Destination: Italy: Capri
Opened in 1995 next door to the Scalinatella (both are owned by the same family), Casa Morgano is the hip little sister property whose design scheme is a touch more understated and minimalist than the antiques-heavy one next door. The twenty-seven rooms, most done in a blue-and-white palette, come with dark-wood furniture, flat-screen TVs and bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. There’s a nice terrace with upholstered wicker furniture and grand vistas, as well as a small plunge pool that was added in 2008. Splurge on a Deluxe or a Junior Suite (at €570, almost the same rate for the smallest-category room at the Scalinatella); all the rooms come with terra-cotta-tile seaview terraces where breakfast is served. Like the Scalinatella, Casa Morgano doesn’t have an official restaurant (a chef prepares tasty lunches), but Capri town is just a ten-minute walk away. Rooms from €380 ($600).
The Morgano family owns four hotels on the island, including the Quisisana and Casa Morgano, but one suspects that the Scalinatella is the little gem that everyone secretly loves the best. Opened in 1965, the Scalinatella (the name means “little stairway,” referring to the hotel’s terraced setting) has just thirty rooms, each of which has a unique layout and design scheme. What the rooms share is a look and feel that’s totally Capri, with tiled floors in bold patterns and colors, eclectic furnishings, including lots of antiques (Pina Morgano, the wife of the owner, is responsible for the decor) and terraces with views across fragrant gardens and toward the sea. Chances are you’ll spend more time outdoors than indoors, so ask for a room with a large terrace, like Number 53. Located along Via Tragara, Capri’s prettiest street, where many of the island’s most spectacular villas are found, the Scalinatella is the perfect summer hideaway: close enough to town so that you feel part of the action but far enough removed that you can also spend a peaceful afternoon by the small pool or in the privacy of your terrace.
There’s a small new gym addition (with excellent views from the elliptical), and guests get preferred booking times at the Quisi Club Spa—it’s all in the family, after all. The one criticism I heard about the Scalinatella during my stay on Capri was that due to its size and huge number of repeat visitors (during July and August, rooms are booked a year in advance), the hotel can feel clubby and exclusive, especially to first-time visitors. So bring along a group of friends and get adjacent rooms, like Numbers 67 and 68, which share an enormous terrace with panoramic vistas. Rooms from €540 ($852).
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