“Heaven... I’m in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak…” Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s classic song ‘Cheek to Cheek’ could well have been written about Belmond Hotel Splendido. Such is its magical air of romance—from the twinkling stars above the moonlit ocean to the swaying palms around the hotel.
In fact, the hotel’s official serenade is the lilting 1958 ballad ‘Love in Portofino’ by Italian vocalist Fred Buscaglione. It was inspired by Belmond Hotel Splendido’s most celebrated lovers, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. When the pair escaped here on a break from filming Cleopatra in Rome, Burton proposed to Taylor on the wisteria-covered terrace of their suite. Taylor adored the hotel, and the couple subsequently returned, time and again, to stay in Bungalow Five.
Portofino village itself is irresistibly pretty, perched on the coast of Italy’s smallest region, Liguria. Surrounded by lush greenery, pastel-washed houses cluster like petit fours around an impossibly blue cove. You’ll find Belmond Hotel Splendido up on the verdant hillside, its location offering spectacular views of Portofino and the Gulf of Tigullio. Garlanded in dazzling wysteria, this 16th-century former monastery first opened its doors as a hotel in 1901. It offers relaxed luxury on an unparallelled level. For those feeling the call of the sea, Belmond Splendido Mare is a ten-minute stroll from the main hotel and set on the vibrant piazzetta overlooking the harbour.
This truly is la dolce vita. Swim and sunbathe by our generous saltwater pool or don tennis whites for a match on the beautiful tennis courts. Stretch out at our acclaimed spa or head outside and unwind in the sauna, shaded by the flora.
Of course, eating well is part of the Italian experience, and Belmond Hotel Splendido offers exceptional cuisine. At our renowned open-air restaurant La Terraza, chef Corrado Corti works wonders with regional seafood and pasta specialities. At Belmond Splendido Mare, Chuflay restaurant offers an atmosphere of pure Golden Age glamour. We’ll admit, Spaghetti à la Elizabeth Taylor remains a favourite among diners.
Those wishing to explore this area of extraordinary beauty may like to take a nature walk, kayak around the bay, or even go scuba diving. Or perhaps you’d like to visit Genoa’s hidden boutiques and find a singular, stylish souvenir. Whichever way you choose to enjoy Portofino, let the hotel gather you in its embrace when you return. Our favorite way to start the evening? Sipping an aperitif in the cool, sophisticated cocktail bar.
In a word: Heaven.Explore Belmond Hotel Splendido