A perfectly central location above the beachside church of Santa Maria Assunta—and an even more perfect entrance through a bougainvillea-draped patio and garden—help make the Murat a top lodging contender. The courtyard (part orchard, part terrace) is one of the most drop-dead-gorgeous settings in Campania—a sublime area for dining alfresco at the Al Palazzo restaurant on dishes created by the accomplished and ambitious chef. The old (18th-century) wing is Positano's
grandest palazzo, once the summer residence of Joachim Murat, King of Naples, with massive limestone walls, carved rococo delicacies, and wrought-iron balconies swimming in pink flowers. The Mediterranean-style new wing, also overlooking the garden, has lovely arches and cool terraces.