23 Jan Hotels We Love: Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Spending your holiday in a former convent may seem a bit buttoned up—that is, until you experience Monastero Santa Rosa on Italy’s famous Amalfi coast. This incredible 17th-century monastery-turned-hotel offers all the peaceful seclusion once enjoyed by the sisters, and absolutely none of the personal sacrifices.
>>> See Compass & Passport’s Condé Nast Traveler feature on Monestero Santa Rosa.
>>> See Compass & Passport’s Cool Hunting feature on Monestero Santa Rosa.
A painstaking 10-year renovation by owner Bianca Sharma turned this cliff top convent into a hotel and spa that’s quite far from monastic.
To wit: The nun’s simple cells were cleverly rejiggered into 20 distinctive suites; a cavernous spa fills the sisters’ former winery; and a cascade of cantilevered gardens flow into a beautiful infinity pool set 660 feet above the sea. And yet the resort’s building retains the look of the original monastery. “I felt very strongly that as a landmark, it should be preserved,” Sharma told us. “I wanted to keep that sense of how the nuns lived.”
We’re pretty sure the nuns never felt as pampered and cared for as we did.
Here’s the experience in short: The chiming of the old monastery bell marks your arrival. Like magic, a drink of home-grown chamomile, lemongrass, and mint is offered, along with a cool towel. You’re toured quickly through the multi-level property, (mouth agape when you see the distinctive cliff edge infinity pool), then shown to your suite—which is piled with fresh fruit.
The decor is a delicate blend of past-meets-present: 17th-century antiques, Italian-sourced furniture, and abstract artwork, much of it hand-picked by Sharma. Each room has the feel of a genteel Italian residence, and the creature comforts to match. Soft robes, slippers, and extra blankets fill the closet, high-end Italian tolietries line the deep tub and gorgeous shower, and sweets appear at turndown.
Room service can be called to places besides your room (the tough-to-leave sunset terrace, for instance) and at the pool, attendants thoughtfully offer on-the-house snacks in the afternoon. Oh, and when leave it’s with a gift, such as the hotel’s signature dried pasta and a simple recipe from the on-site restaurant’s chef.
In a word: Wow.
And—as if there weren’t enough gasp-inducing escapes within the hotel already—the Monestero’s luxe spa is a destination unto itself. Designed within a space once devoted to wine-making and silent mediation is a 750-foot thermal suite available to all guests. Within there’s a succession of sequential treatment areas, including vaulted Roman-style baths, a rock sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy pool, whirlpool footbaths, ice fountain—even programmable showers. “Most guests come every day of their stay,” Sharma told us.
We followed suit.(We only wish we could have captured it in photos as well!)
After whiling away the hours on these sacred grounds, one of our favorite moments occurred just before we (reluctantly) left: An unexpected invitation to “unburden our souls” at the large antique wooden confessional unobtrusively placed in a corner of the Monestero’s main hall. Here we cheekily “made a confession”—leaving feedback for the staff by way of a rolled scroll.
Monestero Santa Rosa is located in the town of Conca dei Marini on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Nightly room and suite rates range from $500 to $2,400.
Keep scrolling for even more photographs of this incredible hotel and spa.