn't a lot but has to be taken into account. Truth be told, the quiet area in which the hotel lies more than makes up for this. We rented a Vespa, which is great fun and makes getting around the area a lot easier.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Three-aspect views from the rooms. The staff: they couldn't be more helpful or friendly. The rooms: comfortable and lots of the little things you need when away. The storage space in the room: it was actually a room that looks good and can be used!

Don’t expect

Breakfast - too much 'packaged' food in a region with so much fresh fruit available. WiFi: it was great on patio/pool area but terrible in the bedroom (a second-floor room)

Rating: 9/10 stars