5-Star Hotel Guide


Italy's sparkling riviera


5-star hotel guide to Liguria

Liguria and its famous coastline, known as 'the Italian Riviera', is the perfect segway between France's Côte d'Azur and Tuscany, best explored with a road trip that links the luxury hotels of Antibes, Cannes, Nice and Monaco with their Italian cousins.

Ventimiglia is the gateway to Liguria, famous for its beaches, crystal clear sea and the coastal road that takes you east and then south to San Remo, Genoa and La Spezia, before hitting the Tuscan coast. This route is a joy to drive and a favourite for supercar tours, where bellowing Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens orchestrate mechanical symphonies through the many twists and tunnels.

There are numerous seaside towns to stop off and enjoy, including Sestri Levante and the 5 towns of the Cinq Terre; Monterosso, Vernaza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, which are actually best explored by boat.

South of Genoa - and not far from the Cinq Terre - you will find our favourite spot on the Italian Riviera. Portofino is a totally charming Ligurian fishing village with pastel-hued houses and a cobbled Piazetta hugging the pretty port, where super yachts now outnumber the traditional wooden fishing boats. Perched high above the port, Belmond Hotel Splendido is an opulent, yet timeless 5-star luxury hideaway and a favourite for many discerning luxury explorers, including our very own travel editor, who revisited this year and confirmed it is more splendid than ever. This is a place you have to stay at least once in your lifetime, preferably many times. Hotel Splendido is a dreamy peaches and cream Ligurian retreat, that is in a class of its own when you are in the mood for a little languide Italian indulgence, with a splash of la dolce vita.

Beyond Portofino, Liguria is full of history, mystery and tradition, plus a beautiful coastline that begs to be explored.