Hotel Santa Caterina: The Ultimate Amalfi Splurge

| Mon, 12/11/2023 - 06:30
Terrace at Hotel Santa Caterina

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

Decadence and comfort run deep in the roots of this cliffside hotel on the Amalfi Coast, but constant adaptation, high-touch service and a growing collection of private villas are what keep it in the spotlight. 

What to expect

Interiors at Hotel Santa Caterina
Interiors at Hotel Santa Caterina

The vertical layout at Santa Caterina provides guests with privacy and enchanting sea views. Every room feels like a suite and a historic glass elevator delivers you down to the water’s edge at the beach club, where you may spot some fellow guests disembarking at the private dock.

Consider that Santa Caterina is one of Italy’s finest hotels in a coveted destination, which means even the shoulder seasons are a splurge, and high season rates are astronomical.


In 1904, Santa Caterina opened with just six rooms, and for the last century, it has remained under the loving care of the Gambardella family. Operating with a historic gravitas, this grand hotel’s consistent delivery of luxury, comfort and grandeur has earned it a star-studded guestbook over the years.

Location, location, location

Views at Hotel Santa Caterina
Views at Hotel Santa Caterina

Amalfi is a coastal village that has never gone out of fashion, and while it’s smaller than Positano, there’s much more history and culture here than in its more famous counterpart. You’ll stay outside the busy center, but shuttles are readily available. For an authentic walking tour from a true local, ask for Michelangelo.

Where you’ll sleep

Suite at Hotel Santa Caterina
Suite at Hotel Santa Caterina

The hotel offers over 60 rooms including its large suites and expansive villas that boast private perks like infinity suites and ivy-clad outdoor showers. I stayed in the main building in an Executive Partial Sea View Double Room that overlooked the garden from my bougainvillea-fringed terrace. Covered in hand-painted blue and yellow tiles, it felt like a private apartment with a small living area, but the showstopper was the full-sized soaking tub and rain shower.

Dining & drinks 

You can take the elevator down to Al Mare for al fresco dining in a nature-inspired setting, or go for the varied tasting menu at the Michelin-starred Glicine. In the morning the wisteria-themed setting of the restaurant hosts a lavish breakfast spread rich in a variety sure to satisfy palates from around the world. Head to the lobby bar for aperitivo and to try the bartender’s signature Bellini, which might just be the freshest you’ve ever tasted.

Service notes

Property at Hotel Santa Caterina
Aerial view of Hotel Santa Caterina

Expect a five-star level of service with attentive staff ready to warmly greet you at every turn. As a favorite among celebrities (from the Kardashians to tech barons), the hotel is used to accommodating special requests for privacy and extravagance.

Spa time 

The spa facilities are on the smaller side with just two treatment rooms, but there’s a wide array of services available. The signature treatment is the Amalfi Gold massage that will leave you smelling of fresh lemons, Amalfi’s emblematic fruit.

Family perks

Children are welcome at Santa Caterina, but there are no special packages or nanny services. However, the saltwater pool that sits parallel to the sea may appeal to families with smaller children. Floaties and noodles are also readily available.

You should know...

Shuttle service into Amalfi is complimentary, but you can also arrange transfers and tours to various locations along the coast. The hotel closes for the season between November and March, but an off-season visit in October or March can be just as lovely (and less expensive) and you may still get lucky with good swimming weather in the late fall.


  • The hotel has an elevator.

Features & amenities

  • Waterfront
  • Seaside 
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Parking (free) 
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • Garden
  • Fitness room


Hotel Santa Caterina
S.S. Amalfitana, 9, Amalfi 
Tel. +39 089871012