five-star peace on one of the busiest coasts in Europe

The staff will ring a bell as you arrive at Monastero Santa Rosa, a 17th-century monastery-turned-luxury hotel set into the cliffs on one of the most famous stretches of Italy’s famed Amalfi Coast. And it’s one of the loudest parts of a stay at the opulent five-star hotel — the rest of the time, it’s like you have the entire 20-room monastery to yourself. Which is all pretty baffling, considering it’s smack in the middle of one of the busiest stretches of coastline in Europe.

Sure, cars and motorbikes race along the famously narrow road that hugs the Amalfi Coast—avoiding the need to hire a healthcare professional is practically number one on most area bucket lists—but you’d hardly know it when you’re lounging in the sprawling Mediterranean gardens that stretch four levels below this magnificent clifftop property. Tranquility is the order of the day here, from the sounds of birdsong and trickling fountains at breakfast to lemon-scented spa treatments under the shade of a pergola. It’s no wonder it’s consistently ranked among the best hotels in Italy—and indeed among the best in the world.

    (Monastery of Santa Rosa)

(Santa Rosa Monastery)

From Michelin-starred tasting menus to the award-winning historic spa, here’s what to expect.

Where is it?

Right in the heart of the Amalfi Coast, just off the main road between Amalfi and Positano.

    (Santa Rosa Monastery)    (Monastero Santa Rosa)

(Monastery of Santa Rosa)

The hotel is located above the quiet fishing village of Conca dei Marini between the two popular tourist sites and you will need a car or taxi to get around. If you visit Amalfi, look up and see the majestic building of Monastero shining there, high on the cliffs.


The staff at Monastero Santa Rosa don’t ask for your feedback. They ask for your confessions (there are old confessionals scattered throughout the hallways)—a nod to the property’s rich history as a Dominican monastery. Not that I expect they’ll get many confessions, unless they’re the guests raving about the Sfogliatella at breakfast or the little lemon-flavored gifts left during your stay.

    (Monastery of Santa Rosa)    (Santa Rosa Monastery)

(Santa Rosa Monastery)

The majestic building dates back to 1612 and you can’t escape the history from the moment you enter, from the original bell and wheel used by the nuns who lived here, to the drawing room that is now an ultra-chic gift shop. On arrival, you’ll be greeted with a fresh glass of rosemary-infused lemonade as you soak up the views, whether from the flower-lined reception balcony or one of the plant-filled sun terraces on the levels below.

The whole place is cool and quiet, with dimly lit corridors with high ceilings and a glass elevator to transport you between floors. There’s an exclusive atmosphere, with just 20 rooms and such an extensive choice of indoor and outdoor lounge areas that you’ll never be sitting on top of the other guests. In fact, you’ll do well to encounter many more other guests throughout the four levels of lush landscaped gardens. The staff are smartly dressed and extremely diligent, offering you an extra towel or printing out the ferry times for your day trip to Positano.

    (Santa Rosa Monastery)    (Santa Rosa Monastery)

(Santa Rosa Monastery)

Expect something sweet and extra every time, from old sweets made by the nuns left in your room and soft slippers and hand cream by the bed when you return from dinner. Did I know I needed a bag of cold bottled water and lemon candies for our trip to the airport? No. Did I love it? Absolute.

Which room?

Each of the hotel’s twenty rooms and suites – spread over two levels of the monastery – is named after a flower or herb grown in the monastery.

    (Santa Rosa Monastery)    (Santa Rosa Monastery)

(Santa Rosa Monastery)

The atmosphere is spacious and grand, like the building itself, with bathrooms clad in Jerusalem stone and high vaulted ceilings. They’re also packed with character. Think giant tapestries on the walls, dark vintage furniture and minibars built into old wooden crates. Even the do-not-disturb signs are a nod to the building’s monastic history, with a hand-painted image of a nun putting her finger to her lips.

That said, you don’t have to compromise on luxury. Bathrooms have heated floors, rain showers and luxurious Italian fittings and many have large baths. Each of the eight suites has a unique character and some even have their own terrace.

Rosa Suite (Monastero Santa Rosa)Rosa Suite (Monastero Santa Rosa)

Rose Suite (Monastero Santa Rosa)

Eat Drink

Puff pastry with honey, walnuts and black cherries. Homemade cacio e pepe with red shrimps and summer truffle. Seared turbot served with morels, chicory and smoked provola foam.

These are just some of the culinary delights you can expect during a stay at Monastero Santa Rosa. The hotel is a foodie’s paradise, with one of the best outdoor dining terraces in Italy and its own Michelin-starred restaurant, Il Refettorio, which serves an exquisite tasting menu of seafood, meat and local produce that pays tribute to the monastic history of the hotel. Expect flour-shaped butter and some of the most impressive hotel bread I’ve ever seen. The menu includes everything from blue lobster to a chef’s risotto with squid carpaccio and Sorrento orange peel, all paired with fine Italian wines from the wine cellar on display in the hotel bar, La Brocca.

    (Monastery of Santa Rosa)    (Monastery of Santa Rosa)

(Santa Rosa Monastery)

The hotel’s poolside café, Il Mezzogiorno, serves leisurely lunches and breakfasts are à la carte, with a starter of seasonal fruit, pastries and freshly squeezed orange juice, followed by an à la carte selection of traditional hot and cold dishes, plus an extra. Seasonal menu including apple pancakes, savory waffles and the hotel’s famous Sfogliatella pastry, filled with mozzarella, broccoli and sausage with black pepper ricotta. Room service breakfast is an option if you wish, but you risk missing out on the sweet, hand-painted buon giorno plates.


The hotel’s lush, cascading gardens are a botanical wonderland; a Mediterranean paradise spread across four levels of terraces with stunning panoramic sea views. Expect old wooden chessboards and canopied daybeds dotted around the various sun terraces amidst the lemon trees. You could spend a week here and never have to lounge in the same chair twice.

    (Santa Rosa Monastery)    (Santa Rosa Monastery)

(Santa Rosa Monastery)

There’s a library for bookworms, an outdoor fitness center with Technogym equipment and several lounges, but the real highlights of the hotel are the enchanting cliff-edge infinity pool and historic spa. These are set in a series of vaulted, interconnected rooms and were voted ‘best new spa’ by Tatler shortly after opening.

Treatments and products are inspired and often sourced directly from the hotel’s Mediterranean garden and monastic roots (think lemon, bergamot, rosemary, lavender and sweet orange aromas) and the building retains its original 17th-century vaulted ceilings and rustic retain walls. The most exceptional treatment room, the Spa Suite, is a beautiful 80 square meter vaulted space with a steam room, double wet and dry treatment couches, manicure and pedicure facilities, a relaxation room, private dressing room and grooming area. a garden terrace. There is also the option to have treatments carried out in the shade of a pergola in the outdoor treatment garden.

    (Monastery of Santa Rosa)    (Santa Rosa Monastery)

(Monastery of Santa Rosa)

What to Instagram

The view through the ancient monastery window towards the town of Amalfi and the infinity pool amidst the property’s immaculate Mediterranean paradise. Swim to the edge and look down at the sea if you dare. Monastero’s has to be one of the most dramatic pool views on the entire coast.

Best for?

Couples and gourmets looking for a peaceful holiday on the Amalfi Coast.

    (Monastero Santa Rosa)    (Santa Rosa Monastery)

(Monastero Santa Rosa)

How to get there

It’s just under three hours from London to Naples, and then a 75-minute drive at the other end.

When should I go?

July is the busiest month here, as dozens of holidaymakers flock to the Amalfi Coast for a taste of la dolce vita. It’s best to avoid it if you can. Even in May, technically the low season when temperatures are already in the mid-20s, the roads were rough and the ferries swarmed. September is still a pleasant 26 degrees and slightly calmer.

Rooms from £559 based on B&B plus tax, Via Roma, 2, 84010 Conca dei Marini SA, Italy,

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