Hilton Sorrento Palace offers great views over ancient Vesuvius

by Sean Hillen

Many hotels worldwide offer fascinating locations – but overlooking a volcano must rate high on the value scale and helps set the Hilton Sorrento Palace apart from others.

Built in 1935 and recently re-opened after radical renovation, this contemporary 344-room coastal property occupies a plum position above the winding streets of picturesque Sorrento, the Bay of Naples and the serpentine Almalfi coast stretching beyond Positano – and, not least, the dormant volcano of Vesuvius.

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The hotel’s lobby is expansive, stretching all the way from the front doors to a large open terrace fronting the sea at the rear, one hundred meters away. An impressive Murano glass chandelier is the crowning jewel on the furnishings, shaped as if it was the underside of a boat, with a statue of Pan playing his flute merrily below it. A series of ceramic amphora, colorful glass butterfly-shaped chairs and black and white photographs of old Sorrento add to the overall modern decor.

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A lounge bar is located in one corner of the lobby with a pianist enlivening the mood of the evening. Aside from seating on the outdoor verandah, guests can also sit comfortably on soft armchairs gathered around an open fire-pit fixture inside.

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Next to the spacious, marble-floored lobby is the ‘Sorrento Restaurant,’ one of three restaurants at the hotel, which also acts as a breakfast room. Complete with varnished wood flooring and bright orange chairs, surreal ornaments on the wall show amusing nude characters astride fish.

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So expansive is this luxury hotel, which resembles a large multi-deck cruise liner from the outside, it has almost as much space below the lobby as in it, its 24 meeting rooms there, including an auditorium for 1,500 delegates; multiple outdoor banquet areas and 37,000 square feet of exhibition space making it one of the largest convention-style hotels in this Mediterranean region.

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Our room, 424, was located in a central upper position, with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Divided into three distinct spaces – bathroom, bedroom and walk in closet-room – its design reflected Nordic influences, white and gray hues and a straight-line style. A broad verandah offered inspiring panoramas over scenic seascapes and landscapes, including the pyramidal cone of Vesuvius in the distance, Monte Faito, part of the Apennine chain, and the glittering lights of Naples across the bay at night.

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Immediately below outside lay six interlinking outdoor pools with generous space around them for sun-beds and general relaxation. The hotel also has a rooftop pool. For those preferring heated indoor swimming facilities, sub-floor C contains both a gym and an elegant bathing area.

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Guests booking an executive room at the Hilton Sorrento Palace enjoy unlimited access to the rooftop ‘Settimo Club Lounge’ where you can sample some of the local wines of Anglianico and Falanghina, as well as a refreshing glass of the world-famous Italian digestive, limoncello.

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