Hotel Villa Eva ★★★

Room at Hotel Vella Eva, Capri. (Photo by Villa Eva)

The Hotel Villa Eva is one of the Secret Hotels of the Amalfi Coast, a veritable Garden of Eden hidden along the back roads of the island of Capri

Villa Eva is quite possibly the best one-star hotel in all of Italy. This house buried in lush gardens halfway along the country road from Anacapri to the Blue Grotto isn't just Eva Balestrieri's hotel. It's her childhood home.

Eva was born in room no. 5, with its huge terrace, cupola ceiling, and wall covered in framed watercolors and chalk drawings. The artwork—not to mention the furniture—throughout the property was created by her husband, Vincenzo, who has also spent decades transforming the grounds into a carefully tended jungle of exotic plants.

Stone paths twist through the foliage past secluded nooks and gazebos, the outdoor pool and its attached bungalow bar with TV lounge and Internet stations, and several scattered cottages. These have been turned into comfy rooms stuffed with idiosyncratic details: sculpted columns, Moorish pointed windows, painted tile work, stained glass, old fireplaces, and whimsical Gaudi-esque chimneys.

The main house—mostly oversized, multi-room suites designed for families or small groups of backpacking buddies—is a warren of a place, with lots of rooms accessible via outdoor staircases over the roofs of the rooms below, and lounge chairs placed upon every available flat space to turn them into mini sun decks.

I find that the jungly setting leaves the place cool enough for comfort even in summer, but you can request air-conditioning for €20 extra per day.

This cheapskate's paradise is a stiff 20-minute walk downhill from Anacapri—perfect for getting away from it all, but a bit removed if you came expecting to hobnob with the resort crowd of Capri town. Ask them for directions when you call before you even try to find it.

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Via La Fabbrica 8, Anacapri, Capri
tel. +39-081-837-1549
Open mid-Mar–late Oct
No credit cards
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Hotel Villa Eva
Via La Fabbrica 8, Anacapri, Capri tel. +39-081-837-1549 Open mid-Mar–late Oct No credit cards €€€ » book

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