Hotel Residence ★★

Room in Hotel Residence, Amalfi. (Photo by managment)

One of the Secret Hotels of the Amalfi Coast, these moderately-priced (and occasionally frescoed) rooms with a view are hidden in plain sight between the cathedral and the port

Sometimes, a secret is hidden in plain sight. The blandly named Hotel Residence is smack dab in the middle of town, on the main Amalfi Coast road and less than 500 feet from the beach in one direction and the famed, mosaic-facaded cathedral in the other.

The hotel's unassuming entrance is tucked between a souvenir shop and an eyeglasses hut, and the simple reception desk is misleading. Exit the elevator on the first floor and it's like stepping into the foyer of your own 18th-century patrician palazzo.

The three-story atrium—sky-lit and dripping with vegetation—is centered on a thin, curving staircase. The atrium and surrounding dim corridors are packed with Victorian-style Italiana: bronze statues, marble busts of 19th-century worthies, oil paintings, gilded mirrors, illuminated manuscripts, antique dioramas, and a papier-mâché ballerina under a glass dome.

The rooms themselves are often tiny, with solid, slightly scuffed wooden furnishings offset by new upholstery and brocaded bed covers, but a few blow you away with magnificent frescoed ceilings and balcony views over the beach across the street.

Rooms with that view can be a bit noisy—even double sets of double-paned glass on the balconies' sliding doors only dampen the traffic noise—but things get quiet here well before midnight, so it’s not really a concern.

Rooms over the side street leading to the cathedral are quieter, and those on the alley on the building's other side are nearly silent—no real views, though, just terraces to catch some sun and a sliver of the sea.

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Via delle Repubbliche Marinare 9
tel. +39-089-871-183

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How long does Amalfi take?

Planning your time: You could see every official "sight" in the town of Amalfi in 60–90 minutes—though it is a lovely place to relax for a while, maybe take a cappuccino on the piazza overlooking the steps up to the Duomo.

Amalfi also makes an ideal place to spend the night. It has several good restaurants, and the town is just large enough to keep the feeling that there's a bit of local life beyond the tourism, making it a joy to wander (the others—Positano and Ravello especially, may be more postcard-quaint and pretty, but Amalfi feels more real).

Besides, it is the one place on the Amalfi Coast where you have to switch buses—either to return west up the coast toward Postiano and Sorrento, to made a side trip up to pretty Ravello, or to continue east along the coast to Salerno.

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Hotel Residence
Via delle Repubbliche Marinare 9
tel. +39-089-871-183
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