Luxury Explorer Review

Luxury Villa Review

Villa Astor

Italy, Amalfi Coast

A private paradise on the Amalfi Coast

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Villa Astor
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Villa Astor

Bedrooms

6

Sleeps

12

Location

A short stroll from Marina Grande, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast

Travel Information

Transfer by car or by private boat charter from Naples airport

Top Tips

Visit Marina del Cantone, a truly secret gem only reached by boat

X-Factors

The views, the terraces, the food! Paradise on the Amalfi Coast

Villa Astor

Villa Astor has a long and illustrious history. It was acquired in 1905 by William Waldorf Astor, then American ambassador to Italy and also one of the world's wealthiest men, who filled it with classical and Renaissance treasures to reflect his taste for the very best of everything.

Today, following a complete restoration, it is, once again, the finest private luxury villa on Italy's majestic Amalfi Coast. As you might imagine, over the years, Villa Astor has welcomed illustrious guests including, during the 1970's, Gregory Peck, Sofia Loren, Princess Margaret, Franco Zeffirelli, Gianni Agnelli and Rudolf Nureyev to name a handful, ensuring its reputation for exquisite entertainment. There is even a new book - Villa Astor: Paradise Restored on the Amalfi Coast, by Curt DiCamillo (US $65) - with photographs of lavish receptions and famous guests lounging in and around the house.

Its new owner has restored the villa to the highest uber-luxury standards, with a no-expense-spared approach under the direction of one of our favourite designers, Jacques Garcia (of Maison Souquet, La Mamounia and Hôtel Metropole Monaco fame), who has considered every detail and added some bold contemporary flourishes which will stand the test of time.

Majestically positioned

Villa Astor is majestically positioned on a limestone cliff with legendary 180 degree views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. It was this view that captured William Waldorf Astor's heart, along with every subsequent visitor. Utterly private, set in its own estate, the villa is only a stroll to Marina Grande or the old town of Sorrento on the northern coast of the Sorrento peninsula. With its own 'pontille' or dock, private boat charters can whisk you away to Naples, Capri, Ischia, Positano or Amalfi and beyond.

For cultural exploring, head for Pompeii or Herculaneum and for a 'view of the gods' there are stunning cliff top walks. The best restaurant on the peninsula, Dom Alphonso, is a short drive away at Sant'Agata.

Paradise restored

Back at the villa, there are gorgeous salons housing Astor's collection of art and antiquities, leading onto spectacular balconies and terraces. Upstairs, there are six sumptuous bedroom suites, accommodating up to 12 guests in utter luxury, each featuring Garcia's trade mark rich fabrics, restored wall and ceiling frescoes and spectacular marble bathrooms. In the crimson master suite, frescoes, drapes by Verel de Belval and vases by Meissen complete the scene.

Five full-time staff look after every whim or fancy, including a gastronomic chef who prepares Michelin-star-like banquets in the 1,000 sq ft kitchen and Grazia, a local Sorrentina, who has been in service at the villa for 35 years, who cooks-up fantastically fresh local cuisine with typical warm local hospitality.

The terraces are places to contemplate the show-stopping views, but also to enjoy fabulous meals together, with the mesmerising backdrop of the sea and far horizon changing every few minutes.

Magical gardens

Two hectares of magical botanical gardens are in blossom and bloom from April through to October with a remarkable collection of over one thousand species, including agapanthus, orchids and rare exotic flora. There are many panoramic viewpoints dotted around the gardens, as well as a dining table for 8 under an old wisteria-shaded pergola. Then there is a "faux-Pompeiian" 'hortus conclusus' (enclosed garden) called "Villa Florus" build by Astor, with fragments of Roman sarcophagi dating back thousands of years from his own collection. A path takes you down to the private waterfront, where you find a natural 'grotte' carved into the cliff complete with a Roman 'nimfe'. There is also a private 'pontile' for swimming and this also where you embarking on your waterborne adventures.

Without doubt, the finest villa on the Amalfi Coast

Villa Astor combines deeply traditional Italian-style with contemporary 5-star luxury. It is, once again, without doubt, the best place on the Amalfi Coast to celebrate unforgettable occasions with close family, or a few very special friends, in a very private paradise.



Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer