The four mid-range rooms at La Serra sul Mare offer an intimate retreat in Italy’s legendary Cinque Terre National Park with sweeping Mediterranean views. Relaxing on the private or communal terraces throughout the hotel watching the Mediterranean Sea in peace is the main feature here, though breakfasts are huge, homemade, and outstanding. Rooms are each named after a type of flower or plant and have a bright, antique Provencal charm as well as modern amenities like air-conditioning and contemporary en-suite bathrooms. Guests looking to stay in the iconic cliff-clinging village of Manarola should try Ca’ de Gianchi, though rooms won’t have the same Mediterranean views or level of charm.
Charming, small villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea ideal for couples
From the moment guests arrive and are greeted with welcome glasses of prosecco, it’s clear that this small bed-and-breakfast takes its warmth and hospitality seriously. Set in a salmon-colored villa atop terraced stone gardens overlooking the orchards and steep hillsides that tumble into the Mediterranean below, a stay here is as intimate as the home-like property suggests. There are plenty of places for guests to relax in peace throughout and all of the communal terraces and patios are lovely, covered in potted plants and flowers, while most have stunning Mediterranean views. The hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway, or a stop for couples on their way through the Cinque Terre National Park on foot.
Walk to central Monterosso and the beach in five to 10 minutes
At the western end of the Cinque Terre National Park, Le Serra sul Mare sits on a relatively quiet road leading out of Monterosso al Mare. Walks into town take about five to 10 minutes depending on the destination. The town is blessed with wide and sandy Fegina Beach (a seven-minute walk) that’s popular with locals and tourists, though it can get quite busy as it’s by far the best beach in the Cinque Terre. The historic Church of San Francesco and Capuchin Monastery, built in the 17th century, is an impressive hilltop oasis a five-minute walk from the bed-and-breakfast, while there are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants in both the old and new sectors of Monterosso. The train station, with connections to Milan and Rome, is a 10-minute walk from the hotel and Pisa has the closest airport, one and a half hours away by car. Many tourists pass through here on the well-worn Blue Trail, which starts (or ends) in Monterosso and follows the Cinque Terre coast, though there are plenty of side hikes and alternative routes along the way.
Charming antique accents, private terraces, and contemporary en-suite bathrooms
Each of the four delightful guest rooms has its own distinct, romantic personality based on the flowers and plants after which they are named: Albicocca (apricot), Camelia, Fiordaliso (cornflower), and Lavanda (lavender). All rooms exude a quaint, Provencal elegance, with antique furniture that’s been delicately distressed or passed over with shades that match the colors in the room’s name. Hardwood floors run throughout and beds are comfortable, with exquisite duvets and decorative pillows, while the Camelia Room has an iron-frame four-poster. In so many of these bed-and-breakfasts, this kind of decor can go over the top and feel kitschy, but the details in these rooms are right, and guest rooms feel spacious, bright, and even breezy. The Albicocca Room has an additional separate seating area with a love seat and chair, and all rooms have at least one small parlor table flanked by two antique chairs. Black-and-white vintage photos and lithographs decorate walls, all of which have stylish, but subtle wallpaper (excluding the Albicocca Room). Each room also has a flat-screen TV, safe, minibar, electric kettle with coffee or tea, air-conditioning, and furnished terraces with stunning Mediterranean views. Bathrooms are modern, spacious, and clean, with large vanities or stand-alone sinks, antique style fixtures, and contemporary tiled walk-in showers.
Outstanding homemade breakfasts and free shuttle into Monterosso
This bed-and-breakfast is short on features, but as any Cinque Terre visitor knows, it’s all about atmosphere, and the stunning Mediterranean and orchard views from the terraces throughout the property count as a huge asset. One of the main highlights of a stay here is the breakfast, which is outstanding and huge, made by hand every day and featuring a selection of local produce. Breakfasts can be taken in the guest rooms, on the wooden deck, or in the breakfast room. The inn also has a stone terrace with lounge chairs perfect for sun bathing in privacy, and though the hotel lacks a proper bar, cocktails, wine, and beer are all served on site. The hotel offers a free shuttle on the hour until late, though it can also be scheduled during off hours for a fee. There is no Wi-Fi here, but the hotel does have free private parking, which is a rarity in the Cinque Terre.
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