Mediterranean Oasis: The Grand Hotel Miramare

When deciding where to stay in the Italian Riviera, think like a real estate agent, “location, location, location.” Imagine standing on a private balcony enjoying the cool sea breeze of the Gulf of Tigullio and the panoramic views of coastal Italy. Picture waking up and walking out onto a terrace to see Mediterranean style buildings, fisherman preparing their boats, million dollar yachts in the port, and families playing on the beach. Take a breath of fresh air, mingled with the aromas of caramelized Italian cappuccino and homemade marmalade filled croissants. Welcome to The Grand Hotel Miramare!

Santa Margherita, Italy The Grand Hotel Miramare is a historic award winning 4 Star Hotel, in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. Your imagination becomes reality as the Italian word miramare means panoramic view. The white fresco building, dating back to 1904, with aqua marine shutters, can be seen for miles off land. The front façade and its floral décor are not the only features that leave a lasting impression; the engaging staff, elegant accommodations, delicious meals, and a strong historical presence make this hotel the preferred lodging location in the area.

Hotel Miramare: Pesto alla GenoveseTemperate weather of the Mediterranean brings guests to the city of Santa Margherita Ligure, a seaside resort in the Province of Genoa. Located in Northwestern Italy, foreign visitors are drawn by its geographical proximity to popular locations in France and Tuscany. Locals and visitors from afar come to Santa Margherita Ligure, which is easily accessible by car, train, boat, and plane. Clientele of The Grand Hotel Miramare visit the Basilica of Santa Margherita that dates back to 1968, and the neighboring city of Portofino; they attend cultural events, and jazz and classical music festivals. Water lovers jump into sailing, rowing, boating, and diving into the fabulous emerald green waters of the area. Then, if time and energy permit, there is walking, hiking, running, horseback riding, tennis and golf as well. The hotel staff is certain to recommend the Circolo Golf and Tennis Rappallo, one of the finest golf courses in all of Italy.

Hotelier, charming gentleman, and city socialite, Andrea Fustononi, stops by the front desk and greets guests “Buongiorno!” creating an intimate family hotel atmosphere. It is inspiring that this highly successful owner of one of the oldest grand lodging destinations on the Italian Riviera, preserves the intimacy and charm of the family owned hotel by personally greeting his guests.

When the activities of the day draw down, weary tourists and sports enthusiasts return to the care of the resort’s personnel, who greet them by name and immediately propose a relaxation filled evening of pampering and in-house dining sure to give the mind, body, and palate an unique and pleasurable experience.

Hotel Miramare: RestaurantTrust the gentle hands of the professionals at e’SPAce, a richly jewel hued indoor full service spa retreat. e’SPAce also extends massage services to clients in a peaceful outdoor gazebo retreat in the Great Park, amid the lush greenery, oleanders, camellias, lavender and other aromatics. Ready to wind down, but still awestruck by the outside views, then dress appropriately, that would be swimwear, and stroll to the Mediterranean Garden, where the patron, spellbound by the views of flora, fauna, mountains, and the gulf, favor unwinding in a poolside lounger, while sipping a refresher from the pool bar, or taking a dip in the saltwater swimming pool.

Conclude the day with an enchanting dinner at Ristorante Les Bougainvillées. The stark white stucco against the contrast of intricate fresco paintings on the ceiling creates a classical Italian aura. The dining room is a formal setting, but diners may choose to dress at a level of formality that suits their style. Regardless, the service of the wait staff is warm and diligent to all guests. The menu of Les Bougainvillées features the traditional cuisines of Ligure including Trofie pasta, Focaccia Recco and the exceptional Pesto alla Genovese, made with the light buttery tasting olives of the Ligure region.

Patrons retire to the comforts of their private space decorated in hues of pale white, blue and grey. Renovated old world luxury waits in the oversized rooms showcasing delicate refined furniture and minimal fanfare. Unwind after the nightly turn down preparations have been completed and slippers set out.

Hotel Miramare RoomWhat makes The Grand Hotel Miramare so special? It is an exquisite establishment perfectly positioned in a stunning location. Genuine conversation with management and personnel exemplifies unwavering commitment to excellence in the patron’s experience. Get superb recommendations from Andrea Fustononi about anything in the city, whether local attractions or a community staple, like Seghezzo, the 100 year old family owned grocery store. Guests are impressed by the personal attention and consideration given to them, and like countless other annual lodgers, look forward to their next stay at The Grand Hotel Miramare.

~ Words & photos by Kaylah Burks, an athlete, who enjoys traveling the world while staying health conscious. Follow her on Instagram@jadenlie

Book your stay now through TripAdvisor

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.48.06 PM

Postcard Views of Portofino

Portofino is a small fishing village located on the Tyrrenian Sea in the Liguria region of Italy. Known for its picturesque harbor, it is a famous destination for vacationers and celebrity residents on the Italian Riviera.

portofino photo

Portofino does not have an airport or train station. I highly recommend arriving by boat or bus, although you can also walk or drive to it. Hourly ferries run from neighboring towns, ferry services from Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, Rapallo, Chiavari, Lavagna, Sestri Levante to Portovenere and Cinqueterre and to Genoa’s port. From the water, you can get an extraordinary 360 perspective of the colorful building along the harbor.

portofino

Although the port itself is quite commercial, the backdrop of colorful buildings leaning onto each other and the turquoise blue waters adds a magical appearance to the landscape. Some would call it a “tourist trap” as there are lots of expensive restaurants, bars and shops alongside the port. In my opinion, you go to Portofino to admire its beautiful architecture and scenery, not to get an authentic meal.

portofino3

Spend some time taking the stairs up to Castello Brown on one end and Church of St. Martin (Divo Martino) on the other. Walking through narrow cobblestone alleys with perfumed gardens are great ways to explore the old town and get away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. On the way, you will come across many photo opportunities.

portofino2

Another good walk is through the gardens of Hotel Splendido, located at the top of the hill in a cozy corner. Visitors can enjoy the view from the property for free, but if you want to stay around to have a lunch or cocktails, be prepared to bring your credit card.

portofino1

There are cheaper and local snacking options that are native to the region. When in Liguria, you have to try the Focaccia alla Genovese, a flat bread baked with olive oil, salt and herbs (such as rosemary). Although the flavors are simple, the freshness of the ingredients makes it hard to resist munching through many squares of the bread.

portofino6Paciugo is an Italian Riviera sundae found especially in Portofino. A few restaurants seems to carry this sweet concoction of vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet, mixed with fresh whipped cream, strawberries and stewed cherries. It’s definitely worth 12 Euros for a cup!

portofino5

Click here to read more on traveling in Italy.

Listen to the song Love in Portofino by Andrea Bocelli. 

Book your stay at Hotel Splendido