The next stop on our Honeymoon was Santa Margherita, Italy followed by a few nights in Portofino. This was hands down the highlight of our trip and if I had to pick, it was the portion I was most looking forward to. Paris is a lot of going non stop – you walk for hours and sort of feed off of the city, but being in coastal Italy is a complete change of pace. It felt like a true respite. Since we have not been able to travel for so long the goal of this trip was the city, the beach and finally the country to get a taste of everything. It was such a perfect combination and I loved having Italy right in the middle. This post is much more of a visual diary with notes on the hotels we stayed at since we didn’t really do anything. The only piece of mention which completely made this trip was renting a boat for a half day. In Santa Margherita they allow you to drive your own boat (which is amazing) so we did this on a whim. I didn’t even have my camera with me (just my phone), but being out on the water is both of our happy place so to be able to explore on our own and anchor in Portofino felt like an actual dream. We were able to swim off the boat and see the coastline from a completely new perspective. I can not recommend this enough and for around $300 (US) this was worth every penny and actually seemed fairy inexpensive for the experience.
The charming entrance to Hotel Blu Di Te
Every detail is better than the next at the Belmond Splendido
I recommend making the trek up to Castello Brown for stunning views of Portofino harbor
Where We Stayed
Originally, our plan was to visit Portofino only and stay at the famous Belmond Splendido Hotel (our big splurge of the trip). However when we started looking at prices this seemed out of budget so we decided to split our time between Santa Margherita Ligure (the next town up) and Portofino. From Paris, we flew to Nice and then took the coastal train to the station at Santa Margherita. I was originally planning on taking a flight from Paris – Genoa and then taking a train, but with COVID many of the smaller flights are not available anymore. This ended up working great and I love taking the train to see more of the country, especially the views on the coast.
In Santa Margherita we stayed at the Hotel Blu Di Te. I can not say enough good things about this charming boutique hotel. The interior is incredible, filled with vintage odds and ends that you wouldn’t expect in this seaside town and it is walking distance to everything. Their breakfast spread, which is included in the room rate is one of the best I have seen and the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful with recommendations on more local restaurants. Plus it is much more affordable than some of the five star hotels!
For the second half our trip we headed to Portofino to stay at the Belmond Splendido. This hotel really lives up to its hype and is by far the nicest hotel I have stayed in. Even during Covid and a thunderstorm – everything here was perfect! The rich history and ambiance the hotel provides almost feels like you are stepping back in time. It is quite expensive, but was truly a once in a lifetime experience and something I will remember forever. Their food is delicious and they have a live piano player nightly, playing all my oldie favorites. There are 70 rooms in this hotel, so just about every one has a stunning view. Walking up and opening our windows to look out at the sea was all so magical.
The view from our room at The Belmond Splendido and beautiful details everywhere like this hand door knocker