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Owner Bianca salvaged the 17th Century monastery in 2001, and thanks to her painstaking restoration project, it has now been restored to its former self and is home to the luxury boutique hotel Monastero Santa Rosa.
The love and attention she poured into the restoration of her Amalfi Coast project is visible throughout the hotel, from the 20 rooms to the large 17th century bell that welcomes guests on arrival (the same in fact that alerted the monks that the pilgrims seeking help had arrived). Pictures from when the monastery was still active are dotted around the grounds paying homage to its history.
The 20 rooms and suites, each named after a herb from the monastery garden, all have spectacular sea views and some have original features such as vaulted windows. Many rooms also have terraces swathed in bougainvillea.
This beautiful spa hotel clings to the cliff edge, hovering over the sea. The infinity pool, on the bottom ledge of tiered gardens, dribbles over the cliffs and is a real draw card (we think one of the best on the Amalfi Coast). The spa is another. Located within the original walls of the monastery, the setting is fantastic and the range of treatments is endless. There is a Tepidarium, double dry treatment couches, double wet treatment tables and seven outdoor treatment rooms - a massage to the sound of the lapping coast? Yes please.
The food is also fantastic, and head chef Christoph Bob really knows his stuff. He takes inspiration from 17th Century recipes and adds modern touches to create innovative and delicious dishes. Much of the food is grown in the hotel's gardens, and fish is collected from the bottom of the cliffs. For those who are interested, Christoph is happy to talk guests through his menus and the history behind them.
Outside of Santa Rosa, although guests do find it hard to drag themselves away, Positano and Amalfi are just a short boat ride away. Closer to the hotel, the caves below Conca dei Marini are well worth a visit. During the day the sunlight filters into Grotta dello Smeralda (Emerald Grotto), filling it with a stunning green light.
Many original features have been restored at Monastaro Santa Rosa, for example a 17th Century bell that welcomes guests on arrival - the same that told the monks the pilgrims had arrived in ye olden days.
Kate L, Original Traveller