The imposing Romeo Hotel overlooks Naples' hectic docks but, inside, the impeccable art collection of owner Mr Romeo makes you feel like you’re wandering around a dazzling antique-stuffed home. This sleek glass and metal hotel and spa in the heart of one of Italy’s grittier cities has gourmet gastronomy, an aficionado-approved cigar room and on-show wine cellar, and is frequented by a Gucci-clad clientele almost as gorgeous as the views of Vesuvius.
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A bottle of sparkling wine on arrival; guests stays three nights or more will also get a €50 hotel credit
Noon, but flexible on request (subject to availability and a charge). Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £471.47 (€549), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €5.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates usually include a daily buffet breakfast (€40 a guest) and daily access to the spa (reservations must be made at least two hours before desired spa entry time).
Cigar aficionados will appreciate the striking glass-walled Cigar Room. The main attraction (aside from the Davidoff humidors full of top-drawer cigars) is a Francesco Clemente painting created especially for the hotel.
At the hotel
Spa, gym, gardens, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, flatscreen TV, Jacob Jensen and Bang & Olufsen telephones, the Balmain products.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms are outfitted with Don’do by Poltrona Frau chairs and locally made Tramontano leather goods, and many look out over the bay. For the best views, go for the Grand Suite Harbour View: you’ll get the Amalfi Coast and Capri on your right as well as Vesuvius and the ships in the docks to the left. The Two-Bedroom Suite has its own tranquil garden, and the Penthouse is your own personal spa, with a private sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.
The small heated pool on the ninth floor makes the most of the hotel’s urban coastal location: bathers can simultaneously oversee the dockworkers unloading crates at the port and gaze at distant Vesuvius or Capri. It’s outside on a terrace right next to the restaurant and bar, so grab a cocktail to sip while you lounge.
Open from 10am until 8pm, guests get free entry to the Dogana del Sale spa. This high-gloss, neon-flecked space has a salt room, three Jacuzzis, two saunas and seven treatment rooms for massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs, and mani-pedis. Post-pampering, relax in a chromotherapy-lit lounge.
Art, design and antiques buffs will want a notebook, camera or sketch pad to hand to record their favourite pieces from Mr Romeo’s collection. We loved the Edo-period Japanese armour and the early 18th-century wooden model of Naples in the lobby.
There's a well-equipped gym too.
Welcome. The Kids Garden playroom has a doll’s house and rocking horse. Babysitting is available at €40 an hour and a free crèche can be used 10am–8pm. However, the amount of expensive art on display might discourage all but the bravest parents.
In Il Comandante, sitting by the windows (or outside on the decking) provides the best bay views for watching the ships. For a cosier meal there’s also a four-table room overlooking the higgledy-piggledy Naples skyline.
Italians aren’t known for being underdressed, and Il Comandante’s diners live up to their glamorous reputation.
On the top floor, chef Salvatore Bianco helms Michelin-starred Il Comandante, which serves up an adventurous and regularly changing fine-dining menu, as well as some jaw-dropping views of the bay through the floor-to-ceiling windows. A Modern Med menu includes regional classics such as egg 65° with smoked mozzarella, potatoes foam and truffle or grilled scampi with smoked buffalo milk and puffed corn. There are tasting menus for the indecisive. Il Bar serves great views, as well as a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
The Beluga Bistrot on the ninth floor has awe-inspiring views to gaze at while sipping a cocktail.
Il Bar opens for breakfast at 7am until 10.30am; lunch from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and for dinner from 7.30pm until 10.30pm. ll Comandante serves dinner from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
Room service is available round the clock. Order antipasti, sandwiches or hot dishes like home-made ravioli and sea bass fillet.
Romeo Hotel overlooks the Port of Naples, and is a very short walk from the historic city centre.
Naples’ Capodichino Airport (www.gesac.it) is about 30 minutes away by car. Taxis are readily available for about €10.50. Capodichino is served by Lufthansa (www.lufthansa.com), British Airways (www.ba.com) and Air France (www.airfrance.com), among others. Private transfers start at €95 each way.
Napoli Centrale railway station is a 10-minute drive from the hotel. Taxis are plentiful outside the station and cost about €10.50. Napoli Centrale is served by Trenitalia national railways (www.trenitalia.com) and is also connected to Stazione di Napoli Piazza Garibaldi, which is part of the Naples Metro system (www.metro.na.it).
Valet parking at Romeo Hotel is available on-site at €33 a day. Naples is located on the north-to-south Austostrada del Sole; driving from Rome should take just over two hours. Amalfi can be reached by car in just under 90 minutes.
Worth getting out of bed for
Bask in the spa’s salt room for a while: inhaling the mineral goodness of air infused with salt is an old Eastern European tradition that’s supposed to benefit your skin, lungs and all-round wellbeing. Then, it’s time explore Naples. Some historic churches are nearby: less than 15 minutes’ walk from Romeo Hotel is Gesù Nuovo on Via San Sebastiano, which dates back to 1470 and was originally a palace. Its Baroque architecture and ornate interior make it well worth a visit. (When visiting churches, covered shoulders are a must.)
It’s also a short walk from Romeo Hotel to the port, where you’ll find boats bound for Capri and Sorrento. Walk down Via Cristoforo Colombo to the SNAV ticket office to embark on your daytrip. For an insight into the volcanic forces that have shaped the region, a trip to the crater of Vesuvius is unmissable. Local guides lead walking tours, and bus excursions are run by Vesuvio Express.
Naples has the finest pizza you’ll ever eat: the best is to be found along Via dei Tribunali, less than 10 minutes’ walk from the hotel. There’s a host of pizzerias to pick from: some are pretty basic, but all will feature a lively local clientele devouring huge circles of bread with any topping imaginable for only €3 or €4. The service is speedy, too. Two of the best are Di Matteo, 94 via dei Tribunali, and Sorbillo, 38 via dei Tribunali.
At Gran Caffe Gambrinus, locals and visitors alike gather to sip coffee, nibble delicate pastries and enjoy the detailed Belle Epoque interior.
Brothers Antonio and Ciro Scognamillo transformed their parents’ wine cellar into the cosy and traditional Enoteca Belledonne, at 18 vico Belledonne a Chiaia.
Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team prior to review and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from this Italy boutique hotel and unpacked their souvenir bottles of limoncello, a full account of their luxury city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Romeo Hotel in Naples…
Amid Naples’ graffiti-adorned streets, steps from the ships coming and going in the docks, is the conspicuously polished edifice of Romeo Hotel, which offers views of Vesuvius and Capri and attracts a crowd glitzy enough that the guests are almost as beautiful as the vistas. Inside, the owner’s extensive private collection of art and antiques will win the hearts of design fans, and with slick decor in every room (dark wood flooring, Caprai fabrics and Don’do by Poltrona Frau chairs), the hotel sets the stage for modern-day Romeos to woo their Juliets.
And, once they emerge from their suites, they’ll find all the luxuries they expect — a brand new spa, gastronomic delights and a peerlessly polite staff — as well as some enjoyable surprises, such as the fully stocked cigar room and unusual works of art around every corner. It’s an enticing rendezvous for star-cross’d lovers…