A gorgeous extravaganza with Gothic, Arabic, Oriental, and even Las Vegas influences, Il Saraceno occupies a cliff 3 km (2 miles) from Amalfi (its official address) and just steps from Conca dei Marini. Bordering on kitsch, the exotic decor, which pays homage to the Saracen pirates who roamed this coast centuries ago, begins with the lobby's museum-quality 19th-century Orientalist oil paintings and antiques. Mosaic floors, elaborate antique lighting fixtures, a medieval
warrior in full armor, and gilded murals are among the other evocative design accents in the public areas, and guest rooms have crown-molded ceilings, rich colors, antiques, and terraces with floor-to-ceiling window panoramas. The hotel maintains a private Romanesque stone chapel, and garden terraces, illuminated at night, descend the entire hillside to the enormous private beach and its saltwater pool. Whew.