Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria: A 190-Year-Old Stunner Overlooking the Bay of Sorrento

| Mon, 05/27/2024 - 02:00
Gate entrance at Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento
Entry gate at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

Ed.: The Inspired Stays series highlights hotels we love around Italy. Each property is independently reviewed by an Italy Magazine writer, who is generally hosted on a complimentary basis. Our contributors do not accept compensation or gifts in exchange for specific types of coverage. We only showcase properties we would genuinely recommend overall.

Why we love it 

One of Italy’s most storied grande dames, the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria opened in 1834 and has been continuously run by the Fiorentino family for 190 years. A haven for generations of well-heeled travelers, it’s the antidote to corporate hotels; it’s got soul.

What to expect

This hotel makes a grand first impression as you turn off the main piazza and approach via a long driveway flanked by gardens. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, this is a place where traditional elegance reigns supreme, where breakfast is served in a frescoed salon and guests sip Martinis on the terrace overlooking the Bay of Sorrento or on original Art Nouveau chairs by Ernesto Basile in the winter garden. Staying here feels like traveling back in time to a gentler era.


View of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
The waterfront perch of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

The Fiorentino family opened the hotel in 1834 and named it in honor of Queen Victoria of Sweden, one of many royal guests to visit over the years. There are suites dedicated to Princess Margaret, famed tenor Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti and Lucio Dalla, who all stayed here. The hotel has survived two world wars, an earthquake and Covid; today, it thrives thanks to the hard work and dedication of fifth-generation hotelier Guido Fiorentino, his wife Ornella and their sons Luca and Peter.

Location, location, location 

The hotel is perfectly positioned in the heart of Sorrento, considered the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. The city’s historic center is right outside the gates and an elevator is ready to whisk you down to the port where ferries depart for Naples, Capri and Amalfi. Sorrento gets very busy in the high season, but the hotel is a tranquil escape from the crowds.

Where you’ll sleep

Classic Deluxe room at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
Classic Deluxe room at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

The hotel’s 80 rooms and suites are decorated with antiques and have marble bathrooms outfitted with the hotel’s custom bath products. My Deluxe Sea View room had an antique dressing table with a mirror, two plush armchairs facing the window with views of the bay, and a headboard featuring an Art Nouveau design. Some of the top suites have design elements like hand-painted tile floors, clawfoot tubs, fireplaces and spacious terraces.

Dining & drinks

I loved having sfogliatella and a cappuccino for breakfast in the sumptuously frescoed Vittoria room in the mornings and eating a classic club sandwich at Terrazza Vittoria. For casual poolside dining, there’s L’Orangerie, but the real star is the Michelin-starred Terrazza Bosquet, which serves gourmet tasting menus that elevate local recipes. Bar Vittoria serves cocktails made using herbs from the property’s garden. New this year is La Pergola, the Champagne bar at the entrance just off Piazza Tasso.

Service notes 

Guido Fiorentino and family are very present, greeting and chatting with guests and making sure everything is running smoothly (which it always does). Many staff members have been working here for years and take great pride in their work. It’s true southern Italian hospitality at its finest.

Spa time

La Serra Boutique Spa is a small but lovely spa in the 19th-century greenhouse, which has three treatment rooms, one of which has a Jacuzzi. Guests can also relax at the outdoor pool.

Family perks

Kids of all ages are welcome here and pampered with amenities including child-sized bathrobes, plush toys, pastels and coloring books. There’s a separate kids pool and a grassy playground with an area for playing soccer.

You should know...

Enrico Caruso piano
Enrico Caruso piano at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

The Fiorentino family has impeccable taste, so it’s always a good idea to trust their recommendations for what to see and do in Sorrento. On my trip, I fell in love with the atelier that makes the inlaid wooden boxes at the hotel and brought home a beautiful box for my home.


  • The hotel has an elevator.

Features & amenities

sala musica
Sala Musica at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
  • Seaside setting with access to city
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Free parking
  • Pool
  • Spa 
  • Fitness room 
  • Pets allowed 
  • Family friendly


Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria 
Piazza Torquato Tasso 34, Sorrento
Tel. +39 0818777111