A teeter from Capri Town’s pretty-as-a-postcard Piazzetta, and a sashay down dainty boutique-resplendent alleyways, is Capri Tiberio Palace, a friendly five-star hotel. A confection of sugared-almond shades and pop-arty curios, designer Giampiero Panepinto’s pretty, witty decor instantly slips you into holiday mode. Whether you flop poolside and make new friends on the terrace, or explore the island as a twosome, this Capri boutique hotel promises hidden-away vacations laced with treatments at Spa Tiberio, zingy cocktails and delizioso Mediterranean dining.
Get this when you book through us:
A £50 credit to spend at the Terrazza Tiberio Restaurant or the Jacky Bar
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £529.72 (€595), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include the daily buffet continental breakfast, laden with homemade treats.
The hotel closes annually from circa mid-October to early April (exact dates vary annually).
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, spa with six treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor pool. In rooms: hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, safe, individually controlled air-conditioning, minibar, black-out curtains.
Our favourite rooms
For their looks, we love the retro-referencing junior suites refurbished interior designer Giampiero Panepinto’s cheeky chic. Hand-painted majolica tiles and soft-curtained privacy adds oomf to all the rooms, but we're enamored of the Deluxe Sea View's fully equipped terraces with stirring sea breezes.
The indoor-outdoor pool is heated and accessible from the spa and the sundeck; supervised from 10am to 8pm.
The spa treatments are spectacular, using refreshing all-natural products. The wellness centre also has a Water Zone with hydrotherapy pools and steam rooms.
Your biggest designer sunglasses and jeweled sandals. A copy of Shirley Hazzard’s memoir Greene on Capri, which captures Graham Greene’s time here in the Sixties and conveys what makes this Italian isle especially enchanting.
There are no special playrooms or menus for kids, but this is Italy – you know little ones will be lovingly cooed over. Cots are free, and they will happily assist with food preparation and arranging a babysitter.
If it’s balmy, you’d be barmy not to bagsy a spot on the terrace.
This is Capri – make like Jackie O and JFK on their jollies.
Terrazza Tiberio serves simple Mediterranean flavours using local ingredients fit for sophisticated palates; chef Francesco de Simone dishes up traditional dishes such as home-made marjoram ravioli or baked sea bass with panzanella. alongside kosher options such as fried cod with courgettes or tubettoni pasta.
Jacky is the open-all-day lounge bar that spills out into a tiny front garden at the front. The fresh pastel decor and warm ambience makes it as beguiling for a morning latté as a Jacky (champagne with strawberries and Cointreau) or a Caesar Tonic Pepper (Gin, Giava's peppercorns, grapefruit and pepper) in the evening. One too many though and you might be tempted to have a tinkle on that white baby grand.
Lunch is served 12.30pm–2.30 pm and dinner from 7.30 pm to 11pm.
Mornings offer the full breakfast regalia, then 11am–11.30pm choose from a huge array of local specialities such as spaghetti alle vongole as well as room-service classics such as hamburgers and club sandwiches.
Fly to Naples Capodichino airport and then take a taxi to the port of Naples to catch a boat. Make sure you check the last ferry times, though. The whole transfer is usually only around an hour and a half. The hotel can organise a ticket for the hydrofoil, taxi or cable car to the main square starting at €90 a person; for two, it's €110 each; luggage can be transported from the harbour to your room (it's free for the first two items and €13 an item after that).
There is no need for you to have your own wheels on Capri, when the island’s only four square miles, and most uniquely they have the cutest convertible cabs.
Ferries from Naples take about an hour and 20 minutes: Alilauro (www.alilauro.it), Caremar (www.caremar.it) and SNAV (www.snav.it) depart from Calata Porta di Massa. Hydrofoils leave from Beverello, take about 40 minutes, and cost a bit more. The hotel can have someone greet you who will hand you a ticket to the funicular from Capri harbour to Capri’s La Piazzetta. Make use of the hotel's porterage service (€12 a piece, each way) to ensure smooth sailing to and from the pier.
Worth getting out of bed for
Chat to the concierge: they can arrange fun outings for you such as boat trips. Definitely book a day out at sea, because many of Capri’s coves aren’t accessible by foot or car, and the Blue Grotto is the famous sea cave not to be missed. If designer shopping is your thing, you have ritzy boutiques galore on your doorstep: Stroll down Via Vittorio Emanuele III and Via Camerelle and be dazzled by Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Cavalli followed by a noseful of Carthusia Profumi (+39 081 837 0368; www.carthusia.com) which has been distilling perfume since 1948, to recipes first created by monks in the 14th century. Even if you don’t pick up any of the interiors chic from 100% Capri at 29 Via Fuorlovado it’s worth a look at their white, khaki, and dark-chocolate wares – their only other branches are in Rome and St Barths (+39 081 8375658).
Refined yet relaxed JKitchen is JK Place Capri hotel's stylish restaurant serving the finest seafood, with a spectacular terrace offering panoramic views over the harbor, towards the mainland (+39 081 838 4001). Aurora is one of Capri’s oldest restaurants, offering Neapolitan favourites with Caprese charm on history-steeped Via Fuorlovado (+39 081 837 0181) There are few places to eat more delightfully than under the lemon trees at Da Paolino near Marina Grande at 11 Via Palazzo a Mare (+39 081 837 6102). For traditional tastes Il Geranio at 8 Via Matteotti is also great, close to the main piazzetta, (+39 081 837 0616). Add’o Riccio (+39 081 837 1380), located on the cliffs overlooking the Blue Grotto, serves up fresh seafood, once again with those views.
‘Wow! This is aaawesome!’ bellows a tourist from under his baseball cap. We’re stepping out of the funicular train from Capri Town’s harbour, and although he’s ever so slightly shattering my image of us following in Jackie O’s footsteps to an exclusive escape, he has got a point. The view we are both admiring is of the Tyrrhenian Sea’s deep-blue stretch to the sun-gilded Sorrentine Peninsula. I gaze down Capri’s steep terraced slopes, over café-lined postcard promenade Marina Grande, and then back at the diminutive La Piazzetta, with its clocktower, miniature main square, and darling white 18th-century church. It’s hard to deny that this vista is anything but overwhelming, even if you are a seasoned traveller.
Let’s get something straight – Capri’s charms are no secret on the tourist trail. But that’s partly what makes Capri Tiberio Palace feel so special. In what seems a New York minute after reaching hilltop Piazza Umberto I, we’re flopped on our private balcony, a world away from any high-season hurly burly. I’ve cracked open a Pellegrino from our minibar and Mr Smith is sipping a chilled Peroni. From our majolica-tiled, bougainvillea-fringed perch, we look out across to lemon groves and the sparkling Gulf of Naples beyond. I swear I hear Mr Smith murmur the word ‘awesome’.
Lickety-split from London, too. We only caught a flight to Naples this morning. Next thing we were in a cab to the gritty city’s port, where, after a slice of lunchtime pizza, we hopped on a hydrofoil for the 40-minute watery whoosh over. On arrival at Capri Town our bags were magicked away by a pristinely dressed hotel meeter-and-greeter, while we rode the cable car a few minutes up the hill. An amble down a picturesque alleyway, past fabulous designer shops and authentic trattorias, we landed at our apricot-coloured hideaway for the weekend.
Gliding through the glass doors to reception, we had received the kind of warm welcome that might cause cynics to wonder whether staff had twigged we were secret site inspectors. But no; that’s just how things are here at this Capri boutique hotel. Escorted up to our roomy junior suite, we pass pockets of interior design that resemble how I envisage chic Italian private villas in the Fifties. ‘Hey, look there’s Sophia Loren!’ shouts Mr Smith, admittedly pointing to a black and white photo. Jaunty pastel-upholstered chairs, sugar-almond-shaded wallcoverings, shelves of quirky trinkets and cute curios are all part of designer Giampiero Panepinto’s pretty, witty decor. If the look and feel doesn’t ease you into holiday mood, you may need to see your doctor about some prescriptive meds.
And here we are still on our balcony as spritz o’clock strikes. Feet in the sun, aperol and prosecco in hand, we’re watching a gentle start to la passeggiata on the pathway below. A nose at the guests around the pool on the terrace just below us reveals an American couple befriending a German family, next to an English premier league footballer sneaking in some post-season P&Q with his missus.
Suppertime approaches, and choosing to dine in the hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant may seem unadventurous, but why leave our bubble of cheer? Especially as we’ve heard great things about the cocktails. There’s always tomorrow to explore. After sampling a Capri lemon drop (limoncello, lemon juice and lavender) in the loungey ground-floor Jackie Bar (strictly in the name of investigative duty), we head up to the restaurant. By the second course of perfectly cooked seafood pasta, we’ve swapped life stories with the maître d’ and we’re smitten with the local rosé.
Breakfast sees us back on that canopied terrace to devour pickings from the generous buffet. Over pastries and fresh fruit we moot a boat trip around the coast. But the sun is glowing and the cushioned loungers by the look comfy –surely that Blue Grotto sea cave will wait for us?
Fast forward to the afternoon and, yes, we’re still supine by the outdoor pool, but we’ve been for a splash, sensorial shower and steam in the Water Zone, I’ve had an incredible Sodashi facial in the wellness centre and we’ve both picked at a delicious tomato, mozzarella and basil Caprese salads. Not bad for a day’s reviewing work, right?
History buffs will know who Roman Emperor Tiberius was. And the real swots will be aware that he was so captivated by Capri he made the Mediterranean island his imperial capital. Not sure it was the most practical base, but then word is he was distracted by some rather risqué revelries, so who are we to argue? In fact, the old dog ended up spending his final years on Capri. Truth is, a whirl here has us wishing we could follow suit and live out our days on this aphrodisiacal island. So if you’re seeking a five-star stay for hidden-away holidays laced with spa treatments, cunning cocktails and Mediterranean cuisine fit for an emperor, get thee to Capri Tiberio Palace. Except the island should come with a warning: ‘Watch out, you might never want to leave’.