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Awe inspiring on the Amalfi Coast....an Albergo "Clash of the Titans"

Awe inspiring on the Amalfi Coast....an Albergo "Clash of the Titans"

Sep 22nd, 2015, 03:56 PM
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Awe inspiring on the Amalfi Coast....an Albergo "Clash of the Titans"

Positano Prologue

This trip was planned as the trip to end all trips to celebrate our 10 year anniversary my upcoming 50th birthday. We almost went to Positano for our honeymoon ten years ago but the logistics of getting there pushed it out of the running, in favor of Maui. Then this trip got rescheduled, as we were to have gone in May but I didn't feel like I could get away from work.

I think we would never have done the trip as well 10 years ago---we weren't Fodorites back then!��

This trip originally was to have been 7 nights at Le Sirenuse in Positano and 3 in Rome at Albergo del Senato but then I saw something on Monastero Santa Rosa and it looked too good to pass up. I went to work on selling Chaz on changing up the "trip of a lifetime" to a bigger, better trip of a lifetime. Not hard to do with some websites "accidentally" left open on an iPad and a little sparkling wine. Mission accomplished and we changed up the schedule a bit, and ended up with 6 nights at Le Sirenuse, 3 at Monastero Santa Rosa and a final night at Albergo del Senato in Rome before flying home. Would the change pay off? Could a renovated monastery compete with the mythical crown jewel of coastal hotels? We shall see.

Next, Naples is a PITA to fly in and out of on Delta, for some reason. We want to be on Delta as all my status is there, we live in Atlanta and I have not heard positive things about Alitalia. We ultimately decided to fly in and out of Rome and take a car to Positano. We just wanted to avoid the schlepping of bags and on to a train into Rome, then to Naples and then a car, bus or boat to Positano....that didn't sound like the trip of a lifetime and we have all seen Trains, Planes and Automobiles! Many recommended Francesco Marrapese and we booked with him from FCO to Positano. We do use miles to get business class...Chaz does not really fit comfortably in a coach seat and well, it's the trip of a lifetime so we had to ride up front. Although we would have to to sit single file as the side by side seats were full (but we catch up on movies on the flight, so not a big deal).

Hotels- check
Plane tickets-check
Car to Positano-check
Activities- not really

We only had a spa afternoon booked ahead of the trip and a wine tasting in Tramonti prior to leaving. This would be the trip of pools, prosecco and pasta and not much else. How would that work out? Dinner reservations? Not many...one the first and last nights at Le Sirenuse. Everyone talked so much about the glowing, candle light of La Sponda, so we had to book that (remember everyone looks better in candle light)!

The countdown began and finally it was time to start checking the weather report and pre-packing (and mentally check out of work by Labor Day weekend)

Next, the trip over and we check into legendary Le Sirenuse.
denisea is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2015, 04:27 PM
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Denisea, have been eagerly awaiting your TR from your AC visit. Will be following along.
tomarkot is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2015, 04:36 PM
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Finally! Can't wait to read this.

I was at the del Senato over Labor Day weekend..
Weekender is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2015, 04:39 PM
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What a great itinerary! Pools, prosecco and pasta - sounds wonderful. Hope it really was the trip of a lifetime. I can only dream of staying at Le Sirenuse. Can't wait to read about your adventures.
john183 is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2015, 04:44 PM
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Looking forward to hearing about your trip of a lifetime.
yestravel is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2015, 06:17 PM
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Waiting for another excellent report from Denisea! Need good data for our third visit to the AC!!

The Santa Rosa looks good!
jelopez33 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 01:39 AM
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The journey begins......finally!

Flight to Rome was easy although we boarded about 30 minutes late. A quick toast and we were on our way. Delta has great business class...as comfortable as you are gonna get on a flight....love the flatbeds! Meal was nice and I caught "Love and Mercy" before catching a little sleep and, boom, we were at FCO. No issues with passport control and found our driver quickly. I remember the driver telling us we could stop at the next exit if we wanted to and then we were climbing. I slept until we were just outside Positano. I got just the scenic part of the drive (pretty good stoke of luck for someone who never sleeps in a car, poor Chaz). We did get some good advice from our driver on avoiding bad limoncello and taking advantage of local seafood and pasta, etc....

We would wind our way through the streets and closer to Shangri La, oops, Le Sirenuse. The scenery was so striking and I could spot the hotel, as the car inched closer through the spiral staircase of a road. But, I was not feeling too perky after the flight and the drive and while I am not prone to motion sickness the curves were getting to me a little bit. I CAN'T be nauseous! I did have the sense that once I got to Le Sirenuse, all would be well. Wouldn't it?


We checked in and our room was not quite ready. They took the bags and we were shown around this elegant, classic hotel. We were left with voucher for a lunch of what ever wanted in the capable hands of Luigi, at the pool. Lunch was a chilly Rose, melon/ prosciutto, caprese salads, pennette pomodorini, seafood/pescatore paccheri. I was still feeling a bit off. The food was beautiful and so good but I couldn't finish mine. The pool and view is just so incredible. It's totally a "pinch me" moment to finally be at Le Sirenuse. I have wanted to stay there for years and I don't know how I ever knew about this hotel. Our room ready just as we finished up. We reported back to the front desk to get our gorgeous brass siren key and we were escorted to the rooms, where the bags had already been deposited.

We had room 61 (on the same floor as the Champagne and Oyster bar, clearly perfect for me, right)? The room was beautiful and overlooked the main beach and church dome. White walls, blue and white tile floors, terrace and the view that looks exactly like the one on the website. We had a large sitting area with a love seat and chaise. Huge bathroom also. We also had a chilled bottle of Prosecco with a huge bowl of fruit and almonds and pistachios on the coffee table. Uh, love it! Our terrace was large enough to hold 2 lounge chairs and a table and two chairs. I felt better somewhere after we got to room (total endorphin rush, I think). They show you everything you need to know about the room (AC. Safe, etc).

Unpacking went well...lots of closet space and drawer space. Nice mini-bar with beautiful glassware. Lots of the hotel's Eau d'Italie scented products ( I broke my vial of the fragrance first thing by dropping it on the counter).

The terrace was calling us. So we decided to sun ourselves and sip prosecco and gawk at the view. Ahhhhh....prosciutto, pasta, pomodorini, pistachios, prosecco in Positano. This does not suck! A little bonus....little tiny hummingbirds that would dart in and sample the jasmine and lantana. These were about a third the size of the hummingbirds we have at home. Well, time to dress and head for the Champagne bar.

As we were getting dressed for dinner, they knocked on the door for turndown. I initially said we didn't need anything but she asked if we didn't want water and a chocolate, so I asked Chaz if he was dressed, he said yes, so I asked her her to come in. This is somewhere around hilarious and slightly awkward and we will blame it on the jet lag, but she is talking to him and I realize that his fly is completely undone and one side of his pants was kinda flapped back. He had no idea and who knows what she was thinking....she never let on and it didn't seem to faze her but I had to tell him to zip it! I was dying laughing....crazy! We managed to get out the door with our clothes on, zipped, buttoned, etc and reported to the terrace bar.

We got seats right in front ....no one in the way of that view. We were super excited to see they had Bruno Paillard Rose (we only see it in Paris) at the bar. Really extraordinary way to start our vacation. They bring out Gaeta olives, salt and pepper chips and Marcona almonds with drinks....all favorites of mine. I can never not nibble on those and they go very well with Champagne! Sunset at Le Sirenuse....all good.

We had dinner reservations at La Sponda. I had looked forward to the candles every where in the dining room. They were lit up but they were seating everyone outside (which is lovely). Another great table up front and a favorite of mine....the champagne cart with one of those Champagne coolers holding several bottles. We chose the
Deutz Rose to start dinner and franciacorta rose to have with dinner. We started with a ricotta stuffed tortellini. Simple but with a super fresh tomato sauce...so good. We shared a whole fish with grilled vegetables. It was quite dark and the poor waiter had to debone the thing mostly in the dark, with an occasional check with a penlight. I think we found one bone in it. I also got in trouble twice for trying to pour my own wine. Kinda funny because he just appeared out of nowhere and said, "I am the waiter". Oops, now I've done it! It's the Amalfi coast, so we had a lemon tart for dessert.
In Classic Italian fashion, La Sponda has a live duo that plays standards and well known Italian songs. We happen to love the Il Volo version of O Solo Mio and as luck would have it, the duo played O Solo Mio at our table. A little limoncello to end and it was off to bed. An excellent first night!
denisea is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 01:59 AM
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Sounds like a dream!!
Judy is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 04:21 AM
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Thanks everyone...always appreciate that anyone is interested enough to read and so many of you have given us some great advice! More later.
denisea is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 04:53 AM
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I popped over here this AM to see if you had started your report, and here it is! Signing on to what I know what will be a great read. Your trip sounds absolutely dreamy. Congrats on your milestones!

P.S. Had never heard of Le Sirenuse, so I just googled it. Not too shabby. ;-)
YankyGal is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 05:59 AM
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A friend and I didn't get to stay there but we had dinner there one night - inside - our table was by the windows with the hills and lights of Positano behidn us. I am not a foodie and have NEVER paid over $100 for a meal but the experience was totally worth it. By the end of the meal the place had emptied out, the musicians came over and asked if we had a request, I said "Volare" and my friend and I started singing with them, the maitre d joined it and there we were, singing Volare at La Sponda. Priceless!!
Vicky is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 07:08 AM
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bmk - not that I'm ever likely to stay at Le Sirens, but I can dream!
annhig is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 08:21 AM
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Great to see your TR, denisea. Can't wait to read more.
TDudette is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 08:25 AM
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Vicky - great story...the staff there is fun! Annhig, nothing wrong with dreaming!!!
denisea is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 08:48 AM
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Great report so far and looking forward to more! I am off to Positano in 3 days!
ekc is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 08:56 AM
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Wonderful start to this TR! We stayed at Albergo California just up the street in May this year. We passed Le Sirenuse many times on our trek between the town and our hotel (don't you just love all those stairs!). Le Sirenuse looks lovely. Our view was very similar - just stunning - both during the day and at night. I'm looking forward to hearing about your restaurant experiences.
bab706 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 09:09 AM
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Delectable--looking forward to more.
bon_voyage is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 11:01 AM
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We stayed at Poseidon - also very nice, great service, made friends with the manager Sonya and the bartender Luigi. Positano was a dream! Denise, I'll bet you did some shopping damage!! (I love your Paris trip reports too) I was enamoured of a shop with very feminine, delicate clothes. CAme back with a pink top with pearls and a very Italian looking aqua dress with crocheted flowers.
Vicky is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 12:00 PM
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As always, I can tell that this is going to be a wonderful trip report, denisea!

I just returned last night from Rome, the AC (in Positano we were across the street at the Residence Alcione), and Capri at the fabulous Hotel Minerva.
LouisaH is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2015, 02:11 PM
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Lucky you. A 50th splurge is well deserved.
(that's what I'm telling my hubby as I hit 50 next year..)
Adelaidean is online now  

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