Albergo California ★★

Room in the Hotel California with a view, Positano. (Photo by Hotel California)

A cheap hotel with a wonderful hostess in the Amalfi Coast town of Positano


Maria Cinque makes a point of chatting with every guest, if not at check-in (which is usually handled by her adult son Gianni), then at breakfast the next morning.

She's particularly delighted to meet Americans, as she and her husband Vittorio lived in the Bronx for nine years, returning to Positano in 1975, so their children "could learn what it means to be Italian."

Of the 15 rooms—their spaciousness emphasized by minimal wood furnishings—six are in the original 1777 Palazzo Bruno; the rest are in the 1960s extension, including three with Jacuzzi tubs (those cost a bit more).

Four of the rooms upstairs have 18th-century ceiling frescoes, but many regulars prefer ground-floor rooms 51 to 55, which open directly onto the magnificent long entrance terrace and enjoy postcard views of Positano framed by ivy trailing off the shady trellis above.

There's no pool or restaurant, but there is is a shared terrace, where guests gather at sunset to sip wine, plan their next day, and pinch themselves that they’ve got the same view as the chichi Hotel Le Sirenuse down the street for one-third the price (true cheapskates can save €50 off the standard price by opting for one of the five rooms without a sea view).

Note that, while there's no official minimum stay, if you try to book this hotel for just one night the booking engine will tell you it is unavailable. Put in two or more nights, though, and suddenly there are usually several rooms on tap. (If you want to stay just one night, call the hotel directly—and be prepared to pay €20 or so more than the online price.)

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Via Cristoforo Colombo 141 Positano
tel. +39-089-875-382
Open Apr–Oct
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Hotel California
★★Via Cristoforo Colombo 141 Positano
tel. +39-089-875-382
Open Apr–Oct
» book

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