Postcard Perfect PortofinoIf only life could always be as splendid as Portofino appears. The Ligurian village is postcard perfect. Cypress-covered hills roll into the distance, a verdant frame to the marvelous painting of impeccably maintained buildings, floral gardens, piazzas and a boat-filled harbor hinting at the Mediterranean beyond. It’s one of those places where it is nearly impossible to take a bad photograph, so visually stimulating is Portofino’s old-world personality. Of course, Portofino is no secret. Imitation is, as they say, the highest form of flattery, and attempts have even been made to model its beauty in Japan and the United States.
Nevertheless, if luxurious elegance, authenticity and tranquility is what you’re after, Italian style, than it would be difficult to do better than the Hotel Splendido and Splendido Mare in Portofino. A converted monastery, the Hotel Splendido has hosted “the cream of the international jet-set” since the 1950s, and boasts a who’s who Golden Book that includes monarchy, glitterati and Microsoft. (In an eerily familiar phenomenon, a certain couple by the names of Burton and Taylor had more than a little to do with the town and hotel’s prominence among the richest and famousest.) If Portofino’s seaside charm just doesn’t do it for you, and the good life not good enough – it may be time to seek some professional help – you can hide in the hotel and waste your days away in absolute luxury. A salt water pool beckons, as does the wellness center. And if you just can’t take the suffering, you can always get drunk, curse your damned good fortune, throw a fit, make a scene, and ruin your partner’s vacation at three different bars and restaurants. You decide where. Even if royal blood does not flow through your veins, reports attest that the staff isn’t in on it. Service is of the highest quality, and the hotel offers a good opportunity to get used to being spoken to the in the third person. Now if the reader would be so kind to accompany me to the final paragraph… Seemingly intent on catering to the very very very few who have seen, and had, it all, the Hotel Splendido and Splendido Mare, is considered to be one of the world’s best hotels, and may unjade even the most jaded among us. At a price, of course.