To be fair, even a ramshackle room for two in one of the ancient coastal villages in the Italian Riviera would probably be romantic. But here are a dozen upscale hotels with features like private beaches, luxurious rooms, and secluded gardens that make them especially appropriate for amore. See our picks for the most romantic hotels in the Italian Riviera and get inspired!
The 126-room Royal Hotel Sanremo is an 1872 luxury hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The style is classically elegant with lavishly furnished rooms and plenty of old-world charm. A short walk from the town center, this property has gorgeous sea views, a big outdoor saltwater pool, and modern spa with sauna and hot tub. The hotel lacks a private beach and some rooms are in need of renovation, but there is a lovely restaurant and bar with live piano music on-site.
Designed in 1929 by local architect Giuseppe Crosa di Vergagni, the Melia Genova building impressed with its imposing, polished marble facade and Art Deco touches. Rooms are fresh, bright, and understatedly luxurious, with marble bathrooms. Set in a quieter neighborhood away from "Old Town" Genova, the hotel is still within walking distance of many major attractions.
The guest rooms at this 1897 hotel resemble grand, Old World apartments, with beautiful herringbone wood floors and artsy touches. The hotel offers a few luxurious amenities, including a large spa, small fitness center, two atmospheric restaurants, and a modern rooftop terrace with hot tubs and panoramic views of the port and the Lighthouse of Genoa.
The 28-room Hotel de Paris Sanremo is an upscale property set in a tastefully restored 19th-century building. Rooms are as elegant, with refined decor and modern conveniences such as air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs. They also offer stunning views of the sea and the Russian church. The location is convenient and central, with all of the main sights and a gorgeous private beach within easy walking distance (though there's a fee to access the beach). The polished restaurant on-site is one of the best in San Remo, offering traditional Italian and French cuisine. There’s also a bar, spa, and fitness center on-site.
In the heart of Alassio, this historic and stylish beachfront property has 61 beachy-minimalist rooms with sea or mountain views. Its stylish, full-service Thalassio Spa has an indoor saltwater pool, steam room, and sauna. There are several on-site dining and drinking spots (plus a free breakfast) and a private beach (which is open to non-guests for a steep fee, so can get crowded).
The Hotel Europa is an upscale hotel set in an ornate shell-pink building that dates all the way back to the 1600s. It’s in the perfect location for seeing Rapello, as it’s set opposite the historic castle, and it's a short walk to all of the town’s main attractions, including the beach. Equally alluring are the beautiful gardens and excellent on-site spa, which includes an indoor hydromassage pool, Finnish sauna, hot tub, and steam bath. There’s also a small fitness center, and bikes can be rented from the hotel. The 58 rooms are individually decorated and have a traditionally elegant decor in neutral shades; some rooms have been renovated and are a touch more modern and fresh. Some guests find the walls a little thin, as noise from neighboring rooms can often be heard.
This 20-room, upscale hotel is a super-stylish option that sits between Portofino’s beautiful harbor and the lush hillsides surrounding the town. It’s a five-minute walk to the busy Piazzetta, but the Eight Hotel Portofino's gardens and spa give it a distinctively tranquil, away-from-it-all vibe. Rooms are spacious, especially by Italian standards, and have a classy, modern look created by hardwood floors and a sharp gray-and-beige color scheme. Flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and minibars are nice extras, and suites have enormous bathrooms and private terraces. Travelers seeking a pool, fitness center, and an on-site restaurant might want to consider the nearby Belmond Hotel Splendido, which is similarly priced.
Built in 1903 as one of the first luxury properties in the area, the 84-room Grand Hotel Miramare retains its turn-of-the-last-century charm, with an atmosphere that nods to the era of Hollywood stars jetting to the Italian Riviera. Rooms are elegant with high ceilings and renovated bathrooms, but some guests complain about noise on lower-level street-facing rooms. There's an outdoor saltwater pool, a private garden with palm trees and lavender, and a spa with an outdoor massage gazebo. It's located across the street from a public beach on Golfo del Tigullio, so there are great water views, but no private beach access. Bars and restaurants provide both indoor and outdoor seating.
The Domina Home Piccolo is a modernized historic villa perched on a hillside overlooking the Portofino Gulf. This charming property has a garden leading to private sunbathing terraces and its own pebbly beach (complete with drinks service). Rooms are tasteful but can be on the small side; get one with a big balcony facing the sea to make the most of the location. There is an on-site restaurant and Portofino village is only five minutes away on foot, but note that local winding roads can be dangerous for pedestrians. The nearby Grand Miramare Hotel has a pool and more traditionally styled rooms, but lacks a private beach.
The upscale 103-room Hotel Cenobio Dei Dogi offers guests a tranquil setting in the charming town of Camogli, Italy. Rooms are simple but elegantly decorated with white linens and various subtle color schemes. The private beach, outdoor pool, and terrace bar provide stunning views of the sea and surrounding areas. Its proximity to the water and town makes this a popular spot for tourists wanting to relax at the hotel or easily travel to the surrounding areas.
The 129-room Excelsior Palace Hotel is perched high above the Ligurian Sea with sweeping views. First opened in 1901 under a different name, this hotel has rooms and suites with antique furniture and gold accents creating an elegant and romantic feel, though some less renovated rooms have worn carpet instead of nice hardwood floors. There is an outdoor infinity pool, indoor heated pool, and rocky beach area on-site. Located a short walk from the town of Rapallo, the hotel has a convenient location, but dozens of stairs must be climbed to reach the entrance.
The 36-room Hotel Miramare Sestri Levante is an upscale hotel with a central Sestri Levante location right on the scenic Baia del Silenzio. Refined, modern rooms have wonderful tile bathrooms with rainfall showerheads, flat-screen TVs, and plenty of space to spread out. Some also offer fireplaces and balconies with Mediterranean views. The hotel has a private beach with a bar featuring snacks and drinks, and the on-site restaurant, bars, and free breakfast receive excellent reviews. Free Wi-Fi is offered, but previous guests complain about the connection, and there is on-site parking, but it has a daily fee.