Monday, May 22, 2017


Indeed splendid. Our international team of travel advisors were all blown away by Belmond Hotel Splendido – not just the stunning views, but the refined service and heart-stirring ambience…

In this elegant hotel overlooking the beautiful coastline of Portofino, you get a feeling of travelling back in time to the glamorous fifties.  

There is a wonderful ambience, tinged with glamour and intimacy. Sitting in the cocktail bar, you can imagine the illustrious cast of celebrities and royal dignitaries that have spent time there, enjoying the atmosphere and no doubt some raucous celebrations over the years.

In the bar with its hand-painted walls and marble floors an international set gather every night for cocktails and to enjoy the music. The resident pianist Vladimir Gatto has worked at Splendido for 30 years, and is something of an in-house celebrity! He will most likely ask if you would like to sing with him.

Antonio Becalli, the legendary Bar Manager, has been at the hotel 47 years creating cocktails – including one he designed especially for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. He mingles with the guests and joins in with the singing and dancing; a real character and part of the furniture. His Bellini is noted by many guests as the best in the world!

The formal Italian restaurant La Terazza has an extensive menu and comprehensive wine list. The stunning terrace overlooks the coast line of Portofino. The food is of a good quality. The dress code is smart. You can either sit on the terrace to enjoy the sublime views and classic atmosphere, or in the more formal dining room inside. Service is professional, and attentive but not intrusive.

At the Pool restaurant – open daily for lunch only 1-4pm they serve buffet style appetizers, pizza that will be baked in front of your eyes in the wood fired oven, and a selection of pastas, salads and grills.

Down at the piazetta at the harbour,  enjoy authentic Italian food at at Chuflay. The service is personal and this restaurant is more casual than La Terazza. A perfect spot for people watching in the midst of the colourful harbour.

The staff are highly professional with a hospitable humorous manner lacking formalities. Nightly entertainment with pianist.

Child friendly? Honeymoon-friendly...

Belmond Hotel Splendido is not the ultimate place to bring your children and is more a destination for couples including honeymooners. They do have a kids club called the Smile Club where children between 4-12 are welcome. Here the children can enjoy everything from pizza baking, ice cream tasting or going for a fishing excursion. There is no kids pool but they do have a children’s menu!


Balcony with a view to die for - our room looking over Portofino harbour

A room with a balcony is a way to make the most of your stay. New from this year, all types of junior suites have balcony, and they are all facing the sea. All of the junior suites are different. The junior suite superior is the smallest, and junior suite executive is the largest. They are differently decorated, some a bit more modern and others the classic style. Some have separate bedroom and living room. All of them have separate shower and bath tub.

For families there are some interconnecting solutions including a presidential suite interconnecting to a junior executive via entrance door. On some floors the suite may be splendid but the view may be less so – so ask our advice.

A newly renovated room with the inspiration of the lush green flower-filled gardens and some old fashioned glamour

A nice excursion

View of Portofino from our boat. We took a boat from Portofino to Camogli a little village, following the hilly coastline.

How to get there

Colourful Portofino reflected in the calm bay
The small town of Portofino is located 45 km east of Genoa, which will be the closest airport. 

Driving: Driving time to the hotel is from 40-50 min, depending on traffic. The airport is served by Alitalia, British Airways (from Gatwick), AirFrance/KLM, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and a raft of budget airlines such as Ryanair, AirDolomiti and Vueling. There is a highway (A12) from the airport to Rapallo, and from Rapallo onward to Santa Margherita. 

Bus: From the Santa Margherita Ligure station, there is a regular bus service to the Martyrs Square of Liberty in Portofino. Journey time is about 15 minutes and costs around 3 Euro one way. The road ends in Portofino, and it is a car-free zone - so private transfers from the airport are recommended.

Train: You can also easily reach Portofino by train: The closest train station to Portofino is Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino. 

The following are some Trenitalia ( route options:

FROM ROME: Roma Termini – (change at Rapallo) – S. Margherita Ligure-Portofino (Travel time: 4hrs 41mins)
FROM GENOA: Genova – S. Margherita LigurePortofino (Travel time: 45 mins) (costs around 3 Euro)
FROM FLORENCE: Firenze S.M. Novella – (change at Pisa Centrale) – S. Margherita Ligure-Portofino (Travel time: 5hrs 12mins).

Ferry: If you’re staying on the Ligurian coast, a great way to visit Portofino and enjoy views of the coastline is by ferry. There are a number of ferry and boat services that link towns on the Ligurian coast. See, www.battellierigenova. it and

Getting around

Within Portofino, walking is the best option. The town is not large and most hotels and beaches are a short walk from the harbour. A regular, scheduled shuttle service is available between Belmond Hotel Splendido and Splendido Mare (or take a leisurely, 10-minute walk). The hotel offers free parking and garage for their guests. Prebooking is necessary. 

To get around on the water, you can rent this boat

Note: the train and bus information is subject to change

For more about our fabulous hotels in Italy see our SELECT COLLECTION WEBSITE.

This post was based on a group report by a team of Select Collection travel advisors after a recent visit: Ilse Nyman (Finland), Laila Ă…nestad (Norway), Astrid Solvik (Norway), Collette O'Connor (UK), Louise Lundius (Sweden), Magdalena Sundberg (Sweden) .

images by Select Collection team and Belmond

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