With a never-ending travel bucket list, return travels to the same destination are infrequent for us. In fact, more common than not, we are checking things off the list.
Like many others, we love the Amalfi Coast. The rigid, rocky, mountainous hillside of seaside towns is a kalydascope of la dolce vita. The views from the sea, and the mountains are equally breathtaking.
During high season, the main towns can be jammed packed with tourists.
All one needs is the perfect stay for an unforgettable experience.
We first heard of the town of Praiano from a friends, Danielle & Adam, who really just said the town was off the tourist path, smaller and quaint. All I needed to hear was less tourists and I was sold. My husband found some hotel choices and this perfect small hotel just happened to be in Praiano. Again, sold.
Nestled down the hill in Praiano, Casa Privata, is unassumilgly a surprise behind a wooden door.
I’ll never forget our first visit. We must have walked up and down the stairs of town for 2 hours with our not-so-light backpacks, dripping of sweat in the sweltering heat. I vividly remember walking in the door and the manager saying that they could have met us, and asked what we would like to drink ‘water, juice, spritz…’ Spritz- I’ll have that. We sat down to fill out check in paperwork in their garden seating area, right past the wooden doors, and had our very first Aperol Spritz. I was mind blown of its bitter, refreshing deliciousness (perhaps heightened due to the hours of hiking and being lost). It was as if America had been cheating me out of this my entire life.
It only took about 5 minutes for us to ask ourselves ‘why are we not staying here longer’?
The gardens, the small pool, the neutral wooden lounge chairs, private rocky beach set adjacent to a cove, and simplistic rustic décor are the purest perfection. What else do you need? Words could not do justice.
The 7 Room Hotel, which can also be rented as a villa, isn’t a 5 Star resort, full of large scale amenities. There preferred members or A-listers getting room upgrades, and free perks. You book directly with them, pick your exact room.
I think other hotels need to take note from Ca’Pa. It may not be stamped with a 4 or 5 Star rating from Forbes, but is equal in guest experience. The hotel website does a great job at showing the rooms, the gardens and the beach. But, I do think they could do a bit more bragging on the experience, concierge, and dining.
We’ve stayed at small hotels before but never have I met staff that would coordinate anything. Yes, large hotels have affiliations with preferred companies but this is Praiano, not a major hub. They will walk and meet you blocks away to walk you to the destination, carry your bags etc. Fully help you understand how to get there from other cities, with detailed directions, water taxi- sure no problem. Boat hire, fishing excursions, kayaks you name it. All of the recommendations were genuine and local. Never being sent to a place that seemed more staged than anything.
Up until the last few years, we were never really ones to eat at a hotel. Always wanting to venture into town for better, local, cuisine. Casa Privata changed that for us. I’ll never forget the first thing we ate their, on our first visit. It was lunchtime and raining so when they asked us if we wanted something to eat we said sure- heck the kitchen smelled wonderful. We make the dish to this day and even call it a ‘Ca’Pa’ Salad. It’s our secret, maybe I will share it someday.
Flash forward a few years to our repeat visit, we were calling Casa Privata, ‘the commune.’ There wasn’t a reason to set foot outside the walls.
We decided to eat almost all of our meals there. In the morning, they ask you if you will be eating dinner there, verify any food allergies/specifications so that the chef can properly prepare meals that night. Dinner is served, when you want, just head down to the dining area. Ohhhh so you want dinner served on your private terrace of your room- sure no problem. 5 courses of relaxation and Amalfi dining perfection.
I don’t often think about the other hotel guests on a stay but for some reason, the guests & staff at Casa Privata, are memorable. Perhaps it’s a small stay, and there is no reason to leave, that the guests of this small destination have more of a connection. Each time we have been here there have been people from all over the world- Germans, Australians, Swedes, Brits, a cornucopia of individuals all having the time of their life. Many of which, on return visits.
Terrace @ Casa Privata
My pictures just don’t do this place justice.
Via Rezzola 41
84010 Praiano (SA)
T +39 089 874078
M +44 7725985984
F +39 0898131119